Maintaining a healthy equilibrium in your pond over the course of the Winter is essential. In order to ensure a vigrous revival of perennial plants, prolonged hardiness and life of your fish, and overall ecosystem health, consider these necessary Winter Solutions.
Though benefitial bacteria is primarily an addition made during the growing season, ponds will greatly benefit from a specifically formulated Cold Water Prep bacteria. Conversion and debilitation of harmful chemicals will continue during the Winter months, furthering a blanced water chemistry.
It is also vital, not just suggested, that a portion of the water surface remain unfrozen during the Winter, so that toxins such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, and nitrites can escape from the water. Simply integrate a Pond De-Icer/Heater to maintain a small hole in the ice.
An alternate option to prevent ice in small spots is an Aerator. The simple process of water surface turbulence caused by air bubbles will deter freezing. Visit the Air Products section of the website to see a large variety of pumps and diffusers. ***When deciding to integrate an aerator for the Winter, be sure that the air diffuser is within a range of 6-18 inches deep, and is positioned closer to the side of the pond than the center--Winter aerators are meant to keep ice from forming, not to add oxygen to the water. When placed too deep in the pond, air stones can cause the pond water to super cool.
A fairly common misconception among pond owners is an increase of salt content in the water during the Winter. Though logic will imply that water with high salinity is less likely to freeze, the temperature at which water reaches maximum density (before freezing) can drop as much as 9 degrees F with only a 0.1% Salinity. In other words, the water may not freeze until it is well below 32 degrees F, and this temperature will be deadly for Koi.
The Waterford Gardens Professional Opinion: keep a hole in the ice with a Pond De-Icer or Aerator, and bolster a cold water bacteria population with one of our Cold Water Prep products. Have a cool Winter, and see you in the Sunny Spring!