Everyone wants a backyard straight out of Better Homes & Gardens: beautiful flowers, lush foliage, and maybe even a pond that adds elegance and vibrancy to your outdoor area.
Unfortunately, ponds are the most intimidating to homeowners in Augusta, Georgia, who feel like they take a lot more care and maintenance than they actually do.
But what if we at Amen Corner Ponds, your neighborhood water feature building and maintenance professionals, said you could have the pond of your dreams with simple yearly upkeep?
Whether you’re considering dipping your toes into your first outdoor aquatic addition or cleaning a pond for the first time, we’ll help you understand how easy it is to preserve your backyard oasis.
*The following are tips and general advice for cleaning a pond. Not every contractor or pond owner does all of the following or does it the same way. We want to provide you with as much information as possible. You can always hire a professional to clean your pond for you.
Pond Surface Cleaning
Have you ever noticed how a pool cleaner uses a net to remove dead leaves, sticks, dirt, and other debris off the pool’s surface?
This helps make sure these particles don’t drop to the bottom, becoming mushy and bacteria-filled nuisances that are harder to clean. While you may believe an artificial koi pond doesn’t need this extra step since streams and other natural bodies of water house earthy debris, it does.
Unlike natural collections of water, koi ponds are congested spaces that do not filter out to larger bodies to clean themselves. Instead, you must use a net to pull this dirt from the surface to make your annual deeper cleanings easier and keep your fish and underwater vegetation healthy.
You’ll have more to clean if your pond sits near shrubs or under trees. Consider investing in a pond skimmer that sucks the surface water through its system, taking care of even the smallest pollutants like hair, pollen, and fish waste.
Removing Liner Buildup
Unfortunately, some debris does sink, creating sludgy waste on the pond floor and along the sides. Overgrown vegetation, algae, and fish deposits beneath the water add to this green growth, creating slimy inner walls and murky water.
While some prefer the cheaper alternative of getting in there with a scrubber and rubber gloves, the easiest method includes using a telescopic rod with a suction head, known as a pool vacuum. Depending on its depth and length, it’s crucial to find the appropriate vacuum for cleaning a pond of whatever size yours is.
The best part about using a vacuum is not having to remove any fish or aquatic plants from your pond beforehand. However, you should stick to vacuuming the lining rarely and lightly since wildlife love the nutrients from the new growth, and a minimal amount won’t hurt your fish. Also, vacuuming in the fall won’t disturb insects, frogs, and other creatures from reproducing during the spring and summer.
If you’re providing a light cleaning rather than draining the pond, use a power washer to loosen any growth from stones, pebbles, and gravel and allow the vacuum to suck up any particles.
*The ponds we build have a rocky bottom to protect the liner. This prevents the use of a vacuum, but rock bottoms will make your pond look more natural and beautiful. Rocks also house more beneficial bacteria to help keep your pond clean and beautiful.
Clearing Excessive Vegetation
If you have many plants in your ecosystem, they may grow out of control from time to time. Use garden shears for plants in and around your pond to keep them in check.
While algae create hiding sanctuaries and food for some organisms, too much reduces oxygen levels. Place 1.5 ounces of barley straw in mesh packaging and float one per square yard on the water’s surface to help control algae levels.
For Deeper Cleaning
Before a deep cleaning, prepare a large container for your fish, plants, and other organisms in your pond. Use a net that’ll help you pull fish out of the pond and one that’ll sit over their temporary container to keep them from jumping out. Also, prepare a few five-gallon buckets for debris you pull out of the water.
Lower the water level before you begin removing your fish. Clean the pond surface and liner before placing a cleanout pump attached to a discharge hose at the pond’s lowest level. Then, suck out the rest of the water and use a power hose to wash the larger stones and other pond features before rinsing the smaller gravel.
After cleaning a pond, cleanse the filter and prepare to acclimate your fish to the new water. Fill the pond with water and add a detoxifier to remove chlorine, ammonia, and harsh metals from the water. Then, take the bucket with the fish and place it in the pond so the temperature in the bucket reaches that of the pond, preventing temperature shock when you release the fish back into their environment.
*You can find out more about keeping your pond clean so it stays looking healthy and beautiful.
Checking the Filter and Adding Supplements
Make sure to wash your filter to increase its efficiency in keeping your pond clean. However, since your recent cleaning limits the bacteria and algae in your ecosystem, hold off on cleaning your filter for a month to allow the bacteria colony to strengthen.
Whether performing a gentle cleaning or a complete water change, you should add supplements to deteriorate organic matter, as well as a microbe blend like Microbe-Lift to assist the repopulation of beneficial bacteria.
You can also add a small amount of fish food to the pond every other day, but keep it minimal as natural food such as algae already exists in the water.
Amen Corner Ponds: The Answer to Your Aquascaping Prayers in Augusta, Georgia
From larger ponds to smaller fountains and other water features, we know what it takes to transform a typical backyard into an outdoor getaway. Whether you want to enjoy the trickling sound of water down a small waterfall-driven stream or the beautiful koi fish swimming under lily pads, you can trust our eight years of experience to make it happen.
Join more than 250 ecstatic local pond owners by filling out our contact form today!