As the leaves change and the weather cools, your pond’s ecosystem needs preparation for the winter months. Below are some key steps to keep your water safe and your pond life healthy.
- Stop fertilizing and bring in all of your tropical pond plants when the weather cools – ideally before the season’s first frost. To protect your hardy water plants, transplant them to the deepest part of the pond.
- When the water temperature drops below 50°F, pond fish begin to slow down their digestive system for the coming winter – switch to a specially formulated spring and fall diet food or stop feeding your fish all together.
- If your pond’s surface freezes during the winter, decide whether you want to shut your pump down or keep it running. If you choose to shut your pump down, store it in an area with no frost and keep it submerged in water to prevent the seals from drying out. Tip: Use a de-icer if your pond experiences extended periods of freezing weather. These units automatically run when the water temperature is at or below freezing.
- Cover the pond with netting to prevent excess leaves and debris from contaminating the water when they decompose – nets also keep out unwanted predators from feeding on your vulnerable fish.