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I am bringing my fish inside for the winter. What do I need? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A


Q: I am bringing my fish inside for the winter. What do I need?

Q: I am bringing my fish inside for the winter. What do I need?

Carol – Afton, MN

A: In last week’s blog, we talked about how deep your pond needs to be to overwinter your fish outdoors. As promised, this week we’ll talk about what to do if your pond is less than 18 inches deep or you think your temperatures are too cold outside for your finned friends.

Bring ‘m Inside!
Do you have a pole barn? A garage? A basement? An unused outbuilding? These places make perfect indoor places to overwinter your fish. Koi and goldfish begin their wintertime dormancy at about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s best to choose a space that hovers at about this temperature or below.

The Gear
To prepare your fishes’ winter home, you’ll need some special supplies, including:

  • Stock Tank or Holding Tank: This will be your indoor pond area. Because your fish will be dormant they won’t need a huge pond to live in, so you can get away with smaller quarters. Choose a tank that’s sized appropriately for the number and size of your fish. To make the transition easier, use a siphon to fill the holding tank with water from your pond.
  • Pond Netting: The close quarters might surprise your fish and they could try to make a jump for it, so make sure you cover the tank with The Pond Guy® Premium Pond Netting and secure it with bungee cords or other tie-downs. That will keep them safe and secure.
  • Aeration System: Just as you aerate your water garden, you’ll need to aerate your holding tank to keep the water oxygenated. An energy-efficient PondAir™ Aeration Kit will work in setups up to 2,000 gallons; a KoiAir™ Aeration System will work in larger setups with more fish.
  • Filter: If your region is warmer, you might consider adding a ClearSolution™ Filtration System (for setups less than 1,200 gallons) or AllClear™ Pressurized Filter (for larger setups) to keep your water clear and your fish healthy.

Wintertime Chores
Caring for your fish in their indoor digs is similar to what you do when they’re outside. Because the living quarters are cramped, check your water parameters with a test kit once a week or so to ensure the water quality is safe. Also, check you water levels and add water as needed, and keep an eye on the equipment to make sure it’s working properly.

Other than that, your fish should be just fine through the winter. Once spring rolls around and water temperatures warm up, they’ll be ready to stretch their fins!

Pond Talk: If you overwinter your fish indoors, what kind of setup do you have?

Keep Your Pond Oxygenated All Winter - Pond Logic(r) PondAir(tm) Aeration Kit

One Response

  1. CAROL, WHEN EVER YOU HAVE FISH INDOORS REMEMBER TO FEED THEM, THERE IS NO ALGAE FOR THEM TO EAT. THEY ARE DORMANT OUT SIDE BUT ACTIVE INSIDE , WHY WARMER WATER !!
    REMEMBER TO FLOAT THE FISH IN A BAG FOR 10 – 20 MINUTES BEFORE ADDING THEM TO THE POND,OTHER WISE A GREAT WAY FOR THEM TO GET THE ICK,AND YOU DON’T WANT THAT.
    JUST DON’T OVER FEED THEM WHEN YOU DO. THEY WILL EAT IT OFF THE BOTTOM OF A SMOOTH SURFACE. LAY YOUR SMALL PUMP ON IT’S SIDE SO AS NOT TO SPLASH OUT!! IF THAT IS TO STRONG PLACE A ROCK IN FRONT OF IT IN A CORNER. DON’T WORRY ABOUT WATER TEMP THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. THEY LIKE IT COLDER THEN WARMER ANYWAYS.

    GOOD LUCK,YOUR PONDERING FRIEND — GREG JOHNSON

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