Cleaning silt etc. from bottom of pond

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My pond is 25 years old and was originally 4 feet deep, it is now not more like 2 feet deep. The bottom is full of mud and roots. The lilies that were originally in bags have spread throughout the pond.
Is there a correct or better still an easy way to clean it out. My biggest fear is loosing the Lillies.
I've included a a late fall shot and one from summer.
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Welcome to the GPF! What a pretty pond!

First I will assuage your fear about the lilies - they are hard to kill. If your plan is to clean this pond back down to the 4 foot level, you can salvage enough healthy tubers to have lilies filling your pond again in no time.

The only real way to attack this is to empty it and then start pulling things out. You'll want to be cautious not to damage the integrity of the pond - is it an EPDM liner? If you have fish they will obviously need a temporary home - a kiddie pool filled with pond water works great with some aeration. All that muck will feed your garden beautifully - it may stink, but don't let that scare you! Spread it around and share the goodness!
 

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@AndyB
I totally agree w/ @Lisak1 you are gonna have to get down and dirty w/that pond. Only way to get all that build up out is to sluck it out w/a bucket after all the water is out. Before you start stirring it all up save as much of the water as you can so when you put the fish back in there the good water will still be there. If you have never divided your lilies for years then you can count on them being monster tubers to divide. Prolly have to give lots away of the divisions or you will get overrun w/them.
 

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Having just been through this with my inherited pond, all I can say is just get ready to get dirty.

The ladies have given you good advice; I saved as much water as I could when I emptied my pond into an above-ground pool and parked the fish there while cleaning. Muck-rinse, muck-rinse, muck-rinse.... I never thought I'd make any progress but persistence pays off!
 

addy1

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The lily mats of roots will be massive. Have a good sharp serrated knife to cut them apart. Be aggressive cut cut cut. Always cut up not down so you don't slice your liner.
Someone on here posted a few years back, cleaning out a pond full of free running lilies using a back hoe they were so heavy.

I had one jump its pot my husband and I could barely get it out of the pond it was so heavy and that was just one summer of growth.
 
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Welcome to the GPF! What a pretty pond!

First I will assuage your fear about the lilies - they are hard to kill. If your plan is to clean this pond back down to the 4 foot level, you can salvage enough healthy tubers to have lilies filling your pond again in no time.

The only real way to attack this is to empty it and then start pulling things out. You'll want to be cautious not to damage the integrity of the pond - is it an EPDM liner? If you have fish they will obviously need a temporary home - a kiddie pool filled with pond water works great with some aeration. All that muck will feed your garden beautifully - it may stink, but don't let that scare you! Spread it around and share the goodness!
Shalom, a portable, battery operated saws all with demolition blades will be the best tool to cut the mass - I have only a small 2'x3' island and need to use it on the iris and other plants. You can get a cheapie at Harbor Frieght and even it it only last a short time it's worth the "value " of time and effort
 
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I agree with all above advice, just wanted to say what a beautiful pond you have :)
 

addy1

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Agree the pond and the steam are beautiful.
 
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My pond is 25 years old and was originally 4 feet deep, it is now not more like 2 feet deep. The bottom is full of mud and roots. The lilies that were originally in bags have spread throughout the pond.
Is there a correct or better still an easy way to clean it out. My biggest fear is loosing the Lillies.
I've included a a late fall shot and one from summer.
View attachment 124283View attachment 124284
you don't say if you have a filter or fish if you have fish and no filter be careful when you clean it out because you will loose your natural biological filter and you may have a few problems with the fish and they may die
 
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Having just been through this with my inherited pond, all I can say is just get ready to get dirty.

The ladies have given you good advice; I saved as much water as I could when I emptied my pond into an above-ground pool and parked the fish there while cleaning. Muck-rinse, muck-rinse, muck-rinse.... I never thought I'd make any progress but persistence pays off!
Can you empty out a pond this time of year?
 
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I live in Wisconsin and it will be getting cold soon.
 
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"Soon" is relative. It's barely September! (I'm in northern iL by the way - I'm not ready to think about the coming cold!)

But out of curiosity, why would you want to empty a pond?
 
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I’ve tril
"Soon" is relative. It's barely September! (I'm in northern iL by the way - I'm not ready to think about the coming cold!)

But out of curiosity, why would you want to empty a pond?
I started to use a uv clarifier and it killed the algae but I can’t get the water clear I suspect there’s a lot of sludge. I’ve been trying to get my pond clear for a few years! It was waving green algae and now it’s brown!
 
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I’ve tril

I started to use a uv clarifier and it killed the algae but I can’t get the water clear I suspect there’s a lot of sludge. I’ve been trying to get my pond clear for a few years! It was waving green algae and now it’s brown!
I really don’t want to empty it but I have tried everything!
 
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Gotcha. I'd suggest you start a new post to get more responses, but I can get you started.

Tell us a bit about your pond - how big, what kind of filtration, fish - how many and what kind and how big - what kind of aeration are you using, what kind of treatments have you done. Basically anything you can share about your pond will be helpful!

Emptying is usually the last resort, but if you truly have so much debris in the bottom that you can't scoop it with a net then emptying may be the only solution.
 
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It’s about 1500 gallons.....12 gold fish that are big ......I have a pump hooked up to the uv clarifier and hooked up to a waterfall filter with bioballs. I don’t have any plants I have had bad luck with plants!
 
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I agree with lisa . no plants = an imballance
 

Casbah

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It was waving green algae and now it’s brown!
I'm a total noob to ponding; I've had fish before but not on this scale. My pond was neglected for at least 10 years before I started to clean it and the fight with the sludge began. Your pretty green hair algae is covered with it and that's why it's brown. I can look in my pond and see exactly the same, even on the roots of my plants.

Dunno how you got where you are but I'm more than happy to share my efforts and outcomes.
 
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