Although winter may be coming to an end, freezing temperatures are still predicted and Dan Everton from our Aquatics Superstore recommends using ice prevention products to safeguard your pond.
Should you break the ice on your pond? Dan Everton gets asked this question all the time by customers when they come to the Garden Centre in the winter.
For many years I believed that it was to the benefit of the pond and its inhabitants to ensure that there was a hole in the ice.
But according to the charity Freshwater Habitats Trust perhaps the opposite is true. They say that oxygen levels can actually rise under a sheet of ice.
Oxygen diffuses into the water so slowly, about 32mm per day, that a hole makes little difference.
And even under ice, plants will still produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Oxygen is then trapped and the levels rise.
Although any snow on top of the ice should also be brushed off as it blocks off sunlight.
You should also intervene if fish are in the pond or if the bottom of the pond has decaying matter such as leaves that produce noxious gases.
Pond conservation experts recommend using a pump or fountain to oxygenate the water.
So the ideal solution would be a product such as the Hozelock Air Pump that can be used to provide oxygen on hot summer days and chilly winter ones.
The answer to the question I am continually asked is therefore not as simple as it might seem. It's practically impossible to avoid leaves drifitng to the bottom of a pond so it's probably best to err on the side of caution especially if you are a fishkeeper.
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