What Happens to Turtles and Frogs in the Winter?

Today was a reminder of just how brutal Winter can be – the car said it was a balmy 1° this morning on my way into work. Add in the wind chill and my freezer at home would feel positively comfy in comparison. When temperatures drop this low, some may wonder what happens to fish, turtles and frogs in the winter?

The cold is bad enough for us, and we have the equipment and technology to keep ourselves from freezing. Other warm blooded animals cope with the lack of warmth and food by hibernating. A bear will store up enough calories in fat to stoke her inner fire for months, find suitable shelter then go into suspended animation, lowering her temperature and metabolic functions to the very minimum needed to stay alive. She will ‘sleep’ thus until she runs out of stored fuel. She’s bet the farm that it will be warmer by then.

Cold blooded critters don’t generate inner heat. Their core is going to be the same as the temperature outside. So what happens to the various crawling, hopping and swimming critters in your pond when temps drop below freezing? They have to deal with freezing temperatures very differently than us warmbloods.

Frozen pond in the winter
Photo by Monica Malave on Unsplash

Fully aquatic animals and fish can hibernate in much the same way as warmbloods if the water is deep enough that it doesn’t freeze solid around them and there is sufficient oxygen. They take advantage of water’s unique properties. First, water can hold a lot more oxygen the colder it gets, so they can simply absorb it through gills and skin without physically moving to breathe. Then, the water at the bottom of the pond is always warmer than the ice on top, because unlike every other compound on the planet, frozen water is less dense than liquid water. Ice floats, right? Water is actually at its densest, and therefore heaviest, at a balmy 39 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s cold enough to slow the metabolism of fish, frogs and aquatic turtles way down, decreasing oxygen demand, but warm enough for them to simply hang out under the ice.

I watch my Koi just float, mostly motionless, through the icy window covering my pond. Turtles need so little oxygen they can sleep burrowed in the muck. Native Leopard Frogs need their skin exposed to absorb oxygen; they just sit on the bottom staring, waiting for Spring.

But how do terrestrial cold bloods deal with cold winters? They can’t take advantage of those ‘warm’ bottom waters insulated under ice and snow, they’d drown. They can’t hibernate because they don’t produce any inner heat to keep from freezing. These guys have to ‘brumate’. Their metabolism drops to near zero, they don’t breathe, their hearts may even stop beating and they partially freeze – then revive themselves in the Spring.

The challenge they face is to keep ice from forming inside the cells of their organs when temps drop. Ice crystals are sharp, and water expands when freezing, which would damage or destroy cell structures and burst cell membranes, killing the animal. Frogs, turtles and a number of other animals can partially freeze without damage the same way you winterize an RV – by filling the most critical structures with antifreeze.

Turtle with head sticking out of pond
Turtle Photo by Chris F from Pexels

As temps drop, they dump excess water inside their cells, expelling it into the spaces between the cells. Then they flood the cells with glucose, creating a concentrated sugar solution that resists freezing well below 32 degrees F. At the same time, special proteins bond to ice crystals in the water around the cells, blocking the individual crystals from attaching to each other. The water around the cell can freeze but the ice crystals stay in suspension instead of clumping together, keeping the ice from solidifying and harming the animal.

Frog sitting in pond
Photo by Fatih Sağlambilen from Pexels

In this way, frogs can literally be 70% frozen, cocooned in mud all winter, not breathing, heart stopped, looking dead to the world. When Spring arrives they defrost, their lungs and hearts resume activity and they pop out of the mud unharmed. In fact, the sight of frogs and toads emerging from the ground as it thawed gave rise to the ancient notion that they were literally made of mud, a myth that wasn’t dispelled until the 18th century.

So, don’t worry about that frogsicle you thought croaked – chances are he will rise to croak again.  


DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

A-O Pro Tip – Koi Pond Layout, How to Improve Circulation with Art of the Yard

We’re back with another video for our Learn From The A-O Pro’s series! Today’s video features Shane Hemphill from Art of the Yard showing us a cool koi pond layout and how to improve circulation in your pond!

Contractor, Shane Hemphill, showing the build site and plans for a koi pond

This tip comes from a dedicated koi pond project in Colorado Springs done by Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractors from Art of the Yard. We had Atlantic-OASE staff visit Art of the Yard during their build to catch some awesome A-O Pro Tips!

