Winter Fish Pond Maintenance

Winter is Coming – Are your Fish Going to Survive?

Every spring we hear from pond owners through out the Northern states and Canada. All complaining that they have lost their prized fish – “400 – 3 to 5 lb trout were floating all over my pond and washed up on the shore” – Jacob Langton from Colorado explained to us last year.

What happens is the pond freezes over and if the ice builds up with snow on top there is no sunshine coming through to enable the photosynthesis process with the plants and the creation of oxygen for the fish to survive. The fish simply die from lack of oxygen. Another problem that can arise is the ice seals off the pond so oxygen and gases can not be released from decomposing plant matter. The gases can poison the water and fish and an ensuing fish kill occurs.

Regardless of the circumstance, if you want to ensure the health of your pond and fish you should consider installing an aeration system in your pond for the winter. Place the air diffusers (devices that dissolve oxygen into the water) in the deeper areas of your pond. This aeration bubbles generated from the diffusers (providing you have bought a good quality aeration system) will keep a hole in the water to allow your pond to vent off the gases created from the decomposing matter in your pond. The additional levels of oxygen will also give your fish the boost they need to ensure their well being.

Look for aeration systems that come with a freeze control feature. We have seen systems in the market that do not have or offer freeze control systems. A freeze control systems will ensure that your airline that transports the oxygen from the air pump down to the diffusers does not freeze up. Water will not back up in these airlines because most diffusers come with a valve so that air goes out to water but water cannot come into airline. Hot and sudden cold weather changes can create condensation in the airline. If this condensation crystallizes and freezes the air will not get through the airline into the pond. A freeze control systems will prevent this from happening – if line freeze occurs – pressure will build up inside the airline and into the freeze tank where a non-toxic alcohol based solution resides (many people use non-toxic RV anti-freeze). The pressure will force some the liquid into the air line and un-freeze the airline blockage.

Koenders Windmills created this type of automated freeze control system 20 years ago. It seems to work very well with ten of thousands of pond owners relying on it annually to keep their fish alive in the winter. Superior Windmill also offers a freeze control system with their windmill aeration products.

Windmills for aeration are very popular due to the rising costs of energy. Also many ponds are located far away from power so the windmills offer a cost effective and proven way of aerating the ponds.