AFTER FISH IN PONDS DURING THE WINTER
First broadcast on www.provet.co.uk
This information is provided by
Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your
veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the
diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
temperatures fall the activity of outdoor fish decreases and feeding can be
Fish do not hibernate like mammals, but as environmental
temperatures fall their metabolic rate and activity decreases, they go into a
stupor and stop feeding. They usually adopt a position towards the bottom of
the pond. It is important that there is enough depth to the pond so that all
the water does not freeze. Usually 3-4 feet is adequate. Providing your pond
filtration system is effective, your pond has been well stocked with
plants and is well aerated you should not have any problems.
If the winter is particularly mild and the fish remain active feeding may
be required throughout the period. The rule is feed the FISH not the POND.
When in doubt do not overfeed as that simply adds waste to the pond.
Having said this owners and breeders do have different opinions about how
to over-winter fish. Some examples of recommendations that Provet has come
across include :
- Bring the fish indoors in the winter. House them in a deep barrel of
water. This may be appropriate for valuable Koi carp
- Add a heater to the pond - surface heaters can apparently be bought
- Dead plants should be removed from the pond as they will rot adding
waste toxins to the water
- If the pond surface freezes over entirely cut a hole in the ice to allow
waste gases to escape
- Add a chunk of polystyrene to float on top of the pond. This will
prevent the surface from icing over completely and allow gases to escape.
It can be weighted down by attaching it to a brick.
- Logs of wood added to the surface of the pond may achieve the same
purpose, and may provide an area of relative warmth near the surface of
- Fill a plastic bottle eg a milk bottle with hot water and place it on
top of ice to melt it. Do not smash or otherwise break the ice as this can
kill the fish (sent in by a visitor to Provets web site)
- Cover the pond with a sheet of bubble wrap (sent in by a visitor to
Provets web site)
- Float a tennis ball on the surface of the water to stop the top freezing
over completely (sent in by a visitor to Provet)
- I`ve found one of the best ways to keep a pond ice free , as
well as the usual heaters etc, is to place a sheet of BUBBLE
WRAP over the netting but under the FILTER PIPES etc.Why
don`t you try this and this way you can still feed the fish
because the water is kept a little warmer. (sent in by a Koi breeder
visitor to Provet)
Provet Feedback Request
If you have any other recommendations for
over-wintering fish in ponds please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated October 2013