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Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning; in most cases this brings up thoughts of garage sales, basement overhauls and sweating it out in your home while ridding of the grubbiness that crept in throughout the winter months. While all those things may need to be done, for pond owners it’s also a time to clean and refresh your pond to help in welcoming a warm, beautiful summer. Just don’t wear your Sunday best because this endeavor is a messy one.

Along with the satisfaction of cleaning your pond, this is also an opportunity to get up close and personal with your fish and to see how they have grown since the winter sent them into hibernation. Some sort of container will be needed to hold your fish during cleaning. Try to clean your pond just as spring is starting so it’s still cool enough to keep your fish as stress-free as possible. A kiddie-pool or a large livestock watering tank will suffice; just make sure it’s clean first.

Fill the holding tank with water from the pond, not from a hose. Cover the tank with netting because the fish will most likely try to jump out. If one does manage to get out, be sure to wet your hands before handling them. Once you’re ready to gather the fish, lower the water so it’s easier to catch them. After the koi are in the holding tank, empty the pond all the way in preparation to clean.

If you don’t have a bottom drain, use a sump pump to get all the water out. After that is done, give your bio-filter a good cleaning. Power spray systems work excellent for this. Then, if applicable, turn on the UV sterilizer and any fountains or waterfalls and then begin refilling the pond. As your pond is filling, add salt (follow directions by size and water for your pond). Use a de-chlorinator. Even if you used non-chlorinated water or well water, a good de-chlorinator will remove heavy metals. Test the water before re-introducing your fish because too much chlorine will kill your fish and plants.

At this time you can add bacteria to start up your bio-filter again. After that, you can re-introduce your fish back into the pond. Although your pond is all up and running and sparkling clean, your fish are not quite ready to go back in. You’ll have to introduce them into the pond the same way you did when you brought them home for the first time. This is not to be rushed. Your fish will be happy and stress-free which in turn should leave a sweet taste in your mouth as well. Now sit back, relax and enjoy your newly cleaned and improved pond.

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