A-O Pro Tip #13 – Koi Pond Layout, How to Improve Circulation with Art of the Yard

In our 13th A-O Pro Tip, Shane Hemphill, owner of Art of the Yard shows us what his team installs to help keep water moving and circulating in their koi ponds.

Watch the video here!

In the video Shane explains that to eliminate the stagnant area the pond previously had, they installed bottom drains, skimmers and jets. The plan for the pond was to install two bottom drains and two skimmers on opposite sides of the pond.

Skimmer installed into the side of a pond
Skimmer installed into the side of a pond

With the help of a Demi Fortuna’s A-O Pro Tip from an earlier video, Shane shows us how they installed the two skimmers to the side to help pull the water around the pond. Both skimmers are placed in different directions to keep the water flowing. Watch Demi’s tip here: A-O Pro Tip – Hiding a Skimmer with Demi Fortuna.

Shane also notes that good circulation and no stagnant areas are key to a healthy environment for koi fish so, make sure you get your water moving!

Want to be featured in the next A-O Pro Video?

We’re looking for contractors with awesome tips and tricks for our A-O Pro Tips videos and we want to visit you at your builds! Want to be the star of our next tip video? Tell us what upcoming water feature builds you have planned and what A-O Pro tips you have for us and we’ll send someone from the Atlantic-OASE team out to video you and your work!

Contact your Regional Sales Manager to learn more on the A-O Pro Series. Not sure who your Regional Sales Manager is? Contact us at marketing@atlantic-oase.com

Stay tuned for more A-O Pro Tips here on the blog and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube so you don’t miss out on all the Learn From The A-O Pro’s videos!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

Celebrating National Pet Day with Your Water Feature’s #1 Fans

April 11th is National Pet Day and we’re celebrating the best way we know how – by showing the internet the cutest furry friends loving their water features!

This pup parading through his new pond

Liquid Landscapes Inc. wrote an article in POND Trade Magazine about building a water feature for his client, Stella, to play in! Read it here.

Because who are we kidding? The real reason we install ponds are for our pets!

Art of the Yard creates ponds for all wildlife, pets included!

Hawksley loved visiting Atlantic’s water garden at the old building in Mantua!

Waterfall loving dogs

Big or small, all of our contractor’s dogs love their waterfalls!

Little white dog standing on a waterfall

American River Waterscapes‘ cutest mascot!

Our Atlantic-OASE Staff have some water feature loving pets too!

Tyson & Moose are some happy and hydrated hounds!

Cooper loves playing in his mini fountain and pond!

Bailey is always hanging by the pond!

Thor treats his fountains as his own personal drinking bowls!

Brewster loves his bubbling fountains!

We hope you celebrate National Pet Day with your furry family members! And if you don’t have a water feature for your pet, give your pet the best National Pet Day gift and install one for them!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

Spring May Have Sprung, but We’re Not Free of Winter Just Yet…

hungry koi fish

March came in like a lion this year – when it wasn’t snowing it was blowing, cold and hard. Things are finally starting to warm up, with temps above freezing here in Long Island, giving some hope for the month going out like a lamb. But Winter hasn’t let go its grip just yet. As the crocuses bloom and the buds start to swell, the thermometer in my pond tells a cold, cruel tale. The water is still closer to freezing than the minimum temperature my fish need to be able to digest their food.

Mind you, they are doing their best to convince me otherwise. They come over when I approach the feeding rock, hopefully blowing bubbles at the surface just in case I’ve thrown any food in. The Koi are hungry, and they should be. They haven’t eaten since before Thanksgiving. All they’ve lived on for the last four months is the fat they stored up for winter. They don’t look so fat now. They are at the last of their reserves. So, why not feed them? Not much, “joost a taste”, like Grandma use to say? 

