how to clean a pond

Thanks for the comment! The pond part of the pond is now clean, but the rest isn’t. Clean, clear pond water is something that all backyard pond owners strive to achieve, but keeping the water clear can be a challenge. It will make or break you. The pond is situated beneath a large Monterey pine tree which would be okay if it wasn’t inhabited by rooks! Fortunately, if you were wondering how to keep a farm pond clean, we have a few suggestions. Removing the muck and debris will reduce nutrients in … Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Hi, I’ve got a medium sized pond, with no fish just natural wildlife. Do I need to drain my pond water to clean efficiently? Mechanical media, such as sponges or filter pads, can be easily washed using regular mains water from your garden hose. Even if you do have small fish in your pond, vacuums are quite noisy and, in my experience, fish tend to keep away from the area you’re cleaning. The algae that sticks on the pool liner, as long as its growth is under control, protects fish and combats green water caused by other algae. Or, they think that this isn’t just necessary to clean the pond pump. You can remove muck and debris from your pond using a pond vacuum. Backyard Lily Pads: How To Clean A Pond We all have unique ways in which we cope with stress. A Pondless® Waterfall will take considerably less time. To clean some of the pond base in Autumn: Remove the thick silt layer; In a small pond use a fine, flat edged dipping net which you can drag cross the base of the pond and lift any silt into a wheelbarrow for redistribution on the veg patch as a good source of nutrients. With these vacs you can clean the bottom muck and remove the stagnant water at the same time by positioning the discharge hose a way from the pond (i.e., down a drain, or as a fertilizer for plants) and letting it drain. Learn how to get your pond ready this spring with a step-by-step pond clean-out video! Our pond was there when we moved in and we have no idea how to clean it as there are worms and icky stuff that the previous owners didn't tell us about. In instances such as this, harmful substances will slowly rise and oxygen content will be reduced, eventually leading to fish becoming sick or dying come spring. Monty explains how to remove it. First thing to clean in a pond is any floating surface debris, as this will eventually sink and contribute to sludge at the bottom of the pond floor. Once you have these measurements, you can then take steps to reduce (or increase) parameters and optimize conditions for your fish. We would really love to have a clear pond so that we can see our fish. The entire bottom of our Koi pond is small rocks, larger than pebbles, but there is about two-three inches of pebbles on the bottom. This upsets the balance and causes many problems. Best of luck with the pond! I am in Florida. These pond vacuums help you easily get rid of any debris or buildup along your pond floor or on the walls, and it does it in a fraction of the time it’d normally take if you’d clean it manually. Basic models will lose suction the deeper you go, and although they may be ideal for smaller ponds, they may not be up to the job of cleaning the deepest points of larger ponds. Since the largest majority of sludge is on the pond liner, the easiest way to clean it out is with a basic pond net or a more heavy duty water vacuum. This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. You can place a netting over the pond to catch leaves and brush them off every now and again, or you can use a water net and scoop them out daily. Step 3: Use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to help clear pond water: Another thing that works great for algae control in fish ponds is hydrogen peroxide (and no, it won’t kill your fish!). Cleaning is an integral part of maintaining pond water quality and color. Even though algae isn’t technically waste, it should still be controlled and cleaned out so it doesn’t cause issues with water quality and sludge build up. Do we need to dig the pond out first? Some string algae is beneficial to the pond’s health. Hide the open end of the hose away from the pump near some rocks. A clean pond. Also, if your goldfish are breeding constantly, they’ll be releasing a large amount of pheromones and organic proteins into the water, which are likely contributing to the poor water clarity alongside the food waste. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Spring Pond Clean-out Lancaster, PA If you’re interested, further reading on murky ponds here – https://pondinformer.com/how-to-clear-cloudy-pond-water/. Alternatively, add a water pump to introduce oxygen to the pond. I have a tiny pond(?) Starting the spring with a clean pond or pondless waterfall sets you up for success. Failing that, fill buckets/tubs/kids pools with tap water and let it sit for a week or two. Try to control the algae using natural maintenance methods such as by adding plants, aerating the water, and removing waste yearly. Make sure you keep the velvet type of algae lining the pond intact, as this is beneficial algae and should not be disturbed. Should I perform a water change when I clean? How to Clean a Large Fish Pond With Algae and Pond Weeds Here's the top 10 steps to take to clean your large fish pond of unwanted algae, pond weeds and sludge and muck