Proper Winter Care for Your Fish Pond
Generally, proper winter care for your Fish Pond starts with a good tidy up around the Fish Pond, and a water change. It should be noted that Pond Fish can be wintered either indoors or outdoors. Normally depends on the construction and set-up of the Fish Pond itself and according to the inclination of the owner.
We will concentrate on things that a hobbyist can do for proper winter care for your fish pond and to properly protect and care for their Pond Fish that are remaining outside during the winter months.
Heavy Winter Weather
If you’re living in a country where winter is the most prominent season of the year, you will need to build a pond wherein a portion of it is about 30-45 inches deep. This will protect the fish from long periods of cold spells.
Even more drastic than cold water is the building up of gasses which are toxic in a pond, in particular when it is iced over completely for long periods of time. It is mandatory that a part of the Fish Pond’s surface is kept open to enable the pond to circulate air, thereby resulting in the release of deadly gasses. This also adds oxygen to the Fish Pond.
To help you with the proper winter care for your fish pond, there are a couple of products available to help you accomplish the above as follows:
This is a large air stone that is operated by an aquarium air pump and constantly creates a small opening inside the ice. Placement needs to be quite precise for it to have maximum effect. Ideally, the aerator should be placed halfway across the Fish Pond and in the deepest part.
The aerator should be monitored frequently as if it is placed too near to the surface, it has a tendency to freeze, and if placed deeper, it may well chill the entire pond.
De-Icer or Heater
There are different kinds of de-icers that can be safely used for preformed ponds, those made from a liner or even those made out of concrete. A puncture hole can be made through the iced where it serves as breathing hole for the fish.
Sometimes, the most efficient de-icers or heaters can produce an ice-free Fish Pond even if the winter weather is bitterly cold.
They provide a similar service to an aerator, in that they make an opening on the surface of the Fish Pond. These have a number of conditions such as the pump must be mounted in the deepest part of the Fish Pond, yet should be far enough from the bottom to avoid water circulation and far enough from the surface so that it wouldn’t freeze solid.
You must regularly inspect the pump because it can freeze solid or run dry, destroying the integrity of the pump. (And blowing the house fuses, so make sure you have the correct safety device in the plug socket).
Using a Cover
Another way to ensure the proper winter care for your fish pond is to cover the pond, this can be really helpful for the fish and helps protect the Fish Pond and equipment from extreme cold. It may well also reduce the amount of electricity that your heater needs.
An important note to remember is that the cover must always be raised to enable gas exchange and prevent toxic substances residing in the pond. The best way is by using a structure such as a wooden frame that is built over the Fish Pond.
Another simple way of making and maintaining a whole in the surface is to place a football or small ball in the Fish Pond water, this will not freeze and a surface hole will then be there throughout the winter months.
Finally, the last concern for the proper winter care for your fish pond is feeding your fish. They may well not be interested in feeding, and will simply ignore the food that you give them. This is because during cold days, metabolism can be quite sluggish.
Although, to prevent starvation, you can supplement the food that you feed them with food they find easier to digest, such as wheat germ.
Please remember that proper care of your Fish Pond during the winter months can be crucial to the survival of your Fish. It will be down to you to be responsible enough to make sure they get the best treatment even during the winter months.
There is other good article on this site, why not check out Fish Pond Maintenance