Spring Cleaning directions

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by Donna Saverino MI, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. Donna Saverino MI

    Donna Saverino MI My first Grandchild

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    I can't believe no one has asked for information for what to do in the spring. I did a search and nothing comes up for instructions for cleaning in early spring. So I hope this is not a repeat. But where it is someone has to point it out to me. In case no one has....
    I have a small pond that is one year old. Can you give me step-by-step instructions for opening up the pond? Something like... pull out pots that I sunk. Take fish out. Drain all the water out etc. etc. I don’t want to upset the balance that I created.

    Donna
     
    Donna Saverino MI, Jan 21, 2018
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  2. Donna Saverino MI

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    That's because the vast majority of us tend to make fall closure the issue and when spring comes, we just watch and enjoy. Well, not totally, but you get what I mean. It's not my belief you should ever 'drain the pond' unless the water is tainted and the fish are dying. If this isn't your case, why would you drain it? The only thing I do is get my pump and now, mech filter going again by plugging one in and replacing the filter material. I used to lift up my pots from the bottom but now just hang them lower than the ice thickness. The main reason you lift the pots is to have growth sooner, which in the case of lilies, is a good thing.

    As the season warms and the WATER temp gets over 50, no problem feeding the fish. You can even do it sooner if you see activity and are diligent to fish out any left over food that they don't eat. Typically though, there should be algae and whatnot on the sides/bottom of the pond for them to keep them going during the transition. (one reason NOT to drain and replace). If you have a lot of debris (leaves, etc), that all should have been cleaned out in the fall, not the spring, so the bottom of your pond should be good to go already. It's not a problem to have some debris a the bottom but always better if you can avoid this. Hence threads re pond leaf netting in the fall. Since my pond is always screened in, I don't worry about this. And as mentioned before, the smaller the pond, the easier it is for parameters to get out of whack. I don't recall the specifics of yours; do you know the size? (gallons + dimensions LxWxD). If you have good water movement, this is a plus, especially in the spring.

    If you turned your pumps and filter off, turn them on when you know ice won't be forming again. Last year, since February was so warm, I actually turned my pump on at the beginning of March. This year, I doubt the same will happen and am looking at probably the beginning of April or a bit later.

    So, imo, there's no real agenda in the spring except starting my pump back up. That's it. If you have plants in your pond, you'll find they do a lot of filtering all on their own.

    Hope this helps.

    Michael
     
    brokensword, Jan 21, 2018
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  3. Donna Saverino MI

    Donna Saverino MI My first Grandchild

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    WOW that's not what I have found on YouTube!!! You can watch "some People" taking power washers to the rocks etc. With the fish in a tub on the side! Thanks for making my life easier in about 3 months. Every few days I like to go out and fish out leaves as I see them so it should be only fish waste. BTY I think it was MichM that said not to even add beneficial bacteria when "the Pond Digger" tells people on his YouTube Channel to use it. Does it hurt by giving the pond a little boost just in case there is not enough?
     
    Donna Saverino MI, Jan 21, 2018
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  4. Donna Saverino MI

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I don't use it never have.
    In the spring take pump out to pond, hook it up turn it on, done. No draining, adding, cleaning (unless some excess leaves fell in)
     
    addy1, Jan 21, 2018
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  5. Donna Saverino MI

    sissy sissy

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    I never clean a pond as it is not needed .A pool net and test water is all you need to do besides get the filters going if you shut them down .I really don't even clean them .I just put quilt batting in to catch all the fines stuff and done .
     

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    sissy, Jan 21, 2018
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  6. Donna Saverino MI

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    what addy said. Even if you were just putting the water in, there's bacteria on any rocks, plants, even the fish. The trick is to have a base from which to start and NOT overload the system. There's a lag between ammonia/organic breakdown production and efficacy of the bacterial mob. Once established, you're usually okay, again unless you overload suddenly (like overfeed to an extreme, like overstock the system in general).

    Start slow when you see activity, mind any 'leftover' food by fishing them out, and keep the water moving; that's a good bet for success. There's a lot of videos and 'experts' that like to promote maintenance such as to sell you something. Almost all the time, you'll be fine with nature assisting and not your fish pharmacy. All that 'slimey-ness' and residual on the sides of your pond is actually biofilm, something that helps keep your pond in balance. Power-washing, etc just removes what nature is gifting you. Not to mention all the trauma and stress provided to the fish by temperature differentials, by water parameter differentials (ph, kh, gh etc) and handling. In the spring is when the fish are the most susceptible as they're weakest. So don't over tax the herd and they'll come in from the range in good shape.


