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Keep them inside for the winter.Damn really... I live in Canada so every winter is brutal and no ponds here Haha.. but that really sucks.. could you have done anything to save them you think?
We are about the same, maybe a tad colder then Wisconsin.In Wisconsin I could never keep a pond of 4ft or less in depth from freezing straight to the bottom, and any shallow areas seemed to make it freeze even faster.
A friend was able to do a rectangular pond 6 ft deep with straight 6 ft drop sides, no gradient, but also had to keep a pump running thru the entire winter, to keep the ice from stopping air exchange.
So I always brought all fish, and water lilies into the baesment to an over wintering kiddy pool.
I would imagine the same is needed in Minnesota, is it not colder?
The good thing about bringing fish in, was just after spring ice melt, daphnia and grammarus would get started breeding before the fish were added, providing a feast for when the fish were dropped in, I never fed the fish during winter, my basement held around 50'F
Thanks, that’s not something I had considered. I might have to give that some thought. At the very least when I reshape the pond I can build the sides up at the same time to give more volume and depth.Why not build a raised pond around the original pond. Sleepers or blockwork to raise the pond up 2feet or so, this could be heavily insulated. This would give 2 foot extra depth and a better chance to over winter. Also winter time cover with thick insulation or put a pond tunnel over it.