Well, that kindness, done for all the right reasons, would quite possibly kill them. Fish are cold-blooded; their internal temperature matches that of the surrounding water. Their digestive processes involve the activity of bacteria, just as ours do, that help break down the food they eat into compounds that are readily absorbed by the gut. Those bacteria are sensitive to temperature; they slow waaaay down when temps are low. The food ferments and decomposes before it can be digested, and the byproducts of decomposition can be lethal. Ever had food poisoning? Excruciating pain, cramps, fever and worse? Well, that’s what happens when food rots inside you, or your koi. These last few weeks make me nervous. This is the time of year that I’ve lost fish in the past, once when a fish attacked by osprey couldn’t fight off an ensuing infection, once when a late snowfall-and-road-salt event washed salt into the pond as the piles on the nearby road melted, and once when well-wishers sneaked food into the pond. (Oh, they were sooo HUNGRY, the poor things.) Not anymore.

The beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion slowly come up to speed as temps warm. It’s generally accepted that over 55 degrees the chance of a fatality due to feeding drops to near zero. That said, please help your fishes’ awakening systems by feeding fish an easily digestible food based mainly on carbohydrates, usually labelled Spring-and-Fall mix. Bear in mind that their immune systems are at the lowest level all year; maybe a stressful cleanout can wait for a few weeks? A fish that bruises itself or loses scales when she is startled and slams into a wall is at higher risk now than at any other time. Resist the temptation, no matter how much they beg; Spring is right around the corner. 

Read more about spring and your pond in our blog: Spring Is For Sprucing!


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

The Wearing of the Green – Algae in the Spring

Yesterday was Saint Patrick’s Day, when we mark the anniversary of his death by celebrating the Green Isle and all things green. What better time to talk about green water, right? Here are some interesting facts about that wonderful plant, algae, we all love to hate, and maybe even some more reasons to love the green!

pond algae

Algae are not plants. Many are single cells with a simple chloroplast, the machinery behind the magic of photosynthesis. They share that capacity with plants, that wondrous ability to turn carbon dioxide and water into sugar using the power of sunlight, but they don’t have stems, leaves, roots or organs. Neither are they bacteria, though it is thought it may have arisen when a bacterium stole a chloroplast from a cyanobacterium, creating the first algal cells over one BILLION years ago. The term ‘algae’ actually refers to many entirely different lineages of organisms, some of which are multicellular, others which thrive under the ice cap, or are red or purple in color, or live inside corals, or lichens or even the fur of polar bears.

This loose conglomeration of not-quite-plants is home to anywhere between 72,000 and 1 MILLION species, depending on who’s counting. Multicellular macroalgae come in three different colors – red, green and brown – and we know them mainly as seaweed, like kelp and sea lettuce. But the vast majority are microalgae, the little one-celled devils that make water green (or red or pink or brown), and there are tens of thousands of species of them.

Why do algae matter? Because the world runs on algae, in just about every sense. Need oxygen to live? Many of us do. Algae create 50% of all the oxygen in the atmosphere. Ever get hungry? You’d be a lot hungrier without algae. All seafood is ultimately sustained by it, the base of both marine and freshwater food pyramids. The Koi in your pond could live directly just on algae. And, since every land plant descended from algae, and every land animal depends on land plants for sustenance, either directly as an herbivore or omnivore, or indirectly as a predator of herbivores, you could say we all owe our existence to algae. On a more approachable level, the oil that powers our cars and industry is mainly the product of the decomposition of immensely deep beds of dead algae. And going forward, the biofuels of the future will be directly produced by – you guessed it – algae.

So the next time you see that tinge in the water, instead of shaking your shillelagh in frustration, maybe you should celebrate ‘the wearin’ of the green’!

Check out our blog for more articles on spring, algae and other helpful tips and tricks the water garden industry here!


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Spring Is For Sprucing!

It’s here! Spring! Well, meteorological Spring anyway. I personally can’t wait until the solstice, probably because it’s 23 degrees with a 40-mile-an-hour wind this morning. For those of us who endure winter without running water features, it’s time to start thinking about getting ponds started back up again.

Even if you don’t freeze for winter, Spring is the perfect time for seasonal maintenance. Pumps should be pulled, cleaned and serviced if needed. Diffusers in shallow water that kept ice from sealing the pond can be moved back into deeper water. Filter pads in pond systems can be cleaned if they weren’t in the fall. Remember to clean only half in chlorinated water. Rinse the others only in pond water, and don’t let them dry out, to preserve the bacteria living in them. Put the rinsed mats back into the bottom of upflow biofilters, to quickly reseed the cleaned mats above them.

