Pond Vacuums

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by briana, May 25, 2004.

  1. briana

    briana LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Hello to everyone,

    I have a small pond that I installed a few years ago. I built it myself from reading and looking. I keep about 8 fish that I have had since I installed the pond. My pond is about 300 gallons. My question is what is the best vacuum to use to clean out the bottom of the pond. Mostly sand and dirt from the original install and any other crap that falls in. The pumps I have seen don't do sand and dirt but just bigger stuff. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your time.

  2. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

    Get in and clean it with your hands and a bucket
  3. briana

    briana LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    I guess you don't get what I am talking about. Why would I drain out the whole pond when all I have is sand and dirt on the bottom. I have seen some pond vacs that claim to pick all the crap off the bottom and was wondering if anyone has used anything like this. I am not talking about an elaborate filtering device that costs 3 or 4 hundred dollars.
  4. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,143

    By the time you try to vac out sand, dirt, and everything else, You'll probably have taken all of the 300 gal out.

    Get a pump and suck the water out. When you get to the bottom, take the fish out. Then rinse all the dirt to the bottom and drain again(keep rinsing as you drain). Then re-fill and add the bacteria to get it going again.
  5. Ohmylord

    Ohmylord LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    I'm trying to decide whether to drain the pond, take out the fish to clean my pond by hand or buy a vacuum and use it to clean it out before winter. It's about 600 gal so it's not huge. Anyone find a vacuum they like? Also, if I go the drain route what do you recommend to put in the water besides water conditioner? I don't want to kill the fish when they go back in.
  6. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    Never drain your pond more than half way, unless it's absolutely necessary. Even though the nitrifying bacteria in your pond will be dormant when the weather turns cold. It's still vital. It's still there, waiting for warmer water temperatures to bring them out of dormancy. If you drain your pond to the bottom, you'l KILL all that bacteria. That means that when your water warms up enough next spring to facilitate feeding your fish, instead of having an established nitrifying bacteria colony already in your pond, you'll have no colony, or a very small one. The great thing about having an established colony of nitrifying bacteria overwintering in your pond is the fact that by the time you start feeding your fish in the spring, your bacteria colony is coming out of dormancy. Before waste can start building up to toxic levels, your colony is active enough to keep it in check. If you totally drained your pond like Phishook said, adding bacteria to your pond wouldn't do you any good. It takes time for a colony to get established (it takes even longer when water temps are already down) and with there being so little time left before bacteria becomes inactive in your pond, you would be better off waiting until next spring to dose your pond with bacteria anyway. There are more than a couple theories about how effective, or ineffective dosing a pond with nitrifying bacteria is anyway. There are a lot of experts that don't believe it speeds along the process.

    Obviously, what I'm telling you is, don't drain your pond to clean it Briana.

    You can make a muck mop to vacuum the bottom of your pond. If you use batting, you can get it to remove sand too. Dirt can be much harder to remove without removing water from the pond. The great thing about a muck mop, is it's ability to clean a pond without permanently removing the pond's water. Basically, a muck mop uses a pump to draw waste and water from the pond and it only returns the water to the pond, because the waste is trapped by filter media.

    Go here to see ho to make a muck mop >>> http://www.waterbugdesign.com/pond/info_diy_muckmop/diy_muckmop.html

    A lot of pond maintenance companies use this type of a pond vacuum, because you can vacuum and vacuum as long as you want to, without the worry of removing too much water from the pond. Therefore you can do a much better job of cleaning a pond. Another thing to consider is the fact that you have to be really careful doing high percentage water changes this time of year where you (Jersey) and I live (Columbus), since our pond water cools down so much this time of year. I say this because of the risk of shocking your fish with a sudden change in water temp. The tap water temp you put in your pond can vary enough from the temp of the water you removed from your pond to shock, or even kill your fish. That's another reason I wish Phishook wouldn't have told you to drain your pond.

  7. addinc99

    addinc99 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    PondoVac Three from Oase. This vac is designed for pond cleanout and has a continous flush using another exit tube which can be directed to a waste spot.
    The vac has many attachments for cleaning and has a net inside for catching rocks. Go to www.oase-usa.com to look it over.

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