How to overwinter Koi in a smaller outdoor pond?

CalistaLL

I have a 300 gallon above ground pond (6.8ft long x 4ft wide x 2ft deep) with 2 koi (around 14-16 inches each). I live in Minnesota and winters regularly drop below freezing. I'd like to keep my koi outdoors during winter as moving them inside is such a huge hassle. Would it be possible to overwinter them with this setup if I had an aeration system and heater to keep the ice off? Or would it be too risky for the fish? Would I have to remove the gravel in addition to plants or would it be fine to leave it? What sort of setup would you recommend for overwintering in those conditions?

Any tips or information at all would be much appreciated! Thanks!
 

Coradee

Giving this a bump up for you hope our pond keepers can help answer your questions today
 

kanzekatores

I have a 300 gallon above ground pond (6.8ft long x 4ft wide x 2ft deep) with 2 koi (around 14-16 inches each). I live in Minnesota and winters regularly drop below freezing. I'd like to keep my koi outdoors during winter as moving them inside is such a huge hassle. Would it be possible to overwinter them with this setup if I had an aeration system and heater to keep the ice off? Or would it be too risky for the fish? Would I have to remove the gravel in addition to plants or would it be fine to leave it? What sort of setup would you recommend for overwintering in those conditions?

Any tips or information at all would be much appreciated! Thanks!
Interesting question. I was looking into outdoor ponds myself, but there's an issue of it being too close to the house foundation. This temp problem in the winter had occured to me. I'll be watching. See what people have to say.
 

saltwater60

First off one koi needs a thousand gallons alone so your pond is way too small for any koi at all. Those are some large koi too.
To answer your question the trick is to keep the pond from freezing over completely. If that happens all fish will die. I live in Buffalo, NY and I just keep my pump running since moving water doesn’t freeze. Some people use bubblers, some use heaters design for this. All will work and there are positives and negatives to all.
You won’t t need to remove anything but some plants overwinter and some don’t.
 

CalistaLL

First off one koi needs a thousand gallons alone so your pond is way too small for any koi at all. Those are some large koi too.
To answer your question the trick is to keep the pond from freezing over completely. If that happens all fish will die. I live in Buffalo, NY and I just keep my pump running since moving water doesn’t freeze. Some people use bubblers, some use heaters design for this. All will work and there are positives and negatives to all.
You won’t t need to remove anything but some plants overwinter and some don’t.

Thanks for the input. I know the setup is small, I'm currently looking into larger more permanent options. Do you know what some of the positives and negatives of each would be?
 

saltwater60

If yours is only 2’ deep I’d do something that moves water. Bubbles or pump. The negatives is the water flows and if the pond was deeper the lower depths could be warmer of the water wasn’t turning over. I’ve just kept my pumps running in my ponds for about 15 years now and had very minimal issues.
only one spring I had issues because it was a super long cold rainy spring and stayed cold very long. Koi should not be fed until water temps are above 50F so remember that. Also koi’s immune systems don’t get going until about 50 as well so make sure you clean the pond well before it freezes over as that will help things in spring.
 

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