In my last post on pond winterization, How to Get Your Pond Ready for Winter: Part 1, I stressed the importance of leaving some debris in your pond during the cold winter months. I also pointed out how pond netting can help you achieve the perfect level of debris.
Today I’m going to be talking about the role of pond filters and pond pumps during the winter. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that doesn’t get freezing temperatures, this won’t apply much to you. But then again if you’re one of those people, you probably aren’t reading this post at all.
Rule #1: Remove your pond filter
For those of you who have a pond filter, now is the time to remove it. You don’t need to filter the water during the cold winter months, and by leaving it in the water you are just putting it at risk for damage when your pond water freezes.
Rule #2: Utilize your pond pump as an oxygen provider
Even though your pond life goes into hibernation during the winter, it still needs oxygen to survive. The best way to provide this oxygen is by keeping your pond water moving. But how do you do this when the temperatures are cold enough to freeze your pond solid? Use a pond pump with a fountain.
The Benefits of Pond Pumps with Fountains
Submerged pond pumps with fountains provide a steady stream of oxygen to your pond life while keeping a portion of your pond water from freezing. Set the pump on bricks about a foot below the water to prevent it from getting clogged by any debris that’s floating around.
A clogged pond pump can be incredibly disturbing to hibernating pond life, so you want to avoid this if at all possible. A clogged pump will also decrease the amount of output from the fountain – which in turn decreases the amount of oxygen being pushed through the water – so you definitely want to prevent that from happening.
If you don’t have excessive freezing in your area, a pond pump with fountain may be a bit of overkill. In these cases, it might be better to use a floating pond heater.
Why You May Want to Consider a Floating Pond Heater
Pond heaters, also known as pond de-icers, create a small hole in frozen pond water that allows any toxic chemicals in the water to escape. These pond products don’t remove an entire sheet of ice from your pond, but they provide a big enough hole that fresh, healthy oxygen can reach your pond life.
As you can see, pond pumps play an important role in keeping your pond healthy throughout the cold winter months. In my next post I’ll be talking about how to get your fish, plants and and other pond life ready for freezing temperatures. Be sure to check out "How To Get Your Pond Ready For Winter Part 3".