~Top Tips on Preparing your Pond For Winter

Top Tips on Preparing your Pond For Winter

by Peter Mills

As temperatures drop, and fish become less active, Peter Mills of Henley Water Gardens says that it is an ideal time of the year to prepare your pond for winter.

As average daily temperatures drop below their summer value important biological changes begin in both your fish and plants.  To ensure your fish and plants survive winter’s freezing temperatures autumn and early winter is an ideal time check your pond and pond equipment ready for next season.

Read Peter’s Top Tips on Preparing your Pond For Winter

Ensure that your Pond Pumps and filters are up to the job and well maintained. 

  • Pay particular attention where applicable to sponges, which should be cleaned regularly. 
  • Remember a sponge’s efficiency diminishes after approximately two years when they may need to be replaced. 
  • Remember to wash sponges in a bucket of pond water so as not to remove the vital bacteria. 
  • Clean out your pumps regularly to unclog them, especially if you suffer from a blanket weed problem.

Check your fish are ready for winter

  • Where fish are present, remember that, if the number and size of the fish have increased, the efficiency of your filtration system could be reduced by as much as fifty per cent, particularly if koi are kept.

Fit an air pump

  • Air pumps are easily fitted at relatively low cost.
  • Air pumps benefit your livestock immensely whenever oxygen levels are low or if fish are ill. 

Whenever adding new fish to your pond, take the precaution of adding a Pond Tonic.  Prevention is always better than cure, especially with the fluctuating temperatures.

Clear pond sludge

  • Keep your pool sludge under control by adding a sludge reducing treatment. 
  • Consider investing in a pond vacuum for regular removal of silt.
  • To prevent autumn leaves entering your pond and causing eutrophication cover your pond with some pond netting.
  • Rotting leaves will inevitably affect the water quality and deplete oxygen levels
  • Netting also acts as a Heron Deterrent.

Replace pond plants

  • If your pond plants are past their best consider replacing them with new ones now, as they will flourish and come into their own next season. 

Winter essentials to consider also include

  • Wireless thermometers
  • Pond heaters such as the Bermuda Floating Pool Heater 150watt.  With the harsh winter we experienced last year, it is prudent to install a pond heater in your pool, especially as they are relatively inexpensive to buy.  This keeps an area of the water ice free, which allows oxygen in and toxic gases out - vital for your fish. Please do not be tempted to break the ice by force or pouring hot water over it, as this shocks the livestock.
  • Wheatgerm Food

When water temperatures fall below 10 degrees C, then you must change to Wheatgerm food. Wheatgerm Food contains less protein than the summer diet, which is easier for your fish to digest at lower temperatures.  Continuing to feed them on the summer diet may damage their health.  Remember, when water temperatures drop below 4 degrees C, then stop feeding your fish as they will go into a torpid state and will not take food.

We are always here to give unbiased advice on design, choice of supportive equipment and subsequent maintenance and care

If you are considering refurbishing or building a new pond, then we have everything you may need: liners, pre-formed pools, pumps, filters, air pumps, lighting, pond fish.   We cater for the smallest, inexpensive natural wildlife pond to the most experienced koi keeper and virtually everything is available via mail order direct from our website - www.henleywatergardens.co.uk  

Read more in our 'Specialist Services' section.


Peter Mills

Henley Water Garden

01564 797 391