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POND CLEAN OUT OR MAINTENANCE OF POND
SPRING CLEANING YOUR POND
1. Pump the water out of your pond.
2. Net the fish and put them in a large tub of water, preferably with aeration.
3. Wash all the boulders and gravel, which might have excess algae, leaves, etc.
4. Remove dead foliage, leaves, etc by hand.
5. Aquatic plants should be pruned and fertilized.
6. Replace rocks and gravel if missing in pond or dislocated.
7. Wash all filter media and put back in the biological filter box.
8. After you put the water back into the pond you will need dechlorinator if you have borough water because of the chlorine in the water can harm fish.
9. Use Stresscoat because of the stress caused by catching the fish to take them out of the pond and then re-catch them to put them back.
10. How much does a clean out cost? Cost can range from $50 to $70 per man hour and usually involves a crew, which can add up quickly to a few hundred dollars. If the pond has not been taken care of for years, it could be very costly to clean out.
11. All filters in the biological filter box should be washed out once per year.
12. Some pond cleaner crews may suggest changing the media (lava rock) every year, which is unnecessary.
HOLD YOUR HORSES!
For over 15 years most of my customers and I never had to empty the water out of our ponds. The reason for this is that nature evaporates 1-5 inches of water a week out of a pond, and of course this requires adding fresh water.
Another question that comes up is: What about the fish waste, leaves and other debris? This is where the rocks and gravel in the pond allow bacteria and plants to break down the waste. There is hardly ever a sludge build-up. I can still see the rocks and gravel I put in 15 years ago, even with a small growth of moss algae on the rocks. This moss algae also helps to keep my pond from turning green because it is breaking down the nutrients in the pond, along with the biological filters and plants.
WHAT IS “AEROMONAS ALLEY”
Every year fish in “cold climate” ponds struggle through extreme stress and, in some cases, die due to “Aeromonas Alley”.
What is “Aeromonas Alley”?
fin rot and more. In fact (AP) remains strong throughout the warm summer months. That’s why it’s so important to keep the numbers of (AP) as low as possible in your pond water.
Also beware of “Aeromonas Alley” in the fall when your koi pond water starts dropping below 65° F. At 65° F the immune system of your koi and pond fish starts to decline and weaken. By the time your pond water temperature drops to 60° the immune system of your koi and pond fish is operating at less than 50% efficiency. However, the deadly (AP) bacteria is still strong and active and takes this opportunity to make their deadly attack on your weaken koi and pond fish.
AVOID PUTTING STRESS ON THE FISH: If there are to many fish, then you are forced to reduce their number. “Rule of thumb” - small fish is 1 inch per gallon of water, large fish is 1 inch per 20 gallons of water.
When you catch the fish, you will need a tub of water to support them along with some aeration. Also, keep fish out of the sun.
Make sure the tub or container is big enough for the amount of fish you have. The aeration is to bring enough oxygen in the tub and keep the water cooler. Cooler water has more oxygen in it than warmer water.
Regarding dead foliage, leaves, or twigs that settle to the bottom, you can use ECOBLAST to lift them the surface. It deoxynizes the debris, making it lighter than water and causes it to rise to the surface. Use a net to scoop it out.
Aquatic plants may be pruned if necessary. Zone 6 plants do not need to be pruned. Certain pond services may try to tell you they do. My question to that is: What about all the plants in large bodies of water, ponds or streams that are in zone 6? Nature certainly does not fertilize nor prune those plants.
It may not be necessary to wash out the biological filter box because the skimmer box, along with the pump, will catch most of the natural leaves and the algae. If you don’t have a skimmer box, then you will be cleaning out the biological box quite often. Usually the waterfall box, or biological filter, does not have to be cleaned out every year. This comes from my own research, when I say the dirtier the filter the better.
If, I didn’t need to take out my fish, that means I probably didn’t need Stresscoat or dechlorinator in my water, which therefore is saving me money.
All filters in the skimmer box will probably have to be cleaned more often in Spring when “your pond is waking up”. In Fall, it is also possible that more frequent cleaning is needed.
As I mentioned earlier, the use of ECOBLAST (about 16-74 dollars depending on size) could save you from spending a lot on a pond service crew, which is “Gravy Money” for some Pond cleaners.
My 15+ years of experience in pond service, has proved that there are a lot of things you don’t need to do to your pond.
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