This is the time to clean your ponds and get them ready for summer. I highly recommend that you get this task out of the way early. We always clean our clients ponds between April 1st and May 30th while the water temperature is still cool. This allows us not to disturb the beneficial bacteria , and is less stressful for the fish as well as the emerging pond plants.
The first step is to remove the fish from the ponds and place them in clean 5 gallon buckets that are filled with the water from the pond. Once the fish are removed place the buckets
in a shady area. Remember not to place too many fish in each bucket so that they are not overcrowded or stressed .
Once all your fish are safe start by placing your sump pump in the lowest part of the pond and draining the water out into the yard. A good solids handling pump is best. As the water starts to go down start washing the sides down with a garden hose with a high pressure nozzle commonly called a sweeper nozzle. Never Use A Pressure Washer You Can Kill Off The Beneficial Bacteria!. Be sure and take your time and wash off all the sediment from the rocks and behind them until the water is running clear. Depending on the size of your pond this could take a couple of hours.
After you have washed down everything let the water drain out then start hitting the gravel on the bottom with the water stream stirring the gravel up with the water from the hose. Keep this up until you have gotten rid of all the dirty water and the water is clear. Next re-arrange any rocks that have been moved or shifted and check to make sure all your pond plants are alive and do not need to be re-potted. Finally check to be sure that all your under water lights are working and replace bulbs as needed.
Once this is done remove you pump and filter from the skimmer and pump out the skimmer and wash it down. Check your filter and pump clean or replace before you put it back together. Once this is done do the same for the water fall. Checking to be sure the filter or bio-materials are all good. If you have an auto fill valve check that as well to make sure it is working properly.
Now refill the pond once you have enough water in the pond start the skimmer pump and add dechlorinater to the water and let it circulate for a few minutes. Add and algae control and the you may place your fish back in. Before adding the fish place them and the water from the buckets in large plastic bags and let them float in the water for about 15 minutes till the temperatures of the water matches.
If you follow this program each spring your ponds will be healthy and pretty care free throughout the summer.