Winterize Your Fish
Cold water fish such as Koi and Shubunkin become dormant and will feed off the algae at the bottom of the pond all winter. You will want to feed them Low-Temp fish food once the water temperature reaches below 55°. Be sure to look your fish over and check for any signs of parasites.
Treating your fish before the winter months will give them time to recuperate. Salt is a safe and inexpensive way to treat many ailments that occur with fish. It destroys the external parasites that may be attacking them and it restores their slime coat. The slime coat is a protective outer layer the wards off infection and acts as a liquid “Band-Aid”.
At Natural Water Gardens, we recommend that a recirculating pipe be attached to your pump in the skimmer. This allows the water to recirculate back into the pond. The pipe should be discharging the water at the surface edge of the pond.
With the recirculating pipe we recommend adding an aerator suitable for exterior use and of sufficient size to maintain an opening in the ice as it stratifies the pond. The airstone should only be located 1/2 to 2/3rds of the depth of the water in the pond to PREVENT STRATIFYING. You don’t want water stratifying from the bottom in the winter – it brings the water temp down near the bottom, creating stress in the hibernating fish.