Winter Pond Maintenance Checklist

Winter pond maintenance may sound scary, but don’t worry! We’re here for you, and we’ve created this simple list of things to keep an eye on, and do for your pond to keep it in good health through the winter season.

Treating Water: Beneficial bacteria can be added 1-2 times a month as long as it is not freezing.  This will keep your pond clear and full of good bacteria.

Fish:  When water temperatures drop below 50 degrees you should stop feeding.  We offer a ‘fall and winter diet’ fish food that is okay to feed them – just not in excess.  If a sheet of ice forms over the surface of the pond, you don’t want to break the ice for fish to breathe.  It’s actually better to leave the ice so it won’t freeze deeper.  This allows what oxygen is in the water to remain in the water.

Algae Growth:  This still happens in cool weather.  Monitoring and treatment on a case by case basis is a good approach.  Please consult us on the best treatment for your water feature.

Leaf Debris:  Leaves still fall into your pond through the winter, and it’s a good idea to check your skimmer box weekly and dispose of any excess leaves in the net.  Debris decay can cause water levels to change, so it’s good to get them out promptly.

Plants in the Pond: Now is a great time to clean up and remove plants that are starting to go dormant for the winter.  Floating plants like Hyacinths and Water Lettuce can be removed and composted before the get sucked in to the pump.

Freezing Temperatures:  We recommend leaving your pump running throughout the winter for a few reasons: maintaining air circulation for plants and fish as well as keeping beneficial bacteria alive.  When temperatures start dropping below freezing there are some things to take into consideration before ever turning off your pump.  Water remaining in the water lines when the system is turned off can freeze and break the line, causing more damage than leaving it running.  Another consideration in freezing weather is over-spray around waterfall areas, ice sculptures forming in the pond, and slippery walkways. These can be beautiful, but you may need to add water to keep the pump from running dry.  Be cautious when turning off the pump, for it can cause more damage then good.

As always, please contact us at 541-929-3524 for more information!