Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Dummies' Guide to Winter Ponds in Wisconsin

It's getting to be that dreaded time of the year again in the Madison area. A few months filled with angst wondering if your finned friends will emerge from winter unscathed. Hopefully you have taken some recent steps to ensure that will be the case. You stopped fertilizing the plants long ago and you haven't fed the fish since the water temperatures went below 55 degrees. You have cut back the plants and either netted the pond or have removed any fallen leaves that worked their way into it. Take advantage of the video I posted above to learn more. In the meantime, here's a quick reference list provided by Aquascapes:
  • To shut your pond down, first unplug your pump and pull it out of the water. The pump should be stored in a frost-free location, submerged in a bucket of water to keep the seals from drying.
  • If you have fish, a small re-circulating pump that bubbles at the water surface is necessary to oxygenate the water. In all but extremely low temperatures, the bubbling of the pump will also keep a hole open in the ice to allow for a gas exchange, keeping your fish alive. It is not necessary to oxygenate the water or keep a hole open in the ice if you don't have fish.
  • If your area experiences long periods of extremely cold weather, you may consider adding a floating de-icer. Controlled by a thermostat, the unit only runs when the water temperature is at or below freezing, heats the water to just above that, and then shuts off again. Ask your installer or local supplier for products to help your pond during the winter.
  • If you use a floating de-icer, place it away from the bubbler. The movement of the water can move the heated water away from the de-icer, making it run more than necessary.
  • You can also choose to keep the waterfall running. This will require a little babysitting to make sure an ice dam does not form which could cause water to run out of the Pondless® Waterfall/ Pond basin. You will also still need to replace water loss so the pump can continue to function properly (see "The Water Level" above). This extra effort during the winter will reward you with the most beautiful ice formations and patterns around the falls and stream beds.
If it all sounds like too much this year complete this all in one step by signing up for Pond Shut Down Services!

Contact Form


Email *

Message *