We turn everything off and add a air stone and air pump to keep a hole open in the ice. We don’t take the fish out of the pond. Our dog enjoys running across the frozen pond. Sometimes in the late winter or very early spring we add water to the pond. Our winter tip is “Don’t get crazy and do any work on it before it gets cold out for your own comfort”.
-Dennis & Carol Sindelar
Our pond currently has the veggie filter drained and the main pond drained to ground level. I also add a cover. There is no ice on the pond and the fish appear to be doing ok. I pull out the pump and filter and use a air pump and stone and a small commercial de-icer. Our winter tip is “If you can cover your pond in some way to create a sort of greenhouse effect I believe you will benefit your fish. The water will stay warmer and the fish should be less stressed. I have used a cover in previous winters and kept the pond ice free. Without the cover I have had several inches of ice and would no doubt have had ever thicker ice if I had not removed the ice regularly. I use the de-icer as a back up to keep an open spot should I get ice. Also, remember that when the water warms back up in the spring to check the hardness levels and get them to proper levels for healthier fish. We check on the fish periodically through the winter months”.
-Dave and Janice Bell
We keep our pumps running through the winter months adding water when needed. All the fish remain in the pond with a store bought heater and two aerators going. My tip is “ If you continue to run your waterfalls and streams, keep a close watch that the water is not forced out due to an ice formation.” Our enjoyment is looking at the beautiful icescapes forming on the waterfall and watching the fish through the hole from the heater. Watching the different types of birds enjoying a quick drink from the waterfall or from the opening of the heater is nice. Unfortunately, we have found birds that have fallen in while getting a drink. One more tip “Never trust the ice to be so thick it will hold you” from experience, trust me the water is cold!!!
-Gil & Monica Morley
I do not keep the pump running. The only time I did this was the first year when we had great snowfalls to start winter and it basically insulated everything. The following year, no snow and everything including my pond froze solid. I leave the fish in the pond. So far, so good. I have store bought so many different types of heaters in the interest of saving electricity but when it gets close to zero the only thing that works is the green tank heater. I apologize for the carbon footprint I am leaving. Yes, I use an aerator but I’d like info on better ones for more air. Is it true you can keep an opening just with an aerator? No, I do not add water but when I kept the pump going I sure did and managing hoses when it is zero out is a challenge. Here’s my tip “Leave the plants in, see what survives and start over in the spring. I have hauled lots of plants in only to have them perish even under a grow light in the basement. I am trying to over winter Lotus in the basement, we shall see”. I certainly enjoyed it more when the water was flowing with the ice formations etc. other than that, monitoring things, watching the birds drinking at the heater hole and planning for next season are the most interesting. Falling through the ice during warm up seems to be an annual event.
We shut down all the streams and waterfalls before they can freeze. Too risky, especially with 3 ponds to look after. All the fish stay outdoors. The smallest pond is too shallow to winter fish, so they are moved to one of the deeper ponds. As long as the fish are healthy and the pond is not over stocked, I think the fish are better off in the pond than indoors in a cramped tank. We use either a floating cattle tank heater or let a pump bubble up to keep the ponds from freezing over completely. I don’t use a aerator and only add water if the level drops for some reason. My tip is “ Try to get as much fall/winter prep done before it turns cold. It is no fun playing in ice cold water. My greatest winter enjoyment is seeking out new plants and ideas to try in the spring. I much prefer liquid water in my ponds and green growing plants.
I don’t keep my pond running. I bring the koi into my koi house, it’s 12,000 gallons indoors under one
roof. I keep an opening by using my own DIY Bickal De-icer. I use 3 aerators inside. Each week I do a
10% water change. My tip is “Bring the fish inside”. I enjoy 6 more month of my fish by bringing them
inside. They eat out of my hand during the winter.
I don’t keep my water pumps running. However, my ecosystem is still “running’. That is I am keeping
the whole ecosystem healthy by having an air pump pumping air in the deepest part of my ponds and all
my clients ponds. I keep my fish out in the pond. Do not use any kind of heaters. Normally I don’t add
any water during the winter. My tip is “ Keep organic load down by getting or keeping most of the
leaves out. This organic load also refers to keeping the fish population within reason.” My enjoyment
during the winter months is writing and organizing pictures of ponds, thinking of spring, and doing presentations on water gardening.
