A couple things are important for your pond now that the leaves have fallen and the pond and fish are ready for a long winters nap. The winter is also a time of great fish loss for several reasons. If you run your waterfall in the winter, you are exposing the fish to “ColdShock” where they could die! Do Not Run Your Waterfall in the Winter! We do not recommend running your waterfall and pond in the winter. Especially throughout Ohio, Michigan, Chicago and Surrounding States. Intense circulation in the winter can chill the warmer water at the bottom of the pond. Why would one expose the warmer water at the bottom of the pond to below freezing temperatures?
Another reason to not run your pumps. One issue of operating your pump and filters during the winter is the potential of damage to these components should the power be interrupted for extended periods of time. The seals and components of your pumps and filter can crack, wear and as we all know..Pumps are not cheap to replace each year!
Some systems are designed to allow the water to flow back into the pond should a power outage occur. If you have a check valve on your system consider removing it during the winter so that it doesn’t prevent the water from flowing back into the pond.
**It is a lso our experiences in zones 5 and 6 just a De-Icer is not sufficient to keep a sufficient size hole open in the winter. Use an Aerator and a De-Icer in lieu of your pump. The purpose of the adding the Aerators and De-Icers is to provide a hole large enough to facilitate gaseous exchange between the pond and the water. This exchange will keep dissolved oxygen levels up in the pond, vital for fish health, while also allowing carbon dioxide or other gases caused by the decomposition of pond debris to escape harmlessly into the atmosphere.
If after our last visit with you more leaves blow into the pond, either contact us or grab your skimmer net and pull out as many leaves and debris that may have fallen in since our last visit. If left, they will decay and rob the water of oxygen.
Use Microbelift Fall/Winter Prep during the cold season. These bacterial strains are “Cold Water Bacteria”, key to accelerating the breakdown of leaves, sediment, and sludge all winter long. We have had success with the pond in our ponds with water temps of 35-37° temperatures. Clear Pond Fall & Winter Formula is also excellent in the early Spring and Fall. It is also a cold water bacteria strain that works in a wide range of pH and in water temperatures below 55 degrees F. Clear Pond improves oxygen levels within the pond, eliminates foul odors. It also reduces ammonia and nitrogen levels to keep the pond environment healthy.
Never break the ice as the vibration can kill the fish! Use a tea kettle filled with hot water with a rope on it and let it sit on the surface of the ice. Let it melt the ice and free up a de-icer that may have froze over during a power outage. If you don’t have a De-Icer… get one… your fish WILL thank you!