Winterizing Your Pond Information
If this is your first winter with your pond I would like to share some information about winterizing your pond.
Not all areas of the United States will need to shut their pond down during the winters months. You only need to do a complete winterization when the climate you live in experiences ice cover for long periods of time. This is because gases build up from uneaten fish food, fish waste, decomposing leaves, etc. If these gases are not able to escape it could be deadly to your fish.
Leaves - You will want to remove leaves and other debris that has fallen into the pond. This will create less gases, and also make your spring start up easier. If you have lots of leaves in your ponds location you may want to put pond netting over the pond to prevent leaves from falling into the water saving you from having to pull them out of the water.
Pond Plants - Plants decompose during the winter and you will want to cut them back. Trim the hardy marginals and bog plants to a height that is just above water level. This should leave about 2-3" above the root of the plant. If you have tropical plants you can bring them indoors during the winter, or just remove and replace in the spring.
Pond pump - While in some water features you can leave the ponds pump running all year.. I suggest removing it. Sometimes you will have to add water, and it can become a real pain trudging through snow with buckets of water, etc. If you go the easy route and remove the pump simply take the pump our of the pond skimmer and store it in a frost-free location. Place the pump in a bucket of water..a 5 gallon bucket usually does the trick. Doing this will keep the pump seals wet and prevent them from drying out and cracking.
Pond Filtration - During winter it is best to remove pond bio media and pond filter mats and rinse them down with water. You can store these in a garage/basement/shed. The reason we pull these out is because if you leave filter media in, it can freeze into a huge block of ice and cause delays in pond startup in spring.
Pond fish - Your fish will be fine as long as there is at least 2" of water in the pond, and you provide some form of oxygenation with a hole open in the surface of the pond. We recommend using a thermostatically controlled pond deicers and an outdoor air bubbler, or another pump to bubble the surface of the water.
Thats as easy as it gets to properly do a pond winterization for the winter months. Contact me with any questions.