Pond cleaning


Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
When should I clean the bottom of my pond? I have a pond vac and when I used it last year I hoovered up some tiny fish. They have not reappeared so I think I killed the poor things. The pond is mature 6 to 7 year at least and has 17 goldfish.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
11,637
Reaction score
11,731
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
Well I'm assuming it's winter where you are, bu maybe not? Most pond owners will worry about cleaning the pond bottom during the warmer spring and summer months. As to HOW you clean the pond bottom - that's an area that's open to debate. I use a pool net and scoop the leaves and debris that might blow in over winter. Otherwise I leave the bottom alone.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
41,549
Reaction score
25,513
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I quit cleaning the bottom ages ago, never got enough stuff to bother with.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
23
Reaction score
22
Location
Springfield, Mo
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
United States
My pond is small, 800 gallons. I’ve got cords, aerators, pumps, rocks, and plants on the bottom. I don’t see how you could net or sweep anything now. In spring I ’ll set everything up and scoop away. This will be my 1st yr l don’t empty the pond and clean it! I’ve read so many posts about not killing the good bacteria, I’m trying to change my ways!
 

brokensword

...and not every pond in Michigan has a loon!
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
4,272
Reaction score
3,376
Location
Michigan
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
My pond is small, 800 gallons. I’ve got cords, aerators, pumps, rocks, and plants on the bottom. I don’t see how you could net or sweep anything now. In spring I ’ll set everything up and scoop away. This will be my 1st yr l don’t empty the pond and clean it! I’ve read so many posts about not killing the good bacteria, I’m trying to change my ways!
it's more about not killing the algae+biofilm on the sides of the liner, structures, etc with pressure washing. No problem getting out any accumulated muck, leaves, etc from the bottom in a slow, slow, s l o w manner.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
653
Reaction score
109
Location
Georgia
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
Every year i empty the pond after removing the fish.I remove all of the gunk from the bottom and clean the pumps. I refill the pond add Prime and wait until the water temps are the same as the pond water i put the fish in. I don't know if i should add this ??
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2021-11-30 at 12.57.29 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2021-11-30 at 12.57.29 PM.png
    273.3 KB · Views: 6

j.w

I Love my Goldies
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
30,094
Reaction score
18,092
Location
Arlington, Washington
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
USDA 8a
Country
United States
Every year i empty the pond after removing the fish.I remove all of the gunk from the bottom and clean the pumps. I refill the pond add Prime and wait until the water temps are the same as the pond water i put the fish in. I don't know if i should add this ??
IMO, I would not be doing what your are doing w/emptying the pond and cleaning it and I would not add any chemicals either. You could be tempting fate I fear and your fish could be shocked due to that big change of water. How long have you been doing this and do you ever have any fish deaths?
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
653
Reaction score
109
Location
Georgia
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
3 years in a row. No fish lost. Maybe this year i will try to do a half empty .
 

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
12,344
Reaction score
6,770
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
@Lizabeth Harris Just curious, but what season are you in right now? Most of us here in the US are looking at winter, and I think most will agree that (when and if we clean), we either “clean the bottom” in spring when the pond wakes up, or in fall, before we close down for the winter. Just my 2 cents. How big is your pond? If you are afraid of losing fish, and your pond isn’t too massive, maybe consider the “net the bottom” method.
 

j.w

I Love my Goldies
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
30,094
Reaction score
18,092
Location
Arlington, Washington
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
USDA 8a
Country
United States
3 years in a row. No fish lost. Maybe this year i will try to do a half empty .
Most here don't take out water, they just top it off if some evaporates. You can use a long poled net to remove the muck or a pond vacuum. Sometimes I have allowed water to slowly run into the pond while pumping the same amount slowly out. I don't have a perfect filter system and sometimes my water looks like it needs freshing up a bit. I need a bog but alas this will not be happening. Just have my pot filter and a submerged prefilter on my pump that collects the muck. Works fairly well if cleaned often.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
157
Reaction score
135
Country
United Kingdom
@Lizabeth Harris Just curious, but what season are you in right now? Most of us here in the US are looking at winter, and I think most will agree that (when and if we clean), we either “clean the bottom” in spring when the pond wakes up, or in fall, before we close down for the winter. Just my 2 cents. How big is your pond? If you are afraid of losing fish, and your pond isn’t too massive, maybe consider the “net the bottom” method.
in the uk we are in winter right now.:cry:
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
11,637
Reaction score
11,731
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
Every year i empty the pond after removing the fish.I remove all of the gunk from the bottom and clean the pumps.

Fish death is just one outcome that's possible when you are breaking down a pond annually. (Obviously you can do it without killing fish - the pros do it for a living.) But the other unintended consequence is "new pond syndrome" - you're starting over every year with water that needs to now cycle and mature and develop bacteria and so on and so forth. All the good things we tell new pond owners to wait patiently for to get their pond to the point where it's self sufficient. With a new pond - or a pond full of fresh water - you'll likely fight algae, which then leads to algae treatment which then becomes one big vicious cycle. There's a tendency to think "fresh water is better" but your fish will disagree.

@420benz - you do what works for you... just sharing this for others who may read your post and think that's a common or necessary practice.

We were told once by an old time ponder that mature pond water is like gold - never ever get rid of it if you can help it.
 

cas

Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,943
Reaction score
2,504
Location
NE Ohio
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
Very pretty pond @420benz .

My pond is just a little bigger than yours. When I built my pond in 2004, the pond store recommended that I empty and clean it each spring. At that time they were my only source of information and even though I didn't completely empty the pond each spring, I would use a pond-vac and vacuum the bottom of the pond, exchanging maybe 1/3 of the water.

Then I joined this forum and read all the information here. I decided that I would try only vacuuming the bottom of the pond if there was debris. And since I started netting my pond because of the heron that would show up in the winter, I had no leaves getting into the pond. Now each spring I use the pond-vac to go over the bottom once, not because it needs it, but because old habits are hard to break. ;) Fish are doing fine, and I have 15 and 16 year old goldfish. I just wanted to share my story so you can see that there are many ways to maintain a pond and we just have to find out what works for us.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
653
Reaction score
109
Location
Georgia
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
OK you guys made your point.I will not empty the pond this year and clean as much as I can.I usually power wash the pumps and add fertilizer to the Lilly's. I don't have a Vac that will allow the water to go through it goes into a 5 Gal tank that needs to be emptied every 5 minutes.But I will give it a shot.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
3,259
Reaction score
2,039
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
OK you guys made your point.I will not empty the pond this year and clean as much as I can.I usually power wash the pumps and add fertilizer to the Lilly's. I don't have a Vac that will allow the water to go through it goes into a 5 Gal tank that needs to be emptied every 5 minutes.But I will give it a shot.
Just wondering: when doing your extensive cleaning, was any of the existing pond water saved to be reused or was it all replaced with fresh new water?
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top