How to Winterize your Pond

Early Fall:

  • Add cold water beneficial bacteria treatment to the water. Not all beneficial bacteria water treatments can operate in colder temperatures. Using a coldwater specific treatment takes the guess work out of whether your regular water treatment is working. Begin using when the temperature dips below 50F to reduce ammonia, nitrite and organic debris. We recommend the Aquascape Cold Water Treatment. 

  • Install net over the pond to catch any falling debris. Having a net prevents debris from accumulating on the bottom of your pond during spring and fall. If you don’t remove debris it will turn into toxic sludge under the ice which will create a build up of harmful gases, which are dangerous to fish and plants. If you allow debris to rot under water you will have to spend a significant amount of time scooping it out come spring. So be proactive and stop the debris before it settles to keep you water clean and make for easier clean up! We recommend the Atlantic Water Garden Pond Net.

  • Feed your fish easy to digest cold water food. Think of this product as a way to prepare your fish for a hibernation-like state. This food is easy to process as the fish begin to slow their digestion rate for winter; when they will not require any food. Try our CrystalClear Cold Water Fish Food.

Early Winter:

  • Remove debris to prevent toxic gas build up under the ice. Using a net to prevent falling debris prior to winterization is a great way to do this. If you did not install a net then you must scoop out fallen debris manually. 

  • Remove and store plants based on their optimal conditions. Some plants, like water lilies and marginal hardy plants can be moved into the deepest part of your pond, below the iceline to prevent their crowns from freezing. Alternatively, you could bring them inside.

  • Cut back hardy plants. 

  • Clean the pond filter - move filter media inside to prevent damage from freezing.

  • Clean the skimmer- move net and brushes inside.

  • Remove pump and bring indoors. Some pumps can be used as a bubbler to keep water moving during the winter. Research your pump to see if this could work for you.

  • Loosen check valve, drain water from pipes.

  • Cease feeding your fish once temperatures have dropped.

  • Add in pond-deicerFish and plants require oxygen to function; even during the winter months. If your pond freezes over you will endanger the lives of your fish and plants. Allowing it to freeze will cause a build up of toxins that are released from decaying debris under the ice. A de-icer solves that problem by keeping an area of a pond ice free to allow for gas exchange. 

  • Place net back on the pond to prevent debris from falling into it.

  • Remove net before snowfall.

  • Allow snow to accumulate around the pond to act as an insulator to protect your pond from the fridgid air.

    Confused about whether you should heat your pond? See our information page here.