How To Take Care Of A Koi Pond Before Winter Strikes

Taking Care Of Your Pond And Koi Fish Before Winter Sets In In Maryland, DC, And Northern Virginia

There are several steps you can go through to take care of a koi pond in winter. You’ll want to have it cleaned, stop feeding your fish under 50°F, put an aerator in the shallow area or move yours to it, use a de-icer when the top of the pond freezes over, and a few more actions too. By following these and the other actions you can make sure your pond and koi fish are ready for winter weather.

pp-maintenance-winter2
pp-maintenance-winter2

There are several steps you can go through to take care of a koi pond in winter. You’ll want to have it cleaned, stop feeding your fish under 50°F, put an aerator in the shallow area or move yours to it, use a de-icer when the top of the pond freezes over, and a few more actions too. By following these and the other actions you can make sure your pond and koi fish are ready for winter weather.

Preparing For Winter’s Icy Grip On Your Koi Pond

“So, what exactly is it that you do to take care of a koi pond before winter?”

Frank is currently on the phone with a pond contracting company asking about their winter pond maintenance service. He and his wife, Eleanor, want to make sure it’s in the best condition possible before it starts freezing.

“Well,” responds the voice on the phone, “3 things we normally do are:” (check out the video below for the 3 tips)

“That’s it, then?” Frank asks in confusion. “Actually, we do a lot more than that. Would you like me to give you a full rundown of how to take care of a koi pond in winter?”

“Yes I would,” Frank responds. “I want our pond to be fully ready for snow, freezing, and winter in general.”

How To Take Care Of A Koi Pond In Winter

  1. Remove fall netting if installed
  2. Stop feeding your fish until temperatures are steadily above 50°F
  3. Have your pond cleaned
  4. Keep a hole in the ice with a de-icer (don’t break the ice)
  5. Move/place an aerator to 1 foot below the surface
  6. Shut down the waterfall or make sure it’s winter-ready
  7. Turn off Ion-Gen if you have one
How to take care of a koi pond in winter

The 3 main actions you want to take to winterize your pond are to remove any fall netting, install a de-icer, and reposition or install an aerator about 1 foot from the surface of the water.

“What exactly are the importance of these actions,” Frank asks. “As in why shouldn’t we feed our fish and why do we need a de-icer?”

Fall netting is one of the best parts about fall pond maintenance and winter maintenance because it helps keep your pond cleaner (and easier to clean) by keeping leaves out of it.

Taking care of pond fish in winter is important and requires a few different actions.

You don’t want to feed your fish because at a certain temperature level they start basically hibernating, like bears. Their entire body slows down, including their digestive system. Feeding them now would only get food stuck inside them for months on end, which as you can imagine, would be bad.

Having your pond cleaned makes spring maintenance easier and keeps your fish’s home cleaner. Leaves and muck on the bottom break down and release gases into the water which can be bad for your fish. This is also where the de-icer comes in.

De-icers form a hole in the ice allowing nasty gases to go out and clean oxygen to come in. If your pond allows it you can leave your waterfall running to keep a hole in the ice or form some beautiful frozen falls (though we recommend having a de-icer).

“But if I have a hole in the ice why do I need an aerator?” Frank thinks to himself.

You’ll also want an aerator about 1 foot below the water’s surface. Aerators add oxygen to the water and move it around so it doesn’t stagnate. During winter, your fish hibernate in the warm water at the bottom. Keeping an aerator near the bottom during winter will mix the warm water with the cold which will make your fish cold and uncomfortable.

If you have an Ion-Gen we recommend turning that off as well.

Take Care Of Your Pond

“Oh, wow, that’s more than I thought it would be,” Frank says in surprise. “It is for most people, but these actions are what help people’s ponds and fish last through our Maryland winters.”

“Well,” Frank says,” how about we start talking price for taking care of our koi pond for winter.”