How to Clean a Pond
Here are some basic steps for how to clean your pond and get it ready for spring. When the weather starts to turn and the birds start to chirp, your pond will start to come back to life. If proper pond maintenance wasn’t handled in the fall and winter you may have a large build up of muck and debris settled at the bottom of your pond. This means your pond is in prime shape for an algae nightmare in the near
If you properly cared for your pond in the fall, you will begin this process by removing your pond net and any leaf debris that has accumulated over the fall and winter months.
You’ll need to have a clean-out pump complete with a hose large enough to deal with some of the muck and debris that has built up at the bottom of the pond. Use some of the water you pump out from the pond to fill your fish holding tanks before letting the rest run off to a spot of your choosing. You may also use this water for flower beds as it is loaded with nutrients that your plants will enjoy. The clean-out pump should be located at the lowest part of the pond. I would recommend moving away some of the gravel to be sure the pump will catch-all the murky water.
As the pond begins to empty you can now use a net (or your bare hands if you happen to have stealth ninja speed) to catch the fish. Use caution when catching the fish as they are probably still in the process of waking up from their winter slumber. Fish, especially koi can tend to be very sensitive to stress, so it is imperative to take your time. Make sure you have adequate aeration in the holding tank, which should be stored in a shady location with a net to prevent them from jumping out. It is not recommended to keep the fish in the holding tank for more than a few hours depending on fish load and size.
As soon as all fish and other wildlife are removed from the pond you can begin to pressure wash the rocks and gravel. Please remember this is not a swimming pool it is an ecosystem pond. The rocks do not need to be scrubbed completely free of every single bit of algae. After pressure washing is complete use a regular garden hose to rinse down any leftover debris on the rocks and gravel. Continue to rinse the pond and pump out murky water until it becomes clear. Once the water becomes clear you may begin to refill the pond.
While the pond is filling you can begin cleaning the filters if you haven’t already had help doing so during the pressure wash. Use a garden hose to rinse excess muck from filter pads and bio-balls or any other filtration media you may have in you skimmer and or biofalls. Ideally you’ll have a shop vacuum on hand to remove any much or debris that has managed to find its way past the filter mats. You should also remove your pump at this time and hose that down as well as inspect for any clogs or debris build up around the impeller. Once complete reattach your pump and put filter media and mats back into place.
Before putting your fish back into their nicely cleansed home be sure to add Pond Detoxifier to remove chlorine and chloramine so the water is safe for the fish. If you have well water this isn’t an issue but i still always add it just to be safe. Make sure to check the water temperature in the holding tank and the pond before reintroducing the fish. Water temperature is imperative as to not “shock” the fish. You may pump out some water from the holding tank and gradually add water from the same tap you used to fill the pond to gradually meet desired temperature.
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