Ideas for cleaning out pond

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I have a fairly small pond, around 1500 gallon, maybe 2 1/2 feet deep, 20x20 (I should measure it someday). I am a bit older, but not handicapped. I was able to save some money and opened the pond for the first time which saved $600 of my retirement funds. BUT....I don’t feel confident climbing down into the pond to clean out debris I can’t reach with a net and to power wash the rocks. Of course, I would also have to remove the 18 varied sized comets, shebunkins, and orfes. The debris is mostly organic. Any suggestions on cleaning out that stuff If I can’t net it. I can pump out a lot of the water and then power wash what rocks are exposed. Can I leave the fish in there when I am washing out the streams and power washing rocks or will that be too hard on them? Thoughts or ideas?
 

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Mmathis

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Do you test your water, and if so, how are your water parameters looking? Please don’t empty and clean your rocks or liner! As long as you can net out the most obvious gunk, and your pond is balanced, I would stop where you are — with netting. There will always be some gunk on the bottom, and if your pond is “healthy” otherwise (water parameters OK, no sick fish, fish are thriving, etc), I would leave things alone.
 

mrsclem

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Don't powerwash! you will remove all the good bacteria coating. Long handled pool net to scoop what you can and then stir up the water and let your filter take care of it.
 

cas

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There really is no need to totally drain and clean your pond. I have had my pond since 2004 and each spring all I do is remove any leaves that have gotten into it. You could tape the net to a board or PVC to make it longer to reach the bottom of your pond.
 
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I'll add my "no powerwashing please!" to the responses. I know you see many professional pond people maintaining ponds this way, but even they have switched to a much more gentle approach. They still drain ponds, but they save the water and any rinsing they do is just to clean debris out of gravel. But honestly it's not necessary to do either. I understand why the offer it - it's repeat business, which is good for them and some people just really like the clean pond look. But your pond really doesn't benefit from starting over every year.

A good pool net is your best friend. (The pond nets they sell are too short, too cheaply made, and too small - get one with a telescoping handle. I can reach all the way across my pond with mine.) Get as much as you can. If you can't scoop it, leave it be. A small amount of debris in the bottom of the pond is not an issue. If I find that I have areas where debris collects that are difficult to get to, I stick my garden hose down there on a full spray and just blast it out - get it up in the water column where either it gets skimmed out or I can grab it with my net.
 
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I recently replaced my debris net with this one:
aquascapeinc.com/products/heavy-duty-pond-net-with-extendable-handle
Not cheap, but not gonna break the bank either & I've found the telescoping feature to be sturdy & dependable (even when fully extended)
I agree that a good net is a ponders best friend. :)
 
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I use a pool net and share my telescoping pole between the pool and pond. When my pool net starts to look a bit shabby I get a new one for the pool and use the old one for the pond. The net I use is the big bag type, not the flat skimmer type. My telescoping pole reaches everywhere in my pond. I keep netting the bottom until pretty much nothing comes up. And as others have stated, the filter will suck up most of the floating debris that was stirred up.
 
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Thanks everyone.

Here is the plan. Order a new net. Scoop what I can. Use power washer to wash above water level boulders. Use hose to mix up and wash sediment down the stream and use hose to mix up remaining muck on bottom of pond. Wash out filter in a few days. When warmer, convince a grandchild to climb Dow in a pull our planter pots to neaten up.
 

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