De-icing Your Frozen Koi Pond

The winter months can be some of the most wonderful when it comes to enjoying the calm and serenity of a Koi pond. It also provides a uniquely beautiful experience, especially in those regions where sub-zero temperatures are common. The site of the pond is surrounded by snow and the ice that festoon decorative features and the flora of the pond can be a source of delight. However, there are also challenges – among them de-icing your Koi pond with Submersible Pumps.

De-icing is essential in order to ensure the free exchange of oxygen (and de-gassing) which takes place through the surface of the pond. However de-icing need not be a back-breaking chore – or even take up that much of your valuable time. there are several traditional methods to ensure that ice does not affect the health of your prized Koi. Many of these methods do not cost the Earth and the de-icing process can take place with a minimum of fuss, using widely available materials. There are also a number of high-tech solutions which make de-icing a breeze. Here are some of the most popular. It is important to note that these methods do not heat the pond water – which can be detrimental to the health of your fish, what they do is open up a limited area of the pond’s surface so that the all-important oxygenation can take place unhindered by ice build-up.

One of the oldest methods of preventing ice from gaining a foothold at the edges of the pond is to use tightly packed bales of hay. These bails are placed around the edges of the pond and will not freeze solid. The minor inconvenience of having to clean up the straw when the warmer months arrive is worth the peace of mind of knowing that you are employing a time-tested method of preventing ice build-up – and one that is environmentally friendly.

Another way to prevent ice from completely covering the surface f the pond is to place floating material on the pond’s surface. The material remains semi-submerged and as it moves gently on the surface of the pond it prevents ice build-up. Using this method ensures that there are spaces that are free of ice and gas exchange can take place. Several products can be used, including tennis balls, pool noodles (which can be cut to the appropriate size) and even a few floating 2L plastic soda bottles half filled with water can do the trick.

For those who don’t want to spoil the aesthetics of their pond, the high-tech approach has much to offer. there are a number of floating and sinking-deicers on the market. These are the go-to choice of professional Koi breeders. They are available from most Garden Centers and come in a variety of sizes and wattages. Ask a salesperson for advice about which model would best suit your size pond. They can range in price from between $50 and $200 dollars depending on power output. However, it may be worth having a look online at one of the larger retailers – you can often pick up bargains.

Pond pumps and aerators will also ensure that the surface of the pond remains in gentle motion, preventing ice build-up. The bonus is that you will be investing in a piece of equipment that contributes to the health of the pond irrespective of the time of year.

If you are in a region that suffers from below freezing temperatures a method of de-icing is absolutely essential. Not only will it keep the Koi healthy, but it will also ensure that the other fauna in the pond continues to contribute to the delight is so much a part and parcel of owning a Koi pond.

Joe Cadieux
Joe Cadieux is the Senior Biologist for Midwestponds was started to provide the products and advice needed to build and maintain water gardens and large ponds as naturally as possible. Joe consults and manages many lakes and ponds throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. He also takes special pleasure as a judge at the University School of Milwaukee’s Spring Science Fair.