This Is How You Can Help Your Koi Fish Survive Winter

Learn How People In Maryland Are Helping Their Pond Fish In Winter
Koi fish survive winter by hibernating under the ice

You can help your koi fish survive winter! Pond fish in winter may not need that much if you have an ecosystem pond. Don’t break the ice!

Find out more below-

Fishy Pops?!

“Yes, if our fish freeze outside they’ll become like those freezy pop things,” wails Christina.

Matt frowns and starts biting his nails. “Whelwe choud,” Christina takes his hand away from his mouth. “Well, we could look up what other people to do to help koi fish survive winter. Google has to have some information about pond fish in winter.”

Christina smiles brightly. “That’s a great idea! Let’s do it right now and look up how to do winter pond maintenance while we’re at it,” she says as she takes out her phone. Matt puts his hand in his pocket so he stops biting his nails.

“The pond contractor said we wouldn’t have to worry too much because we have an ecosystem pond. Can’t remember what else he said though…” Matt trails off.

“Aha! Here we go,” says Christina, showing Matt her phone screen.

Here’s what she and Matt read:

How To Help Your Koi Fish Survive Winter

You can help your koi fish survive winter in a few ways. Pond fish in winter need a hole in the ice, an aerator, not to be fed below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and a clean pond. Ponds in Maryland over 2 feet deep won’t freeze all the way.

When winter comes your fish do like bears and start to kind of hibernate. They’ll just kind of float around in a half-asleep state.

Koi fish in winter are half-asleep and so are their bodies. Feeding them during this time can cause them to get sick and even die. The food they eat basically sits in their bodies and decays. This is why people don’t feed them when it hits 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When it gets around 60 degrees Fahrenheit you can switch to cold water food.

You’ll want to winterize your pond too:

Speaking of decay, anything left in your pond over winter will. Leaves, grass, debris, and other stuff will break down over winter. It turns into sludge and releases gas. This makes your pond nasty and can be bad for your fish if there’s not a hole.

Having a hole in the ice allows gas from decaying matter and your fish to escape. It also lets oxygen in so your fish can breathe.

Winter pond with aeration and ice hole

Do not break a hole in the ice. Pond fish in winter are already half-asleep and this could scare the life out of your fish. Literally. Instead, use a de-icer to create a hole. You can also leave your waterfall running to create a hole. A third option is to move your aerator nearer the surface. 

Well, you should move your aerator closer to the surface anyway. It oxygenates the water by moving it around. Your fish stay near the bottom because it’s warmer. An aerator near the bottom will push warm water up and cold water down. Your fish would be cold all winter…

Using aerators to form a hole in the ice for winter pond maintenance

In summary, you can help your koi fish survive winter by:

  • Not feeding them under 50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Clean your pond before it freezes
  • Create a hole in the ice, gently
  • Move your aerator closer to the surface

You May Also Like To Read

“That’s it? Wow, that’s a lot less complicated than I thought it would be,” says Christina gratefully. Matt nods. “It sure is, thankfully. Let’s see if we need to learn anything else about ponds and fish.”