FAQ About Spring Cleaning

Does my water feature need to be cleaned?

If you answer yes to many of these questions below, chances are you need a pond cleaning! To read more about if your feature needs cleaned, check out this article.
  • Has it been more than a year since your last cleaning?
  • Do you get a lot of leaves and decaying organic material in your water feature?
  • Do you have fish?
  • Do you feed your fish?
  • Do you use fish food that you can buy at a box store? (Rather than a high protein fish food.)
  • Have you had a lot of string algae recently?
  • Can you see a build-up of debris on the pond bottom?
  • Is the water cloudy, dark or filled with tiny bits of floating debris?


How Clean Should My Water Feature Be?

This is a really good question! At Cool Ponds, we build ponds to look and function as naturally as possible. So if they are clean like a swimming pool, it looks strange. At the same time, a build up of muck in the pond is a recipe for a maintenance nightmare. 

So it's a matter of what you want your pond to look like and ridding your pond of any future maintenance issues. When we are finished cleaning a pond it WILL NOT look like it did when it was first installed. The rocks with have some green coating and there may be a little junk in the bottom to get the ecosystem jump started again -- so little that you probably won't notice. The water will be clear (sometimes in a day or so -- treatments may cloud it for a day) and your fish will be happy! You'll be ready to start the season on the right track. Just keep up with the treatments we leave you on a weekly basis. Remember the cleaning is a starting point for a great looking pond all season -- not the cure all!


How often should I clean my pondless or pond-free waterfall?

A typical pondless or pond-free waterfall only needs to be cleaned every 3-4 years. If the water feature does not receive regular treatments for algae or if it gets a lot of leaves and debris in it, it may need to be cleaned more often.

The most important cleaning that should be done regularly on a pond-free waterfall is having the debris removed from the top of the basin. Often times leaves, mulch, decaying aquatic plants or algae will build up on the gravel on the top of the basin or reservoir. This build-up will cause the water to run off the top of the basin rather than into it causing water loss in the feature.


How much will it cost to have Cool Ponds clean my water feature?

We charge for cleanings by the man hour. Because every pond is so different, we cannot give you an estimate as to how much the total cost will be -- it depends on how the pond is constructed and how well it's been maintained.

The average cost for our pond cleanings is $300 - $500. If you would feel more comfortable setting a budget, we would be more than happy to work within that budget! Once we near the maximum number of hours you've set for us, we'll give you a call and let you know how much we've accomplished in that time and let you know if there's  anything you'll need to finish up on your own.


Is it necessary to completely drain the pond for a cleaning?

YES! Please don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If the sludge on the bottom is not removed, it's not a true "cleaning" -- just a waste of time, effort, and money. The sludge build-up is what will cause maintenance issues later on.

If done properly, draining the water will cause no harm to your fish or ecosystem. Trust us, we have lots of pond cleanings under our belts!


When is the best time to clean?

The best time for the health of your fish and your ecosystem is when the water temperature is 55 degrees or less. But if that's not possible, it's ok to clean when it's warmer just NOT in the heat of summer.


Do you use a pressure washer?

We NEVER use a pressure washer during pond cleanings. We do use a high pressure hose nozzle. There is such a thing as cleaning a pond too well! You work so hard to build your ecosystem, why totally destroy it? We will remove as much of the stringy algae from all the surfaces as possible , but there should still be a green coating.


Do you remove all the rock from the pond clean?

No way, Jose. It is possible to clean around gravel without having to remove it. Not sure how? Check out our cleaning classes held in April and September or hire us to do the dirty work for you.


Can I Clean My Pond Myself?

Absolutely! Many of our customers successfully clean their ponds each year! It's dirty, smelly, and usually cold but it's a very possible project for the do-it-yourselfer. We recommend attending one of our cleaning classes in April or September to get some pointers and see how it's done. We also have a step by step brochure in our store you can pick up.

Sometimes people hire us to clean their pond the first time so they can watch, and then tackle the project on their own after that!


How and when should I schedule a pond cleaning?

Our spring and fall cleaning schedules fill up fast, so schedule well in advance! We clean in the spring from March through June. To book your preferred date within that range, we recommend scheduling us in January; however, we can still squeeze you in if you schedule later.

Our fall cleanings run from late August to November. We recommend scheduling in or August.


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