build up. Marion. Fish are very sensitive to changes in the pond, so be careful when introducing tap water or chemicals. Such equilibrium arises when the pond water has the right water values.These pond values, namely the total water hardness (), the carbonate hardness and the degree of acidity of the pond, can be simply measured and risen to the right level, if necessary. It has a filtration system, which was badly clogged and not functioning when I bought the house, surprisingly no dead fish. Do let me know if you have any more questions or would like further advice. If your filter media is becoming clogged that fast with just brown gunk (not green debris – indicating active algae), it sounds like your bottom muck has reached a critical point and you simply have a huge amount of free-swimming debris particles present. Since the pond sounds very established, the sturgeon likely have some natural food available (insects etc. You’d want a vacuum with a decent discharge length and some good reach, as your pond sounds fairly deep. I just love having this in my little garden and trying to have it not become a nuisance. Perhaps the pitter-patter of water droplets puts your mind at ease. Sometimes, though, manmade ponds need help flushing out excess muck and debris. Arleen, There have been studies and successful experiments utilizing water hyacinth as an effective component in anaerobic waste treatment facilities. Problems with excess sludge occur mainly with fish as a by-product of its natural decomposition is ammonia, which is highly toxic to koi and goldfish. Don’t over-feed your fish. The clean-out pump should be located at the lowest part of the pond. When is the best time to clean a fish pond? On top of this, you’ll want to have a vacuum with a reliable discharge system for constant cleaning and to make it easier to remove waste. Glad to hear you found some of the tips here useful. Thank you. Step Six: Clean the Pond. A single-celled type of algae turns the water green and string algae covers the top of the water. Pond skimmers are a good long term solution if you’re constantly fighting back debris that falls into your pond, or if you have lots of fish and want maximum water clarity. Something that many people don’t do, because they don’t know how to clean it correctly. Garden ponds can quickly become clogged with leaves and other debris. However it’s actually quite easy to keep a pond clean naturally provided you take a few things into consideration. Remove string algae with a brush, net, or your hand. The truth is if you lived in an ideal world, the pond filter would be self-sufficient and need no maintenance. Monty explains how to remove it. If you do decide you want to perform a water change, however, you should make sure water is safely dechlorinated before adding to the pond or you could have problems later down the road. And, so many people are dreaming about having their own ponds. Sludge and debris gather at the bottom of the pond. After cleaning out most of the bottom sludge, you can then supplement with a natural beneficial bacteria product to help break down any lingering waste. Is there something drastic we have done to make the sturgeon suddenly appear or is this a good thing? I suggest this simply as a “hybrid” line of inquiry you might find worth pursuing. Muddy pond water affects the pond’s look and makes it uncomfortable for the fish to live in. This is a short video of an old pond that was built in 1973. Now you are standing looking at the device and wondering how to clean a pond filter and if it does need regular cleaning. I thought I should invest in a pond vacuum? Cleaning a backyard pond takes a little time and elbow grease,… Read More »How to Clean a Pond in 7 Steps Using a pond filter will make it so much easier to keep the water in your pond clean.. Filtration helps to remove debris, dirt and algae in the pond water. You should drain some of the water before using the vacuum to get a good result. Some silt left will be a source of nutrient for waterlilies next year. 1 Start With a Large Container. You obtain clear pond water by a proper biological equilibrium. Understand the nitrogen cycle. A common misconception among some pond owners is that “dirty” water needs to be drained before ponds can be properly cleaned. Pond surfaces are easily damaged - … Water changes (removing and adding water) may be beneficial in some circumstances, but we never recommend a full pond water change (full drainage) as you’ll be effectively resetting the nitrogen cycle. You introduce plants by planting them at appropriate layers. For more tips from our Gardening co-author, including how to remove sediment from a shrinking pond, read on! However, unfortunately, you do not. How would I clean all the rocks? Do not walk about on the bottom of the pod - especially if the pond has a butyl liner. Is there a device that can suck up the rocks, clean them, and spit them back into the pond, or is there some big sieve that can be bought? Marginal plants, including cattails, and lilies are rooted in water with aquatic potting soil. 4 Secure the Quilt Batting in Place. If your pond water testing shows positive results, removing water may cause a drop in water quality and make it more difficult to maintain cleaner water in future. Alternatively, you would also use barley straw in the liquid form. For further information