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Spring Clean-out Instructions!


It’s getting to be that time of year and we get a lot of questions about how to prepare the pond in the springtime.  Here are some Spring Clean-out tips from Aquascape.

Spring clean outs are usually done early spring, before your pond awakens from it’s winter dormancy. Clean outs should take place before water reaches 55°F.

Things you’ll need:

  • Container to hold fish and frogs
  • Fish net
  • Five gallon buckets to collect leaves and debris
  • Old clothes (You’re going to get dirty)
  • Gloves
  • 25’ of 1.5” or 2” discharge piping
  • Sump pump with a screen or skimmer pump with chicken wire around it
  • High pressure nozzle for your garden hose or power washer
  • Garden shears (for trimming plants)

 Steps for successful clean out:

  1. Begin draining pond. Use your pump with chicken wire or screen around it to help protect fish from being sucked in. Use some of this water for the container to house fish in. Also make sure you move the piping around a few times so all the water doesn’t go in one place. (This water is excellent for fertilizing plants.)
  2. When water level reaches about six inches, turn pump off and catch fish. (It’s a waste of time to try and catch then when pond is full!) Place fish in container and make sure to cover if you have Koi because they do jump.
  3. Once fish and others are in container, begin hosing down rocks and gravel.
  4. A high-pressured nozzle or power washer should be used for hosing down rocks. Don’t wash away all algae because a little bit will be beneficial in developing your ecosystem. (For an average size pond, 11’x16’, this takes about 15 minutes.)
  5. Take this opportunity to trim back any plants that appear to be overgrown.
  6. The most time consuming part will be washing the debris off your rocks and gravel. DO NOT use the power washer for this; use the water coming out of the garden hose. Keep pump plugged in, water and sediment will go to the deepest part of the pond so it will be able to get sucked out.
  7. Clean out skimmer box by sucking out water and hosing down. Clean out net and filter pad too.
  8. Clean your BIOFALLS mats and lava rock by hosing them down until they’re clear.
  9. Now that the pond is pretty much cleaned out, remove the pump and begin filling the pond. Once your pond is half full you can begin to reintroduce your fish and plants.
  10. Remember…if you’re using city water, you need to use a de-chlorinator such as Pond Detoxifier from Aquascape. Chlorine will kill fish. Add the appropriate amount of de-chlor so you can start adding fish. Dip your buckets into the holding tank and fill them with a few inches of water. Add your fish and float the buckets in the new water.
  11.  After around 15 minutes, begin splashing pond water into the bucket. By now temperatures should be close to the same (pond water and bucket water). You can now add fish into pond.
  12. It’s very important at this point to add Beneficial Bacteria to “jump-start” the ecosystem in the pond.  If the WATER temperature is between 45 and 55 degrees, use Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria from Aquascape and if the water temperature has already warmed up over 55 degrees, use either Beneficial Bacteria for Ponds – Dry or Beneficial Bacteria for Ponds – Liquid.

 Note: Clean out should be done in timely fashion. Fish are weak in the spring. They shouldn’t be kept in full sunlight or in container outside of pond for more than a few hours.

date Posted on: Saturday, March 20th, 2010 at 2:21 am
Category Pond Tips.
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5 Responses to “Spring Clean-out Instructions!”

  1. sarah

    thanks a lot, that’s pretty much what i had planned. i have a lot of free floating plants and they are a pain to deal with, but i’m working on getting going.

    March 20th, 2010 at 3:03 pm
  2. steve

    I live in Montana and experiance a number of weather changes and problems with our pond. It can be a lot of work but thanks to you I see that I was doing a number of things wrong. You have a great web sight.

    April 3rd, 2010 at 10:47 am
  3. Paula

    I cleaned my pond and all of these instructions except the biofalls lava rock part. I did not want to have to move surround rocks,etc. This is only the 2nd year for my pond, will my biofalls be ok through to next year. My pond is very clear and ph, etc. in good shape. Thanks.

    April 12th, 2010 at 12:53 pm
  4. PondMeister

    Typically most of us clean our biofalls once a year but certainly no more frequently than that. You did not mention where you are loctaed. In the North where many turn their pumps off for the winter, the BioFalls must be cleaned as the dead bacteria could be toxic. For those of us who run it all year, it is not quite as important.

    April 14th, 2010 at 7:05 pm
  5. house clean service

    Im so happy, I cant wait for the day, I hope we get good weather

    June 5th, 2010 at 5:16 pm