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Spring Clean-out and Start Up
Spring clean-outs can be started once the ice is no longer covering the pond’s surface. Listed in this section are steps for completing a spring clean-out as well as the factors that determine how extensive the clean-out will have to be. Full clean-outs should be completed no more than once a year. Using no attachments on your hose, wash the stones and gravel starting at the ponds perimeter. Work your way to the bottom slowly allowing trapped sediment and muddy water to travel to your pump.
You will achieve the best water quality results in your pond by completing a full clean-out in the spring. A full clean out is completed on ponds that have a heavy fish load, accumulated leaf and debris build-up through the winter or have heavy algae growth. If you desire to clean algae off your stones, rent a pressure washer rated at approximately 1500 psi. Don’t be too thorough since some algae is good.
Pumping out water:
The first step of the cleanout is to pump out the pond using a submersible pump; you can use your waterfall pump, and discharge hose. Wait until a good portion of water is removed form the pond before attempting to catch the fish. The fish will be much easier to net once the water level has dropped. Place the fish in large buckets filled with pond water. Be careful to not leave your fish in the temporary containers for extended periods of time. Lack of oxygen and a build up of toxins will occur. The clean out should be completed in no more than one day for the safety of the fish. Continue to pump the remaining water out of the pond once all of the fish are removed.
Washing your Stones:
The submersible pump and discharge hose should remain at the bottom of your pond to continuously pump out the dirty water. Once this is complete, remove the pump and discharge hose from the pond. Remove any remaining leaves and debris from the pond. Spread the gravel that was displaced back over the liner. Gravel can be added to any areas in and around the pond where the liner is showing. Now begin to fill the pond with a garden hose.
Preparing the Biological Filter and Skimmer
The pump and discharge hose can aid in cleaning debris and dirty water from your Biological Filter and Skimmer. Larger leaves and debris that are not pumped out can be removed with a net or by hand. Pressure wash the larger debris in the Biological Filter filter mats and biological media bags before installing into Biological Filter. The filter mats are designed to last about two years. Filter mats may be discolored and appear dirty and old, but will work in your filters. Replace old filter mats if they begin to tear or fall apart. Set the filter mats on top for the support pipes found near the bottom of the Biological Filter and the middle of the skimmer. Next, lay the bags containing the biological media on top of the filter mats. Spread the media across the entire surface of the filter mats so water is forced to pass through the media.
The pump, skimmer filter mat, and debris net can be installed back into the skimmer. The pump can be turned on as soon as the water reaches the desired level.
The fish can be transferred into the pond while it is filling. Be sure to add dechlorinator if your tap water contains chlorine. Float the fish in a bucket for 20 minutes to a half hour. This will allow the fish to adjust to the temperature difference.
Partial Clean out:
A partial clean out may be completed if your pond does not have a heavy fish load, excessive debris, algae build-up or was installed late in the fall. However, the best water quality results occur when a full clean out is completed.
A less extensive clean out does not require pumping out all of the water and pressure washing the rocks. Simply, change 25%-50% of the pond’s water volume. Removing a portion of the water will reduce fish waste and toxins in the pond. Place your pump and discharge hose in the pond and pump out the desired amount of water. The fish will not have to be transferred for this type of clean out. Use a net to remove leaves and debris. Begin to fill your pond. The partial clean out uses the same steps to prepare the BIOFALLS and skimmer as the full clean out.
Steps to Clean a Pond
1) Use the pump from your skimmer to drain the pond quickly.
2) Catch fish and place in buckets.
3) Run the pump, draining the pond continually, as we wash the stones down and gravel with a hose. You may wish to rent a power washer to remove some string algae.
4) Waste water pools up and is pumped out as stones are being washed. Solid leaf removal is done by hand.
5) After hosing down the pond, we wash off the filter pads from the skimmer and biological filter.
6) The fish are transferred to smaller buckets floating in the pond to allow them to acclimate to the new water temperature.
7) De-chlorinate is added to the new incoming tap water to remove chlorine before releasing fish into pond.
8) The fish are finally released as the pond finished filling to its proper level. Remember to turn your automatic fill valve back on after filling is complete.
Spring Cleaning Request
Cleaning Charge for a Sawyer Waterscaping, LLP installed water feature:
- The cost for a pond begins at $600.
- The average cleaning cost for a pond-less water feature is $195.
- All cleanings include additional rock as needed.
- Extra Charge for Fish Handling ($50 – all fish)
- LED Light Replacement (Price to be determined)
- LED Light Set with transformer (Price to be determined)
*For out of town cleanings, we charge ($.51) cents per mile.
Submit the form below or call 307-634-2848 to schedule your spring cleaning. We start cleaning during the end of March or the beginning of April.