The pond is two years old, but this is the first year it has ever had fish.
I did do some online research, and found an article. In the article it said that as long as the pond was more than 18 inches it shouldn't completely freeze over. This pond is at least 36 inches, and could be close to 42 inches (since it was dug for 3 1/2 feet, but I think some settling has occurred, as well as some build up of dirt, algae, plants and silt along with the rocks that were added for the substrate).
I am just wondering to what extent that I can rely on this information. I know that water gains and looses heat slowly in larger bodies of water, so I don't think a day or two of below freezing weather will have an horrible effect, but I do not want the fish to die either.
Originally, this pond was designed for a 3 acre garden (Romance in The Garden). It has a waterfall that runs into it, but it will be off for the winter. My mother-in-law thought it would be nice to have fish in the pond, and just recently my wife and I have been interested in aquariums, so we have been taking care of the fish.
Since we are new, I was looking for some input. The more information we can gather the better decision we can make.
Sadly, we do not have the funds right now to buy a fish heater. Lights would be nice too. The fish in the pond was not our priority to begin with. Recently we have been more sensitive to the idea, and just how precise aquarists need to be in keeping fish healthy.
We want to keep the fish, but they have a hard time cooperating (since we have limited space in our small tanks) with our tropical fish- mainly due to the size differences (my tank blurbs and aquarium logs are up to date).
Our other option is to sell back our fish. :(