Your plants will appreciate some attention too. They may just need pruning and feeding with Pondtabbs, or they might benefit from a replanting. If you’re careful, they may never realize they’ve been moved, but will reward you with better growth and blooms in season. To accelerate the growth of waterlilies, keep them close to the surface early in the season, so the leaves are in the warmest water. As the rest of the pond gradually warms, you can then drop them down into deeper water. 

Debris that builds up over winter is likely to contribute to nutrients in the water, just as water warms. Algae blooms can be common this time of year, before other plants wake up and compete for nutrients. Now is the perfect time to replace your ultraviolet lamps. They may still be emitting visible light, but they decline in UV output after a year and aren’t effective. A new bulb now keeps algae at bay, right when you need it most.

One thing I personally don’t like doing is a major cleanup in Spring. My fish have had to overwinter under ice. They started their fast fat and happy, but that was four months ago. They are thin and stressed and their immune systems are at low ebb – this is not the time to mess with them. We do our major cleanup in the fall, after the leaves are mostly down. I may go in with a PondoVac and pull out some lingering leaves, but it’s more likely we’ll wait until temps are higher and my fish are feeding again (above 55 degrees Fahrenheit).

Contractors, as for the spring major cleanup money that you may be giving up, there’s no shortage of work in the spring. A quick vacuuming in addition to the steps above can be quite satisfactory all around and a lot less time-consuming, at a time when all your customers want to see you. Set up a follow-up later in the spring for your needier jobs, and have your customers work on a wish list of extras. Two trips will be better than one.

Happy Spring! 


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

An Innovative Wetland for Innovation Day

Did you know February 16th is Innovation Day? Perfect timing again! I mentioned an “innovative” use of Eco-Blox in a blog celebrating World Wetland Day February 2nd. I think it only appropriate that I expand on that innovative use this week.

To start with, let’s look at the word. According to Oxford Languages, the group that publishes the Oxford English Dictionary (my mom’s favorite), “innovation” means ‘featuring new methods; advanced and original’. Water matrix blocks were themselves the very definition of innovative when they were invented by Humberto Urriola, who came up with the idea of a modular drainage cell back in 1984. His Flo-Cell® was a flat three-dimensional mat that, in various configurations, captured, transported and held stormwater long enough for it to percolate back into the ground, recharging fragile aquifers, critical given the climate and erosion issues Down Under.

Almost four decades later, water matrix blocks are still used for stormwater mitigation and rain harvesting, but the latest innovation involves using their storage capacity to capture and remove even the finest sediments suspended in pond water. They’ve been used to trap sediments in dual chamber rain harvesting systems before, but this is a different application, one that combines the physics of sedimentation with the advantages of upflow bogs.

The idea is simple. First, the physics in a nutshell, because the math is beyond me. When velocity drops, solids drop out. Pump solids-laden water into an Eco-Blox chamber that’s only open at the top, with lots of partitions, and cover the top with a thin layer of gravel. The water slows to nothing if the chamber’s big enough, and forcing the water to exit upwards, through the gravel, ensures that virtually all sediments will drop out of suspension and stay in the chamber.

And sediment is only half the issue. Dissolved organics and minerals in the water, which would have fueled algae blooms, pass through that same gravel bed. Billions of bacteria thriving in the well-oxygenated nutrient-rich water strip out ammonia and nitrites, excreting nitrates right where the roots of plants spreading through the gravel can absorb them. The plants will also thrive, the water will be stripped of all organics and algae will never get a foothold.

Standard stuff, but the innovation is in the details. The appropriate number of Eco-Blox for the volume to be cleaned, the correct flow into the chamber, the right thickness to the gravel bed, the optimal plants for the artificial wetlands –that’s all pretty straightforward. The innovation is in the delivery of the sediment laden water, and the flushing of the accumulated solids in the chamber.

The delivery is a matter of shaping the bottom to accumulate solids near bottom drains, and plumbing the skimmers to pull water off top and bottom to deliver wastes to the chambers. But, you may say, there are lots of ways to gather sediments, and any gravel bed will trap them, both valid points. The trick is keeping the gravel from clogging, channeling and going septic when oxygen can’t penetrate the accumulating goop. That’s the huge advantage to creating these Eco-Blox bogs, and upflow is the key. 

