Should I Winterize My Pond? 

Do you have to shut down a koi pond or goldfish pond in winter?

While lots of people keep their ponds running year-round, we recommend winterizing your pond for the most peace of mind.

Keep reading to learn more about pond winterization:

At a Glance: 3 FAQs about Pond Winterization

Should I Winterize (Shut Down) My Pond?

Here in Pennsylvania and Maryland, our winters can be very unpredictable. One day the temps can be above freezing, and the next day we could  get a snow and ice storm that blankets the landscape.

Although opinions differ, and quite a few ponds stay up and running all winter long, we do recommend shutting down your koi pond or goldfish pond.

Snow and ice can build up in strange ways, causing the flowing water to divert out of your stream and waterfall. In summer, this can be a simple fix, but in the winter, the solution might not be so easy as we deal with ice and the frozen ground. 

This is why we recommend winterizing your fish pond, unless you are prepared for any challenges that may arise.

How Deep Does My Pond Need to Be to Keep Fish Alive and Happy in the Winter?

So your fish don’t freeze in the winter, we recommend a minimum depth of 24 inches in Maryland and South Central Pennsylvania (USDA Hardiness Zones 6 and 7). 

This will be deep enough so that although you may get a thick covering of ice on the surface, your pond will not freeze the whole way to the bottom.

How Do I Winterize My Pond?

To start, we recommend installing a Pro Air 20 Aeration Kit.  This is the minimum size aerator for small and medium ponds up to 250 square feet. For larger ponds, we recommend a larger aerator like our Pro Air 60.

For peace of mind, it’s a good idea to cover the aerator compressor with one of our realistic faux rock covers to keep snow off of it.

Place the diffuser 10 to 12 inches below the water’s surface (not on the bottom of the pond). The force of the air bubbling on the surface will disturb the surface of the water and allow gases to escape, keeping your fish happy for the winter.

The next step in winterizing your pond is to drain the plumbing. Follow this link to read about this and lots of additional information about shutting off your waterfall in the winter