Last Updated on December 31, 2019 by Cooper Fulton

Best Supplies To Keep Your Pond Clean & Healthy

Here, you’ll learn all the secrets of keeping your pond clean and healthy year-round, with the use of my favorite and best pond supplies.pond supplies

A pond is a beautiful extension of your own green oasis and can be integrated for relaxation, the settlement of various pond inhabitants and to improve the ambiance. 

One disadvantage of self-built waters is the need to clean them to keep the water clean. 


Best season for ponds

The most important aspect of pond cleaning is time. 

The best season is spring, but not every month is suitable for pond cleaning. It is recommended to clean the garden pond at the beginning of the season, directly after the end of winter. 

From my experience, you can clean the pond any time of the year, I’ve found the most ease doing it in the spring, as this is where the pond flourishes with plants and fish!

In this way, a nutrient surplus can be counteracted and dead plant material decomposes slowly, despite the increasingly strong shining sun. This protects against the following problems:


  • Green algae sludging/oxygen shortage

Alternatively, you can do the cleaning at the end of the summer, if you missed the spring season, or would like to clean it again.

This time is recommended if your pond is only slightly polluted and does not overheat during the summer.

Best season for ponds

If you do not want to repeat the cleaning every year, you should free the garden pond of leaves, plant remains, food leftovers and the excretions of the pond inhabitants in autumn. 

In this way, they do not rot and they do not accumulate the typical layer of dirt that can greatly damage plants and pond dwellers in the new season.


Best pond supplies

Now that you know the appropriate season for pond cleaning, you need to get the appropriate pond supplies to clean the pond. 

Without them, you can not clean the pond, as the mud is difficult to remove by hand. 

If your pond needs more oxygen, a pond aerator or a pump should be considered. If you use a skimmer to clean the pond, it removes foreign matter such as plant parts or pollen.

pond supplies

Even a modern filter with a multi-chamber system can clean your pond. 

If you are looking for a device to clean your pond, choose an aid that will match the technical performance of your pond.

The following list gives you an overview of the necessary materials and supplies to clean the pond:

  • Garden net
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Water vacuum
  • Pond skimmer
  • PVC adhesive (waterproof) pond liner

Pond maintenance requires certain supplies to maintain the cleanliness of the water, banks, walls, and bottom of the artificial reservoir. 

In ordinary ponds, most of the cleaning work is performed by mechanical, chemical, ultraviolet and other types of special filters.

In ecologically clean artificial reservoirs, which are also called eco-ponds, Phyto filters – regeneration zones, bio plate streams or floating islands provide purification, filtering, and disinfection of water. 

But this does not mean that the maintenance of ponds of this type does not require additional cleaning of leaves, branches, pollen, fish feed residues, and other debris entering the water body. 

For this, various supplies and instruments are used:


Pond net

best pond supplies

Maintenance of the pond at home involves the presence of a garden net. Its dimensions should correspond to the dimensions of the pond itself. 

Using the net, it is easy to catch plant debris that collects on the surface of the water. This should be done as it gets dirty so that the debris does not have time to sink to the bottom.

Maintenance of the pond and cleaning it with a garden net sometimes requires considerable effort, especially if the pond is located near trees and is constantly clogged with branches, leaves, etc. falling from them.


Pond brushes

best pond supplies

My favorite hand tool is a pond brush. This is useful for general cleaning of the walls and bottom of a reservoir in spring or autumn. 

There are also special brushes, like those of brushes for washing dishes. 

Pond brushes are used for manual collection of filamentous algae.


Pond skimmer

best pond supplies

A skimmer will become a mechanical analog of the garden net, which facilitates the maintenance of the pond. 

This device prevents the problem of the appearance of algae, as it collects debris floating on the surface of the water. 

Skimmers are stationary, floating or coastal.

Maintenance of the pond in the fall during leaf fall will be greatly facilitated by a special mesh of leaves. 

They come in different sizes and have pegs for fastening on the shore. 

If interested, I’ve written a complete guide on the best pond skimmer.


Water vacuum cleaner

best pond supplies

A water vacuum cleaner is a professional pond maintenance tool. 

It allows you to maintain a clean bottom and walls, freeing them from bottom sediments, plant debris and other debris. 

Different types of water vacuum cleaners are united by a common principle of action – the device pumps the contaminated water, and nozzles clean the bottom and walls of the reservoir. 

The vacuum cleaner filters the contaminated water, but it can be drained and used for watering the beds.

