Cleaning Your Pond


The following advice demonstrates why you need to filter your garden ponds, pools and other water features, and explains the various methods employed and which might work best for you.  This is something that we can help you with.


When it comes to filtering the water elements of your garden, there are three basic methods of filtration: biological, mechanical and chemical.


Also included are tips to clean your water features when simple filtration devices are not enough.Filters will keep your water clean and attractive-looking.


A clean garden pond will allow you to keep greater numbers of fish healthy. Cloudy, stagnant water is seldom pleasant to behold, and a filtration system will rid your water of debris, fish waste, rotting plant detritus that becomes toxic, and so forth.


For a healthy garden pond - fish or no fish - you have only to benefit from filtered water.A biological filter is often preferred by strict organic gardeners. Biological filters allow for aerobic bacteria to convert harmful ammonia into less toxic substances; this system is referred to as the nitrogen cycle. This is the closest to nature a gardener can get without leaving the pond to Mother Nature completely - which is not effective in manmade garden conditions.


Basically, as fish and plant life is converted to ammonia, the bacteria in the biological filters first convert the harmful substance in nitrites and then finally into nitrates, which are beneficial to pond plants as a fertilizer. These filters require oxygen-rich conditions, so the more plant life in your pond, the better these work.  With this type of filtration, pond water passes through a medium such as a sponge, gravel or some kind of synthetic material and the wastes are trapped there.


Chemical filtration is frequently chosen for new ponds that have not yet achieved a good water balance, but it can be used for mature ponds as well.


One important part of maintaining a garden pond or other water element, is to carry out testing the water from time to time. It makes sense to test to see if your pond is sporting an adequate balance and to see if your chosen filtration system is doing its job. Testing kits will allow the gardener to check levels of pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and protein. In such cases where your water testing kit indicates areas that need change, you can then apply a water treatment that will generally cure such problems as sludge, algae or surface foam and restore your water to a proper balance. This needs to be carried out sooner than later.


There are other devices available that will help gardeners perform routine pond cleaning. Pond vacuum cleaners; these are not miracle workers when it comes to cleaning up, but they are helpful at removing silt, sludge and detritus.


A simple pond net is necessary to remove any floating debris, and pond scissors will allow the gardener to cut through dead or overgrown plants and pond weeds, which can be great hazards to the health of your garden pond.


Occasionally, your water pond may simply need a complete overhaul, although most experts say that with a good filtration system and proper maintenance, this should not be necessary. However, emptying your pond is not unheard of.  The best time of year to empty your pond in order to clean it out and check/repair the lining, is between mid to late spring. In the case of a concrete pond, this is the time to check for hairline cracks that must be resealed with waterproof paint. Then it's time for a good scrub (be careful not to cause any tears if your liner is a flexible one) and start anew.


Of course, whilst this type of maintenance is carried out, you will have to store your fish in suitable large containers, with the old water, until the new pond water has had a chance to settle in. This is seldom convenient and never appreciated by your fish - it is traumatic for them - but they may have less chance of survival in a mucky unhealthy pond.  This is an ideal time to check your filtration system and pumps, so emptying the pond will not be necessary later.

 Pond : a Frog resting on a lotus leaf  Stock Photo Pond : Natural garden landscaping in home


Dream Ponds works in association with ND Maintenance Services