Closing Your Pond in the Fall

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WATER QUALITY
Water quality is the most important when closing your pond. Poor water quality will yield sick fish in the spring. 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 most likely will) turn green, and that's okay! Green water is not unhealthy water. The only reason we want it clear is so we can see the fish.

PLANT REMOVAL
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.

PUMPS
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. We also recommend putting a pond heater on the pond, but 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.

NETTING
Put a net over the pond to keep more leaves from getting in the pond. If leaves are a major issue, we recommend trying: 

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Microbe Lift Autumn/Winter Prep

  • Provides sustained biological activity in water temps under 55 degrees.
  • Helps to maintain a healthy immune system for your fish during the winter months.
  • Reduces buildup of dead leaves and organic sediment all winter long. Effective under ice and snow.
  • Accelerate the breakdown of leaves, organic sediment and sludge all winter long.
  • Ingredients: Contains a blend of cellulase enzymes, cellulase-producing bacteria and a cold weather bacteria.