Even though it is the coldest time of year for those of us in the northern hemisphere, there are still days where the high for the day is just above 60F. Especially in colder climates, those days feel like a little gift from mother nature. Even though mini heat-waves can help get you out of a winter “slump”, what kind of effect does the sudden change in temperature have on your pond?
First of all, even though the news or your phone might tell you that the current temperature is above 55F, that doesn’t mean much for the water temperature of your pond. There are many factors that can make water temperature deviate from air temperature, so before doing anything to your pond make sure to check that the pond is warm enough.
What you do next really depends on the state of your pond, but here are some options that you can pick and choose if they apply to your situation.
Over the winter it’s possible to have dead plant material, waste, tree branches and sometimes even trash collect in or near you pond. Don’t feel bad if this happens, you aren’t a bad pond owner, it’s just more difficult to maintain your pond in the cold weather, especially if it’s partially covered by ice or snow. On warmer days, it’s important to take a few minutes to go and look over your pond for any debris. If you are able to do this periodically in the winter, it will save you a lot of time when it’s time to start the pond up again in the spring.
Check in on your equipment
This is something that might seem like a no-brainer, but it never hurts to be thorough. The equipment used in your pond is vital in ensuring the health of you fish and the overall health of your pond. If you’ve been keeping an eye on your pond thus far, there shouldn’t be too many surprises, but it is still good to check because weather can damage even the smallest part which will disrupt the entire system.
Look for any damage to the pond
This tip is extremely similar to the last tip, I know, but I feel like if I don’t say it, it could be one of those things that are easy to forget. It is so important that you make sure you don’t have any leaks, all of your liner is in on piece and your pond is completely undamaged. It’t all too easy for a rock that sits along the edge of your pond to tumble in and even possibly make a tear in the liner. In the winter, when you aren’t outside relaxing pond-side as often, it can be very easy to not notice a slow leak or something before it stresses out the fish too much.
Keep an eye on your Koi
Also a “no-brainer”, while it’s warmer your Koi will be more active than they have been all winter and thus, easier to see if a fish is sick or just doesn’t look like. When it’s cold, the basic body functions in Koi slow down, including their immune systems which leave them wide open to diseases or stress.
Hopefully this helps you in planning out your winter care for your ponds, and opens your eyes a little bit to exactly what a pond needs to funcion year-round!