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How to Clean a Pond Properly

Posted by on Feb 27 2023

With winter drawing to a close and the promise of spring on the horizon, you may be thinking about cleaning your pond ready for the new season. There are a few important things to consider to make sure the job is done properly, so read on for our complete guide to how to clean a pond. 


How Often Should a Pond Be Cleaned?

When it comes to how to keep a pond clean, every pond is different. With the wealth of pond shapes and sizes in gardens across the country, each with a different position, there is no hard and fast rule.


However, there are some general guidelines you can keep to in order to know how often to clean your pond. In general, small ponds tend to need a deep clean every five-or-so years. Larger pools tend to need a full clean every 10 years or so. In between this, smaller cleans may be necessary to keep your pond healthy, especially if you have pond life such as fish living in your garden pond.


Every type of pond will need to be maintained regularly in order to stop it from turning into a bog garden. Keeping your pond clean will also keep it looking aesthetically pleasing and reduce the risk of larger problems arising. If you have pond plants in your garden pond, aim to keep around 50% of the surface free from any vegetation by thinning out your plants occasionally. The best time to do this is during the summer when plants grow the quickest.

Make sure you also trim any dead leaves from plants in the autumn to avoid them decomposing in the pond. The spring often brings the growth of pond algae and weeds, you can see our guide to getting rid of green water in ponds here if that becomes a problem.

How to Clean a Pond Naturally

Whilst ponds with serious issues may need the addition of pond treatments and additives, it's understandable that you may want to keep your pond clean naturally as the first port of call. There are several ways to naturally clean your pond. The first step is to avoid any dead vegetation from entering your pond. Leaves entering your pond can start to decompose and turn your pond water a muddy brown.


One of the easiest ways to rid your pond of debris is to use a pond rake or pond grabber to clear your pond of debris. Alternatively, using a pond vacuum can help clear the sludge sitting at the bottom of our pond which could be harbouring toxins. These are all simple ways to clean a pond without emptying it.


Cleaning a Pond After Winter

The end of winter will inevitably result in a layer of leaves and other debris in your garden pond. One of the best times to clean your pond is in the early spring before your pond water has fully awoken from its winter dormancy. It’s a good idea to complete your pond clean at this stage before the warmer weather causes bacteria colonies to form to avoid throwing off your pond’s natural ecosystem. During your clean, take a look at cleaning out your pond pump to ensure it remains in full working order for the year ahead.

How to Clean a Pond Pump

Part of your pond cleaning routine will probably include cleaning your pond pump. Your pond pump is an integral part of keeping your pond clean so shouldn;t be neglected. Follow the below steps to easily clean your pond pump:


  • Turn off your pond pump at the mains.

  • Remove the pond pump from your pond by the hose and remove the pump cage.

  • Give the pond cage a good scrub to remove any dirt or debris that may have built up over time. Rinse the cage in water.

  • Clean the prefilter sponge in a bucket of pond water and replace if needed.

  • Unscrew the pond pump impeller cover to access the pump impeller chamber and carefully remove the pump impeller (the moving part).

  • Use a smaller brush to clean the impeller and rinsewhilst checking for signs of wear and tear.

  • Clean the impeller chamber and replace the impeller before refitting the cover and fitting the pump cage.

  • Put your cleaned pump back into the pond and give it a shake to remove any air bubbles before turning back on.

How to Keep a Pond Clean

Whilst regular cleaning of your garden pond is key to keeping it healthy, there are a few ways to help your pond stay naturally cleaner as time goes on. The first thing to consider if your pond is home to fish is how much you feed them. Feeding too much can lead to a build up of decaying food in your pond. This will contribute to a build up of sludge and ammonia, both of which are unhelpful for your pond. Similar to fish tank care, ensure your pond isn’t overcrowded.


If your pond water is often murky, examine the area around your pond to see if soil or leaves could be falling into your pond and clogging it up. In contrast, plants living and growing inside of your pond could help to regulate the nitrates in your pond and cut down on the string algae that might grow on rocks in your pond.

Find Everything You Need to Care For Your Pond

At CD Aquaticsm we stock everything you need to construct and care for your garden pond. From pond fittings and valves to pumps and spares, we have pond supplies covered. To find out more, take a look at our pond supplies collection or contact our team to find out more about our supply.

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