Successful winter koi pond care tips

Important Steps To Winterizing Your Koi Pond

No matter how much you may love the winter seasons, the colder weather may not be too friendly to your backyard pond. If you're located in a region that experiences a huge temperature difference transitioning from fall to winter, it's important to ensure that your pond is ready to fight the drastic temperature difference. If you're not quite sure of the necessary adjustments you might need to make to your koi pond or waterfall during these cold months, here are some things to keep in mind:

Pond plants

Why should I trim back my pond plants?

Your backyard koi pond or waterfall is accompanied by aquatic plants along the edges, floating pond plants and lily pads. While these are great, they come with a bit of maintenance of their own. Especially during the winter months, it’s important to keep these pond plants healthy and clean by ridding them of any dead leaves or decaying parts.

Although plants like these are a great addition to your water feature, fallen twigs, decaying parts or other dead debris from the plant may alter the pH of and discolor your pond water.

Taking care of your koi fish and other aquatic friends

Feeding your fish during the winter

During the winter time, the digestive system of fish tends to slow down. Because of this, typically below temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you should stop feeding your fish. Since fish often eat what they’re given, feeding your fish the same amount of feed as warmer months may cause unwanted digestive issues for your little friends!

Properly aerating your pond

For regions with below freezing temperatures, keeping your pond aerated is important to keeping your fish alive. Not only does it ensure that there is a hole for gas exchange through frozen ponds, but it’s also great for overall oxygenation of your pond.

Using floating pond heaters

One of the easiest ways to maintain your wildlife is to use a floating pond heater or de-icer. Able to detect below freezing temperatures, this handy tool will automatically heat the pond water to above-freezing waters to prevent icing over. If you’re using the floating pond heater in conjunction with a pond aerator, it’s important to make sure that they’re placed away from each other. Since the pond aerator moves heated water away from the heater, you may trigger the heater to run more than necessary. Trust us, your fish friends will appreciate this innovative tool!

Keeping your waterfall running

If you’re the owner of a waterfall feature, keeping the waterfall running and keeping a constant flow of water movement will also help prevent the formation of ice. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the basin in order to make sure that there’s no sign of an ice dam.

Protecting from predators

Don’t forget that some predators are very active during the winter! Fish-eating birds such as herons are especially active during the winter and it’s important to ensure that you have the proper predator control to keep your fish friends safe. Whether that’s using a heron decoy to scare other herons away or a floating alligator, don’t forget to get your hands on the right protection methods.

Winter pond reminders:

  • Water features don’t have to pause during winter times - With the use of seasonal pond care tools such as floating heaters, you’ll still be able to enjoy your water feature!

  • Feed and water your wildlife less in the winter - Remember that your fish’s digestive systems slow down in the winter and are in “rest mode.” Don’t over feed! Likewise, plants require less watering during the winter.

  • Keep an eye on your water feature - Even with the use of seasonal pond maintenance tools, ensure that you’re keeping an eye on your water feature to make sure that these tools are doing their job properly!

  • Keep your pond free of decaying plants and debris - Winter months means fallen leaves! Be sure to clean up after your plants to prevent changes to the ecosystem you’ve carefully created!