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Pond Cleaning, no fish

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by rippinryno, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. rippinryno

    rippinryno LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    I've recently acquired a new customer who needs a pond cleaned for spring. In the past my duties of landscaping don't go much past mulching. I mainly just mow, trim, blow, and mulch. Any advice on how to clean a pond and what the best way is to get the stuff out from the bottom and all that. I assume I will likely need to change the wonder out somehow. also, this is just a small garden pond.

    thank you in advance.
  2. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    If you are positive that there are no fish, cleaning is fairly straight-forward. You will need a clean-out pump with a sufficient length of hose, a wet/dry vac, at least one 5 gal. bucket, a pair of long sleeve gloves.
    After draining the pond using the pump, any large debris will require manual removal. Once you are down to the 'muck', use the wet/dry vac to continue cleaning. Once the majority of the muck has been removed, place the pump back in the pond and begin hosing down the interior of the pond with the garden hose or with a power washer (if so desired), pumping the waste water out frequently. Give the pond a final once over with the wet/dry and you are ready to refill with fresh water.
    If customer agrees, the 'muck' removed by the wet/dry can be distributed over any planting beds on the property (better than compost).
    RDALawns, Ben Bowen and hort101 like this.
  3. Scott Molchan

    Scott Molchan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    It is a pretty straightforward process like the other person said. But you don't need a shop vac. You do need a pump to get the water out, a pressure washer, something to haul away leaves and sticks and old plant material. Basically, you will drain the pond. Then pressure wash everything, you don't need to get every bit of algae or debris off. Then I pump that dirty water off then use clean water and rinse everything down to the bottom. Once you get a few inches of water in the bottom use your big pump and flush all the sides down to get the debris to the bottom. Again you don't need to get everything out because you need the beneficial bacteria that is growing in there to help get the pond started for the year. You can upsell fertilizing the plants that are in there, and add beneficial bacteria, upsell lights and what not. Check this link out to get you going. http://www.aquascapeinc.com/blogs/water-gardening/Give-Your-Pond-a-Spring-Cleaning
    hort101 likes this.
  4. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    If a pond does have fish, eliminate the power-washing as this destroys the periphyton that is so important in nitrification and food production.
    hort101 and JLSLLC like this.
  5. River

    River LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Wisconsin
    Messages: 2,191

    pump and pressure washer is what you need. you pump it. pressure wash bottome remove debris and fill it uo with a regular garden hose.
  6. rippinryno

    rippinryno LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Ok, well she doesn't want it pumped out, she really just wants the leaves, debris and the dead fish to be removed. I imagine this will be hard because the water is going to get murky as soon as I attempt to do my first sweep. Any pointers on how to do this the way she wants it. BAsically clean the leaves and debris out of it, maybe i could use a water clarify on it as well? I'm billing $300 for the pond cleanout.
  7. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    If the client does not want the water changed, then your plan as stated is about as good as any other. Is this client planning on re-introducing fish at some later date?
    JLSLLC likes this.

    JLSLLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,527

    What about a pool skimmer or something close? This thread is LOADED with info!!!
  9. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    Skimmer will not remove bottom debris or small TSS.
    JLSLLC likes this.
  10. rippinryno

    rippinryno LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    No fish, I believe that is why she's not asking for a draining. It would almost be easier for me to sump it out and clean it properly but she does not want that, plus it will add cost since she has nowhere to pump water. If she ever does fish again in the future i believe she will first have it all wokred out with company she used to install the pond.
    tadpole likes this.

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