Aqua Scapes of CT
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We install, service, maintain and fix ponds, waterfalls, and water features.
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Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about water garden care, installation and maintenance.
We sell pond supplies, koi, goldfish, and aquatic plants at our farm in Portland, CT.
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How To Winterize My Pond?
When it comes to caring for your pond fish in winter, the most important thing is to always keep a hole in the ice on the pond's surface. This allows oxygen into the pond and prevents toxic gases from building up. The following options will keep a hole in the ice.
One thing to think about is that products can/do fail. Therefore it is important to always have a backup option. We recommended using 2 of the options listed below, plugged into separate GFI outlets. This way if one option fails, or trips the GFI, you have a backup option.
However, if your pond does freeze over completely, do not try to chop through the ice with an axe! This can be extremely harmful to your fish. Instead, use boiling water to melt a hole in the ice. This might take longer, but your fish will thank you for it.
Leave Pump Running
You have the option to leave the pump running all winter. This is because the moving water from your waterfall will keep a hole in the ice and prevent the pond from freezing over completely. However, if you decide to go with this method it is important that you check your waterfall/pond often to make sure water is not leaking out due to a buildup of ice in the stream or waterfall.
Use a Deicer
Another option is to use a deicer or horse trough heater in your pond. They will keep a foot diameter hole in the ice which will allow for the exchange gases and oxygen in and out of the pond.
Use an Aerator
If you have a pond or fish tank, you should have an aerator. They are the most energy efficient option and add oxygen to your pond unlike a deicer. An aerator will also keep a small hole in the ice because the bubbles create surface movement which prevents the area from freezing.
Use a Winter Return
A winter return is a fitting that attaches to your pond pump and outputs a strong flow of water right in front of the skimmer. This will keep a hole in the ice in front of the skimmer thus providing safe and effective winterization for you pond.
Use a Bubbler Pump
A bubbler pump is a small pump (1,000 gph or less) which is placed a few inches below the pond's surface. The flow of water from the pump's output will create movement on the surface of the pond thus preventing that area from freezing.
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