House & Home

How to Clean a Dirty Pond

Ponds are a beautiful addition to just about any landscape. However, a dirty pond can be an eyesore and can also be unhealthy for any fish or aquatic creatures that live in it. Ponds need to be equipped with the appropriate filters, pond aerators and fountains, pumps, and other useful equipment to stay clean and functional. However, even with the best equipment in place, you will likely need to do a little bit of cleaning every year or so to ensure your pond remains the beautiful feature it is meant to be.

Drain the Pond

Early in the spring, preferably before temperatures hit 55 degrees, a dirty pond will need to be drained and cleaned. Start with using a pump to fill a bucket with some of the pond water to store fish in while the rest of the pond is drained. Store them somewhere shady and don’t keep them out of the pond for more than a few hours. Next, place the pump in a deep part of the pond and let it drain the water into your landscape. 

Clean Up

Once the water is drained, you will need to rinse and scrub the inside of the pond to remove debris. However, you do not want to remove all the algae that have grown on the rocks and sides, since it is part of the ecosystem. Continue using the pump to remove excess water as you rinse the pond. Once the water flowing to the bottom of the pond starts to look clear you can remove the pump and let the water start to fill in the pond. At this point, you will also need to remove your filters and give them a good cleaning and a rinse to keep them functional.

Acclimate Fish

After the pond has had sufficient time to fill you can start preparing to move your fish back to their home. A pond detoxifier can be added to the water at this point to make it fish safe. The bucket the fish are being stored in should then be placed floating in the pond to bring the temperatures of the bucket water and pond water to the same level. This should take about 10-15 minutes, at which point some of the clean pond water should be added to the bucket. After a few more minutes you can safely release the fish back into their home. A similar process should be used any time new fish are introduced to the pond.

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