How to take care of a fish pond in winter?
An artificial pond in a private household needs careful care, especially in the winter. Create comfortable conditions for fish and underwater systems during the cold season. This will ensure successful operation in the future. Prepare for winterization in the fall.
Preparing a fish pond for winter
Winters in the midlands are mostly cold, freezing temperatures. Ponds freeze and often to great depths. Decorative “do-it-yourself” ponds suffer significantly from such conditions. Walls and bottoms become deformed, flora and fauna die. Standing water gets churned up.
There are preparations for wintering artificial ponds:
- Cleaning the water of debris;
- Pumping out the water;
- Removing and checking devices;
- Cleaning the floor and walls;
- Moving aquatic fauna and flora indoors;
- Filling with water;
- Installation of devices.
In some cases, not all measures can be applied.
What is needed for overwintering?
A suitable room with a certain temperature and light regime is needed. It will contain animal and plant organisms that are extracted from the reservoir. For this, you need containers with a suitable container of water or nutrient liquid.
Preparing the pond for winterization depending on the size
One of the first steps is to pump the pond. Whether you need to pump the pond depends on the type and size of the pond. Further cleaning measures depend on this as well.
Decorative ponds can be:
- Small. Square – up to 20 sq. M, in depth – up to 0.8 m inclusive.
- Large. Square – more than 20 sq. M, depth – more than 1 m.
- Ponds are rigid in shape. They consist of plastic or similar materials.
Small ponds are classified as non-imperative. They freeze completely regardless of their origin (natural or artificial). Such a pond is by now completely destroyed: flora and fauna are extracted, water is broadcast.
For an artificial small pond before wintering, carry out the following measures:
- Clean all surfaces of the walls and bottom with a brush.
- Pipelines are carefully glued and well corked with shredded Styrofoam. It is better not to use wooden plugs. They swell from moisture and damage pipes.
It is not necessary to remove water from a large pond. Clean the water of debris, remove the equipment and remove the inhabitants. Typically, such ponds are made of concrete, and if properly designed, they are properly sealed. The pond is filled with filled water.
In strictly shaped structures, pressure debris can be destructive. Pumping such a pond is not necessary. It is recommended to lower a few plastic bottles half filled with sand into the water. The pressure of the ice is affected when it freezes.
The surface of the pond can be flush with the floor. In this case, a pump is not required. When the pond is raised, the water level is brought up to the floor surface.
Watch a video on preparatory work with a decorative pond before winterizing:
Clean the pond of leaves and small debris
The first preparatory step before transfer is to clean the pond of debris from the summer. This should be done in late autumn, after the end of leaf fall, before the onset of frost. It is recommended to pay attention to the temperature of the water – in the pond, its value should not be below +7 ° C.
Timely cleaning promotes easy adaptation of plants and organisms to cooling conditions. It prevents waterlogging and greatly facilitates spring work with the pond.
Do the following work:
- Remove all fallen leaves from the surface. It’s easier to do this with a clock. Leaves left behind will rot and decompose, badly affecting water quality.
- Cut out any leftover fish food. A net also helps. The food, as it decomposes, forms gases that upset the balance of the bacteria.
- Take a fan and gently pass it around. This way you will stir the soil cover and allow it to not get caked and oxygenated, and remove plant debris.
Producing aquatic plants for overwintering
Aquatic flora for overwintering in an artificial pond require special conditions. They depend on what type of plants the pond belongs to – frost-resistant or heat-loving.
The first category is typical for ordinary water bodies with an average level and wintering without work. For representatives of the second type, a set of conservation measures is required.
Of the frost-resistant plants commonly used are:
- water paints;
They are not afraid of serious frosts with sharp temperature changes. Leave them in a pond if its depth is more than 1.5 m, otherwise the plants with water can freeze.
Preparations for frost-resistant fauna are as follows:
- Check all plants for damage. Remove dead or rotten leaves and stems.
- Move the plants into the middle of the pond and stomp them down to a depth of 1 m and secure them with thick wire.
- If a mild winter is expected, you can also leave the plants in a small pond. Cut off a few healthy buds from each type of plant and keep them around the room. This way you can revive the flora in case it dies.
Of the heat-loving plants for ornamental ponds, the most commonly used are:
- Tropical water lilies;
They are removed from the room, no matter how deep the pond is. Such plants die with a slight drop in temperature. Measures to convert them to overwintering mode are as follows:
- Prepare a room with some sunlight.
- Transplant the plants into deep, wide containers. The root system of each shrub should be covered with a clump of soil, filling the rest of the container with water.
- Specify the temperature in the range of +10 … +12 °С. In this mode, the plants are not overcooled, but suspend the process of growth and development. This helps them to survive the winter.
- Change the water in the containers at least 2 times a week. Warm it to room temperature.
For more information on how to care for overwintering plants in ornamental ponds, see the video below:
Creating favorable conditions for aquatic life
Many gardeners include exotic fish in garden ponds that are used to warmth. These can be:
- Minnow (from Eng;
- trout in cold water;
- Koi carp.
