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5 Simple Steps To Prep Your Pond For Winter

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5 Simple Steps To Prep Your Pond For Winter

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WINTER PREP

Winter is coming. That chill is in the air, crockpots are coming out of cupboards, and the barbecues are getting packed away. People are thinking turkey, sleigh bells, and “Auld Lang Syne”.

The pond plants are fading, turning brown and melting away for their winter slumber. Koi and goldfish are slowing down, parked on the bottom of the pond, dreaming of warmer days.

Before we get too far into winter, here are a few tips to help prepare your pond for a simpler seasonal transition next spring.

TRIM BACK ALL PLANTS

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As the plants begin to turn brown, and their leaves fall in to the water, they are brewing up next spring’s algae. Make your life simpler by cutting back all the summer plants before they die back.

Trim off all the remaining leaves and toss them in to your mulch pile. Leave the pots submerged, and your favorite blooms will be back in full force come spring time.

EMPTY THE SKIMMER BASKET

Fall is the most challenging time for your pond. Leaves dropping non stop can fill your pond with debris.

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Make sure you are cleaning your skimmer basket daily during fall, and remember to check a couple of times weekly during winter to keep your skimmer working at it’s best.

Until your trees are bare, adding a net cover to help with severe leaf drop is a great idea, and can help reduce your work load, and keep your skimmer from clogging.

CLEAN THE FILTERS

Make sure your filters are clean and pristine before winter. Even if your are in a climate that doesn’t freeze, you are probably not as likely to spend as much time tinkering with your pond as summertime months allow.

It is especially important if you have to shut your pond down for winter, to clean the filter out thoroughly before you close it down.

All that debris that the filter has so diligently captured, will harden into your media over winter, and then begin to decay next spring when the filter is running and it gets wet again.

That freshly released decaying debris will cause excessive ammonia and nitrite in your pond, causing a ton of undesirable algae to pop up next spring.

TREAT WITH BENEFICIAL BACTERIA

Before your water temperatures drop below 60 degrees, make sure you do an extra heavy dose or two of beneficial bacteria.

This will help eat down any debris that has settled in to your rocks, gravel, or planting media.

When spring rolls around, these areas should already be fairly clean, You’ll be six steps ahead right off the bat!

LIGHTS

If you are in an area where you can keep your pond running, check all your lights before it gets too cold to get in the water.

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Shorter days mean more evening hours of pond adventure, lights make a world of difference. Especially if it is already dark by the time you get off work, and night time is the right time for you to view your pond.

If you wait until December, even a wet-suit may not be enough to get you to crawl in that frigid water!

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You

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11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You

1. ALGAE

I know this is hard to believe but algae..YES ALGAE! 9 our of ten pond owners see algae and assume they have a dirty pond! Algae has several important functions in your pond such as helping filter the water to keep it clear, giving your fish something to graze on, providing hiding spots for baby fish, giving your koi somewhere to lay their eggs, and making your pond look more natural.

2. SALT

Fish need salt. They use it in many bodily functions, just like people. It makes their heart beat correctly, as well as helping other internal organs function correctly, helps fish perform osmosis, fight off parasites, build up their protective slime layer, and can help reduce uptake of ammonia and nitrites. Use a good quality pond or aquarium salt, free of iodide. Buy Pond Salt Here!

3. BACTERIA

 

Yes, your pond needs bacteria. I’m not talking flesh eating bacteria here! We want “good” bacteria that helps to break down excess fish waste, plant debris, and fish food that can turn into undesirable algae, ammonia, and nitrites. All bothersome to either you or your fish.

Beneficial bacteria, can also help improve your filtration if your pond is overcrowded with fish, like mine! Check out the Professional Strength water treatments we use on all of our ponds! Buy Beneficial Bacteria Here

4. POND PLANTS

Pond plants are excellent at helping reduce the nutrient build up in your pond that allows undesirable algae to grow. While a nice biofilm of algae on the rocks is very beneficial, we want to avoid an outbreak of string, mat, or pea soup algae. Pond plants consume all the same nutrients the “bad” algae grows on, and can out compete it, reducing the growth of it. They take all those icky nutrients, and turn them directly into beautiful leaves and blooms. Plus, your fish like to chew on pond plants, especially beautiful, yummy, lily blooms.

5. BIO-FILTRATION

Filters capture the free floating debris that can settle out and cause your water quality to deteriorate. When you empty the filter the captured nutrients are removed entirely from the system, creating clean, clear water that you and your fish will love.

6. AERATION

Aerators help to agitate the surface of the pond, allowing oxygen exchange to occur. This oxygen exchange will help to break down undesirable nutrient build up, reducing ammonia and nitrites to keep your fish happy and healthy. This surface agitation also allows more oxygen to get into the water column for your fish to breath.

7. SURFACE SKIMMING

 

Surface skimming helps to reduce the debris that actually settles to the bottom of the pond. The skimmer will catch the debris in a handy little net or basket, that can be easily cleaned to remove the decaying material from the water column. The less debris that hits the bottom of the pond, the better your water quality will be! Our favorite pond skimmer of all time is The Helix Pond Skimmer! Buy The Helix Pond Skimmer Here

8. FISH

Fish, in moderate numbers, actually help perform a valuable service in the pond. As they swim along the bottom, they will stir up debris that has settled there so the filtration system has a second chance to remove them from the water column and they eat undesirables like mosquito larvae!

They also provide some nutrients, (poop) in a very easily broken down form for the plants to quickly absorb and make in to beautiful blooms.

Plus, koi over 16″ can do some serious damage to string algae. They suck that stuff up like spaghetti noodles!

9. SUN

Sunshine feeds your plants, and allows that beautiful layer of lovely biofilm algae to grow on your pond walls. So, you might say, sunshine helps filter your pond!

10. CIRCULATION

Proper circulation helps prevent debris from getting captured behind rocks, plants, and gravel. Captured debris begins to decay, creating problem algae, and undesirable water quality.

11. MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

Designing a regular maintenance schedule for your pond, and sticking to it will help keep your pond from getting dirty. Weekly water changes, filter back washes, and skimmer basket cleaning, help remove decaying material from your pond before they get a chance to cause a negative affect.

Trimming plants regularly helps reduce leaves and stems in your pond, and checking on your equipment will keep your pond in tip top shape for years to come.

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For daily pond pro tips follow us on SnapChat, Instagram, FaceBook and Twitter.

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Connect with The Pond Digger:

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