Forum home Problem solving

Pond cleaning and pond vacs etc.

madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
Every year in about February I have always cleaned out my pond.
My current fish pond is a fibreglass form and the wildlife pond two plastic half barrels.
Always emptied it completely,removed fish and plants and scrubbed clean,refilling with tap water.
I know this is all completely wrong but the pond and the fish never seem to suffer and I have successive generations of fish each year.
As I am getting older this is all getting a bit much but still need to give the pond a bit of a clean.Really looking to mainly get the sludge,leave,soil from baskets and other detritus off the pond bottom
I currently use one of these hand operated bilge pumps which is a faff but am now thinking of getting a proper electric Pond Vac and was wondering if anyone else uses one?


Fish Pond just cleaned and filled Feb 21st 2019


Fish Pond Aug 5th 2019


Wildlife Pond just cleaned and filled 21st Feb 2019

Wildlife Pond Aug 5th 2019

“Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings

Posts

  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    Has anybody used a Pond Vac?
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,611
    Not me.  The pond here is unlined and sow as our last one so, when we had this one cleaned of random ash and goat willow, brambles and rushes and other lovely horrors, it was a bulldozer job.

    In the garden before, in Harrow, we had a lined pond and I never drained it to clean it.   Any excess oxygenators and/or blanket weed was removed with a rake and left on the side to dry and let critters escape before it went on the compost heap.   The marginals in baskets were taken out individually and cleaned/divided/re-planted as needed.

    The problem with tap water is it often contains chemicals such as chlorine or is too hard or too soft depending on where you are so the usual advice for new ponds is to let the water settle for 2 weeks before planting and populating it.   You can't do that with an established pond so I would just concentrate on maintaining a good balance of oxygenators and marginals and top up with tap water only one levels fall in hot periods.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    Hard water here.I have never had any problems with fish or plants going straight into tap water in over 40 years! 
    There is a lot of gunge at the bottom when I clean out each spring and was just wondering if a Pond Vac would get up most but not necessarily all of it.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,611
    Why is the gunge a problem?  It probably harbours all sorts of wildlife larvae.   probably simpler just to net the ponds in autumn to stop falling leaves getting in but otherwise perfectly normal to have some gunge.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 6,441
    I used a pond vac.  They are OK for smallish ponds but the filter/crud bag fills up very quickly.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    edited February 2020
    Can I ask which one you use?
    My pond is fibreglass and 721 litres (160 gallons)

    One reason I would like a Pond Vac is that I struggle now with heavy buckets of water if I change any water,so something that actually sucks stuff up would be good.
    The pond is under a tree and gets loads of leaves even if I net over it in the Autumn/Winter.
    I also get a lot of algae that ends up in great clumps at the bottom.The fish don't mind but it gets so I cant see anything even of the water is clear!
    Just want to suck up bits through the year so it doesn't get too much.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 6,441
    Sorry I can't remember the make or model, it was a long time ago.  It was also a very large pond.  With a comparatively small one a pond vac will probably do a decent job as long as you use it regularly and don't allow the crud to build up too much.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    Thanks.
    Some things to ponder over before making a decision!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 6,441
    The one I had recycled the water back to the pond.  Some discharge to the drain which seems a waste of water to me.  Any fine particles in the returned water will soon settle out.
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