How To Do Winter Pond Maintenance The Best Way In Maryland
In winter, when the weather starts to get colder, it’s important to take some steps to prepare your backyard pond for the winter season. Winter pond maintenance includes making sure the water is circulating properly, caring for any aquatic plants, and removing any debris that might have been collected over the summer.
By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your pond stays healthy and functioning all winter long. In this article, you can find winter pond maintenance tips and a process for how to winterize it.
*This is just one way to winterize a pond. Pond contractors can have slightly different processes, but they should all ensure your pond will be ready for winter.
Winter Pond Maintenance Tips
1. Install Pond Netting
One of the most important aspects of winter pond maintenance is installing pond netting. This will help to keep debris and other objects from entering the pond and causing any damage. It makes cleaning it out after all the leaves fall much easier, too.
2. Pull Out Any Debris And Leaves
One of the best ways to maintain your pond for winter is by pulling out any debris and leaves. This will help keep your pond clean and free of any obstructions. Make sure to remove any large debris first, and then focus on removing smaller leaves and debris.
Any leftover debris and leaves will break down and turn into pond sludge that gathers at the bottom. It’s okay to have some, as your pond contractor will clean it out as part of spring pond maintenance.
3. Clean Your Skimmers
Cleaning your skimmers is an important part of winter pond maintenance. When the water in your pond freezes over, ice can form on the surface and block the skimmer’s intake. This can prevent your pump from drawing water and keep your pond from circulating properly.
To clean your skimmers, simply remove any debris that has accumulated on the intake. You can use a brush to scrub off any algae or other build-up.
4. Trim Any Dead Or Dying Plant Foliage
One of the most important things to do is trim any dead or dying plant foliage. This will help keep the pond looking neat and tidy, and it will also help the plants stay healthy. It’ll also stop the dead parts from breaking down into sludge that will take over the bottom and make it smell bad.
5. Prep Your Plants
Annual tropical plants need special care according to their type. They can’t survive Maryland’s cold winters without help. You may have to take them inside and care for them there.
6. Add Winter Beneficial Bacteria
In winter, pond maintenance is necessary to keep your pond water clean and clear. One task is adding beneficial bacteria made for winter. These bacteria help break down organic debris, keeping the pond healthy.
They can be added in a number of ways, including as a powder or tablet. Follow the instructions on the package for the best results.
7. For People Who Leave Their Pond Running During Winter
Leaving a pond running during winter is a great way to prevent ice from forming on the surface. If you have a pump and winterize it before winter sets in, your pond should stay free of ice. However, if you don’t have a pump or if your pump fails, you will need to take some extra steps to winterize it.
First, you will need to remove any vegetation from around the pond. This will prevent it from decaying and causing problems with the water quality. You should also remove any debris from the bottom of the pond. This will help to keep the pond clean and clear.
Next, you will need to winterize your filtration system. This can be done by removing the filter media and storing it in a cool, dry place. You should also clean the filter housing and make sure that all of the O-rings are in good condition.
Finally, you will need to add an aerator to your pond. This will help to keep the water oxygenated and keep your fish alive.
8. For People Who Shut Down Your Pond During The Winter
If you live in a climate that experiences winter weather, it’s important to take steps to protect your pond from completely freezing over. It’s ok for it to freeze as long as you make sure there is a hole in the ice. If you have fish don’t break a hole in the ice. This will scare your fish and send them into shock.
You can protect your pond by either shutting down your pond during the winter or by using a pond heater.
Shutting down your pond is the easiest way to protect it from freezing. To do this, you’ll need to remove all the fish from your pond and bring them indoors. You’ll also need to clean out your pond filter and pump.
Once you’ve done this, you can simply cover your pond with a tarp or winterize it with a pond de-icer.
