Pond Cleaning: Do You Need One?

Is a Pond Cleaning Really Necessary Every Year?

That's a good question! We hear it all the time. Maybe yes, maybe no -- it completely depends on your circumstances. What I can say is that a pond cleaning each year is super beneficial for your pond and you! More about the benefits later. First, read the reasons to clean your pond to see if you can relate.

Side note: If you have a Pondless or Pond-free waterfall, you shouldn't need to clean it yearly. Only when a layer of debris forms on top of the basin or if you're getting some muck in your vault will it need to be cleaned.

Some fish are bigger than the net!

Reasons to Clean Your Pond: 

  • You have fish and you feed them. Now, don't say, "But I only feed them when the grand kids come over." Believe me, for a typical grandparent, that's enough to deserve a cleaning! 
  • Some leaves have managed to get into your pond. Any leaves count. They decay and feed algae.
  • You had a bout of string algae. That algae doesn't just go away. It's still there in one form or another.
  • You don't add beneficial bacteria to your pond regularly. Beneficial bacteria keeps your pond clean! It may not keep you from cleaning your pond each year, but it will make the cleaning significantly easier!
  • You can't remember the last time your pond was cleaned. Okay, this is bad.
  • You see a layer of muck in your pond bottom or you can't see the rock in the bottom anymore. Even if there's a little layer of muck, that muck will feed algae.
  • There has been a period of time with little or no rain. Rain flushes the nutrients away. When the nutrients build up, they feed algae, contribute to the muck in the pond bottom, and can become toxic to fish.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Pond
  • All the nutrients that can lead to algae blooms will be flushed away. Not only will you have fresh water, but all the muck on the bottom will be gone too. You are off to a fresh start.
  • Your fish will have fresh water. Nitrites in the old water (from waste, decaying materials, etc.) can be harmful to them.
  • You'll spend less money on treatments through the year. Since you're starting fresh, you won't be playing catch-up.
  • After the cleaning, you get to enjoy your water feature rather than work on it!

You might think that a natural pond wouldn't be cleaned each year so if we're trying to imitate Mother Nature, why are we cleaning our ponds? Well, natural bodies of water do get flushed in the spring with rain and/or melting snow typically. And once we feed our fish, we're interfering with Mother Nature. So we have to do our part and help her out.

Remember that a pond cleaning alone is not enough to make your pond low maintenance. Do you have the five essential elements of a low maintenance pond -- filtration, circulation, rocks, aquatic plants, and fish? Read more about that here. And it doesn't stop after the cleaning. You must continue to keep your pond clean with the regular addition of water treatments and removal of decaying debris.

If you've made the decision to clean your pond, and haven't done it before, you may be thinking, "Okay, now what?" So all of us at Cool Ponds try to make it easy for you. We have a great video you can find here. You can also stop by our store and pick up a free pond cleaning brochure that takes you step by step through the process. Or, our maintenance techs will be happy to clean your pond for you.

We're here to help. Got questions? Just ask! 


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