Top 8 Tips To Winterize Your Backyard Pond

Now imagine that you’ve gathered all the materials you need to create a backyard pond and you’ve put them in place.

But before you know it, winter is coming and you don’t know what to do with your pond and you don’t want your fish to die.

Tips for winterizing your backyard pond include cleaning the pond, cutting down any vegetation, taking inside your tropical plants, taking inside any delicate fish, removing the water pump and placing it in a bucket of water, adding a deicer to the pond, adding cold water bacteria to the pond, and placing a net over the pond.

Read on to find out tips that you might not have thought of.

Why winterize your pond

You’ve spent all that time preparing and making your pond and now the winter has come around.

You want to make sure you take care of your pond so all your work hasn’t gone to waste.

If you don’t take care of the piping, then you might end up with burst pipes during the winter.

You might also end up with dead fish or dead plants that you’ll have to go to the store to replace.

If your pond freezes over and you don’t do anything about it, you might be without the pond the next year.

So follow the below tips to prepare your pond for the cold winter season.

Clean the pond

The first thing you are going to want to do is to clean out the debris from the pond.

Having the debris in the pond is going to cause unneeded gases in the pond.

Debris might include fallen leaves or cut grass.

So you will want to scoop all the debris out of the pond with a leaf rake a little bit at a time until you get all of the leaves and other debris out of the pond.

This will make sure that when and if the pond freezes over, that there is no debris that will leave unneeded toxins in the water.

You will also want to remove any dead vegetation from and around the pond.

Cut down any live vegetation

So, you will want to cut any vegetation alive that you have around the pond.

I’m sure you don’t want to replace the vegetation every year because you didn’t take care of it.

If the vegetation is growing out of the water, you will want to cut it down right above where the water is.

Gather up the clippings and make sure to throw them away (you don’t want the debris you cleared out above to be ruined because you couldn’t gather up your clippings).

If the vegetation is living just outside of the water on the beach, then cut it down to just above the base of the plant.

This will allow the plant to go dormant for the winter, while also making sure you are not adding any extra debris into the pond.

Take your tropical plants inside

The list of tropical plants by your pond could include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Corkscrew rush
  • Burhead
  • Creeping jenny
  • Giant arrowhead
  • Hosta
  • Water hibiscus
  • Water iris

If you have tropical plants, they are more than likely not going to survive outside during the winter season, so you are going to want to take them inside.

For some plants, this might be easier than others.

So to do so, get a pot for your plant.

Once you have the pot, then take it outside and set it next to the plant you are going to take inside.

Take the plant and dig it out of the ground.

When you have it out of the ground, then put it in the pot with either some soil from the ground or from a soil bag you bought for this purpose.

Then take the plant inside and place it in the warmest room for your home.

It would be pointless if you did all this work and then you put the plant in your basement where it is going to get the coldest.

So make sure you keep it in a warm place where it will thrive during the wintertime.

And also make sure to give it plenty of water, and maybe some light during the winter seasons.

Take any delicate fish inside

There are two types of fish that you might be dealing with in your pond.

The first type is fish that you need to take inside during the winter.

These fish are delicate and won’t survive the cold winter season.

So you will need to take them inside when it starts to get cold.

Make sure to have a fishnet and a bucket handy.

Fill the bucket up with water and then go out to your pond.

When you are at your pond, use the fishnet to get the fish out of your pond.

Fill up the bucket with the fish until it seems too full and then take it inside.

Once inside, put the fish inside a tank in your house and then go back outside and get more fish.

Do this until you have all the fish out of your pond and into the tank.

The other kind of fish is those that will be able to last through the winter season.

These fish will go into a state of hibernation when it gets too cold.

And their heart will only beat about 1 time per minute.

In the case of these fish, you won’t have to take them out, just make sure the rest of the pond is taken care of.

The best fish for your outside pond include the following:

  • Koi
  • Goldfish
  • Hi-Fin Sharks

Remove the water pump and placing it in a bucket of water

One of the most important parts of your pond is the water pump.

The water pump gets the water moving and keeps the water from standing still for too long.

If the water is standing still, that is when moss and algae build up in the water and this could cause trouble for your fish.

So when the wintertime comes, make sure to take care of your water pump so you don’t have to replace it each year.

Start off by turning off the water pump.

Then, remove the water pump from the water and place it in a bucket filled with water.

The water pumps typically have seals on them that might come loose or get ruined if the pump is left out of water.

So it is very important to place the pump in a bucket full of water.

Then take that bucket inside and place it in the warmest area of your house so that water doesn’t freeze over.

Then you should be good to put the water back in place when the winter is over.

Add a deicer to the pond

You’ll want to leave a small opening in the pond.

The small opening will allow any gases to escape from the pond water and help keep the fish and vegetation from dying during the winter.

It also lets the oxygen into the water to keep all the gases circulating.

You can find a good deicer here.

Add cold water bacteria to the pond

Adding cold water bacteria is also going to do a lot of great things for your pond.

The cold water bacteria helps to break down the fish waste that will build up in your pond during the winter.

It also helps maintain the biological balance of the water, so your fish and plants will be fine during the winter.

You can find some good cold water bacteria here.

Place a net over the pond

So after all of your wonderful work preparing the pond, the last thing you want to happen is for more debris to get into the pond.

And then you’d have to start over again.

You can avoid this by purchasing a netting kit and then place the net over your pond.

It is really rather easy.

Start at one end of your pond.

Then use two of the stakes to stake down the netting.

Start on one end and then go to the other end.

Then pull the netting across to the other side of the pond.

And then stake down the other side.

This should then catch any debris that might try to float into your pond.


Winter can be a time where you need to prepare a lot of things around the house.

Your pond is no exception to this.

So make sure you follow the tips listed above to ensure your pond lasts you for another year.

This includes cleaning out your pond, removing any tropical vegetation, take any delicate fish inside, take your water pump inside, add deicer and cold water bacteria to your pond water, and place a net over the pond.

If you follow these tips, then you can almost guarantee your pond will be ready to go the next year.

Bill Lantz

Bill Lantz is a database analyst by day and a weekend warrior by... weekend. He's currently building up his own miniature homestead in Central Utah with his wife and six kids. Some of his interests include knowing random trivia about films, reading history books, and playing video games with the boys.

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