The Ultimate Guide to Pond Cleaning and Maintenance Services
Ponds are a terrific addition to any property. When well maintained, they provide a beautiful, calming oasis to enjoy from the comfort of your backyard. You can stock your pond with different fish, aquatic plants, and other aquatic life for entertainment. Aquascaping is a treasured hobby for many homeowners lucky enough to have ponds.
Of course, ponds also require maintenance. To keep your pond looking attractive and healthy, it’s crucial to invest in pond cleaning services. In the Amen Corner Ponds guide below, we’ll explain the basics of pond cleaning. While some people find the demands of pond maintenance overwhelming, you’ll see that taking care of your pond doesn’t have to be as hard as it might seem!
Is It Time To Clean My Pond?
First, it’s important to understand when to clean your pond. If your pond water is green or brown, there’s a good chance that your pond is experiencing an overgrowth of algae or aquatic vegetation. When animal waste, leaves, and other plant materials begin to decompose in water, the color of the water will change.
While you may expect your pond to have a green or brown tint, the water should not ever be swamp-like, thick, or foul-smelling. If the water no longer looks mostly clear, you most likely will need to address algae growth and muck (decomposing material) within the pond.
Should I Drain the Pond?
You don’t need to fully drain your pond’s water to clean it in most cases. With regular pond cleaning services, you shouldn’t have to drain the pond in full very often (if at all). But if you have never cleaned your pond before and found the water extremely muddy or swamp-like, your best option is probably to drain the water.
Do I Need to Remove My Fish?
Depending on how dirty your water is, you may wish to remove your fish from the pond. For light cleaning, the fish should remain. If you prefer to remove them, you’ll need to fill a large bucket with water from your pond. Cover the bucket with netting or mesh so the fish can’t escape, and make sure you place the bucket in the shade. Make sure not to use water from another source, as your fish are acclimated to your pond’s water.
Pond Maintenance Steps
You can take several steps to help keep your pond clean while decreasing the amount of labor you must invest in maintenance services over time.
1. Install Proper Aeration
All pond water contains oxygen. Lack of adequate water movement causes a pond’s oxygen to float to the surface, while lower layers of water lose oxygen. This can lead to fish death and dirty, sludgy water.
Aeration is the process of moving water to increase oxygen circulation. This supports pond health because it allows more beneficial bacteria to thrive in the water, which slows down the buildup of muck in your pond’s water. When all the water in the pond is properly oxygenated, you are less likely to experience algae overgrowth, so your pond will look better and be healthier for your fish.
You have several options for aerating your pond:
Bottom diffusion systems
Surface aeration, like a waterfall or fountain
Pond pumps and filters
2. Stock Your Pond Responsibly
It may be tempting to fill your pond with as many colorful fish as possible, but too many fish in a pond can lead to many problems. If you have more than ten inches of fish per 100 gallons of water in your pond, it’s most likely overpopulated. This can lead to stress, illness, and death for fish. It can also make it much harder to maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the water.
3. Filter Your Pond Properly
Filters play a crucial role in keeping your water clear from dirt, debris, and pollutants. It’s important to choose a filter that is appropriate for the size of your pond. There are two kinds of filters to choose from: mechanical filters and biological filters.
Mechanical filters, or skimmers, are useful for removing larger surface materials from your water. They will catch debris like fish waste, leaves, and sticks.
Biological filters work to remove ammonia and nitrites from the water. (Ammonia is a chemical compound of nitrogen and hydrogen that can become dangerous for your fish when too abundant in the water. Nitrites are a natural part of the nitrogen cycle that can negatively impact your fish population if too concentrated.) Biological filters break down these harmful compounds into less harmful ones that your plants use as fertilizer.
4. Mind Your Pond’s Temperature
Ponds exceeding 75 degrees Fahrenheit inhibit the dissolution of oxygen. As mentioned, it’s important that your pond water has proper oxygen levels for both your fish and plants. Lack of oxygen will lead to muck.
Make sure you regularly check your pond’s temperature, especially during the hot summer months. You should also cover the surface of your pond with aquatic plants to provide shade in the water.
You’ll want to invest in a quality thermometer. There are two types of thermometers: sinking and floating. It’s best to have both as options in your pond at different depths because the water temperature can change drastically at different levels depending on how deep your pond is.
5. Incorporate Plants in Your Pond
Beyond looking lovely, plants provide many benefits to healthy ponds. They also provide hiding spots for your fish and encourage healthy pond dynamics. In addition to surface plants for shade, you’ll want to choose plants in the water that will help maintain the optimal bacteria balance by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Contact Amen Corner Ponds Today
Amen Corner Ponds is here to help with your pond cleaning needs. We can assess your pond’s health and show you how to keep your backyard oasis looking beautiful and relaxing for years to come. Contact us today by filling out our contact form.