Before installing a water feature, many ask questions about the winter time. What do I do with it in the winter? Will you come out and winterize? Is it going to be high maintenance in the colder months? Will my fish be okay if my pond freezes? These are all legitamate concerns, but winter will not wreck havock on your feature if you thoroughly prepare.
Planning for the cold and taking precautions will be your best weapons to any threat of winter. For your pond, the best thing that you can do to prepare for wintry conditions is to run a de-icer and an aerator with a diffuser stone. Place the aerator on a shelf and not at the bottom of the pond, this is to insure that the thermal water is not disturbed. Begin running the aerator before it gets too cold. This way it is already in the pond before it freezes. The aerator will be pumping fresh air into your water providing oxygen to the fish. Be sure to place the de-icer above the aerator. When it does get to that freezing point, the de-icer will keep a nice opening for the release of harmful gases.
If you have a pond, you might be asking if you need to take out the pump. If you typically have very cold winters, we recommend removing the pump as to help prevent any damage to it during the winter months. Once removed from the pond, be sure to keep the pump in a freeze free place and in a bucket of water. If you live in an area where the winters are rather mild, it is okay to leave your pump in and to keep the pond running throughout the season. If you have an abnormally cold day and have chosen to leave your pump running, be sure to add water to compensate for any ice formations.
What about the fish? Your pond should be at least at a depth of two feet or more to keep them safe during the freezing temperatures. If your pond does freeze over, just be sure to make a hole in the ice so that your fish can “breathe” safely. As for the frigid temperatures, the fish will be just fine, even if you can’t see them. They actually enjoy the cold.
For those who enjoy having a pondless waterfall, the maintenance is pretty simple. For very cold areas, we recommend that you close your feature for the season. This means removing the pump and the check valve. Be sure to store these in a freeze free zone in a bucket of water. If you live in a milder climate, you can continue to keep your waterfall running. Just be sure to keep an eye on the amount of water in your basin. You want to have enough to compensate for any ice that may form during a frigid week. You can also add a de-icer in your pump vault for extra protection against damage to your pump due to freezing. Also be sure to watch for ice forming in your waterfall stream. This may lead to water escaping and then a dry basin causing harm to your pump.
With a water feature, the winter can sometimes be intimidating, but if you take the proper steps to care for it you will have nothing to worry about.
Knowing this time of the year can be very busy, we can help by winterizing your feature. Please call us today to set up an appointment!
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