Any Tips/techniques for cleaning bottom of a pond?


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Hi, I want to clean some bottom mud before winter, is there any easier way without using vacume or syphon .Using any homemade device/technique without draining water and entering in the pond ….. Like any type of net or scoop or bottle, bucket with rope to do this? How do you clean it .
 
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Before I vacuum I use a leaf net. I get a lot of dirt along with the leaves so it might work at east somewhat. The problem with trying to net the dirt is that it will most likely get the water stirred up so much that you won't be able to see what you are doing. Another option is to brush the pond and let the filter clean it
 

Mmathis

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Scooping gets the bigger stuff, but not the finer muck. Plus, it stirs everything up, so I have to do it in stages. Finally got a pond vac, and it does a great job. BIG learning curve, though, so took a lot of patience.

Except for having a bottom drain, that's about the only way I know of. Well, and being consistent with cleaning -- keep to a regular routine maintenance schedule and not leaving it as a once or twice a year chore.
 
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I was interested in a DIY airlift vacuum but I haven't had to vacuum since I discovered it. :/ It does drain that water out but you don't have to get in the pond. You could even run it through some pads or something to return the water to the pond. Actually I know I saw version where the catchment bag was still in the water so all water was returned but I prefer to remove ALL the dirty water with the muck.
 

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I was interested in a DIY airlift vacuum but I haven't had to vacuum since I discovered it. :/ It does drain that water out but you don't have to get in the pond. You could even run it through some pads or something to return the water to the pond. Actually I know I saw version where the catchment bag was still in the water so all water was returned but I prefer to remove ALL the dirty water with the muck.
Waterbug had a design for a DIY muck vac. If I can find the link, I'll post it. It seemed pretty complicated to make, though.
 
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I used a shop vac with a hose on the outlet part and the outlet went into a a laundry basket with quilt batting in it .It had the special wet dry vac option with a foam filter .It was really tough to use though .You can also use a dirty water pump and just put the hose in a basket with quilt batting also .If the stuff is fine you can use a regular pump .The basket has to have a place to sit in a water fall so it can drain back into the pond and may need cleaned a lot
 
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We installed a bottom drain hooked u[pp to a vortex type filter , net result a clean bottom to the pond with all the detritus swept away to drain then vortex before going through another three filters , end result crystal clear water

Dave
 
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For the long term, consider getting snails. I've noticed that the pond stay very clean since I put snails in. They eat any biomaterial on bottom and crawl up and down the pond sides cleaning it.
 
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I've never found anything that I considered to work well; using a pool bottom vacuum that is suction hose powered and collects into a filter works about as good as anything else I've tried.
In the past I've connected the hose to a spare pump and use pond water to power a pool bottom vacuum rather than tap water. It does a good job with leaves and fibrous plant material, but dead diatoms shoot right through the collection bag. On the positive side it stirs up the mulm on the bottom enough to release any trapped toxic gasses and gives your mechanical filter a chance to catch some of it.
I have come to the conclusion that every pond absolutely needs both a bottom drain that is either aerated or floomed and a surface skimmer. These two thing will eliminated 90% of the mulm on the bottom of the pond you are trying to clean.
 
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We installed a bottom drain hooked u[pp to a vortex type filter , net result a clean bottom to the pond with all the detritus swept away to drain then vortex before going through another three filters , end result crystal clear water

Dave

I want to put a bottom drain but the problem I have is that the size of the pond is small and usually these bottom drains want a very strong pump. I was looking at the Aqua Art Retro Bottom Drain. My pond is only 3' feet down and 4' by 12'. Any suggestions on adjustments.

My pond has large stones at the bottom, so I'm thinking I'll need to get rid of the stones in the future for this project. Maybe I should just hire someone to do this.
 

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I have a retro bottom drain left over from my last pond build. I ended up putting in a koi toilet in that pond .

I want to add it to one of my old ponds this spring . I'm thinking 3" pipe from the retro drain to a settlement chamber ... Then pump it to my filters
 

addy1

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I don't have a bottom drain and don't really have a lot of yuck on the bottom.
I net it every other year or so. Even then get maybe 1/2 of 5 gallon bucket of stuff out.
I think my massive plant filter sucks all the extra stuff out. When I am walking in the pond, I use my toes to feel the bottom, there is never a real layer of stuff to even worry about. This is year 6 for the pond.

I do have a lot of trap door snails and other types. The trap doors are huge now.
 
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I don't have a bottom drain and don't really have a lot of yuck on the bottom.
I net it every other year or so. Even then get maybe 1/2 of 5 gallon bucket of stuff out.
I think my massive plant filter sucks all the extra stuff out. When I am walking in the pond, I use my toes to feel the bottom, there is never a real layer of stuff to even worry about. This is year 6 for the pond.

I do have a lot of trap door snails and other types. The trap doors are huge now.

I'm guessing the pond doesn't have gravel on the bottom?
 

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I just use a long handled net so I don't have to get in the pond to get the major big stuff out. Sometimes I throw an old extra pump w/a protective screen on the input hole onto the bottom of the pond, attache a garden hose and turn on the pump and suck out the old bottom water and slowly add new well water at the same time.
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Works pretty good but might take you doing it a few days if you really allow muck to build up down there. I also do that water into a basket of quilt batting now and then also. That really takes a long time tho emptying and cleaning the batting and putting it back in for days.

IMG_6097.JPG


Not many of us have rocks or gravel on the bottom of our ponds as it requires us to WORK harder to clean it. As Maynard G Krebs used to say:
 
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Mmathis

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@j.w Nice! Dobie Gillis and Maynard [G. Krebbs, wasn't that the rest of his name?]. Gilligan before he was Gilligan! And I agree! The less work involved, the more likely something is going to get done around this house.....
 

addy1

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I'm guessing the pond doesn't have gravel on the bottom?
There is some spilled pea gravel, some spilled kitty litter some rocks that have wandered in, but other wise nothing put in deliberately. Where the kitty litter is stays clean, you can see the light color of it. The pond is built with a slope from sort of shallow to deep. the edges all slope towards the center which helps direct everything to the deep end.
The shallow end is where the gutter water comes in, with a heavy rain it stirs the pond up nicely and it goes out the over flow on the other end.
 
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There is some spilled pea gravel, some spilled kitty litter some rocks that have wandered in, but other wise nothing put in deliberately. Where the kitty litter is stays clean, you can see the light color of it. ...
Kitty litter is supposed to do really good things for the pond water and fish health. What I've read is the unscented clumping kitty litter is the sodium bentonite clay, and when it dissolves in water, the ions neutralise the electrical charges on the colloids in the water and they settle out and clump so the filters can remove them. I'm tempted to try it next season, maybe I'll set up a test pond to tryout things like that in.
 

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