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What happens when your pond freezes over?

It is getting to that time of the year, where its 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 0, is your garden pond may freeze over.

You may panic… but don’t.

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

1.       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 still get oxygen.

2.       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

3.       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 are able to do their jobs, creating oxygen to keep the eco system running.

4. 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. By completely shutting down the pump and filter over winter, you’re effectively stopping this process. 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.

If you decide to keep the pump running in winter, there will be a constant flow of water traveling 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 next year?

Are you thinking about upgrading your pond or building a new one?

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