Fall Water Feature Maintenance In 6 Easy Steps!
When fall rolls around, the change of seasons is apparent by the beautiful, multi-colored leaves and the cool change in temperatures. It may be your favorite time of year, but how will the cooler temperature and falling leaves affect your aquatic paradise?
Debris cleanup from the fall may be inevitable in any part of the county, but you’ll need to pay special attention if you’re in a cold region and your pond has heavy tree cover. A skimmer filter may not be able to keep up with catching all the leaves before they drop to the pond’s bottom and decompose. Removing leaves and sticks with a net will make for an easier spring clean-out next year. Debris left to rot in the pond will eventually decompose, producing gases that may be harmful to your fish.
Remove Leaves and Debris From Your Water Feature!
Remove as much debris as possible that has accumulated in the bottom of your water feature! Most easily done with a protective netting installed before your leaves start dropping! This captures the leaves before they sink to the bottom! If you have not installed a protective netting and the leaves have dropped, chances are you have a build up of debris on the bottom of your pond and you will need to remove it. You will need to purchase a long handled pond net and scoop out the leaves and debris from the bottom of your pond.
Trim Back and Remove the Dead Foliage of Your Aquatic Plants!
This helps remove excessive organic debris from your water feature, that would otherwise decompose in your water feature during the colder months of the year.
Hardy bog and marginal plants should have all the dead leaves and foliage trimmed down to 2″ above the water level, and hardy lily leaves and stems should be cut back, leaving approximately 2 to 3″ at the base of the plant. This is also the time when tropical plants can be brought inside for winter, or simply treated as annuals and replaced each season.
Treating Your Pond
Our Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria has concentrated strains of beneficial bacteria that are selected because they can survive colder water temperatures of below 50 degrees F.
Turning Off Your Pond Pump?, Or Not? (Cold Climates Only)
If you live in a climate that experiences ice cover, you will need to make a decision. Do you want to keep the waterfall running during the winter? Or stop the pump all together until spring?
The benefit of running your pond during the winter is that it created beautiful ice formations near the falls and major water movement areas as well as help oxygenate and circulate the pond for your Koi fish. However this will require a bit of maintenance, such as filling the pond due to some evaporation and watching that the water doesn’t freeze into dams and spill over the sides of your pond.
As a result of the maintenance, many pond owners choose to turn off their ponds all together during the winter. If you choose this you will need to remove the pump and store it in a frost free place during the winter.
Winterizing Your Pond (Cold Climates Only)
There are a few pond products that are necessary if you live in a region that experiences freezing temperatures that will protect your Koi fish and ecosystem during the winter. First being a recirculating pump – the AquaForce Pump that is designed to sit just below the surface of the water and the flow will keep a hole open in the ice and will provide oxygenation for your fish!
If you live in a region that experiences long periods of freezing temperatures you are going to want to play it safe and pair your AquaForce Pump with a Pond Heater/De-icer! This provides that added piece of mind that there will always be a hole open in the ice for your fish even in the most extreme conditions.
Do I Keep Feeding My Fish?
During the winter months when the pond water temperature drops around is around 55 F (10 C), your fish start going into a hibernation mode of their own. When the water temperature is around 55 F (10? C), STOP feeding your fish. Continuing to feed them could cause health problems or death for them, since their digestive systems are beginning to slow down for the winter. Always use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the water. Before the water temperature drops below 55 F (10 C) you may use Aquascape’s Cold Water Fish Food to prepare them for this change in their diet.
Source: Aquascape Inc