Posted on September 27, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: Do I need to do anything else to prep my pond for winter besides moving my air stones?
Melinda – Novi, MI
A: Your to-do list of fall- and winter-prep chores isn’t as extensive as your spring to-do list, but you will need to do some housekeeping items before the cold weather settles in. Here is a checklist to help you complete your chores.
- Move Your Air Stones: To keep oxygen bubbling in your pond through the freezing temperatures, move your air stones into an area that’s half the depth of the pond. For example, if your pond is two feet deep, position your air stones on a ledge or step that’s one foot deep.
- Remove Glass: Drain, remove and store anything that has glass inside, such as your ultraviolet clarifier, pressurized filter and all-in-one filter. Keep them in a heated garage, basement or other indoor areas that won’t freeze.
- Remove Ion Clarifiers: Ion clarifiers release copper, silver and zinc ions into the water to control string algae. Because copper levels are naturally higher in the winter, you can remove the ion clarifier and store it for the winter.
- Pump Protection: Whether your pump feeds a waterfall, fountain or some other decorative feature, remove it and drain all the water from the tubing. Store your pump submerged in a bucket of water inside to keep the seals lubricated.
- Nix the Netting: Before the first heavy snowfall of the season, remove your pond netting and store it until next spring.
- Quick Pick Up: Clean up decomposing debris that can cause excessive toxic gas if your pond freezes over with helpful tools such as the Collapsible Skimmer and Fish Net or ClearVac™ pond vacuum. For smaller particles, rely on Seasonal Defense® which has beneficial bacteria with barley and is designed to work in cooler temperatures.
- Switch Food: Help your fish transition to cooler temperatures by switching their diet to a wheat germ-based food like Pond Logic’s® Spring & Fall Fish Food. When temperatures reach below 40°F, stop feeding them entirely. Their metabolisms will slow down and they’ll hibernate for the winter
- Get Your Plants in Shape: After the first frost, remove dead foliage from your aquatic plants. Trim hardy lilies and bog plants back and move them in the bottom of your pond to protect them from the cold temperatures. If you have tropical water lilies or other temperature-sensitive varieties, make room for them inside your home to regulate the required temperature.
Not too bad for a weekend’s worth of work! As soon as these chores are done, your pond will be ready for winter.
Pond Talk: What else do you do to prepare your pond for winter?
Filed under: Feeding Fish, WG-Winterizing, Wheat Germ Fish Food | Tagged: feed fish, how do i get my pond ready for winter, move aerator, prep for winter, remove, stop feeding fish, store, what to do for winter, winterize | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 2, 2013 by thepondguy
Q: Is pond dye worth using during the cold weather months?
Larry – Roachdale, IN
A: Absolutely! Even during cold weather, Pond Logic® Pond Dye is worth using year-round in your pond or lake. Using Pond Dye benefits your pond in some significant ways, including:
- Protecting your pond from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Even though the sun isn’t as strong in the wintertime, some UVs still get through – and they can fuel algae blooms that could affect your water quality. Pond dye shades the water and prevents those blooms from happening.
- Tinting the water an attractive blue or black shade. Winterscapes can often benefit from a splash of color, and Pond Logic’s Pond Dyes provides just that without harming your fish and other pond inhabitants.
- Beautifying your property. Pond Logic® Nature’s Blue™ Pond Dye, available in packets and by the quart, contrasts with green landscaping while Pond Logic® Black DyeMond™ Pond Dye, available in packets, creates a mirrored surface that reflects trees and surrounding rocks.
We offer three types of dye: Pond Dye Packets, Pond Dye by the quart as a liquid concentrate; and Pond Dye PLUS by the gallon.
Pond Dye can be used all year long. The packets are super easy to use – you just toss an unopened packet in several areas of your pond, and you’ll have rich color for at least a month without the mess. Two to four packets will treat a 1-acre pond.
The liquid concentrate – a cost-effective alternative to the packets – is easy to use, too. You simply pull on some gloves and pour the liquid dye along the shoreline, and the color will naturally disburse throughout the pond. One quart will color a 1-acre pond that’s 4 to 6 feet deep.
Pond Dye PLUS contains added beneficial bacteria, so it should only be used when water temperatures are above 50° Fahrenheit. Our advice: Wait until spring to use this product. For the time being, try some Pond Dye. It’s worth it!
Pond Talk: What have been your experiences with using pond dye in the winter?
Filed under: Pond & Lake, Pond Dye, Winterizing | Tagged: black dyemond, how do i get my pond ready for winter, nature's blue, pond dye packets, pond dye plus, pond dye winter, Twilight Blue | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 12, 2013 by thepondguy
Q: When should I remove my fountain?
Ray – McDermott, OH
A: Among your fall-preparation chores is removing the fountain and storing it for winter, particularly if you live in an area that endures freezing temperatures. Why? When ice forms, the cold stuff might damage the float. Or it could create a barrier that prevents water from passing through the spray nozzle, causing your fountain run dry and destroying your motor.
Your best bet: Remove the fountain before the ice begins to form. Sure, you could wait until a thin layer develops and then remove it—but that means you have to get wet and messy when it’s freezing. Not fun. Get a jump-start now before temperatures get too frigid.
