As cooler temperatures arrive, it is time to begin thinking about how to prepare for closing your pond for winter. Depending on the region you live in and the temperatures you anticipate can alter the preparations you need to make before winter. This information will focus on those areas which anticipate freezing temperatures, so if you do not anticipate this kind of weather, you can adjust your preparation needs. Closing your pond is the process of winterizing your pond by preparing your pond pump, fish, and plants.
If you are anticipating a pond freeze, you will want to protect the pump in your pond and other items in your pond, such as filtration items and decor. The best way to protect your pump for this type of weather is to bring anything with a pump and place it in a bucket of water indoors. If you anticipate a quick freeze in your area move your pump into the bottom of the pond and remove any connections to waterfalls.
In winter and leading up to winter, pond fish naturally adapt with changing water temperatures. As temperatures decline, you will notice that your pond fish will slow in activity to conserve energy. This will mean that you will also need to adjust the feeding schedule of your fish. You can follow this water temperature guide on how to best feed your fish in changing temperature. If you live in a region where your pond will freeze solid, you should move your pond fish to a tank inside. A tank with a regulated temperature will allow you to continue regular feeding of your pond fish. If your pond will just freeze at the surface, you will want to have a way to maintain an opening in the surface of the pond with a pond aerator or deicer.
Before winter, you will want to insure the your pond plants are trimmed of any brown or dying leaves. This will help to reduce any decaying leaves from falling into the pond and increasing the nutrient loads. For any tropical plants, you will want to remove them and store them indoors. For more hardy plants, you can simply move them into the deepest parts of the pond.
As water temperatures cool, check back on your pond pump, fish, and plants to see if there is any additional preparation that is needed. For more information about winter preparation, check out our blog for more great articles on winterization.