Maintaining your pond through the winter
Blog post written by Gary | 09 October 2013 | Category: Ponds
Autumn is the most important season for pond maintenance as nearly all the pond plants will start to die back. Non hardy plants should be kept in water in a heated greenhouse or conservatory over the winter, marginals should be cut back as the leaves turn brown to just above the water level and deepwater plants can be fertilised with either a liquid or tablet fertiliser ready for the spring.
If you have trees around the pond, place a net across the pond to prevent leaves entering the pond causing extra sludge and organic waste.
As the water gets colder it is best to start feeding your fish on a wheatgerm based food which is easier for the fish to digest in cooler temperatures. A pond thermometer is ideal for determining if and when to start feeding a winter feed. In the depths of winter your fish will be inactive and therefore will not be feeding. Remove any food left in the pond after a few minutes as this will rot down and place an extra biological load on the filter system.
It is best to keep the pump and filter running through the winter to maintain a healthy pond and to stop the pond freezing over. The pump should be cleaned and checked and the filter media cleaned in pond water to retain the beneficial bacteria for breaking down the fish waste.
The UV unit can be left on to keep the suspended algae at bay. If the UV unit is turned off with no water running through then it should be removed, cleaned and dried, otherwise when the water freezes it will crack the quartz glass assembly.
To stop the water freezing over if you have turned the pump off, you can install a pond heater which will keep a small area of the pond ice free, allowing a fresh supply of oxygen to the pond and preventing the build-up of toxic gases in the pond which can stress the fish.
Winter can be stressful to the fish. By adding a pond tonic and pond salt to the water, it will give the fish a health boost through the winter months.
Blog posts by category
Aquarium and pond equipment
Feeding your fish
General fishy ramblings
General hints and tips
In the shop