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Old 01-08-2017, 02:03 PM
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Frozen filter problems


I have an above ground, somewhat sheltered pond, that holds approximately 900 gallons of water, with another 75 gallons held by the filter, the pump is rated to push 750 gallons per hour, the pond in the ten years I've had it has never had ice more then 4 inch thick in the winter months, but that's not the problem. That would be the filter.........

Just a little information,.......I live in southern Missouri (18 miles from the Arkansas border) zone 6b. We have what are mostly dry cold winters, very little snow, mostly rain, the temperature mainly stays between 20 and 40 degrees, with the temps sometimes going as high as 60 degrees in December. It's those few days in January that get in the single digits that cause the problem I'm having.

Most winters I can leave the pond pump running all the way till spring, it's the single digit nights that cause the problem......

The filter itself freezes shutting off the return pipes, so that it cannot flow back into the pond, and the pump will continue to fill the filter until it overflowes and drains the pond. (Or at least down to where the pump loses suction)

Pond heaters do not work, they only keep a small circle of water open to allow gas exchange. Stock tank heaters can be cost prohibitive.

I'm wondering if I built a box around the filter, insulate it and add a hard top ( and possibly paint it black) if that would solve the freezing and draining problem?

No fish have been lost so far due to the pond draining itself, but let me tell you, it's no fun filling a pond back up in 5 degree weather at 4am so the ice doesn't break loose, fall and rip the liner....

Any and all suggestions welcome.....

And thank you for looking.....

ARC
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:40 PM
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I may not have a good grasp of your situation ... ... but, if you built the kind of box that you describe and put the less expensive pond heater inside the box, would the surrounding box help to keep the water volume small enough that the heater would be more effective?
** I guess it's a silly question to ask if there might be some relatively simple way to divert the flow, effectively by-passing the filter during the coldest weather, allowing the pump to continue moving and aerating the water un-filtered just until it's warmer again?
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:51 PM
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Long story short.....

The pump pushes water from the pond into the bottom of the filter, this water purculates up through the filter material, and returns to the pond through a set of short pipes. These pipes slowly freezing shut are what's causing the problem.

I was thinking that building a covered box around the filter would slow that freezing process enough on those few single digit nights to keep those pipes from freezing solid and causing the drainage problems.

As for the pond heater, they only keep a small section of water open in the pond (a circle about 6 to 8 inches) to allow carbon dioxide out and oxygen in.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:21 AM
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Ah, yes. Thank you for explaining further, I see that it's all a bit different than what I had first pictured, based on my experience with my own pond in a warmer zone (we rarely get more than skim ice on the surface).

I do hope that someone who has experience with a system more like yours will chime in with some better answers.
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Old 01-10-2017, 04:41 PM
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Lol, me too.......

I built my own filter system, (after reading on line about the different systems and the cost of each and what each system costs to maintain, etc) and I have to brag alittle,...😁

The only cost I've had so far is just buying the materials to set it up, I've used it going on six years, and other then cleaning it out once a year (usually in the spring) I haven't had to put any more money into it and it keeps the pond water crystal clear and the fish are remarkably healthy.......

If any one wants plans to build their own filter, just let me know, I'll be more the happy to share😀
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