Winter Pond Choices Must be Made

koi pond backyard water feature

The Winter Koi Pond

Choices must be made

As the season changes, so do the maintenance needs of your backyard pond. Before the winter cold comes, you’ll need to make some decisions about whether it’s best for your pond to be shut down or leave it winter-ready and running. Make an informed decision.

Winter koi pond

Winter Ready

Winter ready means you are running the pump and waterfall/stream over the winter. Most ponds with fish are run over the winter. Yes, fish can overwinter when the pond is at least 24 inches (36 is better) and care is taken.

What to know:

  • When you make the choice to run it all winter, stick to it! Don’t turn it off when temperatures are below freezing. That will freeze the pipes! Moving water doesn’t freeze, so leave the pump on. 
  • If there are fish, there must be a least a hole open when it ices over for gas exchange (no one wants fish to suffocate in their own farts) Put in a floating de-icer to save fish from fart suffocation. 
  • Make sure to clean out the bottom of the skimmer before we go into winter. It will be harder to clean later and gunk can clog the pump.
  • Do not feed fish once water temperatures are down to 50°.
  • Do not add regular bacteria when water temperatures are down to 50°. You can add cold water bacteria.
  • IonGen and Autodose need to be moved indoors for the winter.
  • If you have a UV light, it needs to be stored inside for the winter.
  • Pressure filter needs to be set to winter mode.
  • Aerators need to be moved to an upper shelf for fish health.
  • During the winter, the system may need to have water added. Evaporation is far less, but when a layer of ice forms, water may need to be added. If the skimmer window can be lowered, lower it for the winter! 
  • Remember, when you pull the hose out and add water, you need to take it off the spigot! If you leave it, there is a good chance your pipes will freeze!

Winter Shutdown

A winter shutdown means you are pulling out the pump for the winter. A shutdown requires that the pond is at least 24 inches (36 is better) and that care is taken.

What to know:

  • When you make the choice to shut it down for the winter, stick to it! Don’t think you can just turn it on for the day. That will end up freezing the pipes! 
  • If you have fish, there must be a least a hole open when it ices over for gas exchange (no one wants fish to suffocate in their own farts). Put in a floating de-icer to save fish from fart suffocation. 
  • Aerators need to be moved to an upper shelf for fish health.
  • If there is a check valve it must be opened for the winter or the pipes will freeze!
  • Do not feed fish once water temperatures are down to 50°.
  • Do not add regular bacteria when water temperatures are down to 50°. You can add cold water bacteria.
  • IonGen and Autodose need to be moved indoors for the winter.
  • If you have a UV light, it needs to be stored inside for the winter
  • Pressure filter needs to be turned off for the winter.
  • Remember that when you pull the hose out and add water, you need to take it off the spigot! If you leave it, there is a good chance your pipes will freeze!

The photo above shows a de-icer in a pond, keeping a hole open in the ice for gas exchange. 

How Else Can Colorado Pond Pros Help?

If these winter-ready tasks are too much for you to do on your own or you have questions, contact us! Did you know we do regular winter care visits for many ponds? We do! It is surprising how care in the winter can prevent issues year-round. 

If you have enjoyed reading about choices that need to be made for a winter koi pond, check out other posts below or see our POND BLOGS full of information about all things ponds!

If you aren’t sure if your koi pond pump should run all winter or be removed, contact us at Colorado Pond Pros so we can help! We can answer questions about your backyard pond and offer tips for all seasons.  Want to learn more?  Did you know that we send out an email every week with seasonal tips for Colorado ponds?  We do!  Click HERE to find out more.

Get Swimming!

Want to be ready to swim in your own pond next year? Have it installed over the winter!  Having a bit of nature tucked into your backyard so you can enjoy it each and every day. Sounds terrific, right? We agree! And we’re ready to answer any questions you have. Or get a custom estimate on installing a swimming pond at your home!

Contact Colorado Pond Pros today to start taking advantage of all the benefits of a backyard swim pond!

To learn more about backyard swim ponds and how to maintain them, read our blog!