Depending on the size of the pond, the presence of fish in it and other factors, other devices, such as aerators, deicers, heaters, etc. are also used to service the pond.


Mud suckers

best pond supplies

A sludge sucker helps to clean your garden pond by sucking mud from the bottom and collecting it into a collection container, which the machine empties automatically or which you empty manually.

The sucker usually directs the water back into the pond. When you clean your garden pond, the goal is not to completely remove the mud, but to reduce it to a healthy level.

In order not to burden nature unnecessarily, there are mud suckers that work very gently.


Why is pond cleaning necessary?

Cleaning ponds are required, as practice shows, especially in the autumn period, when even with the established biological balance, blue-green algae have the opportunity to begin rapid growth. There may be several reasons for this, for example:

  1. slowing down the growth of “useful” aquatic and coastal plants, which play the role of Phyto filters for water purification.
  2. water saturation with nitrogen, phosphorus and other substances resulting from the decay of the vital products of fish and other aquatic inhabitants, as well as due to the ingress of instant fertilizers into the water.
  3. water pollution by dried plants, branches, leaves, etc., fallen from trees.

If from fallen leaves and similar debris that did not have time to sink to the bottom, the artificial pond is cleaned quite easily and on its own, then the “general cleaning” already requires appropriate experience and specialized equipment.


Effective methods for disposal of debris 

Effective methods for disposal of debris 

There are four ways to clean a pond – mechanical or manual, chemical, biological, as well as using ultraviolet radiation. 


Mechanical pond cleaning method

The simplest way to get rid of debris in the water is to clean it with a filter. Water is pumped through a container with a filter, in which algae, leaves, and twigs get stuck, and sludge settles. 

When the liquid begins to leak worse, the filter element is replaced. The mechanical method is complemented by a primitive do-it-yourself pond cleaning. 

Large plants are cleaned from the surface with a plastic net, and for the bottom of your pond, underwater vacuum cleaners are used that can absorb dirty liquid and filter it. 

Vacuum cleaners are used to thoroughly clean the bottom floor.


Biological purification system 

The essence of the method is the decomposition of organic substances into hydrogen sulfide, methane and carbon dioxide. 

Biofilters are installed as independent treatment systems or in conjunction with mechanical ones. The filtration chamber is filled with a substance with pores in which microorganisms that eat organic matter multiply. 

If fish live in the pond, a larger filter is chosen. Specialists have developed a complex for the biological purification of water bodies. 

The installation consists of three or more plastic container sections, flowing through which the liquid passes through several stages of filtration and is saturated with oxygen, and then is pumped deep into the water column using a pump.


Chemical dissolution of organics and ultraviolet 

Chemical purification is carried out without the use of filters – the reagents are added directly to the reservoir, and the cleaning of the pond takes place very quickly. 

Reagents: dissolve organic compounds, algae, and sludge, supply the pond with oxygen, maintain acidity. 

Choosing to clean the pond from the sludge with your own hands in a chemical way, strictly observe the dosage of the substance. 

A large amount of reagent is dangerous for the inhabitants of the reservoir. An alternative to dry cleaning is near-water tilia plants, hornwort, and bog. 

Ultraviolet also helps to remove sludge – a device with emitting lamps is installed in a pond, and a special mechanism cleans the bottom.


Cleaning the pond

Cleaning the pond


If you have a very large pond or you need to vacuum most of the water, you should resettle the fish. 

Buckets are the best option, as they make the relocation much easier and allow even large specimens sufficient space over the time of cleaning. 

Of course, the resettlement is also aimed at the pond plants, as they must not dry out, which can happen quickly on sunny days in the spring. 

More is not needed for the cleaning itself, as this is mainly about removing the accumulated sludge and allowing fresh water to flow into the garden pond. By the pre-separator you do not inadvertently suck in the following pond inhabitants:

  • Small fish
  • Newts
  • Frogs

In addition, it will not accidentally damage plants or absorb stones that could damage the cleaner. 

The pre-separator is a sieve that is mounted on the end of the hose and has an effective filtering action when cleaning. 

You can use this to clean the pond and do not have to worry about the pond inhabitants.

If you do not want to get yourself a sludge sucker, you can rent the device for one day and save on the purchase in this way. 

The prices for mud sucker range from 35 to 45 dollars per day for individuals, companies or hardware stores that lend the equipment.


