Pond Cleanout

Does my feature need a pond clean out?

Balanced ponds may need to be cleaned out every couple of years. A pond that struggles with balance may need an annual clean out.  Take a look at your pond:

  • Is the water brown, black or unclear?
  • Do you see muck or sludge on the bottom of the pond?
  • Is your pump struggling to work because of excess debris around it?

A clean pond is critical for a healthy ecosystem!  Debris builds up over the fall and winter and decays in the water, creating tannins that turn the water brown and contribute to sludge on the bottom of the pond. The gunk needs to be removed from the pond and good bacteria needs to be added. 

What is a pond clean out?

When we come to do a clean out we:

  • Flush canister filters (if present)
  • Remove all water from the water feature
  • Remove fish (if you have them) and put them into a portable pond that we bring
  • Trim plants as needed
  • Clean the equipment – including the skimmre, the Biofall, and other equipment
  • Pressure wash the whole pond, including the waterfall and stream
  • Apply water treatments to establish a healthy ecosystem and protect the fish
  • Restack rocks that may have been disturbed during the cleanout
  • Return fish to pond using safe fish transfer methods
After the clean out - Caring for the pond

One of the most important aspects of a cleanout is actually caring for the pond in the weeks following the cleanout.  Keep in mind that the ecosystem of the pond is essentially being restarted when it is cleaned.  

  1. Read the instructions on the beneficial bacteria and add it to the pond a few days after the cleanout.
  2. Add bacteria in about another week.
  3. Continue to add beneficial bacteria to the pond each week. 
  4. If the pond does not have 40 to 60% of the pond surface area in aquatic plants, add plants. To read more about aquatic plants click HERE. 
  5. If there are only large rocks in the pond, add 3/4″ gravel about 1 inch think on the bottom and in the nooks between larger boulders. (This gives the beneficial bacteria a home.)

Here are some poratable ponds as a cleanout. We cover them with a net when fish are in them to make sure they can’t jump out!

get the pond clean!

Here is a great photo of a pond before a clean out and the same pond afterwards.

Was this information helpful?  Want to read more about pond clean outs?  

Here is some information about algae. Worried about algae in the pond? 

Check out this article about it : Why You Should Get Your Water Feature Cleaned Out This Spring