Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Monday, January 27, 2014

Arctic Blast, Frozen Pond

      [Photo Credit: SR Vrana, Creative Commons License.  Use by permission
                                          of photographer only.]

     What a difference a few weeks makes, from sub-tropical Florida to frozen Virginia!  As some of you know, I had a pond installed about 4 years ago and it has brought me much joy.  I read a recommendation to buy a pond heater/ice melter, and I did, but I did not use it, until this weekend.  My pond has had a bit of ice on it from time to time, but never this much or this deep.  I have a waterfall, so there is usually some open water, to vent nasty gasses that build up from decomposition, and allow oxygen to get into the water. Last weekend, the area of open water was very small, and we are expecting more arctic cold this week. I installed my floating pond heater. 

     This heater needs to be installed near to edge (to make it easier to place and retrieve) over some open water.  I had no open water at the best point to place the heater and, indeed, the ice was about 3 inches thick!  The instructions that came with the heater said to use an ice auger to drill a hole in the ice (never try to break the ice by striking it if there is wildlife in the pond- they can die from percussive injuries...I want to protect my hibernating frogs!). I don't have an auger, so I poured very warm water onto the same spot over and over until I had a hole.  I placed the heater over it and it is working!  It will help that today will be warmer (around 50) to give the ice a better chance to melt before the next blast!

[Photo Credit: SR Vrana, Creative Commons License.  Use by permission
of photographer only.]

The solid white ice is 3 inches thick, the clearer ice about 1.5 inches thick.

Floating pond heater over a hole in the ice.

Stay warm!

1 comment:

Anita said...

Well who knew? Once again, fascinating info. I thought only green houses did things like this.