September 28, 2015

Pond Winterization / Koi Snacking on Goldfish

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- Pond Winterization

- Koi Snacking on Goldfish (And We're Not Talking Crackers!)


Question #1>

Hello Carolyn,

You said in one of your answers that you keep your pumps running in
your pond all year long. What about in Norheast Ohio were
temperatures can and do get below freezing for periods or time?

If I leave my waterfall going the ice build up gets so bad and the
water level drops to the point where my pump is stopping and I have
to try to get a hose from my house to the pond.

Also I thought mixing up the water was not good for the fish. I
have an approximately 1200 gallon pond with 12 4-inch (now)goldfish
in it. I have a tsurimi pump in a skimmer box which connects to the


Answer #1>


You need to understand there may be a big difference between my pond
and yours, so what I do may not work for you.

My pond is 6’ deep and the filters and pumps are outside the pond.
I also shut off the stream and waterfall before the first freeze.
I would never suggest leaving on a waterfall in northeast Ohio.

Some ponds don’t have a choice, simply by the construction, but if
there is that option, I recommend shutting off anything above
ground and just leaving something to circulate the water in the

If your pond is deeper than your frost line [freeze zone] then you
can either shut the pumps off entirely or use a floating de-icer to
keep the water from freezing completely.


MacArthur Water Gardens carries deicers. Click the link below for

additional information:

Check out our archived articles on Pond winterization:

Enter Your Pond in our 2015 Pond Galleria!
Just send us 4 or 5 good pictures of your backyard pond
paradise, and we'll include you in the galleria. Send
your pictures and a brief description to us at

Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

Will large Koi eat small goldfish that are alive?

I have a blue heron that likes to eat 4-8" Koi, and it is getting

I have one 14" Koi that is too big for the heron to eat. I went
to small "feeder" goldfish, and put 16 of them in the upper pond,
where the large Koi is.

The next morning they were all hiding, or had been consumed. The 8
little goldfish I put in the lower pond seemed to still be there,
although it is hard to tell for sure. No bodies floated to the top
in either pond.

Thanks for any help.


Answer #2>


A couple of weeks ago I would have stated absolutely not, however I
am still learning. In this business, no one knows everything.

I bought some young goldfish to use as feeder fish for my salt
water tank (Lionfish. I fed two and put the other dozen or so into
the small koi pond for safe keeping. Silly me!

I could not believe the next day when there was not one single
goldfish in the small pond. The dratted koi ate every one. Now, I
cannot blame a heron or anything else. This “pond” is quite small
and is in my office. Everything in there is very visible and there
is nowhere to hide. Yes, the larger koi could and would eat the
baby goldfish.


========== @SK Carolyn =================
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Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens

© MacArthur Water Gardens
PO Box 3628
Alpharetta, GA 30023-3628

Posted by bfogle at September 28, 2015 10:11 PM