If you are the proud owner of a beautiful backyard pond, it will soon be time to close it for the winter. By taking a few steps in the fall, you can ensure the survival of your fish through even the coldest parts of the upcoming winter.
What should you do? Simple:
â Disconnection: First, you’ll want to disconnect all of the waterfalls and/or fountain spray heads from your pumping system. If you use an ultraviolet sterilizing set-up for preventing micro algae, remove that and store it indoors because freezing temperatures can damage the light tube.
â Cleaning: Start by cleaning out all the leaves and debris with a net. If there’s a lot of sludge on the bottom of your pond, you might even consider doing a complete cleaning. Cut all perennial water plants, such as cattails and lilies, level with their pots. If you have annual plants, just remove them completely. The goal here is to diminish the amount of organic material that rests on the bottom of your pond during the winter. As these materials decompose, they emit ammonia and other toxic gasses that can kill your fish.
â Frozen Water: During the coldest parts of the winter weather, the pond may freeze. As long as there is an unfrozen spot at least six inches in diameter, there will be enough oxygen in the water to keep your fish alive.
â Feed Your Fish Well Before Winter: From July through September, you should be giving your fish plenty of food. This is the time of year when fish build up their reserves for their winter sleep. As the days are shorter, you should begin to check out your pond’s temperature. When it decreases to 50° Fahrenheit at night, you should refrain from feeding your fish. At this temperature, your fish will become dormant and won’t eat.
If you take the time to close your pond properly and take necessary precautions, you’ll find a reward next spring. As temperatures begin to rise, your pond will slowly come to life once again. You’ll find that your fish are still alive and well!