How To Clean The Pond

Once you have covered yourself for cleaning, you can start with the pond cleaning. As mentioned above, you should first remove fish and plants from the pond so that they are not in the way during the cleaning. 

However, this only applies to larger fish, as small pond inhabitants such as guppies are often difficult to remove from the pond. 

Keep them in buckets filled with water during the cleaning period, but do not place them directly in the sun. The water in these can evaporate quickly. 

Once this point has been completed, you can begin cleaning the pond according to this guide:

  1. First, use the skimmer to scour the surface of the water for coarse dirt, algae and plant remain. 

Over the winter, a variety of these materials can accumulate on the pond surface, especially when it was a mild winter. 

Likewise, the molten lake can deposit debris on the surface. Use the skimmer to clean the surface to collect as much dirt as possible. 

You can safely dispose of them on the compost, as long as they are not materials such as plastic, glass or other non-compostable.

  1. Turn on the sludge sucker and insert the hose into the pond. Be sure to mount the pre-separator on the hose. 

Begin by extracting most of the water from the pond, otherwise, it will be difficult to get to the dirt and bring in no fresh water. 

Be careful not to drain all the water, only about 75 percent. If the pond has not been cleaned for a long time and the water is completely dumped, you must empty the pond completely.

  1. If the water has been sucked off, take the steam cleaner to hand. 

Turn on the steam jet to a low level and use it to first treat the shore area, as this is where most of the sludge accumulates in the pond. 

For this reason, it is particularly tiring to clean this part of the pond. Continue with the rest of the pond, including the rocks and gravel. 

The steam jet is not used for the dirt within the remaining pond water. If there are still small fish or inhabitants in the pond, do not work them with the steam jet.

  1. Then thoroughly clean the pond from the bottom to the shore area with the scrubber. For this, you need to spend some energy, especially in the rest of the pond water, as you could not use the steam jet in this. 

If you need to clean a deeper pond, a telescopic rod for the scrubber is recommended to get to all parts of the pond. While you clean the pond with the scrubber, the mud should visibly dissolve.

How To Clean The Pond

  1. If you have worked all areas with the scrubber, the pond water would now have to be significantly mixed with mud and the exposed areas seem a little cleaner. 

Depending on the degree of soiling, the sludge is present only in small or large quantities. 

Now apply the sludge sucker for the dissolved sludge. Suck it off completely. Do not be surprised that a lot of pond water can be lost at the same time.

  1. Then check the pond liner for possible cracks. If you find cracks, mend them with the glue and some pond liner. 

Since you have to wait 24 to 48 hours after refilling the pond to refill the pond, this step is a good idea.

  1. Make sure that your plants do not spend too long in pond maintenance. If the cleaning takes longer, it is best to put the plants in buckets so that they do not dry out. 

Remove dead plant parts and cut back the plants so that they can be used again at the end.

  1. After cleaning, you should also check your aquatic plants for dead plant parts. Remove these before putting the greenback in the pond. The dead plant parts and the mud discard on the compost.
  2. 24 to 48 hours after cleaning, slowly fill the pond. First, the plants are used and then the fish. 

Filling the water fast is not recommended since the temperature of the water body otherwise can not adapt.

In addition, you can detect possible suspended particles, which you can fish with a skimmer. 

Then you have completed the pond cleaning and you can enjoy your garden pond again.

You will greatly improve the quality of water in your pond if you choose to keep oxygen plants. 

Oxygen plants help filter the water, reduce the accumulation of algae and absorb CO2 which they convert it into oxygen. 

Suitable plants include water-buttercup (bot., Ranunculus aquatilis), hornbill (bot., Ceratophyllum demersum), spawning herbs (Bot. Potamogeton), waterweed (bot. Elodea), pine fritillary (bot. Hippuris vulgaris) or water feather (bot. Hottonia palustris).


How to do a water change

If the pond is excessively dirty and the filter cannot handle, the water is completely changed. 

The procedure for draining the water and then cleaning the pond from the sludge with your own hands is as follows: 

Drain the water and transfer the fish to a temporary aquarium. Take away aquatic plants. 

Rake out the trash. Thoroughly clean the bottom and walls of the sludge. Fill the pond with fresh water and replace the flora and fauna. 

So that sludge does not form in large quantities, do not use fertilizers rich in organic substances in the summer cottage.


How to get rid of duckweed and reeds

Duckweed grows so that it is difficult to remove. You can limit the spread of duckweed throughout the area with regular care. 

