Patio Joe Lily

Closing Your Pond for the Fall cont.

Getting your water garden ready for winter..Brrrrr!!

Caring for your pond pump, underwater lights, filter etc......

If your pump is not being used over the winter, it can be stored in any ice free area of the pond or in a bucket of water indoors until the spring. Any underwater lights should be moved to an ice-free area also, or they can be pulled out and set along the edge (out of water) of the pond till spring.

UV (ultra-violet) lights are especially susceptible to damage from ice forming in their chambers and bursting their delicate bulbs or quartz sleeves. It is important to disconnect & drain your UV light unit thoroughly before any heavy freezes. Store the light in a dry location where it will not freeze over the winter. (UV lights can normally run undamaged through frost & light freezes (30-32 degrees), but should be disconnected before any hard prolonged freezes). Pond de-icers with exposed heating elements should have any hard water deposits cleaned from the elements before storing. Usually wiping the element with a soft rag after soaking them over night in vinegar will do the job.

Cover it UP...

We highly recommend placing a net over your pond in the fall before heavy leaf drop! Just stretch it over the pond and secure it with stones, stakes, or whatever else is handy. If a heavy load of leaves cause the net to sag, just scoop them off with a broom or hand net. You may see your water discolor (turn a tea color) from the pigments of the leaves-this is harmless and will dissipate after the leaves are removed. Your goal is just to prevent those leaves from collecting in the bottom and fouling your water. If you have trees with very small leaves (Locust etc.), choose a net with smaller openings (3/8" or less). We do offer leaf nets with domed supports to keep leaves completely out of the water.

What not to do...

A couple words of caution. Never, use a hammer, stick, etc. to break a hole in the ice if at all possible. This can cause a panic to your finned friends, making them more susceptible to an infection during the winter months when their immune systems are very low.

Secondly, there are many other little tricks you may read or hear about to keep an air hole open for fish during the winter. Suggestions such as floating rubber balls, etc. all may be effective in a mild winter but we would not recommend you depend on them in a severe winter!

Finally, Another Spring Arrives...

Once the chance of prolonged freezing spells are past (late-March), you can return your pump(s) and underwater lights to their regular locations. Any plants can also be retrieved from their deep water winter bed and placed in their regular locations. Resume feeding your fish (if desired) when water temperature reaches 50 degrees. A wheat based food is also best to use for cool, early season feedings. April/May is also a good time to do any dividing of pot-bound plants and don't forget to give all your plants (except oxygenators) an application of fertilizer every spring!

Good luck and enjoy your pond!!

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