Six tips for your garden pond winter care

Six tips for your garden pond winter care | Warehouse Aquatics | Middlewich

Winter is getting ever closer. But there are a few hints you can follow to keep your pond in good condition over the coldest months. So, here you go: six tips for your garden pond winter care.

Get rid of dead plants | Warehouse Aquatics | Middlewich

Winter care tip 1. Get rid of dead plants

Dead plants and autumn leaves can choke your pond and give off toxic chemicals when they decay. So, it’s important to get rid of these as part of your garden pond winter care routine. Remember to remove algae and blanketweed too. 

Clearing dead foliage and rotting leaves will also improve the amount of natural sunlight that your pond gets. This will help your pond plants keep up photosynthesis and maintain oxygen levels in the water.

Winter care tip 2. Melt the ice if your pond freezes

Temperatures can drop pretty low over the winter. This means your pond will probably freeze over at some point. When this happens, it’s important not to leave your pond frozen over for longer than a day. Ice can trap toxic gases in the water, which may leave more than just dead plants floating on the surface of your pond when the ice eventually melts.

However, it’s important not to solve this problem by smashing the ice. Shockwaves from smashing ice can harm and even kill pond life. Instead, heat a pan on your hob for a few minutes and place this over the ice on your pond until it starts to melt. Alternatively, you can install a pond heater to stop your pond from freezing over.

Melt the ice if your pond freezes over | Warehouse Aquatics | Middlewich
Reduce fish food portions | Warehouse Aquatics | Middlewich

Winter care tip 3. Reduce fish food portions

Many pond owners aren’t sure about the ‘rules’ that surround feeding pond fish in winter. But switching up fish food portions should be an important part of your garden pond winter care.

From autumn, you can reduce the amount of food you give your pond fish. Fish metabolisms slow down when it’s cold, which means fish don’t tend to eat as much as they do during the summer months. When temperatures drop below 5℃, you can stop feeding them altogether. Fish usually go into hibernation at this point.

If you don’t reduce food portions, uneaten food will sink to the bottom of your pond and decompose. This can affect the quality of your pond water.

Finley the Fish | Warehouse Aquatics

Bonus Tip

When the temperature is between 5 and 10℃, it can be a good idea to give your fish wheat germ-based food.

Winter care tip 4. Protect your pond

Pond life is at its most vulnerable during winter. Slow fish metabolisms make them easier targets for predators like herons and seagulls. However, you can protect your pond with a pond cover for winter to keep them safe. (In fact, it’s well worth investing in this kind of protection all year round.)

Winter care tip 4. Protect your pond | Warehouse Aquatics | Middlewich
Keep your pond pump and pond filter on | Warehouse Aquatics | Middlewich

Winter care tip 5. Keep your pond pump and pond filter on

Although some fishkeepers turn their pond filters and pond pumps off over the winter, it’s actually important to keep these on. Active pond filters and pond pumps keep the water circulating and extract debris over the winter months. You should only turn your pump and filter off if the temperature drops below 4℃ and will stay at or below this temperature for a few days.

Winter care tip 6. Stick to your water change cycle

Regular water changes are just as important to your garden pond winter care routine as they are during the warmer months. Whenever you change your pond water, you’ll help reduce nitrates, chemicals, and pollutants and improve water quality. Change 10–20% of your water volume at regular intervals to keep your fish happy all year round.

Stick to your water change cycle | Warehouse Aquatics | Middlewich

About Warehouse Aquatics

The Warehouse Aquatics mission is to offer the most choice at the best prices when it comes to your fishes’ wellbeing. We use the products on our website ourselves and are well-versed in all things fish, so we can give you all the advice you need. We’re not just here to sell aquatic supplies. We’re also here to guide you through your journey as a fish owner and enthusiast.

As a small team, we love to hear from our customers, so please do join the Warehouse Aquatics social media community. We’re always up for a chat, and we’d love to share your aquarium photos with our followers.

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