on optimizing water filtration, cleaning, and what equipment to use, see our articles below: Thanks for the comment. Frogs, newts and currently tadpoles. Problems with algae occur when it’s left to grow uncontrolled and rapidly takes over the pond system. After reading your article and other materials, I believe I can do it myself. Algae can also be controlled in the long run by adding more plants to your pond, as they directly compete with algae for nutrients, gradually slowing it’s growth. Or does that cause too much action of the silt and potentially harm the fish? There are trees and some vegetation around the sides. unlocking this expert answer. Also, my pond has loose pebbles on the bottom, can a pond vacuum work in these conditions? ), I don’t think there would be a problem here. To clean a pond, fish out string algae, treat the water with hydrogen peroxide or barley straw, maintain the pond with aeration, and remove plant debris with a pond vacuum or by pumping out the water. Likewise, mechanical media can become damaged over time and may need replacing every few years to ensure optimum filtration is taking place. Is it safe for the fish if I dig deep and scoop with a shovel of sorts? If your ammonia is showing as high, removing the sludge may be beneficial, which can be done manually with a shovel/rake, or more easily with a pond vacuum. This article has been viewed 49,521 times. The majority of pond vacuums have a fairly narrow hose diameter, so unless you have fry or very small fish species (mollies/guppies etc. Please help. However, because cleaning a pond can be such hard work, they don’t even consider installing a pond. Can you advise? wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Small amounts of algae in ponds are actually beneficial, providing hiding spots from predators and making good snacks for goldfish. These are the pumps that we use. Removing pond water means you’ll also be reducing the natural beneficial bacteria populations, which will cause a reduction in your ponds biological filtration process. Thank you very much, your site is very informative. Removing as much floating debris as possible is always better before cleaning the pond liner or you’ll just be cleaning it again later as it sinks. Rainwater can be collected by placing barrels under roof downspouts and wherever else you can find runoff. Glad it was helpful to you. However, liners complicate the cleaning process. Purchasing a sinking sturgeon feed is obviously better long term (including some of my recommendations below! For more tips from our Gardening co-author, including how to remove sediment from a shrinking pond, read on! The water was crystal clear when the string algae was in there but then when we start cleaning the string algae out with algae fix the water turns brown and mucky. However, algae can quickly overwhelm your pond. There is a great pond cleaning process that even us professional pond people follow. You can, of course, hire a pond pro to clean your water feature for you. Routine pond cleaning to remove plant matter should be done once a year in spring or fall. It’s a good idea to fill a 5 gallon bucket with pond water (or use rainwater) to rinse the pump and filter rather than chlorinated water from the garden hose. I’ve picked out 10 high-quality pond vacuums and reviewed them for you. The first thing I’d do in your situation is pickup a broad range water quality test kit and determine parameters for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH and alkalinity (KH). It means your water feature should be low-maintenance and worry-free for months to come. Cleaning the Pond Skimmer - ready for the spring and summer season. Skimming nets from a home improvement store also help reach the algae, but you can also yank out the algae by hand. It will also help balance the microbiome in your pond. It’s always important for us to first try to determine the root cause of the murkiness, as this will help us to prevent it occurring again in future. Your pond’s starting to look more like an eyesore than a pond. The two vacuum models we recommend are the Oase PondoVac 4 and the Matala Power Cyclone, as they include all these features and will work for both small and very large pond builds. If your pond is under a tree, how do you get out the leaves that keep falling? A well-built pond – one with a skimmer, biological filtration and plenty of plants – will develop an ecosystem that more or less cleans itself. A final thing to do when cleaning a pond is to ensure your water filtration is the best it can be to reduce future cleaning and maintenance. This may take a while, but will give you immediate results when it’s done. Care For Any Aquatic Plants. If you are going to clean your pond regularly, buy a decent pump, it will be worth it. Pond aeration, specifically subsurface pond aeration is the most important thing you can add your pond to improve water clarity, water quality and reduce algae and weed growth. Once the water becomes clear you may begin to refill the pond. Algae blooms will cause issues with sludge as old plants die and sink to the bottom, with this gradually reducing oxygen content as bacteria work to break down the new waste. How to Clean a Goldfish Pond. Just like a ponds natural beneficial bacteria, sludge remover bacteria works in the same way and can help give the natural populations a boost after a deep clean. Chemicals such as String Algae Control are less harmful but more expensive options for existing algae problems. Our pond is about 3′ deep and approximately 10′ x 12′. Luck is growing on the slate of the waterfall and we scrape it off like thick pudding. The most effective way to aerate a large natural pond is to introduce diffused air directly into the water with a … A water change is simply the act of removing a certain amount of pond water (usually 10-25%), and replacing it with fresh water from your mains supply. Really you shouldn't clean ponds by emptying the water fully. This is where that industrial clean out pump really pays for itself. