Garden ponds provide a sense of calm in spring and summer. But as the days grow colder, it’s important to know the simple steps to take to keep your pond from freezing over until warmer weather returns.
First, a thorough cleaning of the pond is necessary to remove any dead plants and algae from the water. Any rotting foliage left behind may produce gases underneath the ice’s surface that can kill your fish over the winter. Move hardy plants to deeper water, where they will be safely submerged (at least 18 inches deep) to keep from freezing. If your pond freezes over entirely before you can move plants, be sure to remove and store them inside for the winter in the basement or a heated garage. Tropical lilies and other tender plants must be removed and stored in pots without drainage holes. Plants can be wrapped in damp newspaper and stored in trash bags. Check them every other week or so to make sure they do not dry out.
Clean the Filter and Pond
There are options for storing your pond’s filter between seasons, but a thorough cleaning is always a good idea before the cold sets in. Once it has been cleaned, you can move the filter closer to the water’s surface to keep your pond from freezing over. Or, simply remove the filter and store it until springtime. Next, vacuum the pond to remove any dead plants and left-over debris. Again, these can produce toxic gases when left beneath an icy surface, which can be harmful to your fishy friends.
When the temperature drops, reducing the amount of food you give to your fish can help them acclimate to the cold. As soon as it gets below 50 degrees, stop feeding them altogether to prevent them from creating unnecessary waste products in their environment. The fish will go into semi-hibernation, when they will feed on the nutrients in the water. There are some breeds of fish, however, that are sensitive to cold weather and need to be brought indoors when the weather gets cold. These include fancy goldfish with ornate tails, bubble eyes and lionheads.
Cover The Pond
To keep your pond from freezing over completely, investing in a cover will ensure that falling leaves and branches do not make their way into your aqueous environment. This will also assist during the process of prepping the pond for springtime when the cold thaws. All you need is a shade cloth, netting, or landscape fabric to do the job. If you are in doubt of how best to handle your pond’s care, contact the friendly experts at National Property Inspections.
Whether you have a large or small pond, chances are you have some sort of pump and filtration system. During the cold months, it is especially important to disconnect these lines before water freezes and breaks the entire device. In fact, it’s best to purchase a de-icer to melt a small hole in the surface of your pond, allowing noxious gases to be purged from the water.
When it comes time to keep your pond from freezing, call your local National Property Inspections team to help batten down the hatches. Their expertise will go a long way in keeping your fish, filtration system, and overall outdoor haven a safe and beautiful place year-round.