With winter well on the way and the inevitable cold snap to come. Most pond owners will be asking the same questions if their pond freezes over.
Here are a few of those questions answered from our experts at Pond Planet.
Should I Break The Ice On My Fish Pond?
The answer is most definitely No!!
Do not break the ice as this creates shock waves which can stress your fish which can in turn lead to fish losses.
Although a matter of debate we are firm believers that a fish pond should not be left to fully freeze over with ice. There needs to be a small area kept free of ice to let harmful gases out and let vital oxygen in.
This is because as silt and debris within the pond decompose they can produce toxic gases that would be trapped in the pond under the sheet of ice. It is important to keep at least a small area free of ice so that these gases can escape.
One of the best and easiest ways to do this is with a floating pond heater. These floating heaters will keep an area around them free from ice and allow the gaseous exchange required to keep your fish in good health.
There are various models of pond heater available from manufacturers such as the Bermuda and Oase.
The Bermuda range of pond heaters includes both a 150w and 300w model. Both the Bermuda 150w Pond Heater and the Bermuda 300w Extra Power Pond Heater float on the surface of the pond and provide localised heat to maintain a hole free from ice on the ponds surface.
Both the Bermuda 300w Heater and Oase IceFree 330 come fitted with an integral thermal switch which switches the unit on automatically when the freezing point is reached and off again when the temperature goes above freezing.
Should I Still Feed My Fish?
Fish should be fed a Wheatgerm Fish Food in the lead up to the winter when the pond temperature is between 4°C and 10°C. Stop feeding altogether when the pond temperature drops below 4°C until it warms up again in the Spring.
Should I keep My Pump and Filter Running?
Do not turn off your pump and filter. The moving water aids in the gaseous exchange, oxygenates water and can also prevent damage to pump and filter units. If for any reason you do turn off your pump and filter for a period of time during the winter, make sure your filter is fully drained to prevent damage caused from freezing water.