Cold temperatures can impact your pond and the plants and organisms in it. A thick layer of ice can prevent sunlight (from entering) and gases (from escaping your pond), affecting water quality.
When temperatures plummet, you have to be extra cautious. Take good care of your pond. Periodically inspect it and check fish and plant health.
Care for your pond the right way. Steer clear of these mistakes to ensure a healthy pond.
Do Not Overfeeding Fish
Fish metabolism dips in winter. They are unable to process most foods they eat during winter. When temperatures plummet, reduce feeding frequency or your fish may develop digestive issues.
Overfed fish will excrete more, affecting water quality. Any uneaten fish food in your pond will promote and support algae growth.
Once the water temperature dips below 70 degrees, feed your fish their staple food mixed with a wheat germ base. When the water temperature drops below 55 degrees, stop feeding your fish.
Failing to Use Water Treatments
Billions of beneficial bacteria thrive in a healthy pond. They are responsible for reducing odors as well as breaking down organic sludge such as fish food, leaves, and dead plants. Cold temperatures can kill beneficial bacteria.
To maintain water quality, add beneficial cold water bacteria to your pond every week. Look for a product that contains concentrated strains of cold-loving beneficial bacteria that can work in water temperatures as low as 32 degrees. Adding beneficial bacteria is a great way to prevent a buildup of debris that occurs in winter.
Using a Cheap De-icer
A de-icer is designed to melt or prevent ice from forming on the surface of the pond, helping maintain water quality. Many pond owners commit the cardinal sin of using a cheap de-icer. By the time they realize their mistake, it’s too late and their pond freezes over.
Look for quality de-icers with at least 1,200 watts. Consider using both a submersible de-icer and floating pond de-icer (a submersible de-icer will heat a small area, whereas a floating pond de-icer will create a hole in the ice, allowing toxic gases to escape).
Leaving Your De-icer On Or Off For an Extended Period of Time
Do not run your de-icer 24/7 as it can use a lot of energy, causing your energy bill to skyrocket. Keep an eye on the hole created by the de-icer. When it starts to close up, switch your de-icer on and run it for a day or two.
There is an exception to this rule. Remember to turn your de-icer on before going on a holiday (even if there’s no one you can rely on to switch it off after a few days) to ensure a healthy pond.
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