With winter here, we have been getting asked the question, “What should I do with my fish in winter?” Many pond owners ask this question, some even getting the wrong answers. So we are here to answer that question and give you some simple tips on caring for your fish in winter.
Make sure your pond is at least 24″ deep. Some homeowners don’t realize it needs to be at least 24″ deep, while other believe it should be much deeper if they have fish. No need to go far beyond 24″, that is a safe depth for your fish to survive in over winter.
Make sure to use an aerator. The aerator will create bubbles, which will add oxygen to your pond, which is much needed in the winter months with a layer of ice covering your pond.
Have a pond heater/de-icer to melt a hole in your ice. Since your pond is frozen over, it is important to have a hole in the ice in order to allow for the proper gas exchange to occur. If there is no hole, ammonia and other by products in your pond can build up and cause fish loss.
Do not use a hammer, a rubber mallet, an ax, a shovel, or any other household weapon to break the ice.
Using anything other than a pond heater or bucket of hot water can cause your fish to go into shock, not to mention that you may accidentally injure a fish using another method.
You can also damage the liner in your pond; which happened to one of our clients last winter. This can be a major, and expensive, problem come spring.