Closing Your Pond in the Fall
Water quality is the most important when closing your pond. Poor water quality will yield sick fish in the spring. As you know when you touch a fish, your hands are left slimy. You just removed some slime coat from that fish. This will leave the fish vulnerable to disease. Stress will do the same thing. STRESS COAT or a 1% salt level in the water will fix that problem. The pond can, and probably will, turn green. That is ok. Green water is not unhealthy water. The only reason we want it clear is so we can see the fish.
Next, remove the potted plants from the pond and trim them back. If your plants are planted in plant pockets simply trim them back. Then remove all leaves and plant debris from the pond. Now put all hardy plants into pond. The bottom is the safest place. If you have Tropical plants you can bring them in as houseplants for the winter. Just give them lots of sun and don’t let them dry out. Tropical water lilies can be brought in side and kept at 40 degrees, no sun needed. For most people an inside wall in a garage will be a good place.
Now, back to the pond. I like to place a small pump (a 250 GPH will do) on a shelf in the pond with the discharge aimed toward the surface. This will circulate the water thus keeping a hole open most of the winter. I also put a pond heater on the pond, but I don’t plug it in until the pump will not keep the ice open. When the pump opens the ice again, unplug the heater. This will save electricity.
The last thing to do is put a net over the pond to keep more leaves from getting in the pond. If leaves are a real problem for you a product called AUTUMN PREP is a big help.This will break down plant matter and maintain good water quality.