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When should I remove the fountain from my pond? – Ponds & Lakes Q & A


When should I remove the fountain from my pond?

When should I remove the fountain
from my pond?
Cameron – Clarksville, VA

While we’re not particularly anxious for winter to arrive it is in our best interest to start preparing for the cold that will inevitably come. Since you are working not only outdoors but in the water as well you may want to get a jump start on removing your fountain from your pond before you start feeling the full effects of Winter.

Convenience aside, you can leave your fountain in the pond until ice starts to form. Surface forming ice may damage the float or other parts of your fountain and can potentially prevent water passing through the spray nozzle from returning back into the pond. This ice barrier can cause the fountain to run dry destroying your fountain’s motor.

Removing your fountain and preparing it for storage is a fairly simple process. Most fountains have a quick disconnect at the motor that lets you separate the fountain from the main power cord. Make sure you turn off the power to the fountain and pull your fountain ashore. Wash down the fountain and float assembly to remove any algae or debris that may have accumulated over the season, a pressure washer makes short work of even the dirtiest fountains. Inspect electrical cables for signs of wear or damage and, if your fountain has lights, check for burnt out or damaged bulbs and lenses.

Since the fountain is out of the pond and won’t be used for a few months, now is the perfect time to send it to a licensed repair facility for any routine maintenance it my require such as oil changes or seal replacements. Once your fountain is cleaned and inspected store it in an upright position in a climate controlled location like a heated pole barn or garage. Since there are many different types of fountains, it is very important that you read through your users manual for special instructions and maintenance plans to keep your fountain running at its very best.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to run your fountain throughout the winter you can minimize the risk of damaging your equipment by selecting a more suitable spray nozzle and regularly monitoring the environment. Choose a spray nozzle that throws heavier streams of water instead of a misty pattern. Water moving at a higher volume in a dense pattern is less likely to freeze than water sprayed in a finer pattern. Periodically check the fountain to make sure the spray nozzle is unobstructed and that the water can return back into the pond. If you are going to run your fountain in temperatures below freezing you will have to run it continuously or the water in the fountain head will freeze when switched off. Keep in mind that parts damaged by winter operation may not be covered under your manufacturer’s warranty.

If your fountain is your primary source of aeration you have a few alternatives to get you through the winter. Try to keep a hole open through the surface ice in your pond. This will allow toxic gasses formed by decomposing organic debris to exit the pond and let fresh air in. Since cold water holds oxygen easier and your fish are less active in cold water you may not need additional aeration. If you are concerned however, you can install a bottom plate aeration system which can be run year round even when ice forms on the pond.

POND TALK: Do you run your fountain in the winter? Send us some pictures of your fountain in action.

Keep your pond healthy all winter long!

3 Responses

  1. Hi
    When is the right time to turn the waterfall off the pond and take the pump out our pond is about 400 – 500 gal pond so not really big.

  2. I guess you never got my question cause I havent heard from you and I know you always do answer me. The algaeflex I used several times reduced the oxygen too much in my pond and I had severe fish loss. What dosage is appropriate for a 7000 gallon pond? I just want to make sure I am not over dosing it. I am really scared to use it again. The algae is a little better changed my UV light and added 2 more. thanks

    • Hi Cyn,

      The dosage is 1 oz. per 300 gallons. You would have to overdose the pond quite a bit for the sole cause of the fish kill to be from use of the algaecide. The trick with treating algae is to make sure you have adequate filtration for your fish load, proper aeration and minimal muck. Many times it is the dying algae reducing the oxygen content, not the algaecide, expecially in the warmer summer months. Treat in the afternoon after the sun has gone down or physically remove large amounts of algae before treating to help reduce oxygen loss due to heat or excessive algae. The additional UV will help but remember maintenance with proper filtration, minimal fish load and natural bacteria will all help reduce the need for an algaecide.

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