    Michael
     
    brokensword, Jan 21, 2018
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  7. Donna Saverino MI

    adavisus

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    You might dust off your favourite sun lounger ready for the first puff of warm weather
     
    adavisus, Jan 22, 2018
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  8. Donna Saverino MI

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

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    All I do in spring is remove my Pond Breather and turn my pump on. I have to reconnect a hose or two, but opening the pond up is super easy.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Jan 22, 2018
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  9. Donna Saverino MI

    Lisak1

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    I just wander out with my coffee and enjoy getting reacquainted with my fish. Spring is one of the best times to be a pond owner.

    As for the beneficial bacteria - most pond professionals will recommend using it, mainly because it's another product that they can sell. It won't hurt anything, but many people will tell you they don't really do what they are purported to do either. So it's just money down the proverbial drain.
     
    Lisak1, Jan 22, 2018
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  10. Donna Saverino MI

    Tula

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    I start things up slowly in the Spring. I usually begin with just my small pump running to begin water circulation, followed by starting my filter pump and lastly, my water fall pump. This is just my way of doing things, I liken it to waking up slowly....I also just let my koi "wake up" slowly and munch on algae, before beginning to feed them.

    I don't drain or clean the pond either and don't use pond enzymes. I'm counting the days will Spring :)
     
    Tula, Jan 22, 2018
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  11. Donna Saverino MI

    bagsmom

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    I will have my first Spring with my established pond this year and I'm excited! The fish are funny -- coming out of the cave when it's warm and snacking on the first growth of algae. The bright sun and warm temps have started some nice plumes of string algae. Be aware - and there are all sorts of great threads on here - as the pond comes back to life, we will likely have an algae bloom. That is just a part of the pond going back into balance for the season. Everything I've read says be patient and don't try to "fix" it. This happened last year when the pond was getting up and running.
    I do really like Eric the Pond Digger. He does so many different kinds of ponds for different clients. I think most of us have what he calls "eco ponds." They rely more on nature to take care of things and are less worried about everything being pristine. A layer of algae on the rocks is desirable! I did watch him do a cleaning on a rock lined pond that was more extreme than I ever plan to do - but it was still minimal, compared to some. He mostly hosed gunk off the rocks and pumped it out. No pressure washing, just a gentle rinse off. But that would be stressful to the fish to take them out and start over with the water. I think he did pump a bunch of the original water from the fish holding tank back into the cleaned pond. But I hope I never have to do that. Right now my water is incredibly clear! I can't wait to see which plants come back for the season!!!!!
    You should post pictures of your pond!
     
    bagsmom, Jan 22, 2018
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  12. Donna Saverino MI

    qclabrat

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    all sound advice above, can you give us some details on your pond?
    Size, depth, number and size of fish, kind of fish, plants, etc
     
    qclabrat, Jan 24, 2018
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  13. Donna Saverino MI

    Dave 54

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    Donna many people take many different approaches to to filter and pond maintenance each of the seasons Spring, Summer, and winter.
    We like to do a little maintenance to our filters in the late spring, to remove the last, of the winter buildup, then in late summer and lastly and more importantly in the late Autumn to cover the winter period.
    Along with partial water changes at the same time as each maintenance period ,much to say we've never had an problems with this method of doing things.
    I'm not really a fan of rocks especially on the bottom of a pond ( to many places for bacteria,parasites and diseases to hide I'm afraid , we have koi that have been with us for many years with our oldest koi now in its 30's.

    Dave 54 .
     
    Dave 54, Jan 28, 2018
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  14. Donna Saverino MI

    mgmine

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    Keep in mind that it's a pond and not a swimming pool. You can go nuts cleaning it or simply leave it and never touch it, It just depends on how good you want it to look. The fact that some people pressure wash it and some add beneficial bacteria and some drain and do all three just goes to show that anything and everything works. Don't get worked up about what you read on the internet. Just because it's there doesn't mean its right or wrong. I simply clean out the stuff that has gotten under the net. I use a leaf skimmer then I vacuum it. I turn on the UV light to clear it up and that's about it. I don't test the water and I don't put in any additives. When needed I add something to clean up the string algae. The fish and plants seem to like what I'm doing so I'll keep on doing it.
     
    mgmine, Feb 23, 2018
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