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.
John Adams is a professional pond artist and builder.