Whenever we talk about ponds, fish are not far behind! For many of us, shimmering fish are a big reason to even have a pond installed. Caring for pond fish and watching them swim is a rewarding activity. But as the weather begins to cool and we head into winter, do you know how to keep your fish happy and healthy? Modern Design Aquascaping has got great news for property owners in Tennessee--as long as your pond doesn't freeze to the bottom and you've got a surface air hole, your fish will get through the winter with very little trouble.
Assuming your pond is at least 18 to 24 inches deep, it won't freeze much more than eight inches, and your fish will have space to hibernate over the winter. Then consider these simple tips for happy winter fish:
You can maintain an air hole in your pond’s ice to let oxygen move freely by using a pond de-icer. You can also supply additional oxygen to the water by adding an aeration kit, or using a pond pump to churn water near the surface. This air hole is necessary to your fish survival if the surface of your pond freezes over.
Remember that fish are cold-blooded creatures. When water temperatures dip below 50 degrees F, they will become dormant for the winter. That's when you should quit feeding your fish. They do continue to feel hunger in cold water down to the mid 40’s, but they will not have the necessary enzymes to digest their food. As the water gets colder, the fish won’t even try to eat.
Fish aren't the only ones who can survive the winter. Waterfalls, ponds, and fountains are landscaping upgrades also can keep running in winter months.
Most pond fish like koi, Shubunkins and goldfish hibernate in winter. That means they remain inactive at the bottom of the pond where the water remains a constant cold temperature. Some fish, like fancy goldfish, do need to be brought indoors for the winter. You can refer to your local fish supplier for advice on your particular fish.
Get more tips to improve a pond’s winter eco-system here.
What do you think--is your pond ready to brave the winds of winter? Visit our website today or call 865-995-1234 to learn more about our professional Aquascaping services and request your free quote for your own service needs today.
When property owners think about installing a small pond, one thing they may overlook is the importance of aquatic plants. Yes, even a small scale natural pond needs enough plants to thrive and support a balanced ecosystem. Modern Design Aquascaping has rounded up some favorite aquatic plants that do well in a small pond, and in the Tennessee climate. Note that USDA Zones 5b through 8a are represented in Tennessee.
This submerged plant is wildly popular and features tiny white flowers which develop on the surface of the water every summer. Anacharis grows rooted in the pond substrate or potted in sand.
Aquatic Forget Me Not
This plant has beautiful blue flowers about which are only a ¼” in diameter. They thrive in full to part sun and bloom all summer long.
A well-loved, low-maintenance favorite, Creeping Jenny grows only about 1 to 3″ in height. Its light green leaves will form a mat along the edge of a shallow pond and can drape over rocks beautifully.
Golden Japanese Sweet Flag
Sweet flag offers light green foliage with bright yellow stripes. Dwarf Variegated Sweet Flag is often used to brighten up the shady spots of a pond, adding texture and color to the and edges. This plant grows 8 to 12 inches tall.
Love water lilies? Here's a mini you'll adore. Helvola flowers are only 2-3″ in diameter and bloom from spring until frost. This plant also loves full sun.
Did you know that impatiens can work for a pond? It's true! Planted them on the margins of your small pond, between rocks or at the edges of a stream. They love shade and will grow into a brilliant focal point in any pond.
Yellow Water Snowflake
Known for its frilly, star-shaped yellow flowers, the yellow water snowflake grows best in 4 to 24 inches of water. This one spreads quickly and may require occasional trimming.
What questions do you have about creating your own water garden? Modern Design Aquascaping is here to help you with any water feature project, big or small. Whether you need us to do all of the dirty work, or if you just need a bit of guidance along the way, we can help. Visit our website today or call 865-995-1234 to request more information.
John Adams is a professional pond artist and builder.