Pond Clean Out

Is a Pond Clean Out Necessary?. A full pond clean out may not be necessary if the proper filtration and pond systems are installed. In many cases light maintenance is all that is needed in the spring.

  • Pond May Need Full Clean Out:
    • Thick layer of debris on the bottom (leaves/sludge);
    • Poor water quality - dark brown, high nitrates/nitrites.
  • Pond Requires Light Cleaning/Maintenance:
    • Minimal debris on the bottom (can be removed with a skimmer net or filter);
    • Water quality relatively clear, free of nitrates/nitrites (can be cleaned with filtration).

Light Cleaning

  • A Pond Monsta Vacuum can be used to remove debris from the bottom of the pond without have to drain the pond or disturb the fish.
  • Marginal plants can be trimmed and fertilized with plant grow spikes
  • Dead lily pads can be trimmed with an extension Pruning Tool and Fertilizer Spikes can be used.
  • Check over equipment:
    Are the pumps running smoothly, not clogged with debris?
    Are the Brushes and Skimmer basket free of leaves/debris?
    Does the UV bulb require changing?
    Are the filters clean? Do the filter pads/media need replacing?
  • Test water to ensure proper levels (Nitrates, Nitrites, Phosphates, Ammonia) and for good water quality.

Materials Needed:

  1. Pond Gloves;
  2. Neoprene Waders;
  3. Detoxifier;
  4. Beneficial Bacteria;
  5. Fish Holding Basin;
  6. Skimmer Net;
  7. Pond/Fish Net;
  8. Clean-Out Pump & Hose;
  9. Scrub Brush;
  10. Aeration;
  11. Hose/pressure washer.

Step By Step Process

  1. Pump Out - Use a Solids Handling Pump or a clean out pump to remove the majority of the water from the pond or water feature. If there are fish in the pond, have a Basin ready that you can fill with the pond water that is being pumped out;
  2. Remove Fish - When there is only 6-10” of water left in the pond, safely remove fish from the pond with a Fish Net and place them in the basin with pond water and aerator;
  3. Remove Debris - Remove the large debris from the pond (debris that is unable to be removed via pump) using a pond or skimmer Net;
  4. Scrub/rinse - Hose down the pond and scrub the major algae/debris from the rocks and/or walls. Again, drain pond of dirty water. Not all algae must be removed;
  5. Clean/Reconnect Pumps & Filters - Ensure all pumps and filters are clean before reconnecting them;
  6. Refill & Detoxify - Refill your pond. Add Pond Detoxifier to remove any chlorine or chloramines from the new water;
  7. Restart Systems & Add Bacteria - Start pumps and filtration, add liquid beneficial bacteria to jump start the pond now that all bacteria has been washed out. (Ensure UV is turned off for 24-48 hours any time you are adding liquid beneficial bacteria);
  8. Acclimate The Fish & Plants - Add fish and plants back to the pond once the water temperature has become equivalent to the holding basin with the fish/plants. *Remember: any move or environment change for fish can be stressful, particularly in the spring.