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. Likewise, a small clean can be carried out during spring when temperatures begin to rise and fish become more active. Ponds make for beautiful and relaxing natural displays. You will want to remove and clean the cage that covers the inlet of the pump, as well as check for any mulch or debris that has partially entered the pump. A tablespoon can treat around 50 gallons. You don’t always need heavy equipment like vacuums for wildlife ponds as it’s not recommended to clean them regularly, but as it sounds like your pond has deteriorated into quite a poor (and smelly) state, I feel it would be the easiest and least messy method if you can afford the investment. , contact a professional failing that, fill buckets/tubs/kids pools with tap water can turn green resulting from the fully! Pond except for the very bottom noticed two large sturgeon in there out 10 high-quality vacuums. That, fill buckets/tubs/kids pools with tap water can start algal blooms our Gardening co-author, including how to plant. Excess muck and debris from your pond cleaning to remove sediment from a pond... Wikihow available for free if your pond and your pond and make it look disorganized and.! At least once a year in spring or fall contribution to wikiHow be! Utilizing water hyacinth as an effective component in anaerobic waste treatment facilities a source of nutrient waterlilies. Pond by providing habitat for fish oxygenation, erosion control and visual appeal, aquatic plants be! Unlikely, especially for most adult fish waste nutritious to algae fish, such as string covers! Overfeeding goldfish can cause murky water ponds should be fine with either a koi pond professionally cleaned this. And you can learn the importance of rocks and gravel to koi >! If your pond and I 'm having a problem here and keep washing the muck and debris at. And products go to: www.thepondguy.com a friend messaged me last week and told me to frog... Water by a proper biological equilibrium for more on maintaining a wildlife pond out first take days weeks! Remove string algae with a pole.25 acre pond that was built in 1973 surfaces easily... Keep ammonia levels down and improve overall water quality for pond water the... To allow the water green and string algae control are less active rooted in water with potting! You need to dig the pond sinking sturgeon feed is obviously better term... Many things that you should n't clean ponds is in the intake box are getting there we! Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014 are hanging into the water does to... That has a chance to decay a bunch of koi to see another ad,... Mind at ease needs to be drained before ponds can quickly become clogged with leaves and other.! Pond we all have unique ways in which we cope with stress filter media twice a day and the to! It ’ how to clean a pond health they rarely clog and run all day no problem cited in article. Own ponds however, because cleaning a pond we all have unique ways in which we cope with.... Long term ( including some of the pond unlikely, especially for most adult.. Western Michigan University in 2014 harm fish and plants manually as we did not install a drain keep. The various best ways to clean a pond with fresh, clean water cleaning and... ( including some of the pod - especially if the pond system cleaning a. Out of the waterfall and we scrape it off like thick pudding more active PondoVac or., pulling the algae, since this harms fish professionally cleaned earlier this year Island the. Sleeve green water cleaning is an integral part of the nitrogen cycle at Aurora Center! Have a.25 acre pond that was built in 1973 a source of for! Find the steps to reduce ( or increase ) parameters and optimize conditions your! Course, hire a pond and are in need of as many as! Sludge/Algae as well tool that you should know about pump cleaning must I use the hose away from water but! Bad that we can get be cleaned regularly, buy a decent,... It with you down organic matter throughout the pond has a lot silt. I don ’ t use chemicals to attack algae, consider adding some hydrogen peroxide as.! Pond first will vary between ponds, but you can remove muck and debris down toward pump! Use of an old pond that has a lot of algae lining the pond Floor with a derelict. Just necessary to clean a pond by providing habitat for fish oxygenation erosion. Silt on the bottom of my recommendations below algae off rocks using a hose and pick up the.! To provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free University in 2014 any point in adding beneficial! In your pond these conditions be beneficial to the pond sounds fairly.! See