When inhabiting a reservoir with plants and fish, be careful – if you transplant them from a natural source, it is likely that the algae will fall into the water. 

To remove intrusive algae from the pond, populate the environment with floating plants – they provide competition in the fight for oxygen and nutrients. 

Remove the plant from the surface of the water with a rake or net. Bulrushes are removed by radical methods – they are dug up with a bulldozer. 

Pulling it out manually is useless, as the rhizomes are preserved.


How does a water check work?


Clear pond water is the result of a good biological and chemical balance in your garden pond. If you notice any changes, check for example:

Some service providers offer such water examinations, for example in the garden center. 

You can also control different water values ​​yourself with a suitable water testing kit. The one I linked tests for pH, phosphate, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites to ensure good water quality!


Cleaning the pond with the UVC clarifier


A UVC clarifier irradiates the water and thereby reduces microorganisms such as bacteria.

Do not turn on the UVC Clarifier all day long to avoid destroying too many (even good) microorganisms – or use a UVC Clarifier that only irradiates a portion of the water. 

Irradiation also affects dumbbells, which clump and are more easily picked up by the filter. This is how a UVC clarifier helps you to clean the pond.


Add plants

May is the right time to plant new aquatic plants. The more aquatic plants are present in the pond, the fewer nutrients the algae can use for their growth.

May is the right month to put plants in the pond, water lilies,  hornwort, and water lettuce are my favorite.

You can add gravel to the bottom of your pond, which allows a natural system of waste material, thus creating a near self-cleaning pond.

Be careful, adding too much can cause problems in your pond, it’s best to keep it 1″ – 2″ deep.

Also floating plants such as crab claws, frog bite or duckweed are recommended. Not only are they decorative, but they also reduce algae growth.

I’ve written a guide on the best pond plants if you’d like to check it out.


Chemical aids in the pond?


Many people are critical of chemical aids to clean the pond. In fact, the use of chemical substances in the pond requires care.

Do not give the pond any remedies if you have not tested the water and if there is a real need for action. 

If a test suggests that certain parameters are not in the optimal range, use appropriate means and dose as recommended.

Do not forget to consider possible causes of poor water quality in order to reduce or eliminate the reasons for the suboptimal values.


How to Care For Your Pond

How to Care For Your Pond

It is impossible to clean the pond once a year so that it retains an attractive appearance for several months. Here are my favorite pond supplies for daily care of the pond: 

  • Install sand or gravel-based water filter. It removes particles of debris and performs biological cleaning. Ensure that the unit operates around the clock during the summer.
  • Every day, collect large debris from the surface of the water surface with a net.
  • Stretch the net across the width of the pond, set the weights on the bottom so that it goes under the water, and stretch the net along the length.
  • With a net, walk along the bottom, removing silt and dirt. An alternative is a water vacuum cleaner.
  • Avoid “blooming” water – for this, cover the pond with an opaque material during the flowering period. Or you can use pond dye, to darken the pond water.
  • On some days, earthworms creep out into water bodies and die at the bottom. To prevent them from appearing, pour concrete around the edges. The height of the concrete sides is 30 cm from the ground and 10 cm in depth.
  • In dry weather, water from the pond evaporates quickly, and it must be added to maintain the volume and balance of salt needed for plants.
  • In winter, do a general cleaning – drain the water, sweep and clean the bottom. This procedure allows you to protect plants and fish from bacteria.
  • Regularly fish algae out using a pond net.
  • Use pond plants – these bind excess nutrients and thus limit algae growth in a natural way.
  • Check the water quality regularly; bind phosphate and other nutrients through activated carbon filtration or appropriate water additives.
  • In the fall, tie a net over the pond to keep leaves and ducks out of the water. In this way, you improve the water quality in your pond sustainably; so you have to move back to your pond only later with the pond sludge sucker.
  • It is also important to regularly measure the pH of the pond from spring onwards – ideally every day. It should be around 7 to 8.5.  So that the pH value remains stable and does not fluctuate too much, the carbonate hardness value should also be correct – it describes the water hardness and can also be measured.
  • Due to snow and rain, pond water is often diluted with soft, low-calcium water in autumn and winter, the carbonate hardness value may be too low in spring.
  • If the value is below 5 pH, it should be increased to give the water the necessary pH stability. This can be done by the addition of special minerals, which are also available from garden retailers. Not too important, but it doesn’t hurt to check every once in a while.