Bluestem Pond in Winter

It has been below freezing most of the time for over a week.  Still mostly gray/blue outside without a lot of snow, but the ice is spreading inward over the pond.  The bubbler is running so it will never freeze over the middle and toxins like ammonia will be able to escape.ImageDon’t you wonder what life is like under the ice in the winter?  I looked it up under a site called “Full Service Aquatics” and here is what I found about when fish go into Torpor:
“Torpor is not quite full hibernation, because it is of a shorter duration than hibernation, but otherwise it is a very similar state of being: reduced body temperature, slowed metabolism, slow reaction times, reduced breathing rate and primary body functions.”

It also said they may very well be lined up side-by-side in parallel, crowded into the warmest areas along the bottom of the pond.  This is not to huddle for warmth as they are already cold-blooded, but it may be to share the warm spaces the most efficiently.  You don’t want them to come alert because it will use more energy than necessary, so you are to keep quiet and tiptoe around the pond.  No diving in or splashing around.  Okay with me.

This is our first winter with fish, so all we can do is hope that they survive the conditions they are experiencing and that in the spring we’ll greet them with daily feedings when the sun comes back and the tadpoles magically appear.


About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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