Ready for Winter

With Koi shows behind us it is time to be thinking of getting our ponds ready for winter. We are fortunate here in the Carolinas that we really do not have to contend with the freezing temperatures that our friends in the northern states do. But we still must make our ponds winter ready.

I think the biggest problems most of us face is leaves and plant debris. The easiest way to deal with the leaves is to keep them out of the pond. Shade cloth, plastic film, or fine netting over a support structure all do a great job of keeping the leaves out. For those with plants, cutting back all foliage, removing floating plants and any tropical lilies will keep the bottoms clean. Check all mechanical equipment, pumps, leaf traps, skimmers, and UV lights for obstructions. A thorough backwash combined with a 15% water change should get most bead filters in good shape for the coming colder weather.

Feeding should be cut back and switched to wheat germ as it is easier for the fish to digest. Putting in the time to make sure the pond is as clean as you can get it now, will be the best insurance to make sure that your fish make through the Winter months in good health.

- Terry McClain