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How to Prevent a Winter Fish Kill

  • December 14, 2022
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As the winter season approaches, many places will experience colder weather near or even below freezing. This is around the time when pond owners everywhere should begin preparing for the colder months ahead. Fish are sensitive creatures which are susceptible to cold temperatures, especially when it dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Without any proper techniques to keep your fish safe, you will experience a winter fish kill. However, following a few simple tips can prevent this from happening.

Having Aeration Makes a Difference

As a general rule of thumb, you want to have enough oxygen for your fish throughout the year. This will keep your fish thriving and growing in all seasons, including the winter. Aeration is essential in the winter to keep your fish nice and warm beneath the waters. In addition, having a steady flow of moving water will minimize the risk of ice forming in your pond.

Using a Deicer

You may hit the freezing mark at 32 degrees Fahrenheit during those cold snaps. Although the bottom water of the pond stays warmer than the surface, your main goal is to prevent ice from forming at the top. Why? Well, if ice forms on the surface of your pond, it will essentially trap your fish. In this case, a deicer would be an excellent option for keeping an air column open for your fish. The deicer works by floating on the pond’s surface, keeping this area thawed.

Ventilation by Leaving a Hole Open

Remember that the Ice Away De-Icer is not a heater. It works in conjunction with an aeration system to help keep ice at bay. Although the rest of the pond may freeze, you only need a hole big enough to let the trapped gases escape. If you don’t leave a hole open in the waters, trapped gases will surely suffocate your fish. These toxic gases result from decomposing organic matter that stays trapped in the pond. When you inject oxygen into the pond and allow it to escape, it creates a natural cycle that inhibits a healthy environment for your fish and other pond life.

Leaving a Warm Spot in the Pond

Aside from toxic gases harming your fish, you must also consider the water temperature. Deeper ponds tend to have warmer waters at the bottom. However, keeping the water warm could be much more challenging if your pond is shallow. Your best option would be to leave warm spots around the pond where your fish can swim during the winter season. You can strategically place diffusers in these spots to create the warm water. Remember to keep both your aeration system and deicer running together to prevent a winter fish kill this season.

At Outdoor Water Solutions, we offer a variety of pond aerators & solar pond aerators providing you with the options needed to pick the perfect pond aerator for your pond. We always enjoy working with clients on ways to improve the quality of their ponds’ health so, if you have any questions or would like more information on our solar pond aerators, contact us at 866.471.1614 today!


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