Winterizing/Next Season Questions

Sep 12, 2014
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Hey All,

This will be my second winter with our pond ... we bought a house with a pond but never had any idea how many fish we had (if any) and have been slowly but surely restoring the pond ph balance etc. Happy to report the pond is almost clear now :) - found out the old owners were not running the filter clean out (first run ran for 15 minutes until clear!) - now I run it every other week and it even helps the grass grow! We did lost the one fish we had during this summer but I think it was beause the pH balance was off.

I want to break everything down this winter - take the pump out, remove the filter, remove/clean the spout etc. and plan for some upgrades next year. Hoping you could help with a few questions.

First as you can see from the attached, the back right corner is slumping, would take any advice on how to build that back up.

Second, would love to replace the current spout with something really cool, preferably a rock waterfall with lights. Would also take any suggestions there. We recently replaced the pump with a 2100gph pump and the atmosphere it creates out there is great.

Next (and last) - any specific recommendations on how to re-stock the pond with fish (i.e. how many what type) and plant life (i.e. types and quantities).

We live in NJ as I'm sure that might influence your answers.

Don't want to spend a "ton" of money but would like to make it nice out there as we made the decision to keep it a pond vs. filling it in or putting a fountain (which we may want to add to the pond at some point).

I attached a link to the folder with current pictures so please let me know if you can't see them.

Photo folder link:

Thanks very much for your replies!
Sep 14, 2013
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Hardiness Zone
6 A
United States
Welcome! One thing you'll want to do at this time of year, is put a net over your pond, to catch the falling leaves.

I have submersible pumps , so leave them in the pond for the winter. My filter is a pressurized canister filter, so I bring it inside for the winter. There are all kinds of things folks do to winterize their ponds. I'll be using a small aerator and de-icer and a Pond Breather.

I can't advise you on your slumping side of the pond, but others will. I'm sure you can build a beautiful waterfall around the waterfall form you have.
Nov 7, 2014
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Chicago suburbs
Hardiness Zone
I agree about the net. I got tired of scooping leaves and constantly cleaning out the skimmer net last fall, so this year I bought a net and so far, so good--it's keeping 99% of the leaves out with no issues.

Our waterfall is a similar type. The previous owners built up flat stones on top/around it with a pointy triangle-shaped stone sticking out where the falls come down so the water cascades down that. You can see part of it on the left side of my profile pic--the water flows out around the left side of those plants and curves around down to the pond itself.

As for fish, it depends on the size of your pond. Just from eyeballing it, your pond is probably around the same capacity as mine, and right now we have 2 adult koi and a bunch of baby koi (the babies are leaving this weekend, though--a friend of mine is going to take some of them). There were 3 adult koi in there when we bought the house last year (one didn't make it past early spring), and I think the previous owners had 5 adult koi in there before they moved, which to me seems like too many for that size of a pond.

Plants... I had very good luck with irises and corkscrew rush this year. (I'm near Chicago, so we are in somewhat similar climates.) I planted both in plastic pond plant baskets with planting media and they are set on bricks/stones in the pond so that the tops of the baskets are about 2" below the surface of the water. The corkscrew rush tripled in size since I bought it in June, and it was very low-maintenance.
May 5, 2013
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Le Roy, New York
The sinking stones should be able to be reset by taking them out and filling in under them and then putting them back down. It looks like they are sitting on top of the liner so you shouldn't have to disturb the other stones. For the water falls you have plenty of room to build the area up you even have room to make a nice stream leading to the falls. This could be the nicest feature of your pond. As far as the fish go I wouldn't put too many in. In my pond which is 2000 gallons I have two koi, a comet and a shaboinkin. Each fish has it's own name and personality.

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