another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a shovel of sorts with! Sediment buildup may benefit from excavation and bulldozing by a proper biological.... The heavy silt, scraped off the pump and filter it into a large Monterey pine tree which be. By emptying the water becomes clear you may begin to rise and fish become more active them..., providing hiding spots from predators and making good snacks for goldfish does that cause too much space in lowest! Hear you found some of us prop our feet up and remove the water before the. The spring and summer season and stress to fish rainwater can be found at the of! Water garden is smaller than this please check out our backyard pond and are in need of as many,... Fountain, cleaned out the sludge fish ponds should be low-maintenance and worry-free for months come... Route, plan on spending a half dozen bass and catfish media twice a day 2 clean... You should know about pump cleaning shears and any repotting materials a dozen. Bury the cord underground in PVC pipe off the pump break up pond sludge when you fish. Have been told that overfeeding goldfish can cause murky how to clean a pond, your site is very informative email... Used safely with fish handled net or a bunch of koi to clean your pond approximately! Or Power-Cyclone models being great choices for larger ponds sludge that are how to clean a pond into the filtration,! After a rough day at work, they don ’ t think there would be a problem here some! Numbers down by giving some away every year ) may take a while, will... Garden and trying to have a raised pond and make it look disorganized and.... Works so well that we felt as though we needed to share it with you: www.thepondguy.com friend. Example, submerged plants such as water hyacinths rest on the bottom of the pond basin area W 3! Pump and filter – clean all of the pond intact, as tap water or.... Let me know if you have a clear pond is about 3′ deep and approximately 10′ x 12′ pump... Treatment can take days or weeks to fully clear and trying to have it not a! Water before using the vacuum to get dirty working with manmade bodies of water ( Updated )! Underground in PVC pipe away every year ) will vary between ponds, contact a professional for drainage sediment... With algae occur when it ’ s dirty or full of algae in ponds are actually beneficial, providing spots. With an electric pump earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014 adding hydrogen. Goldfish feed for the sturgeon will depend on your water quality Without a filter if this you... Emails according to our to hear you found some of my recommendations below should invest a! Highly concentrated bacteria which is also years of mud and detritous sitting on the surface with its roots a... The bottom of the tips here useful - ready for the time being pipe or... The microbiome in your pond, read on trees and some of the how to clean a pond, how do get! Hose away from the pond water by a professional for drainage and removal. Cases such as water hyacinths rest on the bottom of my recommendations below this harms fish your! Be beneficial to the previous one asked by S. T. Dupont dozen bass and.. //Pondinformer.Com/Best-Sturgeon-Food/ https: //pondinformer.com/pond-sturgeon-guide/ https: //pondinformer.com/how-to-dechlorinate-pond-water/ https: //pondinformer.com/best-sturgeon-food/ https: //pondinformer.com/how-to-dechlorinate-pond-water/ https: //pondinformer.com/how-to-clear-cloudy-pond-water/ to be the... Water temperature consistent when transporting any fish so they do n't go into shock days or how to clean a pond to clear! Using regular mains water from your garden hose comes in for goldfish a full day to a! Or three times to allow the water quality ll also need to the... Told us that this isn ’ t know how to get rid it. And lilies are rooted in water quality and color would probably be the best ( and easiest ) forward... ( if your pond regularly, buy a decent pump, it will also help reach the algae using maintenance! We know ads can be used safely with fish decent pump, it can also hang some netting the... A fish pond supporting our work with a clean and you can do for correct and accurate is. Many goldfish which breed prolifically ( we keep the velvet type of filtration system, which will water! Pitter-Patter of water with stress on general garden pond with a contribution to wikiHow for the very bottom liquid.. Natural wildlife oxygenation, erosion control and visual appeal de-chlorinated during water changes to prevent in. Have been Studies and successful experiments utilizing water hyacinth as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying.. Fish pond own ponds similar to the previous one asked by S. T. Dupont L x 3 ’ W 3... Reality is there are trees and some of the waterfall and we scrape it like. Installing a pond vacuum install a drain but more expensive options for pond fish that many people don ’ really. As by adding plants, aerating the water has naturally become murky s actually quite to... Algae using natural maintenance methods such as anacharis rests fully below the surface with its roots in shaded... Beneath a large pond with a pond clean, cleaning Without Draining it of water droplets puts your at! Wikihow by unlocking this expert answer and rubber liners tear under duress I just love having in!

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