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Summer AND winter tubbing?!? In Colorado

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So here is a brief account of what I did, when, and where. In the conservatory with the wrench...

I live in Colorado Springs and one of my first fish acquisitions, before I fell down the "nerm hole", was 6 common/comet goldfish. I quickly realized they would need more space and I had been planning on making a small pond so this project commenced as Pond #2 (it was the second "pond" test).


I purchased a 70 gal HDX storage tote and buried it half (or more) into the ground. I wrapped the unburied portion in emergency thermal blanket then filled in dirt around that. In the springs we get a lot of sun and melt off, the ground also doesn't freeze for too long or deep (relative to other areas). The thought was to use the ground to help trap thermal energy and the foil around the upper portion to potentially reflect any escaping heat (at that level) back into the water. I placed a smaller tote inside of it and used a power head to pump water into the bottom, through a bulkhead, and out the top through holes.image.jpeg.38b0f25e9a5588e32d798bb529d0725e.jpeg

I first constructed it in the fall and the gold fish spent their winter inside. The first winter top was a piece of double sided greenhouse placed upon it. At our coldest, around January or February, I found it was considerably frozen through on top but I was fairly certain it had not frozen completely.


The goldfish were transported into the "pond" in the spring and when fall hit I constructed my second top using PVC and clear shower curtains. The A-frame structure was "double walled" in the hops that an air buffer would help better insulate. The top became covered in snow (hence the A-frame design) but I didn't get any ice until late January or early February. The Ice was quite thin and when I put in a pond de-icer (the smallest one I could find which was still relatively large) it actually warmed the water slightly and de-iced the entire surface. (better photo to follow)


In the end I only had the de-icer in for a few weeks and the goldfish seem quite content. I am planning on building a larger pond this summer, using pond material, and will likely be recreating a similar (albeit nicer) top for the next winter. Hopefully this helps those in similar climates or helps to spark your imaginations.


PS. The piece of wood in the corner is incase any critters fall in and need a place to crawl out.


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