Do I Have To Use Beneficial Bacteria In The Winter?

Sometimes in talking to a pond owner who’s kept their water feature open all winter, it comes as a surprise to them that algae can grow, even in the coldest conditions.

As I always do, if they ask how it should be treated, I suggest using a good quality pond bacteria, and one that is specifically designed for cold water, and see if that helps the cause of cleansing.  Sometimes it does, but you can be sure that any warm water bacteria will not.

The normal tools, like your biofilter will simply not be operating normally in cold weather so other than perhaps filtering physical debris, it’s not going to do much for the water quality as it would in the warmer months.  Many people may simply decide to bypass the filter or shut the flow of water down altogether, and that’s fine.

Keep in mind, it’s not that the cold weather kills off these good microbes, it’s just that they go dormant.

So the question comes up, “do I really need to add any bacteria over the winter?”

Read more

Winter Pond Aeration – Is Ice In Your Airline?

Aerating your pond in the winter time is useful at keeping ice from forming at the surface.  It’s crucial that fish get adequate oxygen from the atmosphere, even in colder weather, so keeping a spot of ice open is very useful.

You can use a pond heater of course, but many people also like, and might even prefer a small pond aerator to do the job.  Some advantages are they can use the device year round, and they usually cost less to operate than a heater.

But there are potential challenges with them.

First, just like an electric heater, if your power goes out, you may find that your pond can freeze over pretty quickly.  You can often get around this with a small generator.

The other issue we see from time to time is that ice can form in the airline and block airflow to the pond.  This happens because condensation forms in the airline, and once it’s cold enough it will freeze.  Initially, the problem is that you’re not getting any air or agitation into the pond, but if this goes on long enough, damage could occur in the pump itself.  Usually the diaphragm will be damaged and would need to be replaced.

Read more

Question: Should Beneficial Pond Bacteria Be Used In The Winter?

One question I get asked a lot in the fall of every year is, “should I continue to use beneficial bacteria in my pond even though it’s getting cold?” It’s a great question and one that I’ll cover in the video below as well as the short article a bit farther down the page. There’s … Read more

Overwintering Your Pond Fish

If you’re planning on leaving your fish in a pond throughout the winter the video below will offer a few helpful tips that can make this an enjoyable time for you and a safe time for your fish.

As a teaser, if you’d like to see a guy in a Hawaiian shirt standing out in a snow storm (well ok, flurries) take a look. And you’ll find more helpful tips below the video itself.

If you have experience in overwintering your fish, please add your commentary at the bottom of this page, it will likely prove helpful to those just starting out in the pond care hobby.

[youtube width=”425″ height=”355″][/youtube]

Read more