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Double Pond and Waterfall

A Pretty Pond With a Bridge

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Hurth Waterscapes Spring Pond Clean Out

Welcome to the Holiday Pond

This article will take us from ghouls, goblins, witches, and jack-o-lanterns, right on through to pilgrims, turkey with all the trimmings, pumpkin pie, and apple cider. Yes indeed the holidays are officially upon us, and that means the pond out in the backyard has taken on a different personality, a different look, a different taste and color.  For those of us in the northern climates, ice on the pond is right around the corner and the white and drifting snow that used to underwrite ye old sleigh ride to grandma’s house is scheduled to follow immediately on its heels.

Prune the Plants Back, and Net the Pond
In many cases, as you read this line, a net is already covering the pond in order to minimize the annual onslaught of free-falling leaves that automatically find their way into your pond and skimmer. Let me say right here that netting your pond is a huge undertaking and not one that I would recommend for most people.  The lilies, the water iris, and the cattails are all pruned back. The water hyacinth have been eliminated from the waterfalls and thrown into the compost pile. The activity of your fish has slowed down dramatically, and you’ve stopped feeding them because the water temperature is regularly below 55 degrees.

Inside vs. Outside Enjoyment
Maybe you decorated your Halloween pond with pumpkins and scarecrows, and maybe you’ll have something in honor of Thanksgiving as well. But for many of us, the time is coming soon when the pond enjoyment is going to happen from inside the warm house, instead of outside on the patio. But there’s a decision you must make first.

The Winter Decision
Are you going to leave your pond run, or shut it down for the winter? This is the question of the month.  If you let it run you risk a leak and more winter work.  If you shut it down you’ll miss the beautiful ice formations.

Shut Down

For what it’s worth, most local enthusiasts shut their pond down in order to avoid having to monitor ice build-up in the stream, which can lead to an untimely leak if you’re not careful. If you choose the shut down option, don’t forget to unhook your pump, remove it from your skimmer, and place it in a bucket of water in a warm place for the winter to keep the seals from drying out and to keep it from freezing. Also, some people like to remove the filters from the biofalls and skimmer if so equipped, clean them off and store them somewhere dry as well.  This may save some time and headaches in spring.  Also, remember to unhook your auto-fill line from the house and turn off your spigot to avoid freezing any pipes.

And for the Winter Adventurer
On the other hand, if you’re a winter adventurer, and you choose to leave the falls running, the artistic beauty of the ice sculptures that form around the waterfalls will always be something at which to marvel. And either way, as the surface of your pond freezes over, make sure to keep a hole in the surface with an agitating bubbler or a bottom aerator so that gasses can be safely exchanged, and your fish can complete their winter hibernation successfully without complications.

If you’ve covered all these bases, congratulations, you’re ready for old man winter. Now it is time to sit back, relax and begin dreaming about spring.

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