A well-designed pond requires very little winter maintenance to keep aquatic life alive. However, a few simple steps taken before and during months with freezing temperatures can ensure your pond will remain looking beautiful for years to come.
Prune off any yellowing plant leaves in the fall. Leaves should be removed from the skimmer daily during the fall too. Dispose of any dead organic debris from the surface and surrounding area of pond to prevent the water from turning dark brown.
Pumps can remain running during the winter in most parts of the southern US. If you choose to remove your pump it should be stored in a room that will remain above freezing. If the weather in your area is typically warm year-round, turning off the pump isn’t necessary.
As part of winter pond maintenance, you want to protect any fish you have living inside the outdoor water feature. New pond owners worry that freezing temperatures mean a pond full of dead fish. The good news is fish can survive the winter months as long as the pond doesn’t freeze completely and an air hole is provided. Ponds at least two feet deep typically will not freeze. In addition to providing an air hole, a pond aerator is useful for supplying fish with the oxygen they need to survive.
Snow that accumulates on the surface of a frozen pond can block sunlight from penetrating the surface of the water. Lack of sunlight is detrimental to both plants and fish you have inside the pond. Removal of snow from part or all of a pond is critical during the winter months. Installing a de-icer in a shallow area of the pond prevents snow and ice buildup in a section of the pond.
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