The marvelous red dot

No, this isn’t a laser pointer for my cat. It’s a light that makes my life easier. (Yes I’m writing about a dot and yes I need a life!)

I have a pond. During the winter you need to keep an area of the water open so gases can escape and your fish stay healthy. If you don’t do that it’s fish bellies up!

Pond places make gizmos that do that. You can get a bubbler that keeps water moving on the surface so it doesn’t freeze. Or you can buy a de-icer. It’s like one of those immersion water heaters for making a quick cup of coffee or tea but it’s not that hot and it floats on top of a small donut of Styrofoam.

My pond almost frozen over except for a small hole made by buckets of hot water. (This picture is from a few years back.)

I use both. It’s insurance. I’ve had my pond freeze over and had to haul hot water to defrost a hole. It’s not a fun job.

Until this year, I couldn’t tell if everything was working unless I walked outside (into the cold, cold weather) to look. The underwater bubbler is not visible from the windows and you could never tell if the de-icer was working or not. It only keeps a very small area around it open. I’ve had them crap out in the middle of a cold snap. Bellies up alert!

My bubbler in work. My pond frozen over except for the bubbler hole. This is from another year. So far I’ve had very little ice.

Fast forward to this year. My new de-icer has a red dot. I can see it from all my pond facing windows. It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven. No early morning sprints to see if all is good. No frozen butts hauling water. I am very easy to keep happy!

Hope your day has no fish bellies up!

My fish are huddled around my old de-icer. They think it’s a spa day!

57 thoughts on “The marvelous red dot

  1. Kate, I did not know about gases escaping and fish. Too funny on the fish and their spa day. Our friends have a pond with huge fish (I think Coy?). They had an issue with bellies up on the side of the pond and then saw a mink in action. A huge kerfuffle with some fish staying alive, and the mink no longer around their pond. They had some sort of plastic fence, although the mink climbed over it? I don’t know who to believe. The mink? The fish? Our friends?

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  2. The most simple things can make us happy. Great invention.
    (In cold climates/times when marina water can freeze, people put out bubblers around the hull. I can just visualize a circle of red dots…wonder if the local fish would think red light stop or the opposite as there’s open water? hmmmm.)

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  3. What a wonderful improvement for you, and also for your pond health. Since I also have a backyard pond I have been interested in how you manage the harsh winters. I am sure that as soon as spring begins the thaw you’ll be willing to stand closer to the pond and to greet your beautiful survivors! It really is a beautiful pond, Kate.

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  4. You are becoming a “gadget girl” in 2020 Kate. First your new fit-bit-type device and now something so you don’t have to hover and fret about the fishies. This is great – especially for the last 2/3rds of Winter we have just embarked upon.

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    • Thanks. I don’t know why they didn’t think of it sooner. The devices have been around for a long time. In a very cold winter when the pond was frozen you had to walk out to see if there was a small area (like 1″) around the it that was melted.

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    • Plants may be ok when frozen over but the not the living creatures. They need the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen to survive. I’ve often wondered how it works in big lakes like Lake Michigan. It may be big enough to provide enough oxygen for the fish.

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