How to Have a Healthy Garden Pond Without an Aerator or Pump


Without an aerator or a pump, a pond needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the buildup of algae and other harmful objects. Set a seasonal schedule and clean your pond every spring and fall. With regular maintenance, your pond will remain clean year round.

Things You'll Need

  • Holding tank
  • Spray nozzle
  • Hose
  • Wet/dry shop vacuum
  • Transfer fish to a holding tank while you clean the pond. Drain part of the pond to make it easier to catch the fish with a net. Once the fish are in the holding tank, cover the top to prevent the fish from jumping out.

  • Empty the remaining water in the pond. Transfer plants like water lilies to a holding tank and scoop out as much water as possible to make the cleaning process easier.

  • Hose off the pond and any water features with a hose fitted with a spray nozzle. Break up any muck or debris stuck to the rocks with the hard spray of water.

  • Clean out the loosened muck and debris using a wet/dry shop vacuum. Use the attachments that come with the vacuum to get into crevices and other hard-to-reach areas. Vacuum the entire pond.

  • Fill the pond with water, taking care to balance the PH levels, which should be above 7.0. If you use regular water from your hose, add chemicals like poly vinyl compounds or sodium thiosulfate to de-chlorinate the water according to the directions on the package. Depending on the time of year and the climate, you may also need to add chemicals like zeolite to protect fish from nitrates and ammonia.

  • Allow the temperature of the pond to regulate to the temperature of the water in the holding tank. When the temperatures match, transfer the fish and plants back into the pond.

  • Use straw pads, oxygenating plants and snails or other algae eaters to slow the rate of algae development and reduce the time you need to spend cleaning the pond. Purchase these products at an eco-friendly garden store.

Tips & Warnings

  • Algae-eating fish won't eat all of the algae, so you will still need to take measures to prevent buildup even if you have them in your pond.
  • Chlorine will evaporate from water in approximately seven days; avoid using dechlorinating chemicals by keeping your fish in an appropriate holding tank for that period.

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  • Photo Credit Hafsah Al-Azem: Stock Exchange
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