Give your Pond a Spring Cleaning! - Coles Pond Store
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Pond Owners Handbook

Give your Pond a Spring Cleaning!

Give your Pond a Spring Cleaning!

After a year or the winter there is likely a lot of sludge and debris at the bottom of your pond! It is very important that this sludge and debris is removed; the health of your pond and fish depend on it.

What will you need?

You will need a hose and pump suitable to drain all the pond water out of the pond. When you start draining the pond, your first step is to fill some buckets or a large Rubbermaid container with pond water as a temporary home for your fish. Once your pond is down to a few inches of water, it would be a good time to start catching your fish. Use a fish net and gently place them into the your container of pond water you just filled up.  Once all the fish are caught, place a small pump or aerator in the bucket/container to keep your fish happy during the clean out process.  Fish can get pretty jumpy being in a new place, so we recommend placing some sort of cover over the fish holding tank.

The next step is where it gets dirty! Now that the pond is empty, you now want to begin removing all the debris and sludge! Depending on how your pond was built there are a few ways to do this.

Liner Bottom

  • If there aren’t any rocks on the sides of the pond rinse everything down so that all of the sludge and debris settles at the bottom of the bottom. Once this is complete you can use a plastic scoop shovel to place debris and sludge in a bucket for removal.
  • Remember! Sludge and Pond debris makes great fertilizer in the gardens!

Rocked Pond

  • This is the type of pond we recommend so that all of your pond liner is aesthetically hidden. Sludge and debris can get locked in-between the rocks, so we recommend using a power washer to blast all the debris and sludge out from in between the rocks.  All debris and sludge will make its way to the bottom of the pond where we recommend using an industrial clean out pump or our Pond Vac to remove all the sludge easily.

file_23_11When power-washing and cleaning remember not to “over do” the cleaning. We do not want to have a “sterile” pond. There are some good bacterias and enzymes in the sludge and algae that we want to keep to help balance the pond later. So it is a bit of a fine line,  if you have questions on this while you are cleaning don’t hesitate to call, or go clean very well and we can always add more good starter bacterias later.

Once the Pond is clean. Clean or replace filter media your filter media. Filter media is normally good for 2-3 seasons. If your pond is using lava rock as a filter, you will also want to power wash this or replace. The pores of lava rock can get clogged and should be replaced every 2-3 years. If you are replacing lava rock you definitely want to consider BioBalls. They work the same as lava rock but never need to be replaced and provide more surface area for beneficial bacterias to grow on.  You will also want to check your pump over. Make sure there is no debris inside the impeller and check for cracks, breaks, and any other damage.

Your next step is to examine the rocks and boulders for shifting around the pond, stream, and waterfall. Look for rocks that may have fallen and re-stabilize so all areas are sturdy and safe if someone were to step on them.

Aquatic Plants and Water Treatments

It is time to check out your aquatic plants and bring up any that you may have sunk to the bottom for the winter. Remove all the dead foliage, check to see if re-potting is needed, and add fertilizer. It is now time to re-fill the pond and add Pond Detoxifer to remove chlorine & other toxins that will affect or kill fish, plants, and beneficial bacteria. Once the water is circulating add beneficial bacteria to re-seed the clean filIMG_1017ters.  The fish can be added back to the pond at this point; be sure to check the fish for wounds and disease.  Also make sure the water temperatures between the holding tank and the pond are acclimated so that your fish aren’t shocked. Liquid Pond Shade may be a good idea to add at this time to reduce algae growth before you plants get growing.

That is it you are done! Enjoy your Pond!

Now, if draining and a full clean out is not an option for you, consider these three options!

  1. Leave the Fish in the pond and preform a 30-50% water change, to remove any toxins and excess nutrients that may have built up over the winter. Again, always add Pond Detox when re-filling. Next you will want to keep sludge under control, add “Muck OFF” now. These tablets are safe and effective blend of bacteria that kill and prevent sludge and algae.  These living microscopic “garbage men” go to work instantly eating the food that algae needs to live.
  2. Rent our Pond Vac for a quick and easy clean out without draining the pond completely and removing the fish.
  3. Call us to do it all for you! Our Clean out crew has the experience and tools to make your pond a clean healthy environment.  Come see us today for advice and everything you need to start a wonderful new pond season!