The Pond Squad to the Winter Rescue!
As the cooler temperatures approach it is important that you take the necessary steps to properly prepare your water feature for the fall and winter months. A proper fall shutdown will help to ensure the health of your pond inhabitants and help reduce your spring maintenance.
Book The Pond Squad to Shut it Down!
The Pond Squad will come to your home in the fall to preform the following:
-Turn water feature off, remove the pump(s). Clean off the pump. Set aside for winter storage, as per manufactures directions depending on the pump you have
-remove the skimmer baskets/nets and remove skimmer brushes/mats. Cleaned and prepared for winter storage
-disconnect auto-fill valve from skimmer
-drain biofalls remove filter mats and bioballs/lava rocks from biofalls. Clean filter media and prepare for winter storage.
-Clean any filtration media and store in a dry place.
-Empty pressurized filter canisters or filter urn, clean filter media and prepare for winter storage.
-Trim aquatic plants according to their variety material back to prevent the decomposing in the pond,
-Removal of as much as possible of organic material from the water feature such as leaves and debris to prevent decay in the pond that can produce toxic gases during the winter for the fish.
-Install winter aerator/bubbler and de-icer. Each is designed to keep a hole in the ice during the winter for proper gas exchange. We do not recommend using only an aerator as this does not guarantee a hole will be left in the ice and just using a de-icer does not add oxygen and circulation to the water, critical for fish health.
-Water treatment of cold water beneficial bacteria is dosed.
-install leaf net to prevent leaves from blowing into the pond
-Remove or take down any leaf nets that had been put on the pond and get them ready for storage if leaves have already finished fallen. We do not recommend keeping a leaf net full of leaves on the pond over the winter. Snow and ice will cause excess weight and may cause the net to fall into the pond or rip.
If you would like to book The Pond Squad to shut your pond down for winter please fill out the form on the bottom of this page and we will be in touch soon. We start our shutdown service in early October.
Fall Maintenance Tips:
We are available at the store to help you get set up with all your fall needs.
Checklist of supplies:
√LOW TEMP FISH FOOD: once your water temp falls below 65/18℃ gradually reduce the amount you feed. Stop feeding when your temp is consistently at 55/10℃.
√LEAF POND NET: A great tool is the PondShark, it is a telescoping Net, Rake and Scraper all in one!
√POND NETTING: It is important to keep as much leave and plant material out of the pond as they will continue to break down through the winter months causing poor water clarity and low oxygen levels in the pond. A great product is our dome net, easy to set up and you can enjoy your plants and fish longer and the leaves don’t create weight on the net!
√ WATER BACTERIA: Microbe Lift Autumn Prep or Aquascape’s Cold Water Bacteria: Beneficial bacteria is important even in the cold weather to break down residual sludge and maintain good water conditions for your fish until spring.
√ AERATOR (bubbler): We recommend to use one that is made to stay outside for the winter and withstand rain and snow and has at least two air lines. Bubblers help ensure water is oxygenated and also help to keep a hole open in the ice.
√ DE-ICER or “heater”: Designed to keeps a hole in the ice so gases can escape, not keep the pond warm. Remember, it is not the cold that will kill fish, its the toxic gases.
Can I Leave My Pond Running All Year?
The answer is yes you can. However, you will need to be prepared to watch that no ice “dams” form that divert the water out of your pond and on top of the ice instead of under the ice. This can mean your water is quickly drained and your pump is sucking air!
Have your pond prepared for winter, by following the same steps for a full pond shut down except the removal of the pump. Skimmers and Biofalls still need their filter media removed. Pressurized canisters should still be emptied, and not used. Divert the hose directly to the waterfall instead.