February is another quiet month for your pond. It can also be one of the prettiest, with its icy waterfalls and snowy backdrop.
Like in January, your job in February is to keep fish breathing with help from an aerator, running waterfall and, if desired, a pond de-icer (see last month’s guide for more about de-icers).
But what if the pond freezes over despite your best efforts? Then you’ll need to gently create a hole in the ice. All you need is a small opening to help bad gases escape the water – but you need to make that hole carefully in order to avoid hurting your fish.
3 Tips for February Pond Care
1. Use an aerator or running waterfall to keep water oxygenated
Fish enter a semi-dormant state called torpor during the cold months. While in torpor, they don’t eat or move much, but they do still need to breathe.
Keep fish happy and healthy by using an aerator or running waterfall to add an extra dose of oxygen into the water. If using a aerator, place the aeration discs or diffusers about 1 to 1.5 feet below the water’s surface (placing them any farther down could disrupt the warmer temperatures in deep parts of the pond where fish are overwintering).
De-icers can offer another layer of protection for fish by keeping a small hole open in the pond’s surface ice. De-icers are great for cold winters when the bubbling aerator isn’t strong enough to keep a hole open in the ice, but they’re no replacement for a quality aeration system. Always use your de-icer in addition to – and not instead of – an aerator, positioning the de-icer directly above the aeration discs or diffuser.
2. Add a weekly dose of Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria
Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria helps keep water clear and fish happy and healthy when the pond is too cold for regular bacteria to work efficiently.
Adding a weekly dose to your pond will help reduce ammonia, nitrite and organic waste in the pond, as well as give your fish a health boost thanks to marigold and vitamin B included in the formula.
Treating your water is easy. Cold Water Bacteria is a liquid that comes in a pump-top container. If you buy an 8 oz, 16 oz, or 32 oz bottle, simply add one pump of bacteria per 100 gallons of water in your pond once a week while water temperatures are below 50 degrees. If you buy a gallon bottle, use one pump per 600 gallons.
To Calculate Pond Size in US Gallons: Length (in feet) x Width (in feet) x Average Depth (in feet) x 7.48
Cold Water Bacteria is completely safe for fish and plants.
3. Schedule a Spring Pond Clean-Out
Our Spring Pond Clean-Out schedule fills up quickly.
Even though clean-outs don’t start until March, contacting us now will save your spot on the calendar and ensure your pond is running and beautiful for the first warm days of spring.
How to Make a Hole in Pond Ice
Your fish friends are semi-dormant during the winter, but they still need to breathe. That means you need to make sure the carbon dioxide they exhale has a way to exit your pond.
An iced-over pond traps in these bad gases, so, when the mercury drops, you need to either make a hole in the ice or prevent your pond from freezing over in the first place.You can’t just smack at the ice with any old blunt object you have lying around, however. Keep reading to learn how to safely make a hole and keep you fish happy all winter long.
At a Glance: How to Make a Hole in Pond Ice
- Use a deicer.
- Place a pot of hot water on top of the ice.
- Use a rough-toothed saw.
- Avoid hitting the ice or doing anything else that would send strong vibrations through the pond.