Time to Close your Pond
Closing your pond is critical to ensure that your fish and plants survive the cold winter months. The key to success is to focus on four main areas-Pond Water, Fish, Plants, and Equipment.
Tracking the water temperature is crucial, since it will determine exactly what you need to do. Begin monitoring pond temperatures in early fall using a Laguna Floating Pond Thermometer.
Start the winterization process when the water temperature falls in the 10°-12° C (50°-55°) range.
If leaves are an issue, cover your pond with Laguna Pond Netting to prevent them from falling in the water. Use a Laguna Pond Net to remove debris so that it does not decompose and release toxins, which are bad for hibernating fish. If there's excessive dirt and sludge, use Laguna's Cordless Pond Cleaner to clean up.
Begin treating your pond with Laguna Bio Booster and Bio Sludge Control to remove organic and inorganic material. This helps reduce stress on the biological system during the winter. Top off your pond with water so fish can hibernate in the deepest and warmest part of the pond. Add a dose of Laguna Water Prep to get rid of harmful chlorine in the tap water.
Cold water fish, such as goldfish and koi, can tolerate frigid winter temperatures. The climate in your region will dictate whether you can overwinter your fish or take them inside. In colder regions, fish can survive in ponds that are at least 1 metre (36") deep. See Laguna's A Beginner's Guide to Opening and Closing a Water Garden for specific regional information.
As the water temperature drops to 8° to 10° C (47° to 50° F), switch to Laguna's Wheat Germ Spirulina Food. The wheat germ will bulk up the fish so that they can survive the winter. Once the water temperature falls below 8° C (47° F), stop feeding them completely and do not feed them again until the water stays consistently over 8° C (47° F).
Deep water plants, such as water lilies and lotus, should be trimmed and placed in the deepest part of the pond. Your climate zone will dictate what you should do with hardy marginal plants. In more temperate zones, you can leave them in the pond or place them on a plant shelf. In colder climates, put them in the deepest part of the pond.
Floating plants, such as hyacinths or water lettuce, and oxygenating plants should be removed and composted. For complete details see Laguna's Planting Care Guide.
When the water temperature falls below 6° C (43° F), remove submersible pumps, filtration systems and UV sterilizers. Drain them completely and clean thoroughly before storing.
Even though your pond is closed, it's still a living environment and will need care. If there are fish hibernating in the pond, it's crucial to maintain an opening at the surface to allow fresh oxygen to enter the water and let toxic gases escape.
Laguna's Heated Pond De-Icer along with a Laguna Aeration Kit will keep a small opening in the ice and allow critical gas exchange.
A Laguna Winterizing Kit will provide all the necessities for successful pond winterizing.
For additional information, see A Beginner's Guide to Opening and Closing a Water Garden.