Cleaning a fish pond
In one of my articles, we looked at how to build a backyard fish pond, in this article however we will be looking at how to clean our fish pond. As we noted earlier installing a fish pond can liven up any Landscape and Garden area providing lots of fun for adults as well as kids.
But in order for us to enjoy our fish pond, we are faced with the challenge of keeping it clean so that our fish will not only stay healthy but the pond itself would not become an eyesore. Many companies charge a fee to come and give our ponds a good cleaning. These fees can become very hefty base on the condition of your pond.
This article was written as a DIY (do it yourself ) guide. If you are willing to take on the challenge and don’t mind getting dirty along with saving on that pond cleaning bill then this article is for you, so with that said let’s look at pond cleaning more closely.
Why and when should I clean my fish pond?
The main attraction of a fish pond is the fish, therefore we should do all that we can to ensure that our fish remains healthy, and keeping our pond clean is a must. Leaves and other debris are carried by wind and rain. Over time there is a build-up of this debris
As the debris decomposes or breaks down this process produces carbon dioxide when this happens there is less oxygen in the pond for fish to survive. Overfeeding your pond fish can threaten the survival of your fish, the uneaten food settles at the bottom of the pond begins to break down when this happens chemicals releases from this uneaten food can become harmful to your fish.
Decomposing leaves also causes the water to become cloudy and muddy which is not good for our pond fish and would become an eyesore instead of a work of beauty.
Also, the uneaten foods over a period of time can change the water’s ph causing it to become acidic which is not good for pond fish, this can cause algae to develop. What we have just read can cause our pond fish to become stress, not to mention overworking the filter because of the mass build-up of debris.
Cleaning a fish pond
Time of cleaning
A good time to give your pond a good cleaning is in the spring when the ice is melting and nature is waking up from that long winter nap. Your fish will love you for it as you do some spring cleaning ensuring that they remain healthy at all times.
Tools you will need
1. Garden hose
2. Pond pump
4. Children’s size inflatable pool (optional )
5. Pond net
6. Rubber boots
Time to get down and dirty
1. Place pump in the pond, 2. Take the tubing that is attached to the pump and place it in the children’s inflatable pool. The pool serves to collect the dirty pond water as it is being removed from the pond or if you prefer you can place the tubing in your garden beds and let the water runoff there. This water will give your plants a good drink of water. 3. As the water begins to lower collect enough of the existing water from the pond in a bucket and with net catch fish and place them in the bucket.
You may be wondering why use existing water from the fish pond to put fish in when you can just use clean fresh water? Well, the answer to that question is the fish is already adapted to the pond existing water as far as their body temperature is concern, to take them immediately out of the existing pond water and place them in a bucket of fresh clean water where their bodies are not adjusted as far as temperature is concern can have a negative reaction to fish and can cause them to go into shock.
4. You can then begin to remove debris with a net, also remove lilies from the pond. This is also a good time to clean any dead leaves of water lilies. With debris and lilies removed use a pond vacuum to remove remaining water along with small debris.
5. Use a garden hose and begin to wash pond out, then replace potted lilies back into the pond and begin to fill the pond with fresh water. As the pond is being filled place bucket with fish in water, do not remove fish from the bucket but allow the bucket to sit with fish in the water so fish can adjust to freshwater.
6. Well, water is best to use but if you have to use city water you can always treat the water with water treatment. After bucket has been sitting in water for 10-15 minutes you can then release fish from the bucket back into the pond.
Regular maintenance consists of checking the skimmer basket at least every two to three days and emptying the basket of leaf content. Use a leaf net to remove leaves from the surface of the pond. But for leaves that are at the very bottom of the pond, you would use a leaf vacuum.
Attach the garden hose to vacuum, once the vacuum is at the bottom of the pond go ahead and turn on the hose. Leaves at the bottom will begin to fill the net. When the net is filled remove and empty, repeat process until the bottom of the pond is swept clean.
Cleaning a fish pond
The final word
It may seem to be a lot of work but it will pay off in the long run as far as the survival of your fish is concerned and with you saving a few bucks.