Any Tips/techniques for cleaning bottom of a pond?

Discussion in 'Winterizing Your Pond' started by Usman, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. Usman

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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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.
     
    addy1, Sep 30, 2016
    #21
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  2. Usman

    Gordo33

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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.
    IMG_0028.JPG IMG_0891.JPG
     
    Gordo33, Oct 4, 2016
    #22
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  3. Usman

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Neat idea!
     
    addy1, Oct 4, 2016
    #23
  4. Usman

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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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.....
     
    Mmathis, Oct 4, 2016
    #24
  5. Usman

    Usman

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    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 .
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    Usman, Oct 4, 2016
    #25
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  6. Usman

    Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Ponds Done Right, Customers Served Right

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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.
     
    Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls, Oct 4, 2016
    #26
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  7. Usman

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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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.
     
    Mmathis, Oct 4, 2016
    #27
  8. Usman

    Usman

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    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
     
    Usman, Oct 4, 2016
    #28
  9. Usman

    Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Ponds Done Right, Customers Served Right

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls, Oct 4, 2016
    #29
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  10. Usman

    Gordo33

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    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
     
    Gordo33, Oct 4, 2016
    #30
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  11. Usman

    Gordo33

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    The pump I use is a 2600 gph water fall pump made by pond master. I agree about benifit of some muck on the bottom for the reasons you mentioned. I do manually pull leaves from the pond using a " grabber /reacher " that has rubber tips every so often to prevent them from piling up. My pond is only 8x12 so it's easy to access with the granber
     
    Gordo33, Oct 4, 2016
    #31
  12. Usman

    Gordo33

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    Thanks but I can't take the credit for the design. When I built my pond 4 summers ago I belonged to another pond site . There was a member who gave me the design.
    if your are interested he built an incredible pond that includes a water Lilly pond, turtle pond and gold fish pond all connected . Go to YouTube and search dperry428. . He uses a cement mixture he created and modified over the years.
    OK that's his plug for helping me with the drain.
     
    Gordo33, Oct 4, 2016
    #32
  13. Usman

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @Gordo33 Yes, pics would be nice. Unfortunately, my Skippy doesn't settle out the muck like I would like for it to. I'm probably going to look at building a secondary "mechanical" filter.
     
    Mmathis, Oct 4, 2016
    #33
  14. Usman

    linokes

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    My pond was professionally installed in 1997. 3,000 gallon with 70' long stream. Has river gravel in bottom so cleaning out sludge is something of an issue! I quit using string algae killer and just rake out the algae (out of the stream) which helped cut down on sludge in the bottom of the pond. In 2014 I purchased a Pondovac 4 pond vacuum. It works great but you do need patience! I just stopped fretting about my water garden (after about 8 - 9 years), the fish are happy and so am I!
     
    linokes, Oct 10, 2016
    #34
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  15. Usman

    Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Ponds Done Right, Customers Served Right

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    Here's a pond we just winterized today. It has been in for 4 years, has a waterfall filter and a bog filter. No sludge or algae and the pond has never been cleaned. Depth is 6 feet and the entire liner is covered with rock and gravel without a trace of sludge or muck. If you throw a dime in you will know what side is up that's how clear it has been since we installed it.

    IMG_0252.jpg IMG_0253.jpg
     
    Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls, Oct 10, 2016
    #35
  16. Usman

    morewater President, Raccoon Haters International

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    Aqua Art manufactures an aerated retrofit bottom drain that does a good job.
     
    morewater, Oct 22, 2016
    #36
  17. Usman

    Gordo33

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    I pulled the above liner bottom drain today. Here are some pictures. I did have difficulty priming the pump this year. After multiple attempts it did work. I had a hard time purging the air from the line. I found some info on Koiphen and there was a retro set up with a check valve and air release in the tubing by the pump . I plan to add this next year to improve priming the pump to get things rolling. HTH

    FullSizeRender.jpg IMG_0919.JPG FullSizeRender.jpg
     
    Gordo33, Oct 31, 2016
    #37
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  18. Usman

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    This bottom drain configuration is connected directly to a pump. Am I reading this correctly. You are in effect pumping the smaller organic debris to your filter and in the process are chopping it into even smaller particles with the pump impeller (the larger debris is left in the pond to be removed manually, right?). So in effect you are actually increasing the TSS (Total Suspended Solids) in the water column since you do not indicate having a dedicated settlement chamber. Not only does this quickly clog a filter, it will also quickly clog a veggie filter creating 'channeling'.
    How often have you been cleaning your veggie filter?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Oct 31, 2016
    #38
  19. Usman

    Gordo33

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    Yes you read this correct the drain configuration does tie directly into the pump. A tee just before the connection at the pump allow water to be pulled into the skimmer as well. Twice a season I drain the 100 gal veggie filter tub and vacuum the best I can the muck that has accumulated along the sides and bottom. The yellow flag iris root mass has become so thick and heavy I no longer can pull out the shelf they are tied down to. I tried cutting the roots but was having a devil of a time. So if channeling is occurring how would I know?
    I posted a thread titled Mechanical Filtration DIY and included pics of the water in a glass taken from the pond and the veggie tub. There was no evidence of settlement in the pond water but was in the veggie tub. In same thread I posted pics of the cartridge I made to filter the water before it leaves the tub. There is a dense Matala pad and quilt batting. I change the quilt batting weekly.
    This morning I took a TDS reading and it was 162 ppm. My tap water is 230 ppm.
    This has been a trial and error system learning on the fly. If you have any recommendations I would greatly appreciate them
     
    Gordo33, Oct 31, 2016
    #39
  20. Usman

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @Meyer Jordan In my own situation, I am doing exactly as you state above -- mine is a submerged pump. The only settlement chamber I have is the bottom of the Skippy, and not the greatest, but it really does capture a great deal of pumped in crud -- albeit, pulverized crud. But I have learned that I have to flush the darn thing frequently [every week to 2 weeks] or the crud does rise into the media area, keeping it in the water col. So far, the more frequent flushing is helping, but I still really do need a dedicated SC!
     
    Mmathis, Oct 31, 2016
    #40
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