Making koi ponds winter-proof - 4 important tips for koi lovers

Making koi ponds winter-proof - 4 important tips for koi lovers

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They are majestic, but by no means easy to maintain: is the koi pond e.g. not properly winterized, the joy of the animals can quickly disappear.


We don't need to explain why koi carp are so popular all over the world. After all, hardly any fish impresses with so many different colors and drawings as the Nishikigoi (literally “brocade carp”). It is therefore not particularly surprising that more and more garden pond owners say goodbye to the goldfish and prefer to create a koi pond instead. Not least because the animals have something noble about them. In the past, the nobles even held them as status symbols.

However, there is a small problem: Koi carp are beautiful, majestic animals - but they are not very easy to care for. And that, in turn, is forgotten by many and the animals are completely rash. And that in turn often takes revenge during or after winter. Because if you don't make your koi pond really winter-proof, you shouldn't be surprised if the animals don't make it through the cold season. There are a few things to consider here.

Tips for overwintering koi carp

In themselves, koi are quite robust animals. You tolerate e.g. Temperatures from four to 30 degrees without problems. However, you should know that water has its greatest density at a temperature of four degrees and is therefore the heaviest at this temperature. Accordingly, the warmest layer (with four degrees) is at the bottom of the koi pond. And this warm layer needs to be preserved. The tips below show how it works.

➤ Tip 1 - keep a spot free of ice:

You should always keep a place in the pond free of ice. The purpose of this is to enable you to watch your koi in winter and to treat them in the event of illnesses. Keep part of the ice in the koi pond free, and also ensure that the fermentation gases escape and gas exchange can take place.

To keep a spot in the pond ice-free, it is best to buy a pond heater. You can buy such a device in three different wattages from Schego, for example at Otherwise you can also use styrofoam ice-free holders. These work without cables and pumps and still effectively keep an area of ​​the pond free of ice. You get ice-free holders made of polystyrene, for example on in different sizes and above all also quite cheap to buy.

➤ Tip 2 - cover the koi pond:

To prevent the garden pond from cooling down too much, you should also cover it. For this, e.g. Bubble wrap, polystyrene or PE pond balls are best. The latter variant has the advantage that the balls let snow and rain through, do not fly away and do not hinder gas exchange (more information on

Of course, you can also combine several variants if you e.g. do not have the possibility to store many PE pond balls. Then cover e.g. simply part of your koi pond with polystyrene and the other part with the PE pond balls.

➤ Tip 3 - switch off / remove pond technology:

Adjust the water inlet in winter so that the water from the filter cannot flow into the deep region. So it cannot mix with the warmer water and the fish do not disturb the winter rest during the water flow. Also close the floor runners and remove the pumps and fans from the deep region.

On top of that, you can also switch off the UVC system or even remove it completely from the pond, since at water temperatures below ten degrees there is no longer any growth of algae.

➤ Tip 4 - Feed Koi carp correctly:

In winter or at low temperatures, the koi's metabolic activities decrease in order to save energy. Accordingly, you should or need to feed your animals little in winter. It is also important that you use feed that is adapted to the temperature conditions. There is a special winter food for sale that sinks to the bottom of the pond. So the animals do not have to move around much and do not have to come to the cold water surface to eat.

Important: do not scare animals!

Never disturb your koi carp during their winter rest. Otherwise you could trigger a chain reaction. Cause e.g. loud noises, these can cause your koi to startle, move frantically through the pond, they consume a lot of energy and thus do not survive the winter.