How to Clean Out Natural Ponds

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Natural ponds grow murky. Decaying leaves and glass pollute the waters. Algae flourishes so strong the waters turn dark green. A thorough cleaning helps the natural pond life keep the water clear.

Things You'll Need

  • Holding tubs
  • Water pump
  • Fish net
  • Water source
  • Hose
  • Utility vacuum

Cleaning Instructions

  • Collect all your supplies. Place the tubs and utility vacuum near the pond for convenience. Ready the water pump to drain the pond.

  • If you have fish in the pond, net the fish in the pond and place in holding tubs. Fill the tubs with water from the pond using the water pump. Using a soft net, move the fish to the tubs. Keep the tubs out of direct sunlight. Covers can be used to keep the tub water cool and prevent the fish from jumping out.

  • Begin draining the pond with the water pump. Place the pump in the deep water. Move the water outlet to a good drainage spot. Begin draining. Remove the thick sludge and muck floating in the pond and resting in the bottom. When the water begins to get low, remove rocks, plants and underwater lights.

  • Clean the filter and, if you have one, the skimmer. The pond draining period is a good time to clean the filter and skimmer. Clean out all the decaying plant life and rocks that block filter pathways.

  • Begin cleaning the sides. Once you can see at least 1 to 2 feet of the sides that had been underwater, begin cleaning the pond formation. Scrub the algae, decay and mud from the sides above the water level and wash off.

  • Use the utility vacuum to clean out thick sludge and muck. After most of the water has drained and the waters become thick with algae and decay, use the utility vacuum to remove the thickest pollution that now sits near the bottom. Continue removing sludge until the water has drained. Clean out the pond bottom and wash off.

  • Refill the pond with the hose. Set the hose in the pond, turn it on steady, and let the pond fill up. Replace the rocks, plants and underwater lights. Secure the filter and skimmer in a good place in the water.

  • Acclimate the fish to the new pond water. Test the new pond water and old water in the tubs to test for close pHs. Fish need to grow acclimated to the new pond water gradually. Using the water pump, replace one-fifth of the holding tub water with new pond water. Wait 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat. Then, in stages, replace part of the water until the tub water is almost entirely new pond water.

  • Return fish to the pond water. Watch the fish. When they swim confidently and calmly, they are ready to return to the pond. Drain the tub water until one-fourth is left. Net the fish and return them to the pond water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before returning the fish to the pond, remove the chlorine from the water with a dechlorinator.
  • Do not submerge the vacuum tip in the water. The vacuum works best when drawing in half water and half air.

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