Spring Pond Clean-Out
As the weather warms and the ice melts away it quickly becomes an exciting time of year for water gardeners. We anxiously await the time when we can start our pump back up and feed our fish. As this happens there are some things we can do to make sure the pond gets off to a good start in the spring.
In some cases your pond will only need to be refreshed. In other cases you will need to do a full pond clean-out. If you have a lot of accumulated debris and muck on the pond bottom or the water is brown or discolored then doing a full clean-out is in order.
The best time to do a pond clean-out is early in the spring before the water temps rise above 55 degrees. If you wait to do your clean-out until after the water temp is above 55 degrees you will be removing the already established bacteria and cause the eco-system to restart. Not a huge deal but be prepared for a little green water phase before the pond cycles again.
Here’s what we recommend for your clean-out:
- A high-pressure nozzle for your garden hose, or a power washer
- A solids handling pump with enough discharge hose to take water away
- A child’s swimming pool or other container to hold your fish during the clean-out
- A Sakana Aeration System to keep oxygen levels high in the fish holding container
- A net to place over the fish holding container so the fish don’t jump out
- A fish net to catch the fish from the pond
- A bucket to collect the leaves and debris
- Shears or a knife to cut back any dead aquatic plant growth
- PondBuilder Purify dechlorinator to make the water safe prior to adding the fish back
- PondBuilder Spring & Fall Cold Water Bacteria to add to the pond when completed
Follow these steps for a successful spring pond clean-out:
- Place the solids handling pump in the deepest part of the pond in order to remove the water.
- Drain the water into the surrounding landscape- be sure to relocate the hose a few times so you don’t flood your yard in one area.
- If you have fish, use some of the pond water to fill the holding tank. Then use the net to gently remove the fish from the pond and into the holding tank. This is easiest once the water level in the pond is down half way or more. It is best to locate the holding tank in a shady area of the yard so the sun doesn’t warm the water.
- Once the pond is empty use the high-pressure hose or pressure washer to clean the rocks and boulders. Start from the top and work your way down. Once there is enough water in the pond bottom plug in the pump to remove the dirty water. Repeat this until the pond is clean. It’s ok if there is a little algae left on the boulders as this provides a more natural look and will help jump start the eco-system. If you do not have a solids handling pump consider purchasing the PondVac 4 Vacuum to remove the debris.
- If the algae on the boulders and rocks is being stubborn you can apply AquaFix Dry to assist. Allow the AquaFix Dry to sit on the algae for 20 minutes and then spray off with water.
- Now that the pond is clean begin filling the pond with water. If you are using city water be sure to dechlorinate it with a dechlorinator like Purify. Now you can begin cleaning the filters while the pond is filling.
- Remove any debris from your skimmer or filter system and clean the mat and net.
- Remove the media bags and mats from your waterfall box and clean them. If you are using lava stone as your media now is a great time to upgrade your filter system by replacing the lava with BioTwist media. If you experienced a lot of algae growth last year upgrading your media is highly recommended.
- Take a 5 gallon pail and fill it half way with water from the fish holding tank. Place a fish or two (depending on their size) into the bucket and set it in the pond so the water temps can acclimate. Little by little add water from the pond into the bucket until the temps feel similar. Now you are ready to reintroduce your fish to their clean pond. Repeat as necessary for additional fish.
Congratulations! You’ve successful completed a pond clean-out and your pond is ready for a successful season ahead.
Here are a few more tips as the water temps warm above 55 degrees:
- Continue using the Spring & Fall Cold Water Bacteria by PondBuilder until the water temps reach 55 degrees. At that point, discontinue using the cold water bacteria and switch to Pond Cleaner and Muck Buster. These two items should be added weekly while the temps are above 55 degrees and all the way until the fall season when the temps go back under 55 degrees.
- You may begin feeding your fish once the water temps are consistently above 50 degrees. We recommend using a cold water food like Sakana Spring & Autumn Pellet. Once the water temps reach 65 degrees switch to Sakana Growth & Color Pellet.
- Be sure to fertilize your aquatic plants using Pondtabbs Aquatic Plant Food. This will allow for early growth and maximize blooms.
- Once the water temps reach 65 degrees or higher add some floating plants to your pond. They are great at absorbing the excess nutrients and provide cover and relief for your fish from the sun and predators.
For additional information or assistance please call us at 888-619-3474.
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