The purpose for doing a cleanout of your pond each Spring is for rejuvenation. It is always better to start your pond fresh each season. Mother Nature does this each year with the runoff from melting snow and again with the Spring rain.
Draining your pond and doing a thorough cleanout of it and your filter will accomplish the same thing. Spring algae blooms occur because of the excessive amounts of nutrients left in the pond. This includes decaying plants, leaves and even fish waste that might have been left from last season. When you cleanout your pond you will be replacing the old nutrient-rich water with clean fresh water. (If you have municipal water you will need to add a dechlorinator to your water.) The best time to do your cleanout is in early Spring when your water temperature reaches 55 degrees.
The two most important reasons for this are:
- Once your water temperature reaches 55 degrees, your bacteria will begin to colonize in your filter and or on your rocks and gravel.
- When you go to refill your pond from your outside spigot, the water temperature will be very much the same as it was in your pond. Therefore there is a less chance in stressing any fish that you might have.
If you plan on doing it yourself, plan on setting aside an afternoon. A basic 11X16 pond will take approximately 3-4 hours, when the cleanout is performed properly. Some basic things you will need are:
- Cleanout pump with a discharge hose.
- Container to put your fish in (kiddie pool) and net to cover container to keep fish from jumping out.
- A pair of waders or some sort of boots.
- A large net with a long handle for your fish.
- A 5 gallon bucket to put your debris in.
- A garden hose with a high pressure nozzle or a power washer.
- Cold water bacteria or pond starter bacteria (for water clarity), slow release plant fertilizer, rapid clear and pond detoxifier (removes chlorine).
Replenishing the water in your pond each year allows your pond to begin a fresh new season. Since the balanced ecosystem keeps the pond healthy the rest of the year, an annual cleanout gets it off to the right start. Spring algae blooms occur because of excess amounts of nutrients and lack of beneficial bacteria. By performing a cleanout, you’ll replace the nutrient-rich water with clean water that is ready for bacteria to colonize. Cleaning a pond in the Spring simulates the normal flushing action that lakes fed by streams and rivers experience during heavy rain