Traditional downflow bogs pull water through a large volume of gravel, often feet thick, to trap organics for years, but over time channeling renders them less effective. Anaerobic zones build up with no easy way to clean them out. Downflow grids of perforated pipe, covered with a thinner layer of gravel at the bottom of ponds, address these issues, but the grids tend to clog over time and are relatively inaccessible.

Eco-Blox sediment traps are designed to efficiently collect both top and bottom water via skimmers and bottom drains, separate out solids as water passes up and out, then clean easily, flushing sediments out onto grade by turning a valve. The continuous automatic capture and easy removal of solids is the innovation. Monthly maintenance consists of turning a valve or opening a threaded cap for a couple of minutes, to flush the accumulated wastes out where they can be dried and collected – that’s some black gold there.

It’s no wonder that Botanical Gardens appreciate the idea. A filtration system based on plants that cleans and clears vast volumes of water, with no moving parts except multiple magnetic induction pumps, powerful and efficient, inexpensive to buy and run, housed in easily accessed skimmers that require only to be emptied of leaves on a weekly basis? And the system can collect the fertile organic sediments and dry them in a free-draining gravel bed at grade, whenever compost is needed?

Eureka!

Case in point: the Botanical Garden in Culiacan Sinaloa Mexico used riverwater to feed their Victoria Pool, where they showcased the leaves and blooms of the world’s largest waterlily and other aquatics. The 225’ x 30’ pool, about 3’ deep, had a number of serious leaks, so it was constantly being refilled with muddy water that never cleared. The water was so turbid from both mud and algae that you couldn’t see your hand with your arm in up to your elbow. Two 8” weirs that spanned the width of the pool upstream and downstream of the angular bridge provided the only circulation. They had installed a 10hp irrigation pump drawing about 8000 watts an hour, but had to valve it back because the high-head pump cavitated otherwise, so they couldn’t keep the whole weir covered with water. (If that sounds like a foreign language, check out this article I wrote in POND Trade Magazine, Flow, Friction and Total Dynamic Head: A Pump and Plumbing Primer for Ponds)

I’ll tell you what we did – next time.


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

OASE Aquarius Fountain Sets

Meet one of the newest products here at Atlantic-OASE: The Aquarius Fountain Sets!

OASE Aquarius Fountain Sets are the perfect product for owners of small water gardens and ponds. Four sizes of units circulate up to 1100 gallons, returning the water in one of two different ways – via fountain head or through a side outlet, which can divert water to an optional decorative spitter or spout.

The fountain head comes with three inserts that create different patterns in water from 10” to 24” deep. The Bell insert throws out a clear dome of water, the Vulkan a double tiered fleur de lis display and the Magma, a directional arched spray of five individual streams. All can be adjusted via the ball joint on the telescoping tube that also varies the height of the fountain head. A valve shunts water between the upright tube and a separate side outlet, to accommodate a variety of water return options.

Bell Nozzle

Vulcan Nozzle

Magma Nozzle

Setup is simple. Select the water return option you prefer, attaching the fountain head insert or hose and drop the one-piece unit into the pond. The swiveling ball joint allows perfect vertical alignment even on sloped bottoms.

Maintenance is as easy as setup. A ribbed screen keeps leaves from clogging the pump intake. When the flow slows, just pull the unit from the water and rinse off. A grounding plate protects from stray current, and the pumps are thermally protected for long service life.

Learn more about the Aquarius Fountain Sets here.


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Never Too Late To Add Aeration

Seasonal Tip – How how to install an aerator AFTER the pond ices over.


Winter presents a number of challenges in the water garden. Ice dams may divert water out of the stream. Ice drops the water level in the pond. The cold itself puts major stress on fish and plants, not to mention people. But the single most damaging effect of the cold happens when ice seals the pond off from the atmosphere.

When oxygen cannot diffuse into pond water, fish and the other animals in the pond will suffocate. Possibly even worse, toxic gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, will build up and poison everything in the water. Luckily the solution is simple. Any hole in the ice will allow for gas exchange in both directions, keeping the pond and its inhabitants healthy over the winter.

It’s pretty well accepted these days by contractors and pond owners alike that aeration is the simplest, most effective and least costly way to keep a hole free of ice. Set at the edge of the pond in shallow water, the circulation caused by rising bubbles will maintain a small hole in the ice without cooling the water unnecessarily. But what happens if you forget to put a diffuser in before the pond ices over?

