The holidays have passed, which means the snow and ice have officially arrived, marking the start of winter. If keeping up with pond maintenance through the winter is on your New Year’s resolution list, read below to find the most important winter care techniques you should be using.
An Ice-Free Pond
If you live in an area where ice is inevitable during winter, it’s important to keep an area of your pond free of ice. This is especially crucial for ponds with fish. Keeping an area open allows for proper gas exchange. Even though your pond is dormant during the winter, your fish still release waste products and use oxygen. If there is no opening from ice at the ponds surface, the harmful gases remain trapped and the oxygen supply will be depleted, leaving your fish in a dangerous environment.
How to Use It
There are several safe ways to open a frozen pond’s surface. One way you should never use is physical force, as fish are sensitive to vibrations, and hitting the surface can stun or injure them. The best method is a pond de-icer, which is designed specifically to maintain an opening in the ice. Keep in mind that a de-icer won’t raise the temperature of the water in your pond, it will just keep a small space free of ice.The best spot to use your de-icer is in the shallowest part of the pond. If you find it’s not keeping the ice open, try to block the area from wind. Some pond owners place a sheet of plywood directly over the small corner.
An aerator or pond pump is another option to keep an opening in the ice and could be more affordable than a de-icer. It may be a better choice for milder weather where the ice isn’t as consistent, though, as the placement of an aerator can be troublesome. If you place it too close to the surface, it can just freeze in place, but if you place it too deep, it could actually chill the pond.An air pump is also an option, but it has the same limitations as an air pump in terms of placement. You should firmly mount a submersible water pump over the deepest part of the pond, but be sure to keep it far from the bottom.If you go with an aerator or water pump, be sure to monitor it frequently so they don’t freeze or dry up.Shop for all your winter pond supplies from Pondliner.com to ensure you have everything you need to keep your pond safe this winter.