By Mike Gannon
Pond ownership comes with a range of responsibilities, not the least of which has to do with making certain everything is ship-shape at some point before the weather gets very warm in the spring.
That’s particularly true if the pond carries a good population of fish and plants: All of a watergarden’s inhabitants are generally quiet or dormant through the cold winter months, and it’s to their benefit if the disturbance caused by a good cleaning happens before they get back into the swing of things and start growing and reproducing once again.
The video linked below shows the process of cleaning a fairly large, slightly overstocked backyard pond. While there’s plenty of “dirty work” involved, it’s really just a matter of drawing down the water and moving systematically through all of the components to clear away a year’s worth of collected muck.
Two points to emphasize: First, as is mentioned in detail in the video, now is truly the best time to give the fish a once-over to make certain they’ve come through the winter in good health. The fact they’re in a smaller container gives you a golden opportunity to look at them from every angle – something that will be much more difficult to do if you wait until they’ve been reintroduced to the pond.
Second, don’t be too quick to start feeding the fish once again: The process of cleaning the pond and reintroducing them to the water may make them frisky, but it’s best to wait until the water hits a temperature of 55 degrees before you resume daily feedings. If the water’s colder than that, they’ll become quiet quickly and hunker down to dream of warmer days ahead!
To see a recommended set of pond-related spring-cleaning chores in detail, click here.