How to Clean Backyard Ponds

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When visitors to your home enjoy the beauty of your backyard pond, most don’t realize the work that goes into maintaining that beauty. Algae growth, fish and turtle waste, and falling debris can make keeping a backyard pond clean a constant chore. Besides doing a big cleanup of the pond, there are steps you can take to help keep your pond clean throughout the year.

Step 1

Remove debris with a pool net skimmer from the surface of the water as needed. If the pond is located under trees that regularly drop leaves, you may need to skim the water daily.

Step 2

Remove and replace about 25 percent of the water with fresh water. If you have fish or turtles in the pond, removing too much water may shock them and kill them. Also, if you have fish or turtles, you’ll need to treat the new water with a water conditioner — per the label’s instructions — to remove chlorine. You can scoop the water out with a bucket or use a pool vacuum.

Step 3

Add plants to the pond. Plant species such as water hyacinth, water lettuce and elodea help naturally filter the water and keep the pond clean. These specific plants reduce the nitrates and phosphates in the water and prevent the growth of algae according to Chuck Jones’ article, “Proper Filtration,” published in the “2001-2002 Annual Ponds USA and Water Gardens” magazine.

Step 4

Install a filter in your pond that is sufficient size for the size of your pond. Filtration is essential for keeping a backyard pond clean and to maintain the water quality. There are several options for pond filtration. A professional pond retailer can help you decide what is best for your pond’s size, the number of fish in it and the pond’s design.

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