Leaves are changing color, apples are in season, and evenings are crisp- all signs pointing to the change of season and hinting that winter is on the way. As another pond season draws near a close we would like to provide you with a few tips that will simplify openings next spring and ensure that your fish make it through the winter happy and healthy.
Net your pond! Netting your pond helps keep leaves out, reducing how much time you spend removing leaves next spring. For our area we recommend netting your pond by September 30. Pond owners at altitude or in eastern Pennsylvania should plan to net earlier because leaves fall sooner.
We love beneficial bacteria for two simple reasons: It keeps your water clean and healthy! For the fall season we use Microbe Lift Autumn Winter prep. Start using Autumn Winter prep when water temps fall below 50F, and use it at least 4 times before ice starts to form. This product will continue to work even when your pump is off.
Now let's get down to business- the big question is what's your plan to keep your fish alive this winter? If your plan involves daily prayer that we will be blessed by warm temperatures and a sledgehammer just in case, you may need a new plan. Keeping a hole in the ice at all times this winter will ensure that gases from respiration escape into the outside air, preventing the buildup of a toxic atmosphere. We always recommend you have 2 ways to keep a hole in the ice. This way if one product fails you will still be covered.
Our recommendation is to get a de-icer and an air pump. An air pump works by agitating the water, and keeps a hole in the ice until air temps are ~15F. If you don't have an air pump yet get one today! Lower electric bills are without question the #1 benefit of owning an air pump. Most air pumps run on 50 watts or less, and will go unnoticed on a typical electric bill. This being said, de-icers are still necessary. They provide a backup, and will keep a hole in the ice in all temperatures.
The Pond Guys (and girls) at Garden State Koi