The Tool Barn

Winter Preparations for a Lily Pond

Lily ponds require special preparation for winter time. As the temperature falls, the fish's metabolic rate falls. They need less food and oxygen. In fact, when it gets really cold, you should stop feeding them completely. The level of effort required to winterize a pond depends on where you live and how big the pond is. If the pond is small and will completely freeze, you will have to remove your fish and plants. If the pond will not completely freeze, there are several things that need attention.

Items needed:
Safety Suggestions and Tips
Don't fall in the pond
Level of difficulty

Time Required:
   2 hours


Pull the pump out

Step 1:

The first thing to do is to remove the pump from your pond. You also need to remove and clean your biological filter, if present. The pump needs to be thoroughly cleaned before storing it for the winter.

DO NOT break ice with hammer

Step 2:

Next, the lilies need to be pruned back and moved to the deepest part of the pond. Tropical lilies will likely need to be removed. If you are unsure of a particular plants tolerances, check the tag that came with the plant. The leaves and other debris from fall needs to be cleaned from the pond. As this biological mass deteriorates, it will reduce oxygen levels in the pond that the fish, although dormant, need to survive.

Ice-free spot

Step 3:

Many experts suggest that keeping an area of the surface free from ice is a good idea to facilitate the exchange of gasses from the pond. Many "Backyard Experts" suggest that as long as the pond does not completely freeze, this is not an issue.

DO NOT feed fish during winter

Step 4:

If you decide to use a floating or other heating unit, you should monitor the temperature of the water to ensure it does not get too warm. In addition, if you decide to use this unit, you should not discontinue use in the middle of a cold snap. The sudden change in temperature may kill the fish.

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