Why do we get asked to clean-out a pond ?
1. Over time silt forms at the bottom of the pond. This accumulation is a mixture of fish waste, leaves blown in, last years water plant growth etc. If left unmanaged it builds up at the bottom of the pond and starts to decompose releasing tanning’s, gases and can deoxygenate the water. If this is allowed to get too deep fish and plant health can suffer.
2. Out of control fish breeding. Fish will breed no matter the environment they are in or how many fish are already in the pond. High stockings of fish can lead to a significant accumulation of fish waste which can be detrimental and toxic to a pond and its inhabitants. We often help move on fish for people, not kill them to ease the pressure on the pond.
3. Insufficient or the wrong type of filtration fitted to the pond, which has not dealt with breaking down the fish waste or water born green algae, and turned the pond cloudy, smelly and unhealthy.
4. The pond plants have not been maintained over the years and have spread rapidly creating dense clumps that cannot be lifted out of the pond without draining. Once the pond is drained the plants can be cut up into manageable pieces to be lifted out re-potted or disposed of.
When do we clean ponds ?
We do clean ponds all year round. The best times to clean a pond are in Spring or Autumn.
1. For the fish it is a less stressful time as there is more dissolved Oxygen in the water. This is due to the fact the sun is lower in the sky and not at its hottest. The hotter the water becomes the less oxygen it can hold.
2. At this time of year the leaves have fallen from the trees and the pond plants have died back. This helps to reduce the build up of decaying leaf matter.
3. It is also a good time to overhaul pond filters as they shut down this time of year due to the cold.
Now not all ponds can wait to the best time of year and need to be cleaned out in the middle of Summer. That’s fine as we fully aerate our tanks and add treatments to help reduce the stress on the fish.
How do we clean a pond ?
Firstly cleaning a pond can be a messy job. We do our best to keep this to a minimum.
1. We set up a holding tank or tanks suitable for the size of your pond.
2. We don’t just dive into your pond trying to catch and stressing your fish, turfing all your pond plants out and unsettling all the silt. Also if you are unaware of what you are treading on you could step on sharp objects and potentially puncture the pond liner. Instead if any of the pond water is savable this will be pumped into a holding tank to be reused as it contains all the helpful bacteria to quickly seed your clean pond again. Any water we cannot save will either go down a drain or onto suitable boarders in the garden.
3. When the pond is approx ¾ empty we remove the pond plants so the fish have no where to hide. Only now to do we proceed to catch the fish as quickly and safely as possible to reduce any undue stress. The will be held in the saved in the holding tank with the clean pond water. We will also aerate the tank. The plants will be stored in the shade or in the holding tank if more susceptible to drying out. All wildlife we find is saved, frogs, toads, newts, snails, dragonfly larvae and nymphs.
4. We will remove the silt. This would be placed as tidily as possible around your planted boarders. The silt is full of nutrients and will do your garden the world of good. The pond will have a final brush down and then hosed clean.
5. We will clean and overhaul your pond pump and filter system. If your pond has a waterfall this will also be cleaned.
6. The pond plants would be trimmed, cleaned and re-potted before returning to the pond.
7. The saved pond water will be returned to the pond along with your fish and plants. The pond would be topped up with tap water and a conditioner added to make it safer for the fish.
8. Finally the pump and filter would be made to run and checked for leaks.
MAKE SURE BEFORE UNDERTAKING A CLEAN DOES YOUR POND HAVE ADEQUATE FILTRATION OR PLANTS TO KEEP IT CLEAN AND HEALTHY AFTERWARDS. PLEASE ASK.