Help! My Pond is Frozen
Frozen Pond

Frozen Pond

What to do when your pond freezes over?

If you live in one of the colder climates as we do, you probably woke up to a pond or water feature that is all but frozen solid, a very bad cough, a nose that hasn’t stopped running for days, and a wicked headache. But i digress. Here in Lancaster, PA i woke up to temperatures that “Feel Like” 3 degrees according to my handy weather app. There are a few options to help your pond survive these ridiculously cold temperatures.

Like most pond owners you are probably very concerned about your ornamental fish’s well-being. As you should be. Koi and other ornamental fish will do just fine in at least two feet of water, as long as there is aeration provided, and a hole is kept in the ice to allow for the escape of harmful gases. Below are a few suggestion of the best practices for doing so.

If you have left your water feature run for the winter it is important your pond pump is strong enough to handle these temperatures. Typically a pump that is at least 2,000 gallons per hour can run through the winter without any issues. You’ll want to keep the pump running continuously to prevent freezing in the plumbing which could cause pipes to burst and or crack your check valve. With the pump running the waterfall will keep a hole open in the ice and allow for steady circulation through the pond. The waterfall may start to freeze on top but will continue to flow underneath the ice build up. Sometimes this build up can lead to water flowing outside of the pond so be sure to keep an eye out and fix the leak immediately or call a professional to do so for you (717-394-9923).

Pond Heater

Pond Heater

A Pond De-Icer is an absolute must. I recommend the Aquascape Pond De-Icer. The Aquascape Pond De-Icer prevents winter fish loss by keeping a hole open in the ice during the cold winter months. The Pond De-Icer helps ensure there is sufficient oxygen levels and proper gas exchange in the pond helping to prevent fish loss…even during extreme weather conditions. It is energy-efficient, requiring only 300-watts of electricity. The low energy consumption results in a heater that costs 5x less to operate than traditional Pond De-Icers you would find in the market. The Pond De-Icers stainless steel construction is extremely durable and prevents corrosion, cracking or issues caused by extreme weather. A built-in LED light at the top of the De-Icer allows you to look out the window of your warm home and see that the De-Icer is still operating.

Aeration is very important during winter months in colder climates. If you choose to turn off your waterfall pump, it is recommended you remove it along with the check valve and place it in a bucket of water in a warm location to prevent damage. If this is the case it is important you provided you pond with oxygen in some other way as aeration helps to keep a small hole open in the surface of the pond to aid in degassing. A pond aerator is an excellent option to oxygenate your pond, helping all biological processes and creating a more stable environment, resulting in healthier fish and plants. The Aquascape pond air is very energy-efficient, costing less than one dollar to operate per month and is easily one of the most cost-effective solutions for increasing oxygen and circulation throughout the pond.

Another option the AquaForce pump is a great winterizing pump for those that remove their waterfall pump or just prefer the added oxygen and circulation. It’s a re-circulating bubbler pump designed to sit in the pond and oxygenate the water. The adjustable discharge pipe on the pump should be located just below the surface of the water. The flow from the pump will bubble at the surface of the pond and maintain an opening in the ice.

As you can see there are plenty of options available to help your pond and fish survive the cold winter months. If you have further concerns or questions please feel free to contact us at 717-394-9923 or visit our contact page on our website:

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Author: Bobby Kenyon
Bobby Kenyon is the Creative Solutions Guru for C.E. Pontz Sons who has over a decade plus experience in the Landscape & Water Garden industry . He enjoys long walks on the beach and grocery shopping but has a strong dislike for regular cake and off brand paper towels

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