Q: My pond is 18 inches deep. Can I overwinter my fish in my water garden?
Jessica – Hope Valley, RI
A: Great news! Unless you live in an extremely frigid climate, your pond is at the minimum depth required for overwintering fish in a pond. Though 24 inches or deeper is better, 18 inches should give your finned friends enough room to ride out the cold temperatures—as long as you keep a hole open in the ice.
Freezing winter temperatures will create a solid layer of ice on your pond’s surface. Below the ice sheet, decaying vegetation and organic matter release harmful gases, like ammonia, which can build up and kill your fish. A hole in the ice will allow for gas exchange. The oxygen will enter the pond, the gases will escape, and your fish will stay happy and healthy while they’re hibernating.
To keep that hole open, here’s what you’ll need based on your zone:
- Occasional Below-Freezing Temps: For temperature zones that get the occasional below-freezing day or low nighttime temperatures, use an adjustable air stone aerator, like the Airmax® PondAir™ (up to 2,000 gallons) or Airmax® KoiAir™ (up to 16,000 gallons). One of these units will infuse your pond with oxygen while remaining quiet and cost-effective.
- Long Stretches of Freezing Temps: For temperature zones that see long stretches of freezing temperatures, we recommend these options, below, based on how many gallons your pond holds. The aerator-deicer combo will give your smaller water garden the one-two punch it needs to vent harmful gases and keep your fish safe, while the more powerful KoiAir will sufficiently aerate larger ponds:
Is your pond not quite 18 inches deep? Be sure to check back next week for an article on bringing your pond fish inside for the winter!
Pond Talk: What do you do to ensure your finned pals stay happy through the winter?
Filed under: Aeration - WG, Deicer, Fish Population, Koi & Goldfish, Oxygen Depletion, Seasonal Care, Water Gardens & Features, WG-Winterizing Tagged: | fall prep, freezing pond, freezing water, overwinter, overwinter fish, overwinter koi, overwintering, Seasonal Care, water garden winterization, water garden winterizing