Pond Cleaning

CaraRoseSeptember 24, 2013

I had several pots get dumped in the spring so I have a bunch of gravel (along with a season of muck... the pond does take some run off after bad rain). I want to get things cleaned up before we start approaching the winter.

I don't own a pond vac, and the shop vac we have is crap.

I figure I can --

a) drain a significant amount of water using the pump, then use my skimmer net (fine mesh) to get as much gunk as possible out.

b) Buy a shop vac, get the pond completely drained, clean it out well.

c) Consider getting an actual pond vac (would have to be less than $300) and use it to get the muck/gravel out (can it handle the gravel?)

Any suggestions of what route to take.

Also, what should I do about my fish during this exercise? I have five good size comets (bought as large feeders early in the year, they are at least 3-4" now), a good size Oranda, and two smaller ones, a ryukin and a sarasa. I don't have a holding tank. I could put them in large buckets, but not sure how long they'd be okay in such a situation?

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Oh, and my pond is smaller, maybe 200 gallons?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Cara Rose,
I clean my pond in the spring, not the fall, but I have pond lilies and plants I want to survive over the winter, and I figure the clay and small rocks that fell in the pond over the summer won't hurt the plants over the winter, or the fish.
Yes, buy a fine mesh net.
A garden rake used VERY carefully works really good too.
You have to do it very slowly, like playing that game Operation when we were kids. LOL.
The first thing you HAVE to do is fix the runoff situation.
You can't have runoff leaking into your pond at all.
I had that this year, we got a record amount of rain this year and I put cinderblocks around the sides to raise it so that no matter how hard it rained, there would be no runoff.
If you don't stop runoff, everything else is pointless.
You can also dig a trench to guide the water to go around the pond during a downpour and not into it.
My pond is really small, mabey 150 gallons.
I don't want to do too much to it, I have a whole eco system going on in there, LOL, frog families, fish families, plants that are growing good, so just try to get the big stuff out.
Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 10:15PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

For a small pond, after you have used a net with a flat side to scoop up most of the gravel, you can use a kiddie swimming pool siphon vac available in season at Wally World for $16 to get the leaves, etc. It doesn't do anything for mud but does pretty good for leaves and other debris. They probably have them at pool stores too.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 6:02AM
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It's actually designed to take some run off. I was trying to create a hybrid-- a water garden and a drainage path for that section of the yard. It's still been a work in progress, and took a real lot mud early on because the elements that weren't finished yet.

Basically, the water coming in should be filtered through a gravel bog before entering the pond. I have an edging of granite stones around the bog to help prevent any large amounts of mud from coming in. The bog is separated from the pond with a permeable retention wall.

It's about 95% done now, I need to add additional gravel into the bog.

I wasn't sure if it would work, and long term, it may have tons of problems, but this year, even taking run off and being under construction and taking mud, it's done amazingly well. The fish are healthy, the water tests safe, plants thrived, and now that I have most of the elements completed, other than clouding up a little bit after hard rains, it has stayed very clear.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 11:57AM
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