Spring is one of the best times of the year. This is the time when plants and animals come alive again. During the spring is also one of the best times for a fish pond cleaning. There are several things that can be done to make your backyard pond a success this season, and your koi fish will love you for it.

Tip of the Day:
If after reading the information below regarding spring pond maintenance you are not sure if you want to tackle the job yourself, please contact Universal Aquatics to receive an estimate to perform a pond clean-out on your water feature today. This is a great option for people that simply do not have the time or desire to clean the pond themselves.

Does your Water Feature Need a Complete Cleaning this season, or does it just need to be freshened up a bit? Here are a few things that you can do to help guide you on your way to happy pond fish getting ready for spring fun. First, if there is a layer of pond scum on the bottom that needs to be removed? Or is it hard to see your pond fish through the dark colored water or from all of the leaves in the pond? If so,then a full pond spring cleaning is your best bet.

Koi Pond Maintenance by Universal Aquatics of Atlanta, GAKoi Pond Maintenance by Atlanta Pond Contractors Universal Aquatics

If there is only small amount of debris in your water feature and your pond water looks pretty clear, then you may just need to freshen up a bit. On average, one can spend several hours even up to a complete day doing a full pond clean-out. If you are in a time crunch like most people are, including me, hiring a pond professional may be a better option to get your system up and running again. If you have a pondless waterfall system instead of a koi pond, then you will spend less time on spring maintenance.

One of the best times to consider koi pond cleaning is during the early spring. This is the time when your pond is just starting to change for the new season. If a pond is completely drained and refilled after the water temperature rises too much, the natural ecosystem of your pond will be damaged. The result will be green “pea soup” colored koi pond algae until the beneficial bacteria in your pond are able to recover.

Pond Cleaning Supplies Needed:

  • A good pump to remove the water. Make sure to keep the fish safe during this time.
  • A discharge hose for the pond pump. We like to use 50’ of 2” tubing. This size is great for handling large amounts of water.
  • A container of some sort to keep the fish safe during the cleaning process.
  • An aerator for the water so the koi or goldfish have lots of oxygen while out of their homes
  • A small pond net or comparable material to ensure the safety regarding koi jumping out of the temporary container.
  • Plenty of buckets to handle the amount of waste such as leaves, plant material and debris in the pond.
  • A cutting tool for trimming the plants.
  • A pressure washer for cleaning the stone in the waterfall and pond itself.
  • A fish net to safely transport the fish during the cleaning.
  • Chlorine remover to make the water feature safe before putting the fish back in the water
  • Last but not least, pond bacteria to help jump start the filters

Drain the Pond / Pondless Waterfall

  • The pond pump needs to be placed in the deepest part of the pond in order for the maximum amount of water to be drained from the water feature.
  • Make sure to save some water for those fish.
  • Continue draining the pond water until the koi or goldfish can be safely removed with a net or container such as a plastic tote.
  • Don’t keep the fish in the holding pool any longer than they need to be to complete the operation. They must have some type of aeration to provide plenty of oxygen, they need to be placed out of the sun to avoid overheating and they need a net placed over their new temporary home in order to prevent the fish jumping out.

Just keep thinking Fish Safety during the entire pond maintenance operation, and you will be in good shape.

Avoid Cleaning the Pond Too Much

  • Clean all debris from the pond and waterfall as best you can. Some material will remain behind the rocks and stonework in the pond. I wouldn’t worry too much about that stuff.
  • Pressure wash the rocks in the waterfall and pond. I would avoid large pressure washers that can put out a fish eye or damage the liner. That would be bad.
  • Rinse the gravel in the pond with low pressure from a garden hose to flush all of the fish waste and pond scum from your backyard paradise.
  • Don’t try to clean all of the pond algae. These algae will help provide beneficial bacteria to your system after the clean-out ensuring that you have a developed ecosystem in the future.

Cleaning the Pond Filters

  • Remove the pond filter pads from the skimmer and biofalls filter. The biofalls filter is the one at the start of your waterfall. Clean any pond scum from the bottom of the filters with a shop-vac.
  • Rinse the pond filters with old pond water if at all possible in order to ensure that the existing bacteria remains in great shape. Keep them little bugs happy.
  • Replace the mats and filter media back in the filters once cleaning is complete.

Clean Pond Water + Fish = Happy Time for Fish

  • Once your pond is clean of most debris, it is time to begin filling with fresh water. If you are using city water, chlorine remover is recommended to ensure that the water is safe for all of your fish. I strongly recommend using some of the old pond water while refilling if at all possible.
  • Acclimate the fish to their new environment similar to when you first added them to your system.
  • Once acclimation is complete, reintroduce the koi to their new home.

Universal Aquatics has been building waterfalls, koi ponds and other water features for more than 15 years now. We provide waterfalls, pondless waterfalls, ponds of all types and water fountains. We’ve had our work displayed on the TV show “Pond Stars”. We work with homeowners all around Buckhead, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Suwanee, Dunwoody, Lawrenceville or anywhere else in Atlanta. Contact Us if you’d like a waterfall in your backyard today!