By this time our ponds in New Jersey have been netted to keep those leaves out of the pond. In addition you have more than likely added some form of aeration and deicer. If you have not prepared your pond for the winter yet please read Will your pond be ready for Fall and Winter?.
So now we ask ourselves, what are the fish going to do all winter? We all know what they do during the spring and summer because we get to enjoy them and interact with our fish friends all season. The winter time is a mystery as most of our ponds are covered by ice and snow and the only shot of water you may get is through the hole in the ice being left by our aerator or deicer.
Fish are cold blooded animals so as the temperature in the pond begins to drop so does there metabolism. They won’t eat much and we want to stop feeding them. Your pond fish will tend to “huddle” together in the deepest and warmest part of the pond. It almost looks as though they are trying to keep each other warm. They don’t do much, they are almost hibernating, but not a full hibernation. They will begin to move if we have some warmer days. Your pond fish will also not eat.
In addition to their metabolism slowing down the immune system also becomes weaker due to the colder temperatures. With their immune system much weaker your pond fish are also much more susceptible to diseases during this time of year. This is why it’s so important to make sure your pond is clean and free of decaying debris such as leaves and aquatic plant die back. A dirty pond will allow many harmful bacteria to grow and harvest in the pond which could ultimately affect the health of your fish during the winter time.
So to answer the question: What do my pond fish do in the winter? Not much. They are pretty much hibernating and resting through the winter. The preparations we make in the fall and winter are imperative to their survival throughout the winter.
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Over the last 18 years, Clay has been involved in landscaping and aquascaping, which led him to his passion, POND BUILDING and opening A Frog’s Dream in 2006. His true passion is to create works of art for others to enjoy and marvel at in the privacy of their own backyards.