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Pond maintenance may be top of mind during the warm months when we are outdoors and enjoying our beautiful water features.  However, as the winter chill comes it’s easy to neglect these features as we start to migrate indoors for the winter.  You may not be outside as much but keeping good care of your pond is still important especially during a harsh winter.  

Feed your Fish

It may seem neglectful to not feed your fish, but you must know that fish digestion significantly slows through the winter months, meaning they do not digest their food as normal.  Although you may be tempted to throw them a few nibbles of food, just remember it’s possible for food to get ledged in their system and could cause them to get sick or die.  Trust us, they will not starve, their bodies are used to going through a dormant cycle in the winter.  

Allow your pond to freeze over

With below-freezing temperatures nearly a certainty during the winter, it’s important to keep your pond from completely freezing over.  Do not panic if you see ice forming in your pond. The important thing is to keep a hole in the ice either using an aerator, pond heater, or both to keep air circulation for your fish.  A completely frozen pond keeps any toxins in the water from escaping, causing harm to your fish.  

Bang on / Breaking the ice

So we know you need to keep a hole in the ice to allow harmful gasses to escape but if the surface of your pond does become a frozen lid in you should never bang on the ice to create a hole.  Just like banging on the side of a fish tank, that kind of activity can cause sound waves that are extremely harmful to fish. Instead of trying to crack the ice open, use a de-icer to burn through the surface or you can also pour a pot of boiling water on the ice to melt it. And also of course, always keep proper aerator working at all times in order to keep that hole open.

Leave your de-icer constantly on

While it may seem easier to just leave your de-icer plugged in throughout the entire winter, this is actually a very bad idea. De-icers typically use a lot of energy. In areas the experience harsh winters it’s tempting to leave the de-icer on all the time, but it’s really not necessary. Just keep an eye on the aeration hole and if you notice below freezing temperatures, then turn on the de-icer for a day or two and shut it back down again as temperatures rise above freezing.  

Forgetting your Water Treatments

Water treatments for your Ecosystem pond are not just for the warm weather. Water quality is just as important a part of pond maintenance in winter as in the warmer months. A quality winter bacteria blend applied once a month will help to prevent a buildup of debris that collects in the water during the winter. Adding winter bacteria breaks down debris means healthier and happier fish.


Nothing is more relaxing than enjoying your beautiful backyard pond.  However, enjoying your pond in the spring and summer months means taking proper care of it in the Fall and Winter too. Don’t forget the basics of proper pond maintenance during the winter, that way you and your fish can get the most out of your pond all year long.