Pond Winterizing


Date: August 9th, 2011

If you want a clear and healthy pond in the spring, winterizing correctly will go a long way.

 Pond CountryMax.com

One of the best things you can do for the health of your pond is closing it properly. If done properly, you will notice a significant reduction in pond maintenance next spring.



 Pond CountryMax.com

Begin the winterizing process by dealing with the plants in your pond. Did you know that plants are most responsible for creating decay in your pond? To avoid decaying buildup, plants must be dealt with before or immediately following the first frost. 


            First, remove all foliage from your aquatic plants. Water lily leaves and blooms should be cut at the container level and discarded of. Place the containers in the deepest section of your pond.


            Surface plants should be removed from the pond and discarded. Don’t feel as if you are being wasteful – most plants wouldn’t survive the winter anyway. Submerged or oxygenating plants can survive under certain conditions – the deeper the pond the higher the likelihood.    


            Lastly, marginal plants need to be trimmed. The rule of thumb for these plants is to cut 2 inches above the water line. Leave these plants for last because they are fast growers - a rise in temperature can produce quick growth and the need to re-cut.


            Be sure to remove all foliage and debris from the plants. Anything left on the plant will only multiply during the winter and lead to more work for you in the spring.



Koi Fish in Pond CountryMax.com

Koi and goldfish are cold weather fish that can survive the winter months if proper precaution is taken. To determine if your fish can survive the winter months in your pond, you need to factor in several components. Some of these components include: climate of the area, size of the pond, and pond biomass (biomass is a standardized measure of the amount of living objects by weight. For example, a single 1 pound fish would have the same biomass as four 1/4 pound fish).


Depending on where you live, different levels of care are necessary. In areas where the temperature rarely drops below freezing and only a thin layer of ice forms around the edge, additional measures are usually not necessary. On the other hand, ponds that are in colder climates will require additional work.


Fish can survive under a complete sheet of ice if the conditions are right. The pond needs to be deep and a low level of biomass must be present. Even if the conditions are favorable, leaving the fish in the pond can be risky. To combat the ice, a pond de-icer is a smart investment for your fish.


            Pond De-IcerFloating Pond De-Icer CountryMax.com


A pond de-icer is a necessary addition in many ponds in colder areas. The de-icer will maintain a vent hole in the ice to allow harmful gasses to escape. Your fish will greatly appreciate the ability to intake fresh oxygen.


In addition to the de-icer, PVC pipes can help fish cope with the harsh environment. Placing PVC pipes that are tied to the bottom of the pond will give fish a clean, safe environment to live in. Plus, the deeper, colder water actually has more oxygen than warmer water.


If your pond is shallow or subject to extremely cold temperatures, your best bet may be transporting the fish inside. An aquarium within the house can be maintained and is safer than a pond that may completely freeze over.


Fish Health


As the temperature drops, the fish’s metabolism slows down and the fish becomes inactive. Do not feed or interact with the fish! In this hibernation-like-state, fish are capable of surviving without human interference.




Treating your pond with the proper additives will immensely help your chances of a clear, clean and healthy pond next spring.Microbe-Lift Autumn Prep CountryMax.com


Nitrifying bacteria is the natural substance in your pond that keeps it clean. Unfortunately, when the temperature drops below 55 degrees these beneficial bacteria can not survive. A specially formulated fall and winter formula (Microbe-Lift Autumn Prep) will help you provide sustained biological activity even under 55 degrees. Many of these formulas also maintain a healthy immune system in fish.

Also, a chemical such as Pondcare Stress Coat will replace the slime coat of the fish. The slime coat will help heal torn fins and skin wounds - leaving your fish healthy for the winter season.



When the wind starts to swirl and the leaves begin to tumble down, a covering can protect your pond from debris.

Before placing a netting on the pond, make sure you have removed all debris from the surface and bottom of the pond. Removing as much debris as possible before installing the net will have a huge impact on the appearance next spring.


The net needs to be tightly stretched across the pond and held in place by stakes or rocks. If you notice that the middle portion is sagging, a floating object can be used for support. Beach balls, rubber toys, foam – anything that will float should work.


Pond Equipment


Disconnect and remove all pond equipment (pump, filter systems, UV sterilizers etc.) before the winter season. Clean the equipment and then allow it to air dry before storing for the season.


You'll thank yourself next spring!

Winterizing the pond may seem like a chore now, but when summer rolls around you'll be happy you put the effort in.

If you have any further questions, email them to AskMax@CountryMax.com, or visit your local CountryMax store today! 


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