Aquatic expert Dan Everton has this advice on how to maintain your pond during November, when the days are short, frost threatens and leaves are falling from the trees.
This is Dan Everton's guide to looking after your pond during December. With Christmas approaching and shopping for presents a priority it can sometimes be difficult but read on for our seasonal tips to keep the pond in top condition.
By December the water temperature will have dropped down slowly. It is a quiet time of year for the pond so you'll be glad to hear that you won't have too much to do, if you have prepared properly in previous months.
If you have installed a pond heater then it is likely that this has already come into its own, preventing at least a small area from freezing over, allowing toxic gases to escape and vital oxygen to enter the pond water.
Keeping this hole for the gases to escape and oxygen to get in is a must, in the past people have mentioned they've used a football or broken the ice but the problem with this is that the vibrations from breaking the ice can actually damage fish. If possible, always use a pond heater or alternative such as an air pump to prevent a total freeze over of the pond.
Organic materials in the pond will not decompose as quickly at this time of year due to the low temperatures. As long as there are no unexpected fish deaths or anything rotting down in the pond then you will be okay with regards to water quality, however if you want to keep an eye on it you can perform a test weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly when possible.
Usually warm water will rise to the surface of the pond but below 4ºC the opposite happens, the warm water will settle in the deeper parts of the pond, this is where you will find your fish hibernating. Lift your pond pump off the bottom if you haven't already, this will leave the warmer water at the bottom which is ideal for your fish.
Don't worry about fish not eating, when the water temperature is very low their digestive system will have shut down temporarily. If they do eat then it's likely it will rot inside them and cause future problems like internal bacteria that can cause fatalities.
A good thing to remember is that, due to the fish hibernating and not feeding, they will be weak coming out of winter so it's good to treat them with a tonic salt that will help boost their immune system.
Visit our website to view our range of pond ice prevention products that will help you during the winter to protect your fish.
Robert Hall, senior partner at GardenSite.co.uk has been elected to sit on the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) Judging Panel for 2017. The news was announced on 31st March 2017 on the GIMA website.
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