Should I clean my pond and should I get a pond vacuum?

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by MK3, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. MK3

    MK3

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    a couple questions. We've had the pond for about 2 months now. It's been a water garden up until a couple weeks back when we bought fish ( we now have 8 goldfish.....). I'm wondering if it's time to clean the pond? There's dirt and leaves on the bottom and the tubes to the sputters were clogged a few weeks back and I think they're going to be clogged again soon. The pond water is still clear and last I tested it, it's water quality was excellent. We've never fully changed the water. Ive been letting it drop a few inches and then filling it back up.

    And then I'm wondering if we should invest in a pond vacuum. It's a very small pond. Thoughts?
     
    MK3, Aug 20, 2015
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  2. MK3

    tbendl T

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    I use a pool net to get the junk out, it works beautifully and I can make sure I'm not vacuuming up anything I shouldn't be.
    A little dirt on the bottom isn't a bad thing and the pool net grabs all the bigger stuff out. When I do get the green water starting I put some quilt batting in a filter pot I have and it grabs the tinier particulates.
     
    tbendl, Aug 20, 2015
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    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    I would just use a pool skimmer net.

    And you really should be doing actual water changes rather than filling with evaporation. There will be minerals and stuff [nitrates] that will build up in the water -- these won't go away through evaporation. You have to physically drain out some old water and replace with fresh [treated for chlorine and/or chloramines] on a regular basis. Especially now that you've added fish.
     
    Mmathis, Aug 20, 2015
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    tbendl T

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    Why water changes TM? I don't change my water out, I didn't know you should.
     
    tbendl, Aug 20, 2015
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    mgmine

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    I just bought a vacuum and used it for the first time in 2 years. Like T said use a net to get the large stuff out My concern was all the dirt and other stuff that accumulates over time. I will say that it is not as easy as vacuuming a swimming pool. The wheels don't move very smoothly over a liner with wrinkles in it.
     
    mgmine, Aug 20, 2015
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  6. MK3

    MitchM

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    There are 2 ways that a person can manage their pond, in my opinion.

    You can micromanage it, keeping the water crystal clear, adding chemicals, doing water changes, cleaning the pond bottom, constantly testing the water, maintaining strong filtration,
    Or,
    You can let the forces of nature look after it, letting the fish feed themselves, utilizing plants and substrate for chemical (and sometimes mechanical) filtration, with you providing water circulation so the water temperature is evenly spread out and so nutrients are spread out in order for bacteria and microrganisms to consume excess nutrients, letting algae exist in a sufficient amount to aid in maintiaining high water quality.

    I may have missed a few points, but hopefully you get my point.
    If you try to mix the two methods, you'll probably wind up being unhappy with your pond.
     
    MitchM, Aug 20, 2015
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    tbendl T

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    All hail the forces of nature... Keeping clean that which I don't want to deal with. :)
    Now if I could get Nature to do my toilets I'd be GOLDEN! Lol
    Great post Mitch!
     
    tbendl, Aug 20, 2015
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  8. MK3

    MitchM

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    Thanks, T.:)
     
    MitchM, Aug 20, 2015
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    Rich17 Hi all

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    image.jpg I have not had to clean mine since i started when you get your pond right they manage them selves all i change is my filter pads when they needs it thats it i have got a pond hoover but never used it so i think i have wasted my money on that one but a good net will get all your big stuff out
     
    Rich17, Aug 22, 2015
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    Mucky_Waters

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    I can't say I agree with this Mitch.
    First of all, almost all of the worst case scenarios I've seen with backyard ponds are ones that would fit in to your second pond management scheme where the ponds were under filtered and essentially neglected. Full of muck and algae and overgrown plant and weeds. More suitable to breeding mosquito then raising fish.
    I do agree that people can try and over manage their ponds, especially when it comes to adding chemicals and bottled retail pond products, but usually this is in response to some undesirable condition occurring in their pond, either real or perceived, that the person is trying to change (in a big hurry), rather then letting things balance out gradually and more naturally.
    In my opinion the best managed ponds are something in between, but this is where you say people will "wind up being unhappy with their ponds".
    Of course no two ponds are alike, but as a general rule small ponds tend to need a lot more "micromanagment" then large ponds, simply because large ponds, because of their shear volume, have a natural buffering mechanism built into them. Meaning things that effect fish like PH, temperature, ammonia and nitrite levels, which tend to stay stable or change very slowly in larger bodies of water, can change very quickly and radically in small ponds, and it would be wise to monitor and managed them more judiciously.
    Of course a big 10,000 gal pond that is neglected and allowed to develop serious problem can be a much bigger problem to fix then 200 gal pond with a serious problem.
    In the situation of the OP of this thread with spitter (sputter ;)) tubes plugging up, I'd say it's just another case of small pond, with small inadequate filtering equipment, needing more maintenance (micromanagment). A pond vacuum might help the situation, and vacuuming any pond would certainly will help in the long run, but it sounds like they might just need some sort of pre-filters on their spitter tubes.
     
    Mucky_Waters, Aug 23, 2015
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  11. MK3

    MitchM

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    I should probably add a caveat to my previous post.
    In a properly stocked pond.....

    8 goldfish in a 6000 gallon pond with no feeding for example.
    Not many people do that.
     
    MitchM, Aug 23, 2015
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    Mucky_Waters

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    That's definitely gona be easier to manage then a 8 gal pond stocked with 6,000 fish. ;)
     
    Mucky_Waters, Aug 23, 2015
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    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    I'm in the 'Mitch category' in that I haven't done any water changes since I built my pond 4 years ago. I do add as evaporation occurs. But as alluded to, I have plants and a bog for natural filtration, waterfall+stream+air stones for keeping the oxygen levels up, plus an added benefit of having the pond enclosed, vastly cutting down on debris 'falling into the pond'. Typically, I have only decaying lily pads and their flowers to contend with and whatever the snails sever below the waterline. I might be playing with fire but so far, 100 gf and 2700 gallons later, everything seems to be working. I'm a big proponent of letting nature do as much as possible. My job is to enjoy and maintain only when I have to, you know?

    Michael
     
    brokensword, Aug 24, 2015
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  14. MK3

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    ^^^^^ doing the same since I built it in 2010 I net out any leaves that fall in, groom the lilies, ow it is left alone.
     
    addy1, Aug 24, 2015
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    Lisak1

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    Same here. My pond is self sufficient. No water changes ever. Just a bog for filtration and a net for debris. We co-exist peacefully - ha!

    @brokensword - that's not fire you're playing with... That's water! ;)
     
    Lisak1, Aug 24, 2015
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  16. MK3

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    firewater? Is it happy hour already? heh, I think those with bogs can say OH YEAH...
     
    brokensword, Aug 24, 2015
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    MitchM

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    This ponding hobby has been very little work.
    The pond is about 3 1/2 years old now.
    I've done almost nothing to my pond this year except clean the skimmer 3 times.
    It really looks after itself.
    I even put some string algae in it this spring and the algae either got consumed by the fish or died.
    It's like I have a glorified puddle.(y)
     
    MitchM, Aug 24, 2015
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    bettasngoldfish Maria

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    Agreed (y)
     
    bettasngoldfish, Aug 25, 2015
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