Winter Tips For Koi Pond Equipment
If you follow the simple tips in this article you should have no trouble with your koi pond equipment during the winter.
You have two choices with your koi pond if you live in a climate that experiences winters with temperatures that dip below freezing.
First, you can run your filter and pump through the winter to keep the bacteria in your biological filter alive and set to begin work immediately in the spring. This will give you a great head start on cleaner, clearer water.
If you shut everything down and start from scratch in the spring it will take some time for the bacteria to re-populate and begin to be effective in cleaning your pond.
If you do choose to turn off your koi pond equipment for the winter make sure you drain all of the plumbing. This includes external filters, UV’s and external pumps. You also don’t want the seals drying out so you should leave submersible pumps in the pond or place them in a bucket of water and store them in a warm spot for the winter.
Since cold water holds much more oxygen than warm water and your koi’s respiration is slowed for the winter you shouldn’t need to be running aeration or circulating the water.
The one piece of koi pond equipment you will want to have running if you are located in an area where ice will cover your pond is a pond de-icer.
It is necessary to keep an opening in the ice for gas exchange. If the pond freezes over completely it will trap noxious gases under the ice and when the pond thaws in the spring you will find dead koi.
If you are going to run your filter through the winter you will want to make sure to minimize the water circulation so that you don’t mess up the layering effect of the pond.
Water reaches it’s greatest density at 39 degrees. Hence, this layer sits at the bottom of the pond (provided your pond is a minimum of three feet deep.) You don’t want to stir this layer up and get it chilled by mixing it with the colder upper layers of water.
You can minimize this mixing by moving the intakes for your filter and pump(s) to a mid level in the pond, turning off the bottom drain(s), put the intakes for waterfalls/fountains close to the outlets, turn the pump(s) down and turn off the skimmers.
If you allow too much mixing of your water, the bottom of the pond will get too cold and cause your koi to die.
To prevent damage to your equipment you need to be prepared for the possibility of a power outage. If you are not home to drain the lines and there is a power outage it could cost you quite a bit to replace or repair the damaged items.
One way of preventing this is by buying a system that is designed to flow back into the pond if there is a power outage. It may cost you more initially, but will bring you peace of mind and possibly save you a lot of money in the long term.
A second way to deal with the possibility of a power outage is to install a thin tube or wire to hold the valve open, allowing the water to drain out. This device is called a “check valve.”
These winter suggestions will help you to get the most value and mileage from your koi pond equipment.