What should I do with my pond in winter?

Don't be dismayed by cold weather! Water features in the winter can be beautiful, low-maintenance, and great for birds!

To Run Or Not To Run?

That's the question! If you are planning an extended trip away from home or don't have a way to add water from evaporation during the winter (more on that later), then shutting your pond or pond-free waterfall down for the winter is the best option. You will need to remove your pump for the winter. And by the way, we can do that for you!

Pond-free Waterfall Care In Winter

You should consider whether to run your waterfall in the winter and still have a plan for filling it from evaporation. Keep an eye out for ice dams in severe winters and melt them with hot water if they form.

Caring For Your Fish In Winter

When the water is 55 degrees (usually in October or early November), stop feeding your fish. Your koi and goldfish will begin to "hibernate," looking very slow and maybe even hiding from you! They are not digesting food at this point, but they are still breathing. It's essential we keep a hole open in the ice for them. Fish are still open to predation in the winter, so keep your floating alligator handy.

Keeping A Hole In The Ice

For pond owners with fish, you must keep a hole in the ice for your koi and goldfish to breathe in the winter. You don't need to "heat" the pond or even keep it ice-free. All you need is a single hole in the ice cover. We achieve this with either an aerator (read more about setting your aerator for winter here) or a de-icer. De-icers tend to work better in the colder winters.

Topping Off Your Pond

It's normal to add water to your water feature in the winter. As ice forms, it's using water from your feature, so that's less water usable by your pump! Have a plan ready before winter on how you'll accomplish this: sometimes you have to get creative-- running a hose from your kitchen sink is a common story we've heard! 

What to Do If Your Pond Freezes Over

In winters with polar temperatures, de-icers and aerators may have a hard time keeping a hole open in the ice. Ice can form inches thick. Watch the video below to see what you should do in these cases to keep your fish safe and your pump and piping protected from damages.

Algae In Winter

If there is algae in your pond or waterfall in the winter, then you can join the very large club of us this happens to! Just know it's normal and not harmful (just a little icky looking). If the aglae is really bugging you, the granular algaecide AlgaeOff can be used on your waterfalls-- it just takes a little longer to work!

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