Autumn/Winter can be a wonderful time in your garden. But the bitter cold weather doesn’t come without its risks and downfalls; if not maintained properly, the beautiful pond in your garden could become problematic. If you are new to pond care across the seasons, here are some steps to prepare your pond for the cold weather ahead.
- Learn to Feed Your Fish Properly
Feeding your fish with right type/amount of food is essential to their health. During the winter it’s important to understand that dropping temperatures will cause metabolism to slow down so you should be feeding less or mixing fish food with a wheat germ base which is lower in protein. Always use a thermometer to measure the temperature of your pond accurately before you start altering your feeds. Once temperatures drop below 15°C, a diet of only wheat germ base should be sufficient for the winter.
- Install Leaf Netting Over Your Pond
Falling leaves in autumn and winter can cause decay in your water. This will disturb the ecological balance of your pond so it’s important to get rid of any leaves or organic debris falling into your pond. You can skim the leaves daily or use a netting to cover your pond.
- Use Your Pumps and Filters in the Right Temperatures
The way you use your pumps and filters during the colder seasons could depend on your climate. If temperatures are usually above freezing during the winter, it could be advantageous to keep your pump running through the season as although the bacteria won’t be active, it will remain alive as long as you keep it supplied with oxygen. But if temperatures are below freezing, pumps and filters can be turned off until spring.
Also be sure to clean your filter properly in the winter and consider moving it closer to the surface (if you are keeping it on) so that the air bubbles can prevent your pond from freezing over completely.
- Try to Keep Your Pond Clean
To avoid disturbing the ecological balance of your pond, keep your pond clean throughout the winter. This can be done with daily skimming to get rid of debris and falling leaves. You can also purchase pond treatments to ensure optimum pond health for your fish and plant life; whenever buying pond treatments besure to use trusted brands from a reputable retailer and always ask for advice if you are unsure.
- Keep Your Plant Roots from Freezing Over
When the weather drops, you should stop feeding your plants and be ready to check the pond for any dying plants and leaves. But always keep the roots of your plants buried in deep to protect them from freezing over in the winter. Some plants will still survive even if their roots freeze over but to be extra careful, plant all roots below the freezing zone.