Forum home Problem solving

Smelly Pond

Have a household bath buried in the garden.  It becomes overgrown with pond plants every year which I remove and replace as I find something more interesting.  It is well used by many birds for bathing.
But there is beginning to be a smell now.  I do not want to clean it out as there must be some life lurking at the bottom and it  is now semi disguised into the surrounding ferns and plants. I also dont want to install any mechanism as that would also detract fro the naturalness of it.

Is there any way of removing the smell  with the mimum disturbance to the pond life  ?   


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    The smell will be because the water is stagnant and it has been abnormally hot. You will need to take the bull by the horns and use a net to scrape all the muck off the bottom of the bath. It will have a good layer of decomposing matter in it and it is this which is making the smell. Ideally you should leave this gunk at the side of the bath for a day so any 'creatures' can crawl back into the water.  That may not be practical in your case so you will just have to dispose of it straight away. (and live with your conscience!). After you have cleaned out as much of the stuff as you can, use a pail to empty the water out of the bath down to at least half way. Then fill up with clean water again. Or put the hose into the bath and let it over flow for half a day (you may not want to do that if you are on a water meter!). Make sure you have oxgenating pond plants in the water. A couple of bunches should do. And scrape the bottom every year to get rid of fallen leaves etc. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,864
    Try some Blagden's Sludgebuster (you can get it online) ... it's totally natural ... we use it in our wildlife pond and it does no harm to the frogs, toads, newts, grass snakes, damsel flies, dragon flies, water beetles, pond snails etc etc etc who all live happily in the pond.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,534
    I also use the Sludgebuster but think you would first need to start with a clean pond for the best results!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,864
    I think it's worth giving it a go at this time of year ... it should help oxygenate the anaerobic sludge and get it healthy again. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I like the sound of Sludgebuster. I have cleared as much surface  leaves etc debris as I can by hand and replaced some of the water with clean water from the water butt.  I dont want to disturb whatever is living in the muck at the bottom so I think it is worth giving Sludgebuster a go before  trying anything more drastic.

    If it fails I can always come back to Hogweed's advice.

    I spent an hours googling for a solution  Should have come here first.  Thanks
Sign In or Register to comment.