Winter pond care

Lotte Faber on 06-08-2019

Winter is coming and before the frost kicks in, we will have to prepare our garden. If it freezes, various plants can be affected, but the pond also has a hard time in the winter. Winter pond care is needed to ensure that all fish and plants survive in the pond. But how can you ensure that the pond will keep its ecosystem up and running until spring? You want to prevent dead fish and plants and we will tell you exactly how to do this.

Pond fish in the winter

If the temperature of the water suddenly drops, the fish in your pond can get in shock, become seriously ill or even die. How to keep pond fish alive in winter? You will have to prevent the water temperature from dropping too fast and too low. If the water of the pond freezes completely with extreme weather conditions, the fish will get stuck and freeze to death. You can prevent the fish from dying by checking the water temperature regularly. If the water doesn’t freeze completely, the fish will be able to survive. They will swim to the bottom of the pond where the water is still warmer. When temperatures dip, so too does the metabolism of the fish. Fish in your pond will move just a little bit, to save their oxygen and energy.

Feeding pond fish in the winter

If the water temperature gets below 50° F, you can stop feeding the fish in the pond. The fish will go into hibernation and they no longer need food. They will start to move less and they need less energy. When to start feeding pond fish after winter? We have told you in the beginning of this article that you will have to check the water temperature on a regular basis. The fish will not need food after the water temperature hits 50° F or lower. However, if the water temperature rises above 50° F again in spring, the fish are waking up slowly and require food again.

Feeding pond fish in the winter

Pond pump in the winter

If you live in an area where the temperature gets below freezing temperatures, it is best to turn off the pump for some time. If you keep the pump running in winter with extreme colds, the pump can get frozen and get damaged permanently. It is all about the temperature! If it is above the freezing point for a longer time in the winter, you can turn the pump on again. This way, the water will not freeze as easily. 

Pond covers for winter

‘’Should I cover my pond in winter?’’ is a question that we hear all the time. The answer is yes! It is at all times best to cover your pond during the winter. This way, you will keep the cold wind away from the water and the chance the water will freeze decreases. We have made a list with the basic steps for winter pond care, including covering your pond:

  1. Clean the pond by removing trash from the bottom of the pond. 
  2. Read the instructions from the water plants and remove them to the bottom of the pond if necessary. 
  3. The filter of the pond will need some cleaning this time of the year.
  4. In winter there are a lot of leaves and maybe even branches falling in the pond. To prevent the pond from filling up with this natural trash and to prevent the pond from freezing, cover the pond! This is easily done with a screen or landscape fabric. This way, the spring pond clean up will be done within no-time.

Good luck with the winter pond care! 

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