Protecting the pond from cold weather – 9 things to know

winter pond koi pond backyard water feature

It is that time of year again! Protecting the pond from cold weather can be easy!

1.  Continue to run the pump – 

Moving water doesn’t freeze, so this will protect your pipes. You may want to turn the system off for the winter but remember that we are in Colorado and will have more beautiful weather!  Turning it off for the whole season can generally wait until late November. 

2. Heaters –

Heaters have one essential function – to keep a hole open in the ice for gas exchange over the winter to keep fish alive.  It is probably a good idea to put in a heater Wednesday night, but specifically for Thursday night where it may get as cold as 16 degrees (according to Weatherunderground). 

This Aquascape floating heater uses less electricity than other heaters because it only comes on when the temperatures are very low.  That means it doesn’t use electricity during our warm days here in Colorado. The light on the top comes on when it is in use so you can be sure it is working.  

3. Feeding the fish –

Don’t!  Remember that when the water temperatures get down to 50 degrees that the fish’s metabolism slows down and they cannot digest food. 

4. Protect your pipes –

Remember to take the hose off the spigot during these freezes so that the pipes don’t freeze.  Did you know that it is not actually the freezing that causes pipes to break?  It is the thawing of a frozen pipe that does it.  Water contracts when it is frozen but when it thaws out it expands.  The ice on the outermost part of the pipe thaws first while the middle is still frozen.  This expansion does not usually have room in the pipe and that is why the pipe cracks open. 

5. Plants –

The floating plants will die in this kind of weather if they haven’t already.  It’s a good idea to go ahead and remove them (compost pile?)  so that the organic matter doesn’t gunk up the pond over the winter. Your lily pads will probably die off too. It’s okay.  They will come back next year.  On a warm fall day you may want to get into the pond and trim off the lily pads and remove them and other plant materials that will only feed algae next year. 

6. Aerators (bubblers) –

Aerators are great for the winter to keep a steady oxygen supply to the pond.  However, they should not be placed on the very bottom of the pond because they bring in the cold air and this disturbs the water temperature.  Remember that the bottom of the pond is the warmest during the winter and the fish would like it to stay this way! 

7. Other Equipment –

If you have an Autodose or Iongen it is a good idea to protect them during a cold snap or remove them altogether.  They can be removed for the winter and put back in the spring. 

8. Ice –

You may get some ice on top of the pond or waterfall.  Enjoy it!  It can look so pretty!  Remember that the waterfall may get some ice but the water will flow underneath it, providing oxygen to the fish and keeping movement in the pipes. 

9. Lights –

Leave the pond lights on the regular timer schedule. The waterfall looks so pretty in the winter when it is iced over!

Protecting the pond from cold weather by following these guidelines or call us to winterize your pond! 303-775-0224

Did you know that we send out weather advisories (Colorado weather) regarding pond water temperatures? We do! Just sign up for our weekly emails by clicking HERE. We provide tips and information about pond, aquatic plants, fish and more each week.

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