Ever wondered what to do with your pond or Disappearing Fountain in the event of a freeze? Well, not a whole heck of a lot. Keep reading to see what few things you need to do.
In the event of really cold weather (30sº F or below) turn off your pumps. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but when you have pumps moving the water during cold weather you are mixing the warm water from the bottom of the pond with the much cooler surface water. With the pumps off, your fish will stay at the bottom of your pond in the warmer water. Even if ice forms on the top of the pond your fish will still be OK (think of all of the frozen lakes and rivers in the north). When the cold weather passes and your fish start moving around again remember to start your pumps back up.
Also, do not feed your fish when the pond temperatures drop below 45º F. You’ll know this even without a thermometer because the fish will be “hovering” at the bottom of the pond in a state of temporary hibernation, wait until they become active again before resuming their feeding schedule.
If you have one of our disappearing fountains (decorative pottery or urn over plastic reservoir), you may be wondering what you should do during freezing temperatures. As you know, when water freezes, it expands, so you should take a few steps to avoid potentially cracking your pottery!
First, unplug the pump, then just reach in and grab the stand pipe. The stand pipe is the length of PVC pipe that is inside your pot that delivers the water up to the surface creating the plume. Just give that pipe a twist and pull it straight up. It should slide right out allowing the water to drain itself out of the bottom of the pot and back into the reservoir below. Assuming your reservoir is already full of water like it should be, you can expect to see some brief flooding around the base of the reservoir as it overflows.
Once the freezing temperatures have subsided, simply put the stand pipe back into the fitting in the bottom of the pot, add more water to the pot, and plug the pump back in.
Also, as a side note…if you have Plecostemus (Algae Eater), we would highly recommend moving them indoors if at all possible. They are not a cold hardy fish and will not survive cold and freezing temperatures. Your goldfish and koi however will be just fine. Just remember to turn those pumps off to keep the warmer water at the bottom for them!
That is all there is to it!
Good Luck and Stay Warm!