Snow and your pond in Winter

We have seen our second snowfall here in New England and depending where you live you may have seen much more snow. It is therefore necessary to adjust your pond care and maintenance accordingly.

It is inadvisable to have your fountain or waterfall running through winter so this form of pond aeration will not work but you still need to ensure there is sufficient oxygen in your pond to prevent pond life deaths. Even in winter pond life still needs oxygen to survive.

An air pump will provide oxygenation to your pond. However you have to ensure that your aerator does not cause hyper-cooling to take place. You do not want the aerator to move very cold air into your pond. This could drastically reduce the temperature of your pond water and result in fish deaths. Therefore it is recommended that pond owners house their air pumps in an insulated chamber or indoors with just the airline being outdoors. An insulated chamber can also be a decorative feature for your pond. You can then be sure that the air that you introduce to your pond will not be too cold. Keeping your pump in either an insulated chamber or inside will also prevent condensation forming in the airline. This condensation can also freeze and that will shut down your air pump.

If you have ice on your pond we know it is advisable to keep a hole in it. An air pump will keep a portion of your pond clear of ice because moving water resists freezing. A hole in your ice enables oxygenation and gas exchange still to take place. However it is also a very good idea to keep a large portion clear of snow, approximately 30%. Stay safe when you clear snow from your pond. Be aware that ice under snow is insulated and therefore not as thick as you might expect particularly when compared to areas that are snow free. The open space allows light to still filter into your pond which is good news for pond life.