Quick Look

If your water temperatures stay above 50°, see Fall Maintenance

Under 50°F (10°C): No more foodFish do not require food when the water temperatures go below 50 degrees, as their bodies will no longer metabolize it. During winter, they live off of the extra fat they accumulated during summer. 

Any water features that circulate the water should be removed before the pond's water temperature drops to 40°F.

Under 40°F (4.4°F): Remove Pond EquipmentWater begins to freeze at 32°F, but it's important to remove your pond equipment before it starts to freeze and damage the tubing and pumps. If you leave your fountains, pumps, and waterfalls running when the water drops to 40°F, it can lead to overcooling. Store the pump, tubing, and fountains indoors to avoid any damage from ice.


Aeration is essential, especially in the winter, so keeping an aerator in the pond throughout winter is a good idea. As you remove your pumps and other pond equipment, move the aerator to a more shallow part of the pond and run 24/7. The aerator will help oxygenate the water and keep a section of the ice open. When the surface freezes completely, there is no way for the gases created by the breakdown of organic material to escape. The water cannot oxygenate, and the fish and plants can suffocate.

Fish Care

When the water temperature drops, fish become less active because they are cold-blooded. Their bodies and metabolisms slow down, requiring little food and oxygen until the water warms back up in the spring. The bottom of your pond (if it is deep enough, so it doesn't freeze all of the way through) is actually the warmest part. Fish will stay at the bottom, hardly moving, throughout the winter.

Generally, if your pond is at least 24 inches deep (unless you have large koi), your fish can overwinter in your pond. If you have larger fish like koi or live in an area with severe winters, your pond may need to be even deeper (48 to 60 inches) to avoid freezing. You can overwinter your fish indoors by keeping them in a temporary storage tank with aeration.

Plant Care

Tropical and floating plants that are native to areas with mild winters won't be able to overwinter in a freezing pond and will need to be moved inside. Hardier plants can be moved to the deepest (and warmest) parts of the pond until spring. How you overwinter your plants depends on where you live and the plant's hardiness.

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

Spring Maintenance

Continue learning about seasonal maintenance.

Learn More

Winter Pond Maintenance

Ready to start preparing your pond for the winter? Depending on how big and deep your pond is, you may be able to overwinter your plants and fish outside, or you may need to bring them inside. Here are some tips for winterizing your pond.


Winter Pond Storage

It is always a good idea to remove your pump and store it in a bucket of fresh, clean water in the wintertime. This will ensure that the o-ring and the pump's components will stay wet and not dry and crack.