Friday, May 6, 2011

Winter pond care tips

Overwintering or closing your pond in the winter is for the snow birds. Here in the south we have different issues to contend. Here are a few basic tips to help with your winter pond care:
  •  Switch from a high protein food to a lower protein food and feed less often.
  • Add additional submerged plants to give the fish a place to graze naturally. Add some cool weather plants to replace the more cold sensitive plants.
  • Keep your lilies and aquatic plants well pruned. They will start to produce fewer and smaller leaves. In the south it is not unusual to see blooms and leaves all year.
  • By now you should have Stopped fertilizing your lilies. Do not fertilize them again until spring. Drop the lilies to a deeper warmer part of the pond.
  • Continue to add beneficial bacteria. This will help keep the biological filter seeded and will help to reduce the build up of muck. Bacteria will help break down heavy build up of muck caused by decaying leaves.
  • Remove fallen leaves from the pond as soon as possible. If you have a large tree over your pond, covering the pond with a leaf net for a few weeks is helpful.
  • Check your pump for maintenance. If you have a mag-drive pump it is best to open the pump and clear any leaves or other matter that may jam the pump. Check the impellor to make sure it is working properly.
  • Continue to clean your filters or back flush your systems as usual. You may not have to do this as often. Check your skimmer leaf net more frequently.
  • If you have rock in the bottom of your pond, stream or bog it is a good idea to stir it up to remove the muck and waste so that it can be filtered from the pond. Adding a product like ML's SludgeAway will help break down muck at the bottom of the pond
  • Test your pond as usual keeping an eye on the pH. The pH can drop with out notice especially in colder weather. If the pH drops below 7.0 do a partial water change and raise the pH. A pH puck or crushed oyster shell can be used to maintain the pH once it is at the proper level.
  • When doing a water change or adding water make sure to always add dechlorinator.
  • If you have turtles or tropical fish in your pond you should add a submersible heater or move them inside until spring.
  • Add lights to your pond so you can enjoy your pond in the evening.
  • Get out your fire pit, light a fire, sit back and enjoy your pond in the cooler weather!


No comments:

Post a Comment