Pond vacuum??


Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Location
Ohio
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
Hey all! So the previous owners of my house had a big pond (1200 gallons I think) put in about 20 years ago and I've been keeping it up pretty well. They put the pond under 4 pine trees and a crab apple tree though, and it gets SOO full of CRAP!! TONS of pine needles and deciduous leaves and pine cones and other general yard junk are constantly falling in.

I am planning on getting a cute pergola or something to go over the pond which should reduce the amount of organic material that gets in, but I'm also wondering if pond/pool vacuums work well? On Amazon it looks like they're at least $200 - was hoping not to spend that much, though. I just need something to suck crap out of a body of water.

There is currently at least 1-2" of this rotting organic debris on the bottom of this pond. How on Earth am I supposed to get all of that mega algae food out of there? Is my only other option to drain the pond most of the way and climb in and hand scoop it all out? I know it's not good to actually spray the rocks on the bottom of the pond because it gets rid of the GOOD bacteria biofilm, but I feel like I need to scoop or suck the layers of rotting leaves/needs/grass out of the bottom to help control the algae. Help!?

Cynthia
 
Last edited:
Ad

Advertisements

mrsclem

mrsclem
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,255
Reaction score
3,794
Location
st. mary's county, md.
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
Hello Hummingbird2- Get a pool net and little by little scoop the stuff off the pond bottom. You don't want to drain the pond and clean it as you will be starting all over with getting the water balanced.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
178
Reaction score
100
Location
Cincinnati
I was able to snag a pond vac on Craigslist for s good price.... but after using it in my 1000+ g pond.... I would pay full price for it. It’s with it.

Yes you can scoop out a lot of the muck with a fine net... but the fine stuff will just be disturbed and then you will need to filter it out. Also netting will it will potentially release bad stuff into the pond that is currently settled at the bottom.

I used to just net my pond but now the pond vac takes care of it all and so worth the cost in my mind.
 
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
1,105
Reaction score
517
Location
Le Roy, New York
Before you use the vacuum you'll have to clean the junk out otherwise the vacuum will clog up very quickly. If you have rocks on the bottom then forget the vacuum it just won't work, rocks may look nice but they limit the amount of cleaning that you can do there is no way that you can use a net. If you really have 2" of gunk on the bottom then you'd be better off draining it removing the gunk and the rocks and refill it. Don't worry about the " good bacteria' it does you no good if the pond is so filthy you can't enjoy it. Do you have a skimmer? If not it would better to invest in a good skimmer than a vacuum.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
2,580
Reaction score
1,575
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
I use a pool net. The bag type, not the flat screen type. I scoop VERY SLOWLY trying not to cause a big disturbance and not to scoop up any fish. There's always going to be excess particles floating afterward, but the filter takes care of that. The next day everything is clear again.
I methodically scoop back and forth from different sides of the pond.
Every scoop gets laid out and prodded through to make sure something good is not being removed. I've picked out snails, plants and even tiny fish fry on many occasions.
When you see you're coming up with an empty net, then you're done.
I already have and need the net for scooping out floating debris, so no complicated contraptions or added expenses there.
 

dustboy

Nattering Nabob
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
120
Reaction score
118
Location
East Bay Area
Hardiness Zone
10a
Country
United States
+2 on adding a skimmer, easier to catch the debris before it sinks.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
1,105
Reaction score
517
Location
Le Roy, New York
I use a pool net. The bag type, not the flat screen type. I scoop VERY SLOWLY trying not to cause a big disturbance and not to scoop up any fish. There's always going to be excess particles floating afterward, but the filter takes care of that. The next day everything is clear again.
I methodically scoop back and forth from different sides of the pond.
Every scoop gets laid out and prodded through to make sure something good is not being removed. I've picked out snails, plants and even tiny fish fry on many occasions.
When you see you're coming up with an empty net, then you're done.
I already have and need the net for scooping out floating debris, so no complicated contraptions or added expenses there.
With rocks in the pond the net won't work, for that matter, the vacuum won't work. I use the net myself and even without rocks it's not the easiest process but needs to be done before I vacuum the pond. Here is a review I did on a pond vacuum talking about cleaning before vacuuming.

 
Joined
Oct 27, 2013
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Las Vegas, NV
I love my pond vacuum. It really changed how I clean my pond. However, big stuff, especially pine needles don't do well in the vacuum. They either can't be sucked up well or get clogged. I used a pool net for anything large and them vacuum muck. It don't matter how thick the much is for vacuuming, just that it can pass through a hose.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
3,211
Reaction score
2,190
Location
North East Ohio-Zone 5
Country
United States
Draining the pond and cleaning the muck from the bottom is fine. You won't have any problems with the nitrogen cycle as long as the filter is mature (don't clean the filter the same time as you drain the pond) and you don't scrub the sides and bottom of pond.

The only problem with a complete water change can be if the ph in the new water is a lot lower than the ph in the current pond water. So it would be a good idea to check that prior to draining the pond. Fish don't tend to do well if they are in a higher ph and then suddenly dropped to a much lower ph.
 

brc

Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
67
Reaction score
29
Location
Cleveland
Hardiness Zone
6
I built a venturi type pond vac a few years back that's great at sucking all kinds of stuff up from the bottom. There is a thread about it on here somewhere. It works for me because there's a drain next to the pond, so the water / sludge / whatever just dumps in there as I go. There's nothing to empty.

Leaves will kind of clog it, but I can jerk the vacuum line a couple times and force that stuff through with a kind of water hammer effect. The only thing that will occasionally need more intervention than that, is when it sucks up a stick.

