Winter is fastly approaching, and with all the holiday excitement it can be quite easy to start neglecting your pond. Though pond maintenance should never feel like a chore, there are a few common winter mistakes that you should be mindful of. So to keep your pond in it’s best shape possible; here are the top things you should never do to your pond come winter.
Bang on The Ice
If your pond freezes, you’ll need to add holes to allow for gases to escape. To break the ice, you need to be as gentle as possible and be careful to make the holes without any excess banging. By banging on your ice, you are creating sound waves which can hinder your fish’s health. Holes should be made with deicer or hot water and kept open with a proper aerator.
Freeze Your Fish
The best way to ensure that your fish will survive the winter months is by keeping your water adequately aerated — especially if you have large Koi. Some smaller fish and goldfish might only need a small amount of oxygen, but the larger the Koi, the more oxygen you will need to supply. During the winter months, your fish are not eating and don’t move around very much, so their metabolism is rather slow and they are not using but minimal oxygen. The cold water does retain oxygen very well compared to the warmer summer months. Typically, we suggest a heater and/or aerator for your pond.
Feed the Fish
Though it might sound crazy, feeding fish in the winter or when temperatures go below 50* can be the demise of your finned friends. What happens is that their digestive track cannot break down the food properly, and gets stuck in their stomachs. So, any temperatures below 50* don’t feed your finned friends. If you are unsure when a good time to stop is, ask your pond expert.
Be prepared for the winter with your heater and/or aerator, before the cold temperatures are upon us.