What exactly is “Winterization” and does your system need it?

We do most of our winterization visits in late October and November. Although some backyard ponds have different needs, we basically do the following:

  1. Dose with cold water bacteria
  2. Move aerators to an upper level in the pond (rather than the bottom of the pond) 
  3. Remove reachable leaves
  4. Cut back plants as needed
  5. Clean out the skimmer, basket, and filters, and pull the pump to make sure it is ready to go for the winter 
  6. Check on the operation of any equipment the system uses
  7. If your pond pump is normally turned off for the winter we can remove the pump, if requested
  8. If there is a net over the pond, we can take it down while we are there. However, the leaves in the yard really must be cleaned up before removing the net. If they are not the wind will laugh as it moves all the leaves in the yard straight into your pond! 

Does your pond need winterization?

All outdoor water features need care in the fall and throughout the winter. When care is taken in Autumn, ponds start off clean and ready to go in Spring. Homeowners can certainly do this themselves, but if you would like assistance just give us a call and we can whip your pond into shape!

The time is NOW! 

Remember that removing leaves from your pond and skimmer is critical for several reasons:

  • When leaves clog up a skimmer basket they keep water from reaching the pump. A burnt-out pump in the winter is no fun!
  • Leaves that sink to the bottom of the pond will contribute to gunk and become the nutrients that feed pond algae in the spring. 
  • When leaves decompose they use oxygen. Your outdoor fish pond is mostly frozen over in the winter, so we need all the oxygen to be available to the fish and not to be taken by decaying material. 
  • In the fall, depending on the trees near the pond, a skimmer may need to be cleaned out several times a day! 

Update on pond temperatures and fish feeding:

This morning my pond got down to 47°. Yesterday it was at 50° all day. Your fish can be fed as it gets down to 50°, but keep an eye on their activity level. When you feed them, are they still gluttonous pigs? Their metabolisms will begin to slow down as the average temperature gets lower. Slowly give them less food than normal as this process progresses.

Some fish food brands make cold water fish food made of spirulina and wheat germ to make the food easier to digest at colder water temperatures. This can be fed to fish as water temperatures dip below 50°, but if you choose to do this, slowly wean them off it.

Pro Tips: 

Move liquid bacteria into the house now so that you can use it next year. 

If you have bacteria that is over 2 years old, go ahead and throw it out. 

Keep a hose in the house (where it is warm) to use when you have to add water once it is winter. 

Switch to cold water bacteria now!

If winter pond care sounds like too much for you, call Colorado Pond Pros! We offer winter pond care so you can keep cozy while the pond stays healthy. 

For more tips on pond cleaning and maintenance for the winter, check out these!

Should you run the pond over winter?

Important reasons to add water to the winter pond

Getting your pond ready for winter

Should your pond equipment be out in the weather? No!

Preparing the pond for the brutal cold: Are you ready?