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How to Prepare Your Pond for Winter [VIDEO]

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It may still be hot in a lot of the country but we’ve been hearing more and more questions about how to prepare your pond for winter.  In this video, Dave Kelly from Aquascape shows us how to winterize our ponds.  Here are a few of the tips he’ll cover:

  • First, remove the debris and leaves from the bottom of the pond (a long handled net makes this easier)
  • Install a protective pond net before the leaves start falling.
  • Trim back and remove the dead leaves from your aquatic plants.
  • Add beneficial bacteria to keep algae in control during the winter.
  • Should you run your pump all year long?
  • Do you need a de-icer?
  • Below 60 degrees fahrenheit, switch over to cold weather fish food.


Dave Kelly: Hey, Dave Kelly here, a member of Aquascape’s pond squad and also known as the tech guy. Today, I’m going to show you how prepare your pond for the upcoming winter, so let’s get started.

One of the first thing you want to do prior to going into winter is remove as many of the leaves and debris as possible that have accumulated in the bottom of the water feature.  You’re going to make this step real easy if you put a protective pond net over the surface of the water feature before the leaves start falling off the trees.  Once all the leaves have falling off, you simply roll up the net and you’re good to go.  If you chose not to put a protective pond net over the surface of the water, then the chances are you’ll probably have a buildup of leaves and debris that need to be removed.  One simple solution for doing this is a long handle pond net. Simply get down to the bottom and scoop out the leaves and debris to get them out.

Turn back and removing the dead foliage from aquatic plants will also help remove excessive organic debris that would otherwise decompose in the water feature.  You can cut back the lilies to just above the base of the plant, as well as trim back any marginal plants that may eventually droop over into the water.

A product that works great in combination with the tips I just showed you is Aquascape Beneficial Bacteria for Cold Water.  This particular water treatment has concentrated strains of bacteria that are selected because their ability to work below fifty degrees Fahrenheit.  Routinely adding this product to your water feature will help maintain your water quality and clarity, as well as dramatically reduce spring maintenance by digesting the debris that would normally accumulate in the pond during the winter months.

If you live in a region that experiences ice cover on your pond, you’re going to have to make a decision.  Do you want to run your water feature during the winter or do you want to shut it down?  Operating the water fall during the winter will reward you with beautiful ice formations around the falls and streambeds.  You also have to consider that there will be a little maintenance required during this time of year, such as adding water do to evaporation and making sure ice dams don’t form in the stream and waterfalls, which could cause water loss over the edge of the stream.

As a result of the maintenance, many pond owners in cold climates simply choose to turn off the waterfalls during the winter.  If you choose to turn off the waterfall, you’ll need to remove the pump from the filter and store it in a frost-free location.  There are a couple of products that’ll help protect your fixture in the winter.  The AquaForce Pump is one of them. It’s a recirculating pump that is designed to sit just below the surface of the water, where the flow will keep a hole open in the ice and provide oxygenation for the fish.

If you live in a region with long periods of extremely cold temperatures, you’re going to want to add a deicer in combination with the AquaForce Pump.  This will provide that added extra insurance that they’ll always be a hole maintained in the ice even in the most extreme conditions.

Last, but certainly not least, is to make sure your fish are strong and healthy going into the winter.  A well balanced diet is one way to help insure this.  When water temperatures begin to drop below sixty degrees Fahrenheit, the fish metabolism and digestion begins to slow down.  Aquascape’s Premium Cold Water Fish Food has been scientifically formulated to feed your fish during these lower temperatures.

Taking the time to prepare your water feature for winter will help insure your fish survive their winter slumber, as well as, make spring maintenance much easier.  For more information on products to winterize your water feature, or any other product from Aquascape, please visit us at


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