9. Check On Your Fish
A winter pond maintenance routine is important to keep your fish healthy and safe during winter. In Maryland, winter can be a harsh season with below-freezing temperatures and snowfall. Make sure you take the following precautions to protect your fish:
- Stock your pond with a winter-hardy species of fish, such as goldfish or koi
- Add a layer of insulation to your pond to help keep the water from freezing
- Keep a close eye on your fish and make sure they are healthy and safe
You can also move them inside. If you choose to do this, here’s what you can do:
- Put de-chlorinated water in a 100 to 1000-gallon tank (polytank or stock tanks are stronger than glass ones and are easier to move)
- Put the tank near a power and water source and a drain for easier cleaning and filling. You’ll need to fill the tank weekly
- Set up a small filter, aerator, and de-icer in the tank. If the area is heated well enough, you don’t need a de-icer
- Cover the tank with a net so the koi don’t jump out
How To Perform Winter Pond Maintenance
1. Take Down Any Fall Netting
In winter, it’s important to take down any netting that was used to keep leaves and other debris out of the pond over the fall. This will help ensure that the pond remains clear and healthy all winter long.
2. Clean The Pond And Filters
One of the most important things you can do for your winter pond is to clean it and the filters. This means removing any debris that might have been collected over the summer, including leaves, branches, and other organic matter.
By doing this, you can help prevent the build-up of unwanted material that can potentially clog the filters and reduce the overall efficiency of the system. Additionally, cleaning the pond will also help to improve water quality and clarity, making it easier to spot any potential problems that might arise.
3. Shut Down The Waterfall Or Make Sure It’s Winter-Ready
If you have a waterfall in your pond, you can either shut it down properly or keep it running.
For those who keep it running, you’ll need to check it every day to make sure no ice dams are forming. They can shoot water into your yard, killing the grass and creating a nasty spot.
4. Place An Aerator One Foot Below The Surface
If you want to do winter pond maintenance in the best way possible, you need to also make sure the water is circulating properly.
You can do this by adding an aerator one foot below the surface. This will help keep the water moving and prevent it from freezing over. It also helps your fish by allowing oxygen to reach the water so they can breathe.
5. Turn Off Any Automatic Pond Parts Like Autofill Devices
If you have any automatic pond parts like autofill devices, be sure to turn them off before winter sets in. This will help conserve energy and keep your pond running smoothly.
6. Add A De-icer
When winter hits, it’s important to add a de-icer to your pond to keep the water from completely freezing over. They keep a hole open to allow oxygen to get into the water and help your fish survive.
De-icers come in many different forms, but they all serve the same purpose: to keep the water from freezing solid. If your pond does freeze over, it can cause serious damage to the ecosystem and can be deadly for the fish.
De-icers come in two main types: floating and submersible. Floating de-icers are typically less expensive, but they can be difficult to keep in place and can cause waves and turbulence in the water. Submersible de-icers are more expensive, but they’re much easier to keep in place and don’t cause as much disturbance in the water.
Either will do the job as long as it keeps a hole open in the ice.
7. Remove The Pump
If you are shutting down your pond to winterize it, it is important to remove the pump and store it in water. This will help protect the pump from damage and ensure that it is functioning properly when you start using it again in the spring.
What To Do If Winter Is Already Here
Go ahead and leave your pond running. If it’s frozen, then get a de-icer on it ASAP! De-icers are great for many reasons, like keeping you from trying to break a hole in the ice. Do not break a hole in the ice as this can send your fish into shock. Then put an aerator in the shallow end.
Make sure it stays full so the pump doesn’t try to run without any water. If your pond freezes, make sure to check for ice dams, or you’ll risk having a swampy yard!
After that, keep an eye on your pond and your fish.
Contact Premier Ponds For Your Winter Pond Maintenance Needs
Winter pond maintenance is essential to keep any fish alive and your pond healthy during the winter months. You’ll keep your pond water clean, pond plants healthy, and have a better spring cleanout for your garden pond.
You can rely on Premier Ponds for winter pond maintenance and all of your backyard pond needs. Fill out our contact form today so we can talk about any of your garden pond needs.