Here are some tips that will help keep your pond clean,healthy and make
your spring clean up easier.
Keep an eye on water temperature. As the water temperature drops, we
should be feeding our fish less. Their metabolism slows as well their ability to digest food. Once the water temperature drops consistently below 60 degrees you should feed only two or three times a
week. At these lower temperatures, it will take 2 to 3 days for them to digest food. Feeding a cold weather wheat germ formula during this period improves digestion. We carry a number of excellent
food choices for this time of year including Pond Care’s Spring & Autumn Formula and Microbe-Lift’s Cold Weather Food. During the summer your fish have been building up fat reserves to help them
through the cold winter months. When the water temperature drops consistently below 50 degrees, you should stop feeding all together until spring when the water temperature remains above
Trim back aquatic plants. Most hardy marginal plants and hardy water
lilies will dye off once cold weather sets in. Remove all leaves and move marginal plants from the shelf to a deeper portion of the pond. These should spring back to life next spring. Most people
treat tropical aquatic plants as annuals but some have success in wintering them over indoors as house plants. In any case, they need to be removed from the pond.
Placing a net over your pond in autumn will aid in keeping leaves out.
Remember that decomposing leaves and other organic matter reduces the amount of oxygen in your pond. Pickering Valley Feed offers a variety of leaf netting for any size
Add fall bacteria. Use Microbe-lift Autumn / Winter Prep to provide
sustained biological activity in water temperatures even less than 55 degrees. Reduce buildup of dead leaves and organic sediment with Microbe-lifts Sludge Away.
Shut down pumps and filters. When water temperatures are consistently
below 50 degrees you should remove pumps. Your fish’s metabolism has slowed to a point where filtration is not needed and oxygen requirements are reduced. Circulating water when your pond is covered
in ice will super chill the water making it more difficult for your fish to survive the winter, not to mention, water at the bottom of the pond being denser will also be warmer. This is why you will
see your fish hanging around on the bottom of the pond during the winter months.
Store pumps properly for winter . Store your pump indoors in a
bucket of water or leave in the pond in the deep section where it will not freeze. Doing so will prevent the seals from drying out and will prolong the life of your pump. If you have a U.V.
Clarifier, disconnect it and bring it indoors. There is a quartz sleeve that protects the bulb and electrical components which could freeze and crack if left exposed to the winter temperatures. These
units are not inexpensive and worth the extra effort to assure their longevity.
Maintain a hole in the ice. Organic material decomposing in a pond will
produce gases that if trapped under the ice will become toxic to fish and other aquatic life. A floating pond de-icer will keep a hole in the ice sufficient to allow these gases to escape. Using an
aerator with the exit port mounted a few inches below the water surface will also maintain a hole by causing turbulence at the surface. Do not circulate the water from the bottom of the pond as this
will super chill the water. Air pumps, although are more expensive up front cost a lot less to operate than heaters and deicers. The large Pondmaster 40 Air Pump runs on just 40
Following these simple tips will get you through the difficult autumn and
winter months so your pond will be healthy and ready to go come spring.
Net your pond to keep it clean. Starting with a clean pond in the fall results in
healthier fish, and less work opening your pond next spring. You can remove fallen leaves and other organic material from the bottom of your pond using a skimmer net. However, many pond owners
quickly realize that removing leaves can become a tedious and seemingly unending task, especially if there are several large trees on the property. The best way to maximize leaf-removing efforts is
to prevent leaves from falling into the pond in the first place. Pond netting, draped over the entire pond, provides a protective screen that keeps the majority of leaf litter and debris out of the