Nature Perfect

Crafting Beautiful Landscapes Throughout
The South Puget Sound Since 2000.

2905 Black Lake Blvd SW, Tumwater WA 98512

Current Hours
Landscape Design & Installation (360) 280-5116
Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00
Saturday and Sunday - Closed

POND Supply Store (360) 412-0309
Monday - Friday 8:00-4:00 | Saturday 10:00-4:00

Winter Ponds- 4 Common Questions

Winter Ponds- 4 Common Questions

Pond Fish Care , Pond Maintenance & Care 🕔December 14, 2019
Allow ponds to run 24-7. Do not let pumps run “dry”or allow ice to channel leaks.
  1. Do I need to shut down my pond / water feature?
    In areas where we have mild winters- like here in the PNW- You only need to shut down small water features- bubblers, foutains, etc. that may freeze or be damaged by winter weather, otherwise keep your pond running 24-7. In areas where the winter is harsher, you may decide to shut down your pond.
    If you do shut down your pond- remove your pump and winterize it in a frost free area (garage, etc.). If it is a larger waterfall pump, you may want to keep your pump in a bucket of water to keep the seals moist. It is not needed for magnetic drive pumps. Also, if you have fish, maintain proper aeration so ponds do not completely freeze over. This can be done using aerator pumps with air line and air stones or discs.

Koi may swim around a bit during warmer days or lay still on the bottom “resting”

2. When do we stop and start feeding my fish? You should not feed your fish during the winter- regardless what many other sources may say, here is why. When water temperatures are below 50 degrees F, their metabolism slows, so what ever they ingest must be processed and eliminated efficiently. They do not process food well in colder water, and if they cannot, they can get a disease called Dropsy or Pine Cone disease which is usually fatal. Their kidney and liver functions stop functioning and they end up bloating up often with their scales popping out resembling a pine cone. I have heard of only a few instances, one personal, that I have seen fishrecover from this. Let them eat the bugs and bits and algae in your pond. Start back to gradually feeding in the Spring- use spring aka wheat diet. Refer to our feeding fish blog.

3. Do I need to put in a “Pond Heater”?
Most likely-no. If you have fish, keep ponds running 24/7. We need to maintain an air hole, about 2′ or so for harmful gases to escape. Keeping your pond running and using aerators will help maintain that hole. When the temperature drops below freezing for an extneded period of time and your pond tries to completely ice over, then you could use pond “de-Icers”. These units are like floating heaters that warm up the water to help you maintain the air hole, but not necessarily warmimg the water.

Try to avoid ponds completley icing over.

4. Do I need to Add Treatments to My Pond in Winter?
There are cold water beneficial bacterial and enzyme treatments that can be used effectively in Fall and Spring for water temperatures as low as 32 deg. F. They help to eliminate toxic nutrients, excess fish food, fish wastes, decaying plant and organic wastes in koi ponds and water features. We carry several brands of liquid treatments and sludge reducing tablets & packets.
Control string algae and carpet algae with topical granular applications of Oxy Cleaner/Quick Fix or Cleanmax liquid. Replace barley logs in early fall / late summer so it can start to break down, replace new one in the spring or use barley extract every other week.

If you have additional questions, stop in and see us, call or email your questions and images. Ask Kerri at Ke*****@Na***********.net">Ke*****@Na***********.net