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Pond Spring Clean-out | 14 Simple Steps To Get Your Pond Ready For Spring

The snow has thawed, the birds are chirping, it’s time for the best part of the year; Pond Season!! Whether it’s made with cement, liner or plastic, it will require a bit of work. If it wasn’t closed properly before winter, you might be in for some extra work. If your pond was closed properly for the year, you’ll breeze through it in no time. Some ponds don’t require them to be shut down for the winter; if that’s the case, skip to step 4.

Proper maintenance and upkeep will extend the life of your pond by years. Simply follow these steps and you’ll be enjoying your pond in no time! Bring your pond back to life!

Tools Required:

Tank for holding any fish

Oxygen stones for fish

Sump pump or equivalent

Pressure washer or hose with nozzle and high water pressure

Garden Hose

Beneficial bacteria and detoxifier for your pond

A couple of garbage bags or yard debris bags

Garden tools such as: plant pruners and a hand trowel

Step 1 - Drain the Pond, Remove Your Fish and Place Them in an Aerated Container

Fish require oxygen, before starting you’ll want to ensure you have an oxygen supply such as air stones or a pump. Simply take a container large enough to house the fish and air supply for a few hours, fill it with water from the pond, this will ensure they stay in water that is the same temperature and the change won’t shock them. Now place the air supply and fish in the container for the duration of the clean-out. Place the sump pump or equivalent pump into the bottom of the pond and plug it in to start pumping. If you wait to remove the fish until the pond is low or about 6 to 10” it will make them very easy to catch.

Step 2 - Clean All Filters and Filter Mats Thoroughly

If your pond has a filtration system, clean all filter media using the same pond water that the sump pump is draining. Using this water will ensure your filters keep as much beneficial bacteria as possible. Your pond is a living thing; it takes certain bacteria to ensure the health of your pond and fish. Removing too much of this bacteria can do more harm than good. If you don’t have any filtration, I highly recommend looking into some options for your pond, there are plenty of filtration systems out there so locate a nearby professional for help with your specific pond.

Step 3 - Pressure Wash All the Boulders, Gravel and Pond Surfaces

Once the pond is drained, you’ll want to pressure wash the entire pond starting from the top waterfall or fountain area and working your way to the inside of your pond. Get all crevices to ensure it’s thoroughly cleaned. This step goes for concrete or lined ponds as well. If you have a liner, don’t get too close to it with the pressure washer as it could puncture the liner. Although pressure washers do a better job, if you don’t have one, you could use a garden hose with a high pressure nozzle attachment, it will just take some extra effort.

Step 4 - Remove All Debris

Clean up all debris in and around the pond, remove plant debris that has fallen into the pond. Cut back any overgrown or dead plants in the pond if necessary. Make sure all mold, algae and unwanted materials are cleaned up in this stage.

Step 5 - Re-stack Any Boulders or Rocks That May Have Shifted or Fallen Out Of Place

Ensure all boulders are secure and don’t move, fill any areas that have missing rocks and inspect any exposed liner before covering them with existing stone. Stacking small stones or stones that are the same size can make it look man made and cluttered, try using different sizes in all areas.