So what gives…what could be the cause of your winter pond fish loss?
- Fish Food – When your fish start going into semi-hibernation, their digestive tract starts slowing down. From 55-65 water temperature degrees, your fish should be eating a food that contains a wheat germ ingredient to help with digestion. When water temperature dips below 55 degrees, food need not be fed EVEN if they look hungry.
- Oxygen Depletion – With a sheet of ice over your pond, the amount of oxygen in your pond is limited. Everything needs oxygen: your pond fish, your pond plants the even your beneficial bacteria in the pond need oxygen.
- Poisonous Gases – Beneficial bacteria use oxygen to eat up the ammonia, which is then broken down into nitrites and nitrates. A build up of ammonia or nitrates can be lethal to fish. …and in winter, when the water turns to ice, there is no way for these poisonous gases to escape
- Aerator – An aerator is one of the most, if not the most, effective ways to prevent winter fish loss. An aerator produces a column of bubbles also known as oxygen that is used by your pond fish, plants, and by the beneficial bacteria.
- Pond Heater/De-Icer – In winter, you should have a hole open in the ice to allow for the exchange, and escape, of gases. However, breaking a hole in the ice manually could fatally shock your fish. Pond heaters are thermostatically controlled and safely keeps a hole in the ice as it forms, allowing the lethal gases to escape.
What what now?
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