Things to do to Winterize your Pond!
Prepare to winterize your pond
Shut off and remove your pump (store indoors) when ice begins to form. This will protect your pump and stop ice damns from building which will create loss of water into your pond.
Winterize UV Lights:
Remove the light system and store indoors. Perform all required maintenance so the UV light system is ready for the next season. Don’t forget to change the bulbs per the manufacturer recommendation.
Use Heaters to Winterize your pond:
Heaters should be used to keep a hole open in the ice. There are two basic types, which are floating and submersible. Most small pond owners use submersible heaters while others use the floating type as it is easier to reach (place and remove).
Preparing to winterize – Plant Care:
Hardy plants should be trimmed to about five inches after Columbus Day and placed in deeper water.
Aquatic grasses such as Cattails, rushes or reeds should only be trimmed back about 18 inches and remain in shallow water.
Water Irises should not be moved in deep water and should their pots should only be covered with 3-4 inches of water.
Lillies and Oxygenators should stay in deep water (18 to 36 inches), as long as they remain below the ice level. Trim all leaves and stems so they will not foul the water (decaying plant matter).
Tropical plants: Bring them indoors! Some people bring in their floating plants–this is fine but they need fresh water (and do best with an aerator for dissolved oxygen). Most floating plants are a challenge and are typically discarded each season. Be sure to inspect all plants before bringing them indoors to prevent unwanted ‘pests’.
Preparing to winterize – Fish Care: Check your water temperature daily before feeding.
When the water temp is around 60 degrees, it is time to switch over to wheat-germ based food. Stop feeding your fish when water temperature is near 50 degrees. Do not be tempted to feed your fish during warm spells as their metabolism has slowed and the food you feed them will not digest–it will rot in their digestive system.
Use Aeration to Winterize your Pond :
Fish require aeration–year round! Moving water will not freeze as easily and is less expensive to run than heaters. Aeration will help keep the water moving and keep a hole open in the ice to allow gases to escape.
Note: Do NOT break the ice, this will kill the fish.
When you winterize your pond, plants, pumps and heaters, your fish will do well over the winter and will be healthy in the spring!