How To Prepare Your Pond For The Winter?

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Seasonal Pond Care – Autumn and Winter Preparation and Maintenance

As the cold season approaches in Los Angeles, all pond and water garden enthusiasts must get their plants, fish, and equipment prepped. The seasonal change can have a great impact, both on your pond’s water and all its inhabitants. But preparing your water, fish and aquatic plants for the coming cold can be easy.

We at Mr.Fish Pond and Aquarium Services have prepared a small list you can follow in order to prep for the fall and winter in LA.

Pond Water Care in Fall and Winter

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The magic of fall is unquestionable. It’s a colorful fairy tale of falling leaves. However, though it looks like a dream, the decaying leaves can affect the chemical composition of your pond’s water, gravely endangering your fish. Other organic matter, such as withered and dead plants, will have a similar effect.

Protect your pond water by removing leaves and plants daily. Don’t depend solely on your pond skimmer. It can get clogged or in the case of intense leaf fall, become useless. Some tools include leaf netting, pond siphons, pond vacuums, and winterization bacteria.

Winterization bacteria naturally clears pond water and digests organic matter. It will keep your water clean and inhabitable. Breaking down and cleaning all organic debris will not only protect your pond, but it will also help you revitalize it for the warm seasons.

Pond Fish Care in Fall and Winter

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Image courtesy of Liz West

Preparation for the autumn and winter seasons start as early as the summer. Make sure that you feed your fish a high protein fish food during the summer. This ensures that they gain enough fat to get through the fall and winter. When temperatures drop, the metabolism of your fish slows down, and their feeding schedule changes completely.

Once temperatures hit around 60 degrees you can start feeding your fish more easily digestible food, and cut their feeding down to once per day. A wheat-germ based fish food is ideal for your koi and goldfish around this time. The low protein food will be easy for them to digest and will ready them for even lower temperatures.

Once the thermometer falls below 60you can feed them about two or three times a week. However, make sure you consider the temperatures for the following weeks.

If temperatures dip to 50 degrees or below you will need to stop feeding your fish until springtime.

Aquatic Plants Care in Fall and Winter

Just like with your fish, you will need to stop feeding your plants before the cold. Aquatic plants are highly sensitive to climate change, and a number of them require special conditions in order to survive in cooler weather.

Some aquatic plants, such as the iris, lobelia, and canna, should be removed from water gardens or ponds as colder seasons approach. The best way to aid the iris and lobelia is planting them in your garden’s soil until the temperatures return to their normal values. Store your cannas rhizomes in a cool damp peat or your basement well until springtime.

Tropical plants, like some of the water lilies, can keep blooming during the cold seasons. However, they too need special care and preparation. If you wish to decorate your home with the water lilies, keep them in a tub container in a spot that is bathed in sunlight at least six hours a day.

Water hyacinths and lettuce can also be kept inside, but they need expensive care. Both these plants need to be kept in light for at least 10 hours daily and require a minimum of 70 degrees.

When it comes to aquatic plants, it is always easier to replace dead plants with new ones each spring.

For any more questions on how to prepare your pond and fish for the winter, feel free to contact us!