The last thing you want to do is smash a hole in the ice with a hammer! The shock waves in the closed system will transmit the shockwaves directly into the fish, stunning and perhaps even killing them. One less forceful and less damaging way of opening a hole in ice for gas exchange is to use hot water. You can pour hot tap water directly onto the ice.


For larger diffusers or thick ice use a pot or kettle with a diameter at least as large as the diffuser. Fill it with water and bring it to a boil, then set it on the ice near the edge of the pond. For very thick ice you may have to repeat the process. Once the hole is open and the diffuser set, you can relax for the rest of the winter, knowing your fish will be safe!


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Caring For Aquatic Plants For Every Season

Nature can be punishing when bad chemistry or persistent disease from an imbalanced ecosystem throws a pond into chaos. A slight miscalculation or delay in addressing the cause and all can be lost; life itself relies on knowledge of plants and how we take care of their aquatic environment.

With every season comes a list of must-do’s, can’t-it-waits and let’s-hope-it-doesn’t-happens. Creating an evolving things-to-do list, by season, should minimize risk to aquatic plants.

Spring

After spring blasts us from hibernation to assess our pond’s winter damage, we break out our work ethic and tools of the trade and begin the transformation of spring cleaning.

After all, your home extends beyond your house. Pond plants rely on a pond’s ecosystem to ensure a healthy environment during their most active months. Divide and repot plants, when applicable, and introduce new marginal, bog and floater plants—whichever might bring balance to the habitat. But take note: the pond also expects the plants to do their part. Plants with deep roots break down toxins and excessive nutrients into needed oxygen. So the entire ecosystem needs to be on its best behavior and work together.

Perhaps the most impactful spring chore is a thorough vacuuming of the pond from top to bottom. The PondoVac series from OASE—PondoVac Classic and the PondoVac 3, 4 & 5—will remove large debris including leaves and anything else that accumulated over the fall and winter months. This simple chore provides pond plants a good start to the season.

Summer

A good deadheading of aquatic plants, on a consistent basis throughout the summer, helps keep the pond neat and tidy. Remove any foliage that is browning, leaning or deteriorating into the pond. FlexiCut 2 in 1 with it’s adjustable head makes deadheading an easy chore without risk to the pond liner. This reduces debris build-up in the pond and provides room for new plant growth. Keep the pond free of debris with the OASE PondNet for skimming or OASE EasyPick pond pliers with a telescopic handle to remove leaves and small branches.

The summer season also demands maximum aeration to prevent mosquitos and algae blooms and a range of threats to aquatic plants. Water gardens are ideal habitats for a variety of freshwater plants and pond creatures, but only if that pond offers sufficient oxygen levels through aeration.

Waterfalls are effective for aeration and serve to beautify, too. Expect the waterfall to attract birds and other grateful inhabitants to pond banks. OASE offers energy efficient pond and waterfall pumps with advanced technology that ensure a clean and clear waterfall with stable oxygen levels. These pumps work to reliably circulate water with extremely low energy output. Try the OASE waterfall spillway—it’s durable, low maintenance and blends seamlessly into the background. But it’s impact is impressive.

Fall & Winter

Remove pond plants from plant shelves and place them in a lower/deeper section of the pond to ensure roots don’t freeze. Not all plants take kindly to submersion through the winter—some require a temporary new home until the spring returns and the sun and warmth are here to stay.

Fall is also a season to divide aquatic plants, including water lilies and iris. Continue to ensure your pond is free of debris from falling leaves—another task for the OASE EasyPick. Remove dying plant foliage from the pond with the OASE FlexiCut 2 in 1 as it can eventually pollute the water. After plants have ceased growing, cut back and lower the pot to the bottom of the pond.

Some tropical plants can bloom throughout winter if brought inside and kept in a tub container with at least six hours of light—or remove the tuber from the pot after the foliage has died.

All aquatic plants are different so it’s important to research the specific needs of each plant. Luckily, resources are aplenty. The 21st century has brought technology—efficient, economical, user-friendly technology. Solutions to every pond plant scenario are hashed out online by water garden enthusiasts.


Original OASE Living Water article can be found here.