FALL POND CLEANING
Should you do a 'Fall Pond Cleaning?'
Great question. The answer is it really depends.
Doing a full pond cleaning during the colder winter months can
be very stressful on your fish. However, if the pond is really
dirty and full of 'muck' - then you may want to consider it
because all of the decaying organic matter in the pond can cause
problems if the pond ices over, and this begins to de-gas and
So, I think the best solution, and what we used to do for our
clients was do a partial Fall pond cleaning.
Here's how to do it:
First, get a container that will hold roughly 100 gallons or so,
or up to half of your pond volume (bigger is better). Then take
a pump with a hose, and pump out the relatively 'clean' water
from your pond by holding the pump just beneath the water
surface. Keep as much of the 'old' pond water as you can. Then,
catch your fish (if possible) and place them into the holding
tank of their own (clean) water.
Then you can either net out your leaves and dispose of them,
along with any muck that you can get out also. Alternatively,
you can then pump out the remaining water and do a thorough
clean out, including vacuuming out the pond with a large wet/dry
vac (this works great!).
Then refill the pond back up to the level it was at before
disposing of the water, de-chlorinate the water, and adjust the
pH to match that of the 'old' water in your holding tank. At
this point, start pumping new water from the pond into your
holding tub, and then pumping the mixture back into the pond. Do
this for 15-20 minutes until the new water mixture matches that
in the pond - and then pump the remaining water back into your
pond while netting your fish back in as well.
But it's very important not to expose your fish to new water
conditions too quickly as differences in temperature and pH can
cause extreme stress to your fish, affect the immune system, and
even cause shock or fish death. So always be careful when
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