We realize that many of you may live in states where your pond can remain open all year long. We are envious; +)
Even though you don’t need to remove and store all of your equipment, there are some things that you should do to prepare for cooling weather.
Make plans in early fall to test or have’your water tested by a professional. Pet Smart and other similar stores will do it free. Whatever the results take care of the concerns. Is the pH low? Raise it! You get the idea. That way you go through the changing season with a pond perfectly in balance.
We also recommend that you use a product like AUTUMN PREP, link at the top of this page, just in case the water temperature dips lower than normal so that you still have a bacteria colony growing and keeping your pond clean and healthy.
If you have fish in your pond they to have special needs during cool weather. The first thing you should remember is that their eating habits change with the seasons. Even in warm weather states sometimes temperatures cool down. When this happens their feeding habits change also. A simple guide is to stop feeding your fish if the water temperature is below about 45 degrees. Feeding them in cooler weather gives them a human version of a bad stomach ache which will place additional stress on your fish. You can also use a product like Koi Vital which replenishes vitamins for fish. TetraPond Koi Vital is a specially formulated water conditioner that promotes greater vitality, improves circulation, and induces spawning in Koi and other related cold-water fish. Koi Vital contains essential trace elements and vitamins (which are often at very low levels in ponds) to help recreate the natural conditions in which Koi thrive. See link above. Using pond salt will also assure that your fish have a protective slime coating to further protect them.
Since plant life is part of the eco-balance of the pond, it is important to keep your plants healthy and thriving. Be sure to continually remove dead or dying stems and leaves as this will let the plants use nutrients for new leave production and to help them grow. Allowing decaying plant material to die out and decompose on the bottom of your pond will only add to the bio-load and create problems for you in the future. Use a product like AQUATIC PLANT STIMULATOR, see above, to properly fertilize your plants without the need to actually enter the water to fertilize them.
Be sure that your bio-filter system is functioning properly and keeping your water clean. This is a good time to clean your filter media and reseed your system with nitrifying bacteria. See link at the top of this page. Be sure that your UV clarifier is also clean and able to properly kill algae cells. To clean your UV, unplug it and disconnect it from the system. Next mix a solution of 50% clean water and 50% Clorox 2, NOT REGULAR CLOROX, in a clean bucket. Tape one end of the UV and slowly pour the solution into the other end. Do not fill it all the way, just about 50%. Now, place your hand over the other end and shake vigorously back and forth for about 3 minutes. Pour out and repeat. Remove the tape from the UV opening and place your garden hose inside the UV opening. Turn on the water and let it run for at least 5 minutes occasionally turning the UV on one side then the other. Pour out the water and connect your UV back into your system. You should perform this procedure about every 3 months to keep the quartz sleeve from crusting over and becoming ineffective.
Keep debris and leaves out of the pond if your season is such that leaves will shed from trees and enter the pond. Pine cones and needles are a major threat to the overall health of your pond, so keep them out!