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How do I Prepare my Pond/Water Feature for Fall-Winter here in the Central Kentucky Area (Lexington)

Sep 12, 2018

When you start to see Halloween decorations and trick-or-treat candy at your local stores it is a sure sign that the need for Fall Pond Maintenance is on its way.  Whether you tackle this job yourself or you hire a professional here are some Fall pond maintenance tips to keep in mind when performing Fall Pond & Water Feature Maintenance.

It is important to note that preparing your pond for Fall and preparing it for Winter are 2 completely different tasks. Fall Preparation tasks generally take place in the September / Early October time here in the Lexington Kentucky area while Winter preparation generally occurs in November / Early December. We will focus our attention on Fall Pond Maintenance tasks and postpone addressing Winter tasks to November.

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Note: If you own a Pondless Waterfall or Landscape Fountain you will only need to consider Netting your Stream / fountain and using our suggested Algae control products listed below.
As Fall approaches us here in the Central Kentucky area, there are several maintenance tasks to consider. It is likely that not all of these tasks will apply to your pond. However, it is important to make sure you consider all tasks to prevent potential catastrophic issues when the snow and ice arrive.

Cleaning Your Pond – Most of our customers have their pond completely drained and cleaned in the Spring of the year. However, in many cases your pond may need to be cleaned in he Fall as well. I always encourage customers to perform a visual test on their pond. If there is excessive sludge and debris or if you have  had excessive string algae issues over the summer your pond (and more importantly your Fish) may need a Fall Pond Cleanout. excessive sludge and debris in the pond cause noxious gasses to build up over the Winter months and can cause fish health issues and even death. A Fall pond clean out is a great way to ensure your fish are safe and healthy all winter long. Also, since you are reducing the debris in your pond in the Fall it will make your Spring pond cleanout much easier and possibly unnecessary. If your pond looks generally clean we recommend a “Partial Pond Cleaning” for your pond. This simply entails removing all excessive leaves and debris in your pond and stream, cleaning your filters, etc. (Learn More)

Netting Your Pond – If you live in the Lexington / Central Kentucky area or a similar climate, we recommend installing a net over your pond. Many times the falling leaves can overwhelm your skimmer system and even worse smother your pond depriving your finned friends of much needed oxygen. Some leaves are already starting to fall so don’t delay netting your pond if you are in direct vicinity of trees. Additionally a pond net will help prevent predators such as the Blue Heron from feasting your pond fish this Winter!!

A pond net can greatly reduce the amount of debris and maintenance for ponds that are in direct vicinity of trees and falling leaves. Pond Frames  are custom built with durable PVC piping and the netting is securely strapped to the frame to prevent sagging from the weight of leaves and debris that could ultimately suffocate your pond fish. (Learn More)

Aquatic Plants – Here in the Lexington / Central Kentucky are we refer to our landscaping plants as perennials & Annuals. Aquatic plants are much like landscaping plants in that we have tropical & hardy plants. Tropical plants (Zone 8 & Above) will need to be removed before winter while hardy plants simply need to be trimmed back. Trimming your hardy aquatic plants that begin going dormant as the weather cools helps to prevent the fall out debris from building in the bottom of your pond. Removing dying plants leaves will make your pond cleaning responsibilities easier. Decaying leaves and foliage produce toxic gases that can harm your fish so you want to remove this debris before winter rolls into town. You don’t need to remove every single last leaf, but try to remove the majority. (Learn More)

Predators – Fall is the perfect time for predators such as the dreaded Blue Heron or even Racoons to find your pond and turn you fish into a savory Halloween Snack!! After trimming your Water Lilies & other plants back you have fully exposed your finned friends to potential dangers. Many of our customers will net their pond in the Fall even if leaves are not an issue just to deter the Heron and other predators from making a quick meal out of your finned friends!!

Aeration / Pond De-icers – While this subject is more suitable for our Winter Pond Maintenance tips we feel that it is important to begin considering how you will aerate your pond this Winter. By planning and even installing components now you will save yourself some headache later. All too often we have customers calling when the temperature is sub freezing wanting a pond de-icer or aerator. If they had installed these items in October they would not be rushing to find a solution in January. Whats the old saying.. An ounce of prevention or something like that.. We will dive more into pond aeration in Novemeber but for now here are a couple of products we recommend for your pond this Winter (Learn More)

300 Watt Pond Heater / De-Icer


Aquascape Pond Aerator

$59.98 – $109.98

Aquascape Pro Air Pond Aeration Kit

$179.99 – $349.99

Pond Aerator 2-Outlet


Pond Aerator 4-Outlet


AquaForce® Solids Handling Pump

$199.98 – $399.98

Feeding Your Fish –  The water temperature will soon be dropping and you should be feeding our fish less as their metabolism slows down. Hopefully you have been feeding your fish well with a high protein food this summer to allow them to build up a reserve of fat to help them through the winter. After the water temperature drops to the sixties you should decrease the amount of food given and feed only once a day. We recommend Aquascape Cold Water Fish Food at this time as it is easily digested. As the water temperatures continue to drop to below 60 degrees you should feed only two or three times a week. It can take your fish two or three days to digest food at this temperature. Once the temperature drops below 50 degrees you should stop feeding altogether until spring when the water temperature remains above 50 degrees. 

Algae Control &
Cold Weather Water Treatments

It is normal here in the Lexington / Central Kentucky area for us to have mild Winters. I have played golf several times on New Years Day thanks to 60 degree+ weather in January. While this is great for us the sporadic weather fluctuations sometimes reek havoc on our pond ecosystems. Often string algae blooms are common. Also, often pond water will become green/murky which creates more sludge and debris in your pond. Therefore, we encourage all of our customers to consider the IonGen system along with regularly using the Aquascape Cold water bacteria when water temperatures are above freezing..

Submersible Pond Thermometer


Cold Water Fish Food

$14.98 – $32.98