Koi ponds are beautiful additions to a Minnesota backyard in the summertime. But how do the fish survive a Minnesota winter?
I have sold a few homes with ponds and waterfalls that hold beautiful koi, a fish that resembles a giant goldfish. One sale took place in the dead of a Minnesota winter. Thank goodness the buyers were “koi-experts”. They knew if the pond wasn't properly winterized, the fish could all be dead under the ice.
Of course when I looked at the pond, I figured they had to be goners already. It can get very cold in January and February and we hit some brutally low temps that year. But the pond and fish did survive because the seller did take proper steps in the fall.
Well it’s that time of year again and if you do have a koi pond in your Minnesota backyard, it’s time to prepare your pond for the winter ahead.
Here are a few important tips to help your Koi Survive the Minnesota Winters.
Clean the Pond—Before the water temperature of the pond drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, vacuum all sludge and debris from the bottom of the pond. Test and treat for parasites and bacteria.
Shut off Water—When temps drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit make sure all water sources are off and pipes drained. The water must cool to keep reduce the body temperatures of the fish.
Don’t Allow to Freeze—Use a de-icer or aerator to maintain a small hole in the ice to remove toxic gases like ammonia that will accumulate under the ice.
Don’t Feed—Once pond water hits 55 degrees Fahrenheit and stays at that temp day and night for 10 days, it is time to stop feeding and shut off the water.