As winter draws near and the temperatures begin to plummet, your pond may get cold enough that ice begins to form, which eventually could cause the water to freeze over. Having your pond completely frozen over can cause harmful gases such as ammonia (caused by the breakdown of vegetation and waste matter) to be trapped, this can be detrimental for your fish and live plants if the gas is not able to escape.
One way of preventing your pond from freezing over is by using an Aerator, which produces bubbles and water motion. This slows down the process of any ice forming inside of your pond, and can prevent it happening all together.
This enables any harmful gases to escape from the pond without the need for running a heater. However if temperatures drop too low, an Aerator may not be sufficient enough to keep the pond from completely freezing over.
If your pond freezes over, it is important to keep a hole in the ice to allow for these harmful gases to escape whilst still allowing fresh oxygen in. By using specially designed Pond Heaters, you can easily keep an area of the pond ice free without causing stress to your fish.
It can be common for ponds to momentarily freeze over at some point during the winter season, and usually this should not be a cause for concern. In short durations, a frozen over pond is not a problem for you or your fish. A calm and sunny day will melt any ice that may have formed, which will allow your pond to breathe.
If your pond water is iced over for long periods of time with no signs of melting, then it may be necessary to manually create a hole. It is not recommended to use heavy objects or tools such as a hammer to break the ice as this can create strong vibrations inside of the pond. This can compromise your fish’s immune systems, which in turn can end up being extremely harmful.
Instead, try using a pan or bucket of warm water to reopen the ice in the pond. This way it creates less stress for your fish and will be sufficient enough to let your pond breathe.
Choosing the right method of preventing Ice from becoming a problem during the winter months is important for ensuring your fish have a safe and healthy environment. By getting a heater early on you minimise any problems you may encounter during the colder months. Maintaining your pond helps keep your fish happy, and will give them a head start when the weather starts to warm in the spring.