If your pond has not been cleaned for a few years the chances are you have a layer of crud and leaves on the bottom and the water may be a brown colour so it would be a good idea to do a full Spring clean-out.
If things aren’t that bad then you may only need to remove loose plant materials with a net or by hand and change some of the water. Most ponds, especially small ones ,benefit from a yearly spring clean.
The best time to do this is NOW while the water is still cold. If you wait till the weather is warmer then you will disturb the natural bacteria colonies that support the ecosystem and keep the pond running during the warm summer months.
So! This is what you will need:
- A solid’s handling pump for the clean-out pump
- 50 feet of suitable large bore discharge hose.
- A high-pressure nozzle for your garden hose, or a power washer.
- Garden shears for trimming plants.
- A variety of suitably sized containers for holding fish, frogspawn, newts etc
- A lid or a net to prevent jumpers escaping.
- Waste bags and buckets for removing pond debris
- Large and small fish net.
- Water conditioner and de-chlorinator to remove chlorine and chloramines
- Spare plant baskets, aquatic soil and gravel for re-potting where needed
- Plant fertilizer tabs.
Here’s What to do:
- Make sure all existing electrics to pond are switched off
- Position the clean-out pump in the deep part of the pool
- Pump the water into the surrounding garden:
- First use some of the clean water to fill your fish and wildlife containers then put the pump on the pond bottom into the crud to if possible try to get as much crud pumped into the surrounding garden, your plants, especially veg will benefit greatly.
- While draining the water make sure to relocate the pipe several times to allow the water to drain naturally.
- Fish and wildlife can be more easily caught once the water is low and removed to the containers.
- Take the opportunity to check the fish health for injury and disease.
- Don’t overcrowd the containers and make sure there is enough oxygenation available. Use an air-pump or small pond pump if needed.
Cleaning – Gently does it
- If needed use a pressure hose or washer to help remove debris from the rocks and gravel.
- Hose down sides of pool
- Remove plant baskets and inspect for re-potting/splitting
- Don’t remove all the algae – it’s an essential part of the pond; at this time of year it’s the only plant growing so only remove excess.
- Using gentle flow rinse from top to bottom periodically turning on the sump pump to clear dirty rinsed water away.
- Once the rinsed water looks clear remove the sump pump and allow the pond to fill.
- Split and Re-pot plants as needed
- Add fertiliser tabs to existing plant baskets
Cleaning Any Filters:
- Remove any debris from pre-filters e.g a skimmer or Pond-less Vault. This can be done by hand or by using the cleanout pump.
- Remove and rinse the biological filter media nets and filter pads from the BioFalls® filter (this can be done with tap water at this time of year – bacteria are not active so cannot be harmed by chlorine).
- Put Your Fish Back
Follow these steps to safely place your fish back in the pond:
- If you’re on tap water, it’s imperative that you add Pond De-Chlorinator and Conditioner to make it safe for fish. Add the full dose immediately you start filling up
- Take a bucket and half fill with water from the fish containers.
- Catch the fish and place into the buckets
- Place the buckets into the pool such that they float or stand in shallows.
- After about 15 mins the temperatures will be similar then periodically begin adding some pond water into the bucket to slowly adjust to new water chemistry.
- As long as there are no signs of distress after 15 -30 mins you can release the fish into their spring-cleaned home.
- Clean container water should go directly back to the pond.
- Finish filling
If playing with cold water, cold fish and cold frogs on cold days doesn’t sound like your kind of fun give us a call and we will take care of it for you and cast an expert eye on the health of your pond and fish.