October 24, 2015

Today's Pond Q&A 10-24-06 More Winterizing Tips

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- Will Koi Overwinter Okay in a Shallow Pond?

- Overwintering Pond Plants

- Overwintering Tropical Lilies

- Overwintering in California


Question #1>

Hello Carolyn,

I live on L.I. and have a 300 gal pond approx 18"deep. Last winter
all I had ws gold fish and they surveved fine, This yer I added koi
one of which is approx 20". Will he be ok in that shallow of a



Answer #1>


That depends entirely on how you care for the pond. If you use a
de-icer, the fish should be alright. if not, then I doubt in a
cold spell if the koi will survive.

The Farmers' Almanac predicts colder than normal winter for us
this year, with lots of precipitation in the form of snow.
If Buffalo is any indication, I'd say the FA is on the money.

Last year, if you remember, we basically did not even have winter,
so of course you didn't have a problem. This year even the goldfish
might be in trouble.

You do know, don't you, that on Long Island we have an 18" frost line?
That means ice will freeze down to 18", solid. Nothing will live
in solid ice. So it's up to you to prevent that from happening.


MacArthur Water Gardens carries de-icers. Click the
link below for additional information:



Fall Winter Kit for Smaller Ponds:
1 quart Microbe-Lift Autumn Prep,deicer, 14x14 pond netting,
and (2) 7 oz Tetra Wheatgerm Food.
Fall/Winter Kit #1 - $97.99 + $11 S&H

Fall/Winter Kit for Larger Ponds:
2 quarts Microbe-Lift Autumn Prep,deicer, 28x28 pond netting,
and (3) 14 oz Tetra Wheatgerm Food
Fall/Winter Kit #2 - $147.99 + $14 S&H

Click the link below or call 800-695-4913 to place your order.
HURRY! Offer expires Oct. 31, 2015


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

This is our first year for a pond. We have really enjoyed it this
summer. now it is time to get it ready for winter.we were told to
bring the plants in. We live in Indiana and the winters can get
quite cold. tell us what we need to do so we do not need to replace
all the plants we bought this year. Thank you


Answer #2>


Some plants, like hardy water lilies, will overwinter just fine in
the bottom of the pond. Others, like tropical water lilies,
parrot's feather, water hyacinth, and water lettuce, have to be
brought indoors or replaced next year.

Unless you have a nice warm, very sunny place to put them for the
winter, you might not be able to over winter them anyway. A fish
tank with circulating pump and filter, with a good light overhead,
is the best way I have found to overwinter water plants.


Just send us 4 or 5 good pictures of your backyard pond
paradise along with a brief description of your pond
construction. Send your information to us at

Question #3>

Hi Carolyn,

What is the best way to over-winter my tropical lilies. I live in
north-central Indiana, zone 5.

Thank you!


Answer #3>


There are two ways to overwinter tropical lilies: the aquarium
method and the tuber method.

For the tuber method, according to Greg Speichert of Water
Gardening Magazine (in an article printed in the Microbe-Lift
Watergardener magazine) “bring the lily inside to a cool, dark
place before the first frost. Let it gradually go dry over a few
weeks. Remove spent flowers and foliage.

When the lily is dormant, remove the pot and find the nut-like
tuber in the soil. Wash the tuber so that it is free of soil and
cut off any remnant roots to the base of the tuber. Place the
tuber in damp (not wet!) sand or peat moss in a plastic container
with a lid. Poke a few holes in the lid to allow for air
circulation. If desired, treat the tuber with fungicide before
storing it away for the winter.

Keep the container in a cool, dark, place such as a garage,
basement or a wine cooler set at 55-60F… Check the tuber often to
make sure that it is not soft or discolored and to ensure that the
sand or peat moss has not dried out completely. When spring
returns, repot the lily and return it to the pond.”

For the aquarium method, Greg recommends taking the plant out of
the pond, again before the first frost and trimming off excess
foliage and roots. Then repot the tuber in a smaller pond. You
will want to cover the pot with several inches of water over the
crown of the plant. Put a heater in the water to keep it at a
constant 70-75F and use a grow-light about 12” over it. Don’t
fertilize the lily.


Check out our online article archive at the link below:

Question #4>

Hi Carolyn,

You write a great deal about wintering over in the colder climates.
Our 1600 gallon, 3 ft. deep pond is in Southern California.

Can you provide any guidance on how best to adjust the pond for
winter in California? And how would you minimize the String Algae
Bloom that seems to fire up every winter?

Thank you very much for all your information. It has been a great help.


Answer #4>


There's a very good reason for that. I have lived most of my life
in the colder climate, so that's what I know best. Wherever you
live, going by water temperatures does not change. Do you even
have winter, per se?

The string algae bloom is simply replacing the planktonic pea soup
variety, I imagine. Depending upon the water temperature in So
Cal, you might need to stop feeding if they drop to 50F at any
time. At that time, the fish should eat the algae during any warm
spells until the weather and temperatures consistently maintain
above 50-55F again.

Do you use beneficial bacteria to help break down fish waste? Do
you use Barley Straw Pellets or Barley Straw Concentrated Extract
to help with your algae growth? Do you have adequate filtration?
Do you have too many fish, or have they outgrown their environment?

These are some of the situations that would make the algae problem
worse wherever you live. I will be moving to south Florida soon
and can better advise people in the south later on, from personal


MacArthur Water Gardens carries barley straw extract and concentrated
pellets. Click the link below for additional information:

Microbe Lift Barley Straw Extract:
Summit Barley Straw:
Other Barley Straw Products:

========== @SK Carolyn =================
Have a pond question? Just send it in
to: Carolyn@macarthurwatergardens.com
and our own in-house pond expert will
try and answer it for you! Write POND
in the subject line for quick response!

Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens

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

Posted by bfogle at October 24, 2015 11:45 PM