A little warier than last year. I am doing 3 things, first of all having a pond ‘turnover’ device, a little heated pump that will keep circulating a stream of water up to outgas CO2 buildup and then to return to the depths…and a regulation hole-creating pond heater that simply floats at the surface and makes sure an area stays open.

I’ve positioned both of these where wind cannot carry them out of sight under the bridge, so I will KNOW visually if the power is off to that line.

And I’ve put the black 6′ circle of fabric on a floating ring in place atop the fishes’ sleeping hole. So they can start to rest and calm down. If they don’t settle in a safe spot, they can keep swimming in confusion as the cold puts their conscious brain to sleep, and the end of that is freezing to death close to the surface.

Because the freeze-depth in this area barely reaches 6″ down, that means the dirt deeper than that stays warmer than 32 degrees F, and that means it keeps the water down there above 32 F, too. So the fish may be sleeping (it’s called torpor, not hibernation, a technicality of how the body survives) but they will not freeze. They apparently carry on some metabolic activity, and may even carry on ‘eating’ or rather drinking, just because there are algae spores in the water. I swear they come out of winter as fat or fatter than they went in, but won’t wake up and actually eat until around St. Paddy’s day. As they come out of sleep, you can feed them Cheerios or other grain-based food, but they won’t have any appetite until their stomachs ‘wake up’ and inform them they can eat now. This happens when the water (or their bodies, from the sun) reaches about 58 degrees. At that point, bio-activity starts to climb.

So probably they have had their last kibble until March. No Halloween treats for them.