As Winter approaches, bringing with it colder weather, there are some important facts you need to know to keep your pond healthy through the next few months:
1. Fish should be fed on wheatgerm food from autumn until early spring
It’s a fattier food an much easier to digest than other foods and won’t rot in their stomachs. It also fattens them up for the winter period
2. Wheat germ food can be fed down to 6 degrees C
Even though the fish can look hungry in the heart of winter their bodies cannot digest food, even wheatgerm below 6 degrees C. Use a pond thermometer to keep an eye on things for them.
3. Stop leaves from getting into your pond
If leaves fall into your pond and are left, they rot releasing gases and affect will affect the water quality. Prevent leaves from getting into your pond with a cover net or pond skimmer. Take any debris out of the pond as soon as possible with a skimmer net.
4. Leave your pond filter on over winter
In winter you should limit the contact between water and air by turning off any fountains, air pumps or bypassing waterfalls. This reduces temperature fluctuations in the pond and gives the fish a better transition through winter and in to spring. You should leave your filter running. Insulate or remove UVs as they can crack in really cold temperatures
5. Winter Kills
Every spring we see customers who have lost fish through something that is easily preventable. If not checked, ponds in soft water area such as Birmingham can become very acidic, and although the water may be crystal clear this invisible factor can kill fish. Test your water regularly and ensure that your pH stays at 7 or above through the winter.
6. Ice prevention
It doesn’t matter if ice forms on your pond as long as it does not completely cover it. A small area needs to be kept open to the air to allow gas exchange. Small pond heaters are available to achieve this as well as other ice preventers.