Go to top

What Happens When Your Pond Freezes Over?

It is getting to that time of the year, where it’s beginning to get much colder.


The crispy leaves beneath your feet, snowfall and ice, and that breath of fresh air when you first take a step outside. It’s a bit like marmite.

You either love it, or you hate it.

We may enjoy autumn and winter, but I can tell you now, fish don’t.

One common occurrence when the temperature hits zero is your garden pond may freeze over.

You may panic – but don’t!

These tips will help you keep your fish safe and well.

Check All Underwater Pumps Are Well Below The Frozen Water


This is a preventative measure to make sure the pump still works and allows your fish to get oxygen still.

Break A Hole


To allow for gas exchange, keeping a hole open in the ice is a great idea. Breaking a hole in the ice can sadly stress fish, so quietly melting a hole in the ice with some warm water is the most effective way.

Clear Any Snow From The Top Of The Pond


If there is any snow on top of the ice, it may be best to try and clear the snow. This will also allow light into the pond to make sure aquatic plants can do their jobs, creating oxygen to keep the ecosystem running.

Leave Equipment Running (i.e. Pumps And Filters)


The filter in your pond contains beneficial bacteria that help break down toxic chemicals in the water to help improve water quality and keep your fish healthy. Whilst this bacteria may become dormant in colder temperatures, supplying it with a constant supply of oxygen from the pond water is enough to keep it alive until temperatures rise again in the Spring. By completely shutting down the pump and filter over winter, you’re effectively stopping this process.


If you decide to keep the pump running in winter, there will be a constant flow of water travelling through the pipe, and the moving water will not freeze.

So, make sure to leave your pump running!


Follow these rules this winter, and you’ll have healthy, happy fish!


What are your plans for next year? Are you thinking about upgrading your pond or building a new one? Why not download our inspiration guide!

pond inspiration guide

Grab your free pond inspiration guide now