Edit - here was the thread:

 
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
178
Reaction score
100
Location
Cincinnati
I’m using the oase pond vac which is just the large shop vac that toggles between chambers. For me the only time it’s stopped is then it pulls up small rocks that my boy has tossed to the pond which then block one of the flats that open and close. I want these stones out so I don’t mind.

Leaves don’t clog in it. Longer twigs might if you get those. It handles slug muck just fine. A friend of mine pumped out his old filter barrel which had more the two inches of muck.

The other thing with this type is that you can put in different heads and then also control the vacuum pressure ( letting air into the line at the handle) so it will leave rocks and stones on the bottom and just pulls the muck and more buoyant material. The same friend has a rock pebble bottomed pond and uses it to clean the leaves out every year.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
2,580
Reaction score
1,575
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
With rocks in the pond the net won't work, for that matter, the vacuum won't work. I use the net myself and even without rocks it's not the easiest process but needs to be done before I vacuum the pond. Here is a review I did on a pond vacuum talking about cleaning before vacuuming.

Looking at the muck discharged out onto your lawn is quite impressive. It may have convinced me that vacuums are far superior over a net and might just be worth it.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
3,234
Reaction score
3,082
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
I’m using the oase pond vac which is just the large shop vac that toggles between chambers. For me the only time it’s stopped is then it pulls up small rocks that my boy has tossed to the pond which then block one of the flats that open and close. I want these stones out so I don’t mind.

Leaves don’t clog in it. Longer twigs might if you get those. It handles slug muck just fine. A friend of mine pumped out his old filter barrel which had more the two inches of muck.

The other thing with this type is that you can put in different heads and then also control the vacuum pressure ( letting air into the line at the handle) so it will leave rocks and stones on the bottom and just pulls the muck and more buoyant material. The same friend has a rock pebble bottomed pond and uses it to clean the leaves out every year.
I had the same experience with my Oase 5! I cleaned 2 ponds (9200gl) and I never had to stop to empty the debris.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
2,580
Reaction score
1,575
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
So, how do these vacuums work? Are they basically a shop vac with added features? If so, what is the difference? Do you end up sucking a lot of pond water out? Basically a partial water change?
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
593
Reaction score
97
Location
Georgia
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
I love my pond vacuum. It really changed how I clean my pond. However, big stuff, especially pine needles don't do well in the vacuum. They either can't be sucked up well or get clogged. I used a pool net for anything large and them vacuum muck. It don't matter how thick the much is for vacuuming, just that it can pass through a hose.
What kind of Vac do you have?
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
178
Reaction score
100
Location
Cincinnati
So, how do these vacuums work? Are they basically a shop vac with added features? If so, what is the difference? Do you end up sucking a lot of pond water out? Basically a partial water change?

The oasis pond vac actions just like a wet dry vac except it has two chambers in the body with two float switches. So when the one side fills up it toggles to the other side. At that point the first side is draining as the second side fills. Back and forth it goes. You could use a wet dry vac but would have to stop and drain it constantly.

They do pull plenty of water out with the junk but since you are for the most part targeting what you want out .. they seem efficient. A partial water change is good anyway.

I end up putting my fishing net at the end of the waste hose to catch the leaves and big stuff to easily toss into the garden. The rest of the muck can get hosed into the lawn.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
10,676
Reaction score
10,942
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
With rocks in the pond the net won't work,
Sorry - we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. (Unless by rocks you mean big rocks and not gravel.) I use a pool net in my gravel bottomed pond all the time without issue. And this might be a dumb question, but why is your pond so dirty? Does it get that dirty every winter?
 
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
1,105
Reaction score
517
Location
Le Roy, New York
Sorry - we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. (Unless by rocks you mean big rocks and not gravel.) I use a pool net in my gravel bottomed pond all the time without issue. And this might be a dumb question, but why is your pond so dirty? Does it get that dirty every winter?
Yes it gets filthy every winter. No matter how I attach the net leaves blow under it. I have 45 feet of stream bed that although I cover it still seems to get filled which in turn get into the pond. The edge of the pond is surrounded by sedum and rocks and things get under that. Not just leaves but seeds and nuts and stringy things from the black walnut trees. Then there is the fine dirt in the air from the farm next to me that gets blown around in the fall and spring when the plowing starts, It's a real mess. Then there is the algae. For that the UV light works it's magic. Within 10 days of opening the water is crystal clear. The only area that I can't really clean is the end near the skimmer with the rocks in it. Hence my statement that you can't clean the bottom if there are rocks in it. Been there done that and don't recommend rocks.
 
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
1,105
Reaction score
517
Location
Le Roy, New York
Looking at the muck discharged out onto your lawn is quite impressive. It may have convinced me that vacuums are far superior over a net and might just be worth it.
They do work and that muck is only a tiny fraction of what gets taken out. But and it's a big BUT you have to be willing to spend the time cleaning out the big stuff before you start. Think about vacuuming your carpet without first picking up the toys or sweeping out your garage without moving the everything out. Also, the construction of the pond makes a big difference. It's not like cleaning out a swimming pool where the bottom and sides are nice and smooth. In order to really work you need to keep the vacuum head as close to the bottom as possible, Easier said than done especially if the pond is deep or murky or both.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
10,676
Reaction score
10,942
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
Yes it gets filthy every winter.
Thanks for explaining!

I think this is such a perfect example of why every pond has to be handled so differently - what will work in one pond would be useless in another. The construction, the surrounding plants, the surrounding landscape - all have a bearing on what challenges you can face. A pond vac would be superfluous for my pond as we never get any muck build up, but my feelings would be completely different if I had your situation to address every spring.
 

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

Similar Threads


Top