Step 7 in Building the Dream Water Garden – Winterizing the Pond
It’s that time of year again! Winterizing the pond is an essential way to keep the pump in good, working condition.
- As the water temperature drops below 50°F, Koi begin to slow down and do not require feeding. However, if you have fish that are still active and hungry, they should be fed a fish food designed for cold water feeding. Biological activity decreases below 50°F and will not break down the excess protein that is contained in most summer fish foods. In cold weather, we recommend purchasing Cold Weather Fish Food from your local Little Giant dealer.
- To ensure that the pond is healthy, remove all organic debris, such as leaves and excess plant material. Leaves break down, causing an excess of nutrients in the ecosystem when spring begins. This causes “pea soup” or green water (planktonic algae) to occur for a few weeks in the spring. Protect the pond from debris with Little Giant’s Pond Netting.
- If the pond is in a climate where the surface will freeze completely, it is important to provide a hole in the ice for gas exchange. Fish still need oxygen during the winter months, so keeping an opening and adding air allows for proper gas exchange. If gas exchange cannot occur, the fish could suffocate. De-ice the pond with Little Giant’s Pond De-Icer and add oxygen with our submersible air pumps.
- To minimize green water in the spring and ease the cleanup process, add winter bacteria. As the water temperature cools below 50°F, the summer bacteria begin to hibernate. You can continue the biological activity with cold water bacteria and enzymes. Make spring start up easier by adding Autumn and Winter Prep all season long.
- The pump can run continuously over the winter season. A flow of 1,500 to 2,000 gallons per hour or higher is ideal. Be sure to adjust the stream and waterfall to prevent ice damns from diverting your water during the winter. Letting your water continue to flow is a great way to add oxygen to the system for bacteria and fish. Check out our selection of Little Giant F Series Pumps for increased energy efficiency.
- If you decide to remove the pump for the winter, take steps to ensure it will operate come spring time. For direct drive pumps with shaft seals, we suggest cleaning the volute and impeller if accessible and placing it in a bucket of clean water in a frost-free area. This protects the pump’s seals from drying and cracking. For wet rotor pumps, disassemble, clean, and dry the entire product and place on a dry, clean shelf inside for winter. For specific instructions on winterizing the pump, check our website by entering the model number in the search box and selecting the instruction sheet on the product page.