Any Tips/techniques for cleaning bottom of a pond?

j.w

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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.

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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:
 

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.
 

addy1

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That layer of kitty litter is maybe a inch deep 4-5 feet wide. It has stayed clear of muck for maybe three years now. I tried to float some lilies, failure............so a lot tipped out of the pots and there it sits. I went to net it out one time and just put it all back when I saw it was just litter.
 
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This won't help you this year. This can reduce cleaning next season. I installed a DIY above liner bottom drain 3 years ago . It sits in the deep end. The pond floor is sloped towards the drain. I connected two trash pump strainers with 2" inch PVC. I reduced this down to 1 1/2" flexible tubing that connects to a pump in the skimmer box. The pond liner is still visible with minimal muck. The pond depth where the drain sits is 30". Cost for strainers, PVC / connectors , & tubing under $40.
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Mmathis

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This won't help you this year. This can reduce cleaning next season. I installed a DIY above liner bottom drain 3 years ago . It sits in the deep end. The pond floor is sloped towards the drain. I connected two trash pump strainers with 2" inch PVC. I reduced this down to 1 1/2" flexible tubing that connects to a pump in the skimmer box. The pond liner is still visible with minimal muck. The pond depth where the drain sits is 30". Cost for strainers, PVC / connectors , & tubing under $40.
View attachment 95387 View attachment 95388
Can you explain this in a little more detail (I'm challenged what it comes to following). I don't have a BD and as much as I would like one, don't have room for the "extras" that are involved. I also don't have a skimmer, just a submersible pump going to a Skippy. Is this something I could adapt? I do have a low point, or a trench where muck collects.....
 
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This won't help you this year. This can reduce cleaning next season. I installed a DIY above liner bottom drain 3 years ago . It sits in the deep end. The pond floor is sloped towards the drain. I connected two trash pump strainers with 2" inch PVC. I reduced this down to 1 1/2" flexible tubing that connects to a pump in the skimmer box. The pond liner is still visible with minimal muck. The pond depth where the drain sits is 30". Cost for strainers, PVC / connectors , & tubing under $40.
View attachment 95387 View attachment 95388
thx all, many people gave very nice ideas, yes for long term i am thinking next year to install airlift from the botom just as u said .

what type of pump u are using for this? how many gph , i dont mind some mud and leaves at the bottom it does have some benefits some insects organisams for food but it builds in a year alot that it consumes most of oxygen and taking few inches of volume .
 
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Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls

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During pond cleanings, we simply pump out the water with a solid handling pump and power wash the entire pond while the fish are in a holding tank with the pond water. While the pond is empty we adjust rocks, cutback aquatic plants, replace underwater bulbs and light fixtures, inspect & clean recirculating pump, shop vac out the skimmer & waterfall filter and replace filter media as needed.
 

Mmathis

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During pond cleanings, we simply pump out the water with a solid handling pump and power wash the entire pond while the fish are in a holding tank with the pond water. While the pond is empty we adjust rocks, cutback aquatic plants, replace underwater bulbs and light fixtures, inspect & clean recirculating pump, shop vac out the skimmer & waterfall filter and replace filter media as needed.
If you power wash the entire pond, doesn't that wash away a lot of the good bacteria that has grown on those surfaces? I like to think, also, that the algae that's growing on the surfaces will help compete with the suspended algae in the spring, plus it gives the fish something to munch on.
 
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During pond cleanings, we simply pump out the water with a solid handling pump and power wash the entire pond while the fish are in a holding tank with the pond water. While the pond is empty we adjust rocks, cutback aquatic plants, replace underwater bulbs and light fixtures, inspect & clean recirculating pump, shop vac out the skimmer & waterfall filter and replace filter media as needed.
Thnx , i guess this is the best way atleast once in a year , i was just afraid of transfering fishes and whole process beside draining old water and adding new one , is this what you mean ? Pond Care | Spring Pond Maintenance 1 of 5 - YouTube
 

Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls

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If you power wash the entire pond, doesn't that wash away a lot of the good bacteria that has grown on those surfaces? I like to think, also, that the algae that's growing on the surfaces will help compete with the suspended algae in the spring, plus it gives the fish something to munch on.
Thanks TurtleMommy, yes good bacteria as well as toxic muck and sludge, leaves, twigs and fish waste will get cleaned & pumped out. It is important to continue adding beneficial bacterial until ice accumulates on pond. Slow down feeding the fish as they prepare for winter. Algae will continue to grow in the pond and will provide food for the fish should they get hungry as algae only needs 40 degree water to grow.

Osman, be sure to add de-chlorinator to the pond after cleaning and acclimate your fish. If you have large tanks you can add a lot of the pond water back into the pond after cleaning which is what we do. Winter is long here in Rochester NY and I like going into it with a clean pond set up with an aerator & floating heater to keep an opening in the ice. Also, tent your pond with netting to keep out unwanted leaves this fall.

There are many different philosophies regarding ponds, their design & maintenance. You just have to pick what best works for you.
 
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Can you explain this in a little more detail (I'm challenged what it comes to following). I don't have a BD and as much as I would like one, don't have room for the "extras" that are involved. I also don't have a skimmer, just a submersible pump going to a Skippy. Is this something I could adapt? I do have a low point, or a trench where muck collects.....
The threaded ends of the black strainers is 2". I used a 2" threaded /slip adapter on each strainer. To connect the strainers used a 90 degree elbow attached to the slip end of the adapters. They connect with 2" pvc that has a tee midway pointing down. The tee section pointing down is where I reduced the pvc ( the white pvc tail in the picuture) then used an adapter to connect the black flexible tubing that runs to the pump.
Regarding your question about can this work without a skimmer. I believe it should not matter where the pump is located . My pump is plumbed to a veggie filter made from 100 gal stock tank that creates a waterfall sending the water down 2 short streams back to the pond. In your case the Skippy filter will mechanically remove the muck coming thru.
I pull this out when the pond Water temp drops so the warmer water stays on the bottom. Usually in november.
I can take pics for you then if you would like to see it assembled
 

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