What if my pond has aeration and it still freezes over? Will my fish be okay?
Sue – Boston, MA
The reasons for aeration during the winter months are largely the same as they are during warmer weather. The oxygen provided by aeration is vital to the health of fish – all year ‘round. In the winter, aeration does double duty, both by introducing sufficient oxygen to the water, and by preventing the formation of ice that could contain harmful gases produced by leaves and other decaying material on the pond’s bottom. As long as the aerators keep some of the water from freezing, the fish in the pond will have sufficient oxygen to weather the cold.
If your aerator can’t keep up with the impact of a long cold snap, and the pond freezes entirely for a short time, your fish should be fine. Short term freezes shouldn’t pose a threat to a well maintained pond – and fish will have sufficient oxygen to survive the temporary freeze. During longer cold snaps, however, harmful gases can accumulate, and you may need to take measures to open the ice. To accomplish that task, it’s important to avoid the use of hammers, drills or other percussive tools. The effects of violent vibration can be harmful to fish. Instead, try applying buckets of hot water to melt vent holes.
To prevent freezing, we recommend the use of our Airmax® Aeration Systems. With the system installed, it’s wise to prepare for winter by situating stones throughout the pond. For an added measure of assurance, you may also want to suspend some stones closer to the surface to generate more surface-level water movement, while leaving the bottom of the pond still for fish.
Pond Talk: Have you had your pond freeze over even with the help of an aerator?
Filed under: Aeration - WG, Benefits of Owning, Feeding Fish, Fish Diseases, Koi & Goldfish, Oxygen Depletion, Season-Long Control, Seasonal Care, Water Gardens & Features, WG-Winterizing Tagged: | aeration systems, KoiAir, pondair, water garden, water garden aeration, watergarden, watergarden aeration