Preparations for over-wintering success
Make fall/winter pond maintenance simple and efficient. Prevent pond conditions from deteriorating to the point where aggressive measures are necessary. Keep essential items and equipment on hand to ensure over-wintering success.
pond netting to maximize leaf-removing effort and to prevent leaves from falling into the pond in the first place.
- Perform a substantial water change, up to 50%, to remove contaminants and help maintain improved water conditions throughout the winter. Best done when pond temperature is the same as source water, but no lower than 60°F to minimize stress.
Remove organic materials from the bottom of your pond.
- Condition your pond with
bacterial additives specifically formulated to work in cooler water temperatures.
- Remove or bring
tropical (non-hardy) plants indoors.
hardy lilies down to about an inch or two above the crown and move them to a deeper part of the pond.
marginal or bog plants or leave some for winter interest.
It's extremely easy to add
pond netting and it will save your pond from collecting debris.
- Thoroughly clean your filters. When water temperature drops below 45°F, shut them down and remove
filter media and main pump to prevent damage from freezing.
- Drain and store
pump per manufacturer's recommendation.
- When water temperatures drop below 70°F, begin mixing your koi's diet with an
easier-to-digest, wheat germ food. At below 60°F, switch to wheat germ food completely.
- When the water temperature reaches 40°F, stop feeding your fish altogether.
Over-wintering success and preparing for spring
In regions that experience prolonged freezing winters, harmful gases trapped under the ice can accumulate to create toxic conditions for fish.
- Provide an opening in the ice for proper gas exchange and make sure it stays open.
- If you see fish at the surface while the pond is still frozen, ACT FAST! Add an
water pump near the surface, or do a water change. Your fish can die quickly.
- Never try to physically break the ice to create an opening. Instead, melt a hole in the ice.
Keep a hole in the ice without putting a hole in your wallet. The
Pond Breather works down to 20°F below zero and only uses 40 watts of energy!
aerators or other devices close to the water surface to prevent ice formation.
- Prevent snow from piling too high on the frozen pond surface so you can safely find and maintain
de-icing equipment. Keep them from being covered during heavy snowfall.
- Plan for any renovations or improvements for the coming spring. Consider installing a new
water fountain, additional
lighting for your pond, or design a new planting scheme for your pond.
Bringing your pond back to life
Check your pond filter and
pump and prepare for summer. Once spring arrives and water temperatures are above 45°F, you will want to get your filtration system started.
- Reassemble the filtration system and start it up. Check for leaks and proper flow rate.
- Jump start your biological filtration with
bacterial additives to replace those lost over the winter.
- Measure water parameters and monitor the development of nitrifying bacteria in your biological filtration system with a
good test kit.
- Have a
pond aerator handy to promote proper gas exchange. Unseasonably warm spring days can encourage abrupt nitrifying bacterial activity that can rapidly deplete dissolved oxygen levels in your pond.
Combat spring green! Place
barley straw in a container of moving water inside your home, 6 weeks ahead of time so it will be primed when you are ready to open your pond.
- Get your
UV clarifier system up and running to keep your water crystal clear throughout the spring and summer season.
- Get those green thumbs wet. Early spring is the best time to
repot pond plants.
Add fertilizer to
water lilies to give them a good start.
- Start feeding pond fish
easier-to-digest, wheat germ food when water temperature stays consistently above 50°F.