Winter is on its way, and if you are a pond over, you may be wondering what will happen when your pond’s water turns to ice. You might wonder what will happen to your fish and whether or not there is something that can be done to accommodate them. Of course, when a pond freezes over, you won’t be able to feed your fish. While it may seem like your fish can die when a pond is frozen there is actually very little to worry about. Here is what you should do if your pond happens to freeze over.

What To Do Before The Winter

Your pond should be okay so long as you don’t have many fish in it, and there is not much waste, such as from fallen leaves. If your pond isn’t yet frozen, then you still have some time to clean it, but that should go without saying that cleaning your pool should be done regularly.

Before you anticipate your pond freezing, you should also be sure that you get outdoor fountain pump that you keep deeper than any possible ice levels. A submersed pump will be able to continue to pump water, even during the winter. That means your pond won’t entirely be frozen solid, and rather just the surface of it.

What Happens When The Pond Freezes?

When a pond gets frozen, it forms what is called an ice cap. This ice cap will freeze the ponds surface, as mentioned before, but there will still be a way for air to enter the pond, so it still will allow airflow, albeit not as much as before. Ponds freeze from the surface, and the thickness of this ice can vary, but there are only a few occasions in which a pond will freeze all throughout.

If the pond develops and ice cap, what happens differently with it? Well, the pond will receive less oxygen and will release less ammonia thanks to the ice cap. However, these processes are only slowed down, and will not stop.

Cold water off the bat typically has a good amount of dissolved oxygen inside of it. As a result, any aquatic life inside of a frozen pond will not use up as much oxygen compared to a pond in any other season. This means that your fish should be able to handle an icy pond surface without being in any big trouble. Any real problems can occur if the pond is completely frozen and sealed for a series of days. When this happens, there are a few things that can be detrimental to your fish.

When Happens If The Pond Is Completely Sealed Of Ice For Too Long?

A completely sealed frozen pond can result in oxygen levels dropping, waste gases getting dissolved, and ammonia can build up in the water. This is often what happens when you either have too many fish in your pond, there is too much debris inside the pond, or you have a layer of snow on top of the frozen pond, which keeps fish and plants from receiving enough oxygen.

If you see snow on top of your pond, you will have to brush it off with a long-handled broom. Simply sweep the snow off gently with by moving the broom back and forth. Sweeping the frozen surface of your snow will also allow more light to enter the pond. That’s another thing to mention, ice will still allow sunlight, whereas snow can block sunlight. You fish need light so that they can receive more oxygen. You can also try to use a shovel to remove the snow, but a shovel is noisy to use for your fish, giving them unneeded stress.

Should I Make Holes In My Frozen Pond?

It is never a bad idea to have a hole in your ice cap. With a hole, you can allow gases to exchange better between inside and outside your pond. Like with the shovel, though, simply punching a hole through the frozen surface can scare and stress your fish. So instead, there are other techniques you can try to make a hole through the ice.

Firstly, you can use a deicer, or a pond heating device. This device floats on the water and keeps a part of the pond’s surface from freezing over. A pond aerator on a freezing pond can also work. Even if it manages to get frozen, it still moves air and thus, degases the pond efficiently.