Now that all of you have most likely prepped your water gardens for fall, it’s time to get into what to do for winter! I know it feels like you all just opened your ponds but no worries, winter is just a couple of cold, dark months and then the days become longer and we are back to spring. This is the time to make sure everything is in tip top shape so we can easily open our ponds and waterfalls with little to no maintenance.
Winter prep is very similar to our fall prep list - you should still be adding Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria weekly until the water is about to freeze. For those with fish you should be feeding them Cold Water Fish Food until the water hits below 40° F. The Cold Water Fish Food prepares them for hibernation. When the water temperature falls below 60° F, the metabolism and digestion of your fish begins to slow down. Aquascape Premium Cold Water Fish Food is scientifically formulated to properly nourish your fish during these lower temperatures. Also, if your water feature has an auto fill, now is a good time to blow out the water lines so it won't freeze and crack the line during harsh temperatures.
Some other items that are beneficial to fish and the ponds ecosystem are a de-icer and an aerator. De-icers keep an opening on the ponds surface to ensure there is sufficient oxygen levels and proper gas exchange in the pond, helping to prevent fish loss. The Aquascape Pond De-Icer is energy efficient requiring only 300 watts of electricity ultimately making it cost five times less too operate than other de-icers you may find on the market. The stainless steel construction of the de-icer will prevent any corrosion, cracking, or other issues caused by extreme weather conditions. This item helps to ensure your fish’s health and safety throughout winter.
Along with the Aquascape Pond De-icer, it’s beneficial to add an aerator or bubbler. The oxygenation from the aerators not only are good for the fish’s health but also will help keep an opening in the ice for the release of harmful gasses while keeping the pond clean and clear. When installing your aerator, make sure the diffuser/air stones aren't lying exactly on the bottom of the pond and to place them on the lower shelf; this will prevent disruption of the thermal layer on the bottom of the pond which is beneficial for your fish's health throughout the winter.
Lastly, make sure to trim all your plants from dying foliage and to sink all your lilies to the very bottom if they are kept in planters. If you have any tropical plants, you can treat them as annuals and throw them out or if you want to save them for next year, bring them in before the weather drops below 40°F at night. Find a warm, sunny area in your home and keep them in a bin filled with water or on a tray so you can water them daily. The plants might go dormant so do not be alarmed. Keep trimming off the dead foliage when you water them. Then in the spring you can fertilize them and place them right back into your pond.
We have all the items you need to winterize your pond, so head on over before we close up for winter! Again, if any of you do not feel comfortable tackling these things on your own, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an e-mail!