Such representatives are not left for the winter, even in deep water. Take care of comfortable conditions for them from the fall:
- Prepare an oversized barrel or aquarium. Thoroughly wash the tank with clean water.
- Calculate the volume of the container according to the principle: at least 1 liter of water per 1 cm of length of each specimen. Maintain a temperature of +10 … +15 ° C.
- Install a filtration and oxygenation system in the tank.
- Place the aquarium with ornamental fish in a room with low intensity lighting. Cover the windows with white frosted curtains and use LED lights with a diffuser.
- In winter, fish significantly reduce activity. Do not feed them more than 2 times a week with protein food in small quantities. Food leftovers can contaminate the water, which will negatively affect the pets’ health.
Move the fish from the temporary tank to a permanent location can only be if the pond is fully warmed up.
Native breeds arrange a wintering house for the fish. Its dimensions are 1 x 1 m wide and 1.5 m deep. The bottom of the pond can be dug in any area.
Watch the video:
Forming ice cover and ensuring comfortable wintering of fish
To ensure that the pond is not overgrown and cared for, it is not difficult to control how the ice cover is formed on the surface. There are several measures for this purpose:
- When cattails and reeds grow around the pond, cut them down. A 15 to 20 cm thicket should remain above the surface of the water.
- Cut hollow branches in the water in an upright position. They provide air circulation: oxygen enters the pond, and carbon dioxide goes out. The water around such a bundle freezes more slowly.
- As soon as the first light frosts begin, put bundles of straw or pieces of Styrofoam on the surface in different places. Then they can be easily saved to make a lot in the ice layer.
To make a hole, don’t chop the ice, but drill. Do it at some distance from the wintering hole. The swim bladder will not be damaged by the vibration and pressure drop.
It is recommended to make holes and pour a small section of ice with boiling water. Such measures do not create a shock wave, in the process the pressure is regulated, water movement is created and a slight warming is provided.
Portable ventilators, which are powered by battery or electricity, are also used. The device is lowered into the well to a shallow depth. Its action is to stir and heat the water.
When the pond freezes, the snow is regularly cleared from the ice. Otherwise, the fish and plants do not have enough light.
It is best not to go out on the ice of the ornamental pond. To clear away the snow, build a bridge in advance or if necessary put a board over the pond.
Pump a small amount of water into the ice to prevent the pond from freezing when it gets very cold. Place any kind of covering material over the hole. This creates an air cushion which prevents ice from freezing.
Care for pond inhabitants
When fishing, a change in living conditions may cause stress. It is advisable to leave them to overwinter in a local body of water. This is suitable for bodies of water with a depth of up to 1.5 m. Otherwise, the water freezes with the fish.
When you leave the inhabitants of the pond in the pond, install ventilation and heaters. These devices maintain the required temperature and oxygen level. If devices are not possible, make a hole in the ice and water regularly with very hot water.
Taking care of your pond in winter
In some areas, frosts can be very severe, and it is not always possible to move the fish indoors. The pond needs to be heated.
A sufficient amount of it is provided by a horn cover. Often straw is used for this purpose. Since fish and bottom plants need light, the cover is removed from time to time.
At low temperatures, a hole is made in the ice surface and part of the water is pumped out. The resulting air cushion prevents excess ice from freezing and enriches the contents of the pond with oxygen.
The area with the drilled hole is also insulated. Special heaters are used for this purpose. They provide a constant flow of hot water, so that the hole does not freeze.
Heat-loving fish need additional heating. A factory heater is installed in the water. Its composition must match the type of pond.
Some species of fish need optimum temperature for a comfortable wintering. For heat-loving fish, it is desirable to provide a water temperature of + 5 … + 8 ° С. For other enough to +3 ° C.
This temperature regime is maintained by periodically covering the ice with heaters or installing heaters.
Experienced farmers, who have long been engaged in breeding and keeping fish in the pond on their property, advise to move the fish to a warmer place for the winter. This eliminates the need to worry about the pond and makes it much easier to care for it. Otherwise, it is necessary to properly prepare for winter and comply with all winter activities.
How to prepare a pond for winter – the rules of successful winterization of a country pond
Works to prepare a decorative pond for winter often cause fear among beginners. However, this procedure is not so difficult. The main thing is to consider the type of pond and take care of its inhabitants, especially plants and fish.
Start preparing your pond for winter before the cold weather sets in. Before the leaves begin to fall, cover it with netting to keep the leaves from falling into the water. If this is not done, the leaves will soon sink to the bottom and begin to rot. As a result, not only will they ruin the beauty, but they will also pollute the pond. If the leaves get into the pond, catch them with a net or a special water vacuum cleaner.
A pond of any type needs a thorough cleaning in the fall. After all, everything that settles to the bottom (silt, trash, fish food) decomposes and forms pathogenic gases that can poison the inhabitants of the pond. The bottom is easily cleaned with a rake.
