We hope that the summer months had you enjoying the tranquillity of your water garden, with the lovely sound of trickling water and the leisurely movement of your koi. During the winter, the story is quite different. You need to prepare and protect your pond from any decay of dead leaves, algae, insects, and fish waste accumulated over the summer.
We’ve come up with a few tried-and-tested ideas on how you can protect pond investment and be ready when spring arrives.
How to ensure a healthy pond in the winter
First, remove any debris. You can use gloves, or a fine net or vacuum to remove the sludge that sits at the bottom. If the pond has a lot of ‘junk’ at the bottom and is turning yellowish-brown from dissolved organic material, next replace between 30 – 50 percent of the water, gradually over alternating days (use de-chlorinated water as chlorinated water can harm fish and other water animals). Another aspect to consider is any above-ground water features such as fountains and waterfalls – shut these down to avoid freezing during the winter.
Keep in mind the temperature
Winterizing your pond system should be done before the water temperature drops below 10C. Your fish are less likely to suffer any injuries during this cleaning and water replacement.
For the pumps and water lines, again, the temperature range is vital! The shutting off of pumps should happen before the water temperature dips below 10C.
If you have no fish, you can shut off the equipment when the water temp is closer to freezing. By doing so, the bacteria that produces pond waste begin to die back. However, if you do keep fish in your pond, you will need to act sooner.
What about ice on my pond?
As we have cold winters in the Okanagan, go for a floating de-icer. This equipment helps to ensure that your pond is kept free of ice. Alternatively, you can try an aerator. Lastly, when icy temperatures are forecasted over a long period, your best bet is to switch off your pump and filters. This is also a good time for routine maintenance.
Consider the PowerHeat Pond De-icer by Laguna. It works in temperatures as low as -5C. It comes with a highly-visible LED pilot light. It has an automatic overheat shutdown system, wherein its integrated thermostat shuts off. This mechanism protects the internal components from damage. It has a 7-meter electrical cord and requires a grounded plug.
Another product to consider is the Aquascape 39000 Pond Heater and De-icer. It is constructed using stainless steel that prevents corrosion and cracking, thereby ensuring longevity. This de-icer comes with a built-in LED light and has a 22-foot long cord.
Winterize your pond system with us!
Emerald Irrigation & Landscape Construction would be happy to assist you with preparing your pond for the winter. We also do pond installations and repairs. Give us a call! All the best for a very happy Holiday Season, from the team at Emerald Irrigation.