Here are four easy steps to pulling out and storing your fountain for the winter:
- Pull the Plug: Turn off the power to the fountain and pull it ashore. Most units have a quick disconnect at the motor that allows you separate the fountain from the main power cord.
- Scrub Down: Wash down the fountain and float assembly to remove any algae or debris that has accumulated over the season. If you have a pressure washer, use it. It’ll make short work of even the dirtiest fountain.
- Electrical Check: Inspect wiring and electrical cables for signs of wear or damage. If your fountain has lights, check for burned out or damaged bulbs and lenses.
- Safe Storage: 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, until spring.
Now that it’s out and cleaned, you might want to consider sending your fountain to a licensed repair facility for routine maintenance tasks, including oil changes and/or seal replacements. Be sure to read through your user’s manual for special instructions and maintenance plans to keep your fountain running at its very best.
If you don’t plan on using the pond for ice skating or other winter recreation, now is a great time to install an Airmax® Aeration System to keep your pond oxygenated and healthy through the winter months. The aerator will circulate the water while keeping a hole in the ice surface, which will bring oxygen in and allow toxic gases to escape.
Pond Talk: How often do you have your fountain serviced by a licensed repair facility?
Filed under: Aeration, Fountain, Pond & Lake, Winterizing | Tagged: decorative fountain, how do i get my pond ready for winter, kasco fountain, pond winterization, remove fountain, running fountain, winter aeration, winter aerator, winterization | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 21, 2013 by thepondguy
Q: Do I need a heater to overwinter my fish in the pond?
Pat – Far Hills, NJ
A: Unless you house warm-water fish like Plecostomus in your water feature, you won’t need a heater to heat things up. Most pond fishes, including koi and goldfish, will overwinter just fine in their outdoor digs because they go into a pseudo-hibernation state when water temperatures fall. Their metabolisms slow and they’re able to tolerate cooler water—even water that’s frigid enough to freeze.
If you live in a climate that experience those freezing temperatures, what we recommend is a de-icer or aerator (rather than a heater) to keep a hole in the ice. This hole allows for gas exchange, through which necessary gases like oxygen enter and harmful gases like ammonia escape.
Which option is right for you?
- De-Icer: A de-icer’s purpose is to float on the surface and melt a hole in ice that has formed on a container of water, whether a koi pond or water garden. Unlike a heater that actually warms the entire body of water, a de-icer like the K&H™ Thermo-Pond 3.0 Pond De-Icer simply melts an opening in the ice sheet, thereby allowing for gas exchange.
- Aerator: Rather than create a hole in the ice from above, an aerator, like the PondAir™ Aeration Kit, circulates the water below the ice sheet. In areas with relatively mild winters, that subsurface water movement will keep a hole in the ice that allows for gas exchange—but when temps really dip, an aerator may not be enough to maintain a vent hole.
- De-Icer, Aerator Combo: An excellent and convenient option to consider is the PondAir™ & Thermo-Pond Combo. It combines both the Thermo-Pond and PondAir™ Aeration Kit, providing your water feature the one-two punch it needs to stay well-vented throughout the winter.
If temperatures in your area vary between above- and below-freezing, consider installing a ThermoCube®. The thermostatically controlled outlet turns on when air temperatures drop below 35° Fahrenheit and turns off when air temps rise above 45°F. This handy-dandy device will save you money, which is something we can all appreciate!
Pond Talk: What do you do to keep your finned pals comfortable in the winter?
Filed under: Aeration - WG, Deicer, Seasonal Care, Water Gardens & Features, WG-Winterizing | Tagged: de-icer, de-icers, Deicer, how do i get my pond ready for winter, pond winterization, Thermo Pond, thermocube, water garden aeration, winter aerator | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 4, 2008 by thepondguy
Picture of a Pond in Fall.
Q: What can I do now to get my pond ready for the Winter? – Linda of Kentucky
A: Get Your Pond Ready for the Winter Months
As our warm summer months come to an end; I receive many questions regarding “pond winterizing”. Winterizing your pond is an important step to ensure a safe and healthy start-up next Spring. Here are a couple easy tips you can use this fall to help you on your way.
1. General Clean Up Tips: Set aside a few hours to do some picking up around your pond. Clean the inlets or outlets of any debris that may have fallen in and rake out sticks or brush that may have fallen into the pond. If debris are left in the pond to decompose, they will contribute to the build up of nutrients and muck. Adding Pond Dye PLUS 2 in 1 Natural Bacteria with Pond Dye is a great way to help to reduce the nutrient load and muck levels in the pond as well as shading your pond a beautiful blue color. Keep applying Pond Dye PLUS until the water temperature drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. A Final Pond Treatment: Treat any remaining algae or pondweeds using Algae Defense® or Ultra PondWeed Defense® respectively one more time before winter. This will make for a much cleaner pond in the Spring. You will also want to use these last few months to get a handle on emergent weeds such as cattails, lilies or grasses; Shoreline Defense® & Treatment Booster™ PLUS Combo is perfect for this. When vegetation naturally dies off under the icecap – oxygen is depleted from the water column and remember that this will only contribute to a winter fish kill.
Just doing these basic tips will help ensure a cleaner, healthier pond in the Spring.
Filed under: Pond & Lake, Winterizing | Tagged: fall prep, how do i get my pond ready for winter, pond winterization, pond winterizing, winterization, winterizing | 5 Comments »