Koi Ponds: Freezing Ice Cold Winter Weather
Page Summary: Im lucky. I live in South Africa and while in winter in Johannesburg where I live tempratures do fall below zero now and again freezing ponds is not one of our fish keeping problems. Sure pond water cools down significantly. After all Johannesburg is 6000 ft above sea level. Koi ponds here generally do go through a spell where water temperatures drop to about 8 degrees C but this is nothing compared to UK and even more extremes of cold in the USA. In the UK and even more so in the USA winters get very cold, and ponds freeze from the top downwards.
Koi & Gold Fish in Winter
So what do Koi think of the UK weather and winter?
So long as the conditions are not in the real extreme koi are quite happy to lay back, endure the sleet, snow, frost, rain and wind and rest until spring when the urge to awaken and procreate kicks in.
If youve fed your koi or goldfish well in summer and put them on a leaner diet of wheatgerm in autumn you have done the best you can to help your koi through the winter months.
Wheatgerm is a great koi food for use in the autumn months and also for occasional use in tiny quantities for those days in winter when the sun shines, conditions are breezy, the pond water warms and the fish start to move.
Every koi keeper buys food. All koi foods are not the same. Bradshaws Koi Food (and Wheatgerm) is as good as the best for quality and fantastic value for money in great sensible koi food packaging.
Keep that pond bottom clean with reliable Pond Vacuum
There are simple low cost pond water floating devices that allow a hole in the koi pond ice to be maintained to allow noxious gases to escape from pond water.
This is the Velda floating ice preventer ... click the link to see other types
If youve cleaned out all the muck and debris out of the pond and biofilter created by the those windborne falling leaves, in their once splendid autumn colours, bird droppings, fish faeces and whatever else found its way into the pond and youve given that biofilter a good clean out then youre well on your way to tackle winter koi keeping.
And, by the way, if you dont want to get in the pond and clear out the muck then consider a pond vacuum cleaner or pondvac for short. The picture is of the hozelock pond vacuum model but there are a few different kinds you can choose from... from very cheap to the very expensive (OASE Pondvac models are the best by far but also the most expensive)
Its important to clean out the settled debris in the fishpond since it will be a source of pathogenic bacteria in the spring when weather starts to warm up and all of Gods creatures, good and bad, wake up as well.
Keep Your Koi in the Spare Room
I know it gets cold in that spare bedroom but its warmer than outside. If you do this make sure you use pond water and not tap water and do not feed the koi fish at all under any circumstances.