Learn how to prep your Koi ponds for the coming autumn and winter months with our handy pond maintenance checklist.
General maintenance of Koi ponds
The following maintenance is essential to keep your Koi and Koi pond intact all year round.
- Pumps should be checked and unclogged regularly.
- Sponges should also be cleaned frequently, but wash them in pond water to retain vital bacteria.
- As the efficiency of sponges decrease over time it should ideally be replaced every 2 years.
- Check the size of your Koi and adjust your filtration system whenever they’ve grown significantly.
- Consider using a sludge treatment to control sludge.
- Use a pond tonic every time that you add new fishes.
Getting your Koi pond ready for autumn
To minimise the risk of losing your fish in the cold, it is best to start taking precautionary steps while it is still warm. We offer some expert tips on getting your Koi and your Koi pond autumn ready.
- Diet: It is critical to start feeding your Koi a high protein diet to enable them to fuel up for the coming winter months.
- Clean-up: Remove all dead plants, trim back excessive summer growth and clip any plants that are hanging in the water. Transfer floating plants and flowers indoors for the duration of autumn and winter.
- Leaf net: Remember that most trees lose their leaves in autumn, so keep a leaf net handy and scoop the leaves out of the pond on a frequent basis. Rotting leaves will affect the water quality and deplete its oxygen levels.
- Pond nets: You could also consider covering your pond with netting to keep it as clean. This will have the additional benefit of keeping predators at bay.
- Health check: Koi that are unwell, are unlikely to survive harsh winter conditions. Autumn is a great time to check for abnormal behaviour and treat the Koi that are in need of medicinal attention.
Winter is the survival of the most prepared
- Winter food: Keeping your Koi on a summer or autumn diet through winter, may be detrimental to their health. The most sensible thing to do; is to change over to wheat germ food, as it is easier for them to digest at lower temperatures.
- Monitor: It is highly recommended to purchase a wireless digital Koi pond thermometer. This will enable you to easily monitor the water temperature on an on-going basis and take corrective action immediately, when necessary.
- Pool heater: A pool heater will be a great investment, as it will keep an area of your Koi pond ice free, plus allow the inflow of oxygen and the outflow of toxic gases.
Prevention is better than cure
If you haven’t done so already, it is a good idea to switch over to a plastic pool now, while the temperatures are still favourable. Here are the main advantages of using plastic pools for Koi ponds:
- It keeps the water warmer.
- It requires much less cleaning and maintenance
- Longer-lasting and highly crack resistant.
Click here for information on top quality plastic pools for a wide range of Koi pond designs – that have also proven to stand the test of time.