Tips on Closing Your Pond for the winter
Here in Macomb and Oakland Michigan our winters have been brutally cold lately with lots of snow, so extra precautions need to be made to insure your fish friends are safe for another winters hibernation.
There are many steps to properly get your pond closed for another winters nap. Here are a couple of good tips before you close the pond down. Make sure to switch over to cold water bacteria as water temperatures start to drop and clean your filter pads about a month before closing along with covering your pond with a net before the leaves start to fall. We have found that in doing so the pond stays cleaner and comes out of winter better.
In the spring and summer months your aquatic plants are a much needed source for added filtration in your pond but once fall and winter comes the decomposing plants can actually add unwanted toxins in the water so be sure to cut back all hardy aquatic plants in the pond 2-3″ above the water and cut your water lily pads and flowers close to the bottom of the pond as possible.
If you live in freezing temperature zones like Macomb or Oakland Michigan remove all tropical plants from the pond and either treat them as annuals and throw them away, or you may try to keep them in the house over winter.
Make sure you remove as many leaves and debris out of the pond so they don’t decompose and create harmful toxic gases.
If you have a skimmer and biofalls type system turn off pump and remove all filter media and clean. (do not remove pump or check valve at this step)
Before you remove your pump make sure to vacuum or pump out your filter box, reason being if you disconnect your check valve before you clean your filter box all the dirt and fish waste will run right back into the pond were you don’t want it. Next remove your pump and check valve, clean and store in a bucket of water and store it in a place where it won’t freeze.
If you installed a net over the pond and there are no more leaves falling remove the net at this time. If the leaves have not fallen all the way yet you may put the net back on after you install the bubbler and deicer but make sure to remove before the first snow fall.
Then install your bubbler and deicer. This tip is very important (make sure to purchase the right size bubbler and deicer for your size pond) if you undersize your equipment and have a larger pond you may have a hard time keeping a large enough hole in the ice if at all. If you need help with this please contact Pondering Waters and we will help get you the right size equipment need.
Pondering Waters offers a winter maintenance package for home owners that leave for the winter or just want that extra hand to make sure there equipment are operating fine for the winter. Either once or twice a month a pondering waters service tech will come to home to make sure a hole is kept in the ice and a check of all equipment for functionality. If there is excess snow around were the hole is we will clear some of that excess snow so the bubbler and heater can do a better job