Our pond is frozen over. Our fish were taken inside around the 1st of November and are happy swimming
in their large fish tank. The pond is very pretty covered with ice and surrounded with the miniature
evergreens. And best of all, we do not have to take care of it until spring.. The worst part of winter
is not being able to be out in the garden and hearing the water falling into the pond. This last ice
storm makes the area around the pond look like a ’winter wonder land.”
-Rose & Jim Milden
No, I do not keep my pond running, it is put to ‘bed’. I leave all my fish out in the two ponds. I also use a 300 gph pump, on a shelf about 9’ down. it bubbles about 2 inches above surface, I also use store bought heaters. No need to add water. My tip “I use PVC pipe across stream and ponds this year to help keep netting up. Worked much better to support the net and keep leaves elevated. My most enjoyment is in watching the birds and animals get drinks from the open water.
One (Koi pond under greenhouse using Nexus filters) running until water temp hits 40 degrees, then it
runs with only an aerator. Our garden pond is shut down. Our Koi are outside under the protection of
the greenhouse. Goldfish are inside in Rubbermade tubs. A hole is kept open by a small aerator without
an airstone pumping large bubbles and small 100 watt stainless steel heaters. We use two aerators,
a small size in the garden pondkeeping a hole in the ice and a larger aerator in the Koi pond at to keep the water active in one end. I change water in the Koi pond at least every three weeks. My tip “Clean pond in the fall and change water. Make backup plans for a disaster if a storm, ice, snow, severe cold, power outages or equipment malfunctions. Not much enjoyment during the winter, but I do take some enjoyment in knowing I’m doing the best I can to keep the Koi and Goldfish healthy with all of the work it takes during the winter.
-Larry & Erma Thompson
Our fish went south for the winter. That is about a mile south into a friends larger pond. Our pond is shut down for the winter as we'll be going south like our fish.
-LouAnn and Larry Jayne
The fish seem to have enjoyed the few warmer days of sunshine that we have had; they swim ever so slowly around the ice opening. They also seem to like the air stone we put in to try as our “keep the hole in the ice open” trick for this year. We have tried several different home-invented tricks and this one is by far the easiest - plug it in and walk away. It is located about two feet from the edge of the pond on the shallowest level of the pond. Other than the circuit breaker tripping once in a while it seems to be working and Gary has had to break the ice open only on the coldest days. We did add some water before turning off the pump for the winter figuring it would be much easier to add before the temperatures dropped than after! The ice around the waterfall has melted a bit from its earliest form but is still an interesting art form. And often there are critter tracks over the top- cat, dog, deer, Gary, etc…..No big cracks from anything/body breaking through yet but there’s plenty of winter left for that!
-Jo & Gary Hunerdosse
We shut down our pond. Our Koi are left outside also. We use a aerator and add water during the winter. Our tip is “ Try to do a little work each weekend to prepare for winter coming. Our enjoyment during the winter months is watching birds come for the water. Between 4:00 & 5:00 Turtle Doves (about 10) come to drink everyday. And with the snow, it’s just beautiful!
-Rosie & Herman Michel
I usually try to at least keep the waterfalls running till late December, but this year’s extra cold
days caught me off guard and my pipes to the waterfall actually started to freeze and water dammed up all around the smaller falls, so I was forced to shut things down and pull pumps (external pumps) one cold night after work in the dark, I won’t do that again. Normally by January, we have everything shut down and winterized. We have an 8x8 ft. pond in our basement that houses 13-15 12”fish (young fish, that I don’t want to take off feed for 5 months). The main pond outside still houses another 15 fish that will stay out all winter. We use both an aerator stone and a self-made floating heater. It’s simply a tire inner tube, with a piece of styrofoam on top. A single 25 watt light bulb hangs under the foam board in the center of the tube. It keeps a hole open no matter what the temps are. I usually run 3 stones during the summer, and one during the winter months. On the nice days, we’ll still pump water out and replace it with fresh water. We also try to keep all the snow off the pond to provide sunlight to the fish and prevent pH fluctuations. My tip is “The single suggestion would be to make sure pond bottoms are as clean as you can get them, going into winter. Cold fish will be lying on the bottom where all the gunk collects. Not healthy, Keep your holes open, remove as much snow as you can and pray for a short winter. Start doing small water change outs as soon as weather permits to freshen stale water.”Well, I kind of enjoy the rest away from the gardens and ponds. I do worry about the welfare of the fish though. The fact that I can’t even see them is unsettling. Perhaps, someday we’ll figure out how to cover the pond during the winter like some of the other members do, but until then I sit and worry and anxiously await the arrival of Spring.