Clean and Clear and Ready for Spring! Tips for Cleaning Out Your Fish Pond
Each spring the plants start to bloom, our fish come alive again and green slowly begins to take over the dullness winter had brought. Green can be an exciting sight to see, but it isn’t favorable among most pond owners. Seeing algae form on your rocks is not quite what you had pictured from the year before. Leaves have taken home to the bottom, and your pond just doesn’t carry its glowing appeal from where you thought you had left off. No worries, this can be fixed in no time. A spring clean out is just the solution.
Cleaning out your pond may seem like a dreadful task, but on a nice warm day it can be just the way kick off your spring season! In just a few hours you can take your water feature from murky to perky and ready for enjoyment.
You will need a few tools to help you with this project, nothing too complicated. You will need a water pump and a hose for pumping out the water, a net for removing the fish, a tub to put the fish in (a cattle trough works nicely, but never use a trash can), an aerator for those fish, and a hose with good water pressure or a pressure washer for cleaning. It is also a good idea to wear waders or waterproof boots. With these things compiled, cleaning will be a breeze.
First things first. The purpose for doing a spring clean out is to get rid of the nastiness that has built up from the previous year or years, if you haven’t cleaned in awhile. So, in order to make this happen, the pond will need to be drained. Place the pump into the pond, on the closest shelf to the top, if possible, to avoid debris that may be compiled at the bottom. Begin draining the water, placing it at first into the tank that you plan to keep your fish in for the cleaning process. Once the holding tank has been filled, put your aerator in. You can then begin to transfer the fish with your net from the pond to your holding tank. As the water gets lower, the fish will be easier to catch. With the remaining water being drained, it is wise to water your surrounding landscape or garden. This water is full of nutrients and will make for excellent fertilizer.
Once the water has been drained, you can start the cleaning process by removing the leaves and twigs that may have gathered during the off season. (To avoid this step next time, put a net over your pond to capture the leaves in the fall.) After most of the debris has been removed, you may begin rinsing the rocks moving from the top to the bottom, rinse not only the surface, but behind the rocks as well. This will help to rid the gunk that has built up. It also is a good time to check your filters and pumps. Be sure to rinse these areas and make sure that they are working properly. If maintenance needs to be done, now is the best time.
As you continue to rinse, water will build up in the bottom of your pond. Go ahead and drain this water as ofter as you need to. The purpose of rinsing is to wash the gunk to the bottom and then to drain that murky water out. Do this as many times as necessary. If your pond has not been cleaned in awhile or looks excessively dirty, you may need to use a pressure washer for the final rinse. When the water become more clear, you are ready to move on. The rocks should not be “sparkling", but look naturally green. It is healthy to leave some of the green for the fish.
When your water has shown to be “clean”, you may begin filling your pond back up. When the pond is full, you will need to add some detoxifier. Detoxifier will dechlorinate the water and make it safe for the fish. You may then begin acclimating the fish to the new water by taking out about half the water from your holding tank and adding the new water. Wait about ten minutes to allow them to get used to the new water. Once you feel that they are ready, you can start adding them to your clean pond. Try adding just one at first. See how he handles the new environment. If all is well, add the other fish.
When you are finished, turn on your feature. Look at the beauty you have resurfaced. Sit back and enjoy.
For any questions or comments, feel free to leave us a note. We would love to hear from you!