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Fish in winter: The depth of the pond is crucial


From November it is not only plants that have to be winterized - you should also take care of the pond so that the fish living in it survive the winter.

From November it is not only plants that have to be winterized - you should also take care of the pond so that the fish living in it survive the winter.

Squirrels and raccoons gather their winter fat, trees shed their leaves, lawns are mowed one last time and delicate plants are covered with jute or fleece.

But what happens to the fish in the pond during the cold season?

With these tips, they will also get through the winter unscathed.

Fish in the pond: This is how the animals get through frost and snow safely

Colorful fish in the pond look beautiful and are part of the perfect garden picture.

But be careful, the thieving gray heron will find it too.

In addition to a winter-proof garden, a winter-proof garden pond is a prerequisite for the fish to be able to hibernate safely in the pond.

These precautions should be taken by November at the latest:


Fish can overwinter in the pond, but there are a few things to consider.

© stock&people/Imago

  • The pond must be at least 80 centimeters deep so that it does not freeze completely.

    The deeper the better.

  • The pond should be cleaned again using a landing net or a mud vacuum.

    The pond filter must also be cleaned, because this guarantees a better supply of oxygen to the fish.

  • Shut down the pond filter

  • Top up pond water that may have evaporated over the summer

  • Possibly consider a so-called ice preventer.

    These should also enable gas exchange in the pond in winter, so that the fish are sufficiently supplied with oxygen.

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Please do not cut: Ten plants that are not good for pruning in winter

Here all hobby gardeners agree: in winter it is taboo to cut roses.

© Wassilis Aswestopoulos/Imago

Nut trees like the walnut tree should be pruned from spring to June after the leaves have sprout, otherwise they will “bleed” a lot.


It is better not to take chances: Some summer lilacs punish a winter pruning by not flowering © CHROMORANGE/Imago

Ornamental grasses such as feather bristle grass not only protect beneficial insects in winter, they are also better protected from frost if they are not pruned.

© Manfred Ruckszio/Imago

Blooming yellow lavender and blue lavenderBoth lavender and lavender are not cut back in winter.

© Manfred Ruckszio/Imago

Starlings in a plum tree in autumn Stone fruit varieties such as plums can freeze to death on the fresh cuttings.


Coneflower seeds with hoarfrost Most perennials, such as coneflowers, should be left to their own devices in winter.


A hand picks raspberries. Unlike autumn raspberries, summer raspberries should not be pruned in winter.

Otherwise that's it with the harvest.

© Cavan Images/Imago

Blooming farmer's hydrangeaMost types of hydrangea, such as the farmer's hydrangea, produce the flowers for the following year in winter.

If you make the wrong cut here, you will get nothing in the summer.


Flowering forsythia bush with snow Like many early bloomers, forsythia is only pruned after flowering in spring.

© agefotostock/Imago

Fish in the pond: The oxygen is crucial, not the cold

With the low temperatures in winter, the metabolism of the fish also decreases.

At the bottom of the pond, where it is warmest, the animals hardly move and fall into a kind of hibernation.

That's why they don't need any food during this time.

These fish can easily overwinter in the pond:

  • goldfish

  • koi

  • grass carp

  • sturgeon

  • dragon fish

Important: In any case, after each snowfall, the snow should be swept off the ice surface so that light shines into the pond.

According to the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU), when the ice on the pond is clear and there is no snow, sufficient light gets inside the pond, where the plants can produce enough oxygen.

With a thick layer of snow and ice, however, this is impossible and the animals suffocate.

If the pond is already completely frozen and deep enough, the fish can survive as long as enough light shines through.

But if you prefer to be on the safe side and want to make it more comfortable for the animals, you can defrost a small area with hot water and use an ice preventer.

By the way, you should not step on the ice surface, nor should you chop holes, because that only frightens the goldfish unnecessarily.

List of rubrics: © stock&people/Imago

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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