Quick Look

At a water temperature of 40°F, test water for high ammonia and nitrites, and begin adding necessary water treatments, such as a Sludge Remover. Place the pump back in your pond; run for a few hours while checking on performance, ensuring there are no leaks. 

If using an Aerator during the winter, leave it in the pond to continue oxygenating the water all season. 

At a water temperature of 50°F, begin feeding fish a low protein food. 

At a water temperature of 60°F, begin feeding fish regular food and add tropical plants. If necessary, perform a 50% water change. Always use Chlorine Remover when introducing tap water to your pond. 

At a water temperature of 72°F, begin fertilizing plants. 

Water Testing

Water tests help point out water quality issues before they start disrupting the appearance of your pond or the health of your fish. Even crystal clear water can have issues like a pH imbalance or high ammonia levels, which can be harmful to water quality and fish health. Water test kits are typically available at pet stores and garden centers, and should test for all of the common culprits:

  • pH
  • Ammonia
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites

Learn more about Water Quality.

Tip: Always note the expiration date on test kits. Results may be inaccurate beyond the expiration date.

Pond Equipment

Before you re-introduce your pumps, filters, fountains, and any other accessories into your pond, it’s essential to give them a thorough scrub down. Avoid using soap or any harsh detergents; all you need is a brush or washcloth. Scoop out existing pond water to use instead of tap water, if possible. Tap water contains contaminants like chlorine and chloramines that can harm your fish.  

You can use a filled bucket with water to test and make sure all pumps are operating correctly. You may be able to just clean them, or they may need replacing altogether. It’s vital that your filtration system is running at 100 percent efficiency when you reopen your pond in the spring to keep the water clear and algae to a minimum. Wait to add your pond pump, filters, and water features back into your pond to allow time to monitor periodically to ensure everything is running efficiently without issue


Use a filled bucket with water to test and make sure all pumps are operating correctly. Make sure there are no blockages, and the impeller is in good working order, and that your pump seal didn’t get damaged during the winter break.


Clean any filter pads, and check for any cracks that may reduce the filter’s capacity to clean the water. Check and make sure the filter parts do not need to be replaced.

Tip! Replace filter pads and UV bulbs yearly for best results.


Check to make sure any tubes are free from blockages, as this can damage the pump.


Clean accessories to prevent contaminants from entering the pond.

Fish Care

Overwintered in the Pond

Fish are less active during the wintertime, as they are cold-blooded creatures. Their bodies require heat from their surroundings to power their bodily functions. It takes awhile for their bodies to warm up in the spring. If they show signs of infection, any unusually pale patches, or cloudy eyes, don’t be too alarmed. It will take a few weeks for their immune systems to be full strength again. You can incorporate medicated feed if multiple fish are showing symptoms.

Overwintered indoors

If you moved your fish inside for the winter, make sure they have time to adjust to the new water temperature. First, place a few fish at a time in the bag with their current water in it, leaving a few inches of air at the top. Tie the bag and let it sit on the surface of the pond so they can acclimate. Check the temperatures after 10 minutes, and if the water in the bag is the same temperature as the pond water, they can be released. It can be stressful on fish to move back and forth.

General care

Test Water – before resuming feeding, test the water to see what water treatments are required, if any, or if a partial water change is necessary.

Feeding – When water temperatures are consistently 50°+, start feeding low protein food. At 60°, start feeding regular food.

Water Treatments – Use Chlorine Remover plus Conditioner when adding tap water or performing a water change. It removes harmful chemicals, and improves the natural slime coat on fish to reduce stress.

TIP! If only one fish has any symptoms of a serious illness, you can always isolate the fish and treat it separately, so the illness doesn’t spread.

Plant Care


Spring-flowering bulbs should be planted in the fall, but there are many other plants that you can plant in the early spring that will bloom cheerfully. Check your existing plants to make sure everyone is happy, no overcrowding or dead leaves. Prune and replant as needed. Pruning can help the plants grow back even stronger! Your plants may need some fertilizer to give them a little help after the winter, but make sure to spread fertilizers far enough from the pond’s edge that it will not spill into your pond during heavy rainfall.

TIP! If you’re adding new plants, make sure they’re not invasive or prohibited in your area.

Summer Maintenance

Continue learning about seasonal maintenance.

Learn More

Spring Pond Maintenance

Spring is an excellent time of the year to get your pond back in shape for the upcoming seasons.