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Seasonal Maintenance - Winter

21st Nov 2019

During the winter the garden pond becomes dormant and although the workload decreases, there are still some tasks which need performing.

  • Stop feeding the fish below 5°C. It is usual for fish to become inactive and migrate towards the bottom of the pond when temperatures reach this level.
  • A pond cover can be used to help insulate your pond. Any cover should be raised slightly from the pond’s surface.
  • Some pond keepers leave their pump and filter running through winter, which can help prevent the build up of ice.
  • If temperatures drop dramatically or for a sustained period then all pumps, filters and lighting should be switched off, removed, drained and stored in a garage or shed to prevent damage caused by frost and ice. Manufacturers usually recommend a minimum temperature to run their products, which is usually written in the instruction manual.
  • The pond’s surface should never be allowed to completely freeze over. This will prevent oxygen from entering the water and will allow toxic gases, which would normally defuse at the waters surface, to build up in the pond. There are pond heaters available which will keep an area of the pond ice free.
  • If the pond does freeze over the best solution is to set a pan of boiling water on the ice and allow it to melt through. Do not pour boiling water onto the ice and into the pond as the fish may swim up to the warmer water and be scalded. Never attempt to smash the ice, doing so can send shockwaves through the water which can stun or kill the fish. A misdirected or deflected shot can also damage a liner.