Posted in Habitat
on October 17, 2011
“backyard pond” by massdistraction on flickr
Here are some easy to follow directions for cleaning your pond once it has been set up:
- Remove marginal plants first and store them temporarily in a shady spot, watering them regularly to prevent them drying out.
- Wrap any wilting plants in damp newspaper for temporary protection.
- Net off floating plants and keep them in buckets or trays of water.
- Place a temporary container for the fish and turtles somehwere near the pond, but shaded from the heat of the sun. A round wading pool with a good surface area is ideal.
- Fill the wading pool with the cleanest water drawn from near the surface of the pond.
- Unless the water is particularly foul, save as much as you can at this stage in buckets, so that the balance will be quickly restore in the refilled pond.
- Use the rest of the water from the pond for watering flowerbeds and shrubs.
- It is easier to catch the fish and turtles when the pond is nearly empty; this is now the time to do so.
- Make sure the wading pool is sufficiently aerated by installing a circulation pump or air stone.
- If you also have fish, cover the container with a tight-fitting fine mesh net to prevent the fish from leaping out.
- Drain the pond as low as possible and double check for any small fish you have overlooked.
- Remove the layer of debris on the pond base with a dustpan and bucket rather than the pump.
- If you need to step into the pond, check that the base will support your weight.
- Rinse the pond down and brush off any excess blanket weed from the sides.
- Begin refilling the pond.
- Reposition the plants in the pond as soon as it is sufficiently full.
- Add a water conditioner to the inflowing water to neutralize any chlorine.
- If you manage to save any of the old water, add it to the pond.
- Allow the water in the refilled pond to warm slightly before transferring the fish back in.
- Return any floating plants.
- The pond will take some time to settle and may appear rather cloudy for a few weeks.
- Feed the fish, but only sparingly at first. Avoid adding any new fish until the pond has completely recovered and established the nitrogen cycle once again.