How to prepare your pond for winter
If you own a pond regardless of whether it is a simple wildlife pond or a large koi pond preparing for the colder winter months is important to the health of the pond and the inhabitants. The following is the Discount Leisure Products guide to preparing a pond for winter
Clean the pond
A filter system breaks down waste matter from a pond such as fish waste, algae, plant matter etc. As the filtration process slows down in cooler weather, cleaning a pond prior to winter will prevent any un-necessary waste rotting in the pond that could potential be fatal to pond life including fish. Using the correct pond accessories for the tasks is essential. Use a pond net to remove debris from the pond, cut back plants and vacuum the pond bottom to remove waste debris.
Feeding your fish during winter
When temperatures drop, so does a fishes metabolism making it harder for them to digest food. Discount Leisure Products recommend a low protein based wheatgerm fish food once temperature drops below 10 degree C (50F), this will be easier for fish to digest. If the temperature drops to below 6 degrees C, stop feeding altogether as your fish will show little interest in feeding.
Stop the pond freezing over
When a pond freezes over completely none of the gases created by decomposing matter can escape causes a build-up of toxic gases in the water and can be fatal to your fish. Do not break a hole in the ice as this will send shock waves through the water causing more harm to your fish. Use a pond heater to keep a small area of the pond free from ice which will then allow any gases to escape.
Cover your pond
Once you have cleaned your pond it is highly advisable to put a pond net over the pond. This will not only provide protection from predators such as herons and cats but it will also stop leaves and other falling debris getting into the pond and potentially rotting down and causes further problems.