Winter is on its way!!

How to be prepared to ensure the best quality of life for your koi during the winter

 

 

First steps we need to make are introducing wheatgerm pond food into your usual fish diet, personally I find the Hikari wheatgerm  a good quality food which is a low protein and great for those lower temperatures and can be fed to temperatures as low a 6 degrees. As your fish will struggle to digest higher protein foods come colder temperatures. Other wheatgerm food includes Tetra Wheatgerm which is also suitable for feeding over winter.


Secondly maintaining those filtration and pump systems, you should ensure you have cleaned all the necessary media in a bucket of existing pond water to ensure you are keeping as much biological bacteria alive. It is also worth taking those pumps out of the pond and stripping them back to ensure there is no debris lodged in the impellor so as to  maintain the life of the pump during those colder months, no one wants to be fishing in the pond to get the pump working again in the freezing water Brrrr!!


Also, if you have the space insert a pond heater the Interpet affinity ice vent pond heater  is great for those natural ponds to keep them ice free to allow the gas exchange.

ALWAYS make sure you do not turn off any of your pumps or filters this will keep all the water moving to create an ice-free spot for all those nasty gas exchanges and stop your biological bacteria decreasing too drastically over the colder months. Please note the UV on your system would not be needed during autumn/winter so this can be switched off and the bulbs replaced in the coming spring to ensure the best algae control.



Lastly I have listed a few dos and don’ts to ensure you are getting the best results throughout the winter


Dos;

  • Ensure all filtration is maintained before the temperatures drop

  • Strip the pump back to clean the impellor to extend the life of the pump

  • Introduce wheatgerm into your fishes existing diet (mixed with higher protein food)

  • Turn off ultraviolet

  • Insert a pond heater to keep patches free from ice


Don’ts

  • Do not turn off the pump

  • Do not turn off the filter

  • Do not feed any high protein food below 13 degrees

  • Do not feed below 6 degrees unless they are sturgeon