If your pond is equipped with devices (pump, filter, etc.), keep a close eye on nighttime temperatures in the fall. When the thermometer drops to 5 ° C, turn off all equipment (unless equipped with special antifreeze), remove from the water, rinse, dry and store in a warm and dry place until spring.
Overwintering the pond depending on the species
The main question on the minds of gardeners is whether or not to pump out the water in the fall. First of all, it depends on the size of the pond.
A small pond (area u200bu200bup to 20 square meters, depth up to 0.8 m) is considered non-wintering, as. it freezes to the bottom, and it does not matter whether this pond is natural or artificial. Therefore, in the fall, all the plants are removed, the fish are caught with a net, the water is pumped out and sent to winter.
The floor and walls are cleaned manually with a brush. Pipes are blown and plugged with foam, as wooden plugs can damage them by swelling in the water. For the winter, such a pond is filled with water by half or 2/3. After all, snow and ice accumulate at the bottom of the empty pond anyway, which takes a long time to melt in the spring, and in winter the pond freezes only on top.
In very frosty winters, a hole is made in the ice and a small amount of water is pumped out. The resulting air cushion prevents the pond from freezing.
Sufficiently large pond (an area of more than 20 square meters and a depth of more than 1 m) should only be cleaned (with the removal of equipment) and prepared for the wintering of plants and fish, the water can not be drained. If the concrete pond is properly designed and built, its water tightness is not in doubt, then such a pond can overwinter completely filled with water. A quality liner pond can also overwinter.
Rigid containers (plastic or fiberglass) are sensitive to increased pressure. To prevent the pond from bursting in the winter, you need to let a few plastic bottles partially filled with sand. In winter, they absorb the pressure of the ice.
One bottle is immersed per 1 square meter of the surface of the pond.
If the pond is at ground level, the water is not drained, but if it is on an elevation, its level is brought to the ground surface.
What to do with aquatic plants?
Another important point is winterizing aquatic plants. Swamp and shallow water crops are cut back almost to the root. Intolerant plants (some sedges, irises, cannes, cyperus) are removed from the pond and wintered indoors with a minimum of light, constantly moist soil and an air temperature of about 5 ° C.
But in any case do not cut the reeds: its hollow stems serve as an outlet of carbon dioxide and conductors of oxygen for the wintering plants and fish. With the same purpose in the pond you can put a bunch of stems delphinium.
Aquatic plants (water lily, yellowroot, elodea, bogweed, watercress, fritillary, calendula) can be left in a deep pond for the winter, but only if they are hardy varieties. Most of them produce overwintering buds that sink to the ground in the fall. To be on the safe side, a few buds are cut from each plant and overwintered in a warm room. If plants left in the pond don’t survive the winter, they can be grown from these buds.
For hardy aquatic plants, cut off old leaves and shoots at the root. Baskets with them are transferred to the center of the pond and immersed to a depth of more than 1 m. When the reservoir shallow, all aquatic plants are removed and transferred to a room or deeper reservoir.
Heat-loving plants (water hyacinths, pistias, Nile papyrus, ponderaria, marsh iris, tropical lilies) are taken out of the pond and sent to a warehouse with subdued light for the winter. There they are placed in containers with water, the temperature of which should not drop below 10 ° C. Water is changed every 2-3 weeks.
Nymphs require special attention. For them, the safest way in the winter is to stay in the same place in the water. But when the reservoir freezes, these plants are transferred for the winter to the basement with an air temperature of about 5 ° C. Place the container with nymphaea in a spacious container with water, making sure that it completely covers the plant.
Overwintering fish in a pond
A change in habitat can cause a lot of stress to the fish. Therefore, it is better if they overwinter in their native pond. Unfortunately this is not possible if the depth of the pond is less than 1.5 m, because the fish would then freeze.
In order to leave the living creatures for the winter, it is necessary to install special devices in the pond (pond heaters and aerators), which will help to keep the water temperature within normal limits.
If you do not have the opportunity to buy a pond aerator, you can carefully make a hole and regularly pour boiling water into it.
For heat-loving ornamental fish (such as cold-water trout, koi carp, goldfish, supracrusta, minnow) a large aquarium or a large barrel should be prepared in early autumn. Please note: Each fish length of 10 cm need at least 10 liters of water with a temperature ranging from 10 to 15 ° C. In addition, the aquarium must be equipped with a water filter and an oxygen saturation system. In winter, ornamental fish remain indoors with little light.
Additional techniques and tricks
In the last stage of preparing the pond for winter, several tree trunks or rubber balls are tied together. This is necessary so that the ice cream will not damage the walls of the pond.
During severe frosts, the ice pond is covered with straw, boards or linen sacking. But if the fish are winter fish, then leave such protection for a long time is not possible, as living organisms can not stay for a long time without light. For the same reason, it is necessary to regularly clean the surface of the reservoir of snow and check for ice cuts.
If all measures to prepare the pond for wintering are carried out in the fall, it will survive the winter without any problems or losses. And next year, you’ll enjoy it again with its picturesque appearance.