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Should I vacuum my pond? – Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A


Should I vacuum my pond?

Should I vacuum my pond? Heather – Landfall, MN

Regular pond maintenance throughout the ponding season ensures clean clear water. An extremely lucky few may find themselves in a scenario where their pond is perfectly balanced with no debris blowing into the pond and no layer of muck developing at the bottom of their water feature. Then there are the rest of us who deal with slimy gravel or decomposing leaves and fish waste yucking up our ponds. Pond vacuums are a handy tool to make pond cleaning manageable and easy by physically removing hard to reach muck and debris from within the pond without bending or scrubbing.

While there are a number of vacuums available for purchase, the best type for you will depend on the size and type of pond you are trying to clean and what you are trying to clean out of it. If you have a small pre-formed pond or a fountain that you need to remove debris from then a small water-driven vacuum may be the perfect fit. An example of this type of vacuum is the Laguna Pond Vacuum Kit which consists of a water-driven vacuum head and hydro brush attachment. Water-driven pond vacuums attach to your garden hose and use the water flow to create suction. A mesh net placed behind the vacuum is used to catch debris.

If you are looking to clean out fine silt-like debris or have a large water feature you would be better suited with a motor driven Pond-O-Vac IV or Pond-O-Matic XL. These pond vacuums plug into a standard 110 volt power outlet and use a motor to create suction. These types of pond vacuums carry water and debris through the vacuum hose and into a reservoir which can then be discharged outside of the pond through a drain hose. Both vacuums come with extension handles and a full arsenal of attachments to clean hard to reach areas of the pond. The Pond-O-Vac IV’s dual chamber system, rugged wheels, and powerful motor make it the ideal vacuum for those of you with large water features as it is easier to maneuver than the Pond-O-Matic. The dual collection chambers cut your cleaning time as the vacuum never has to shut off to discharge. Once one collection chamber fills the vacuum switches to the empty chamber and continues to work, emptying the filled chamber in the process. If you have gravel or stones at the bottom of your water feature using one of the vacuums smaller attachments will keep you from sucking up stones along with your muck. If the bottom of your pond consists of dirt or fine pea gravel you will find yourself spending more time cleaning dirt and gravel from your pond than muck and debris. You may want to consider implementing a different substrate material or just focus on using Muck Defense bacteria to help digest bottom dwelling debris.

POND TALK: Do you use a pond vacuum to maintain your pond? Which one did you decide to use?

Get your water garden ready for winter!

5 Responses

  1. If you’re looking to buy these ariltces make it way easier.

    • Hi Marilu,

      We would be happy to help your out…is there more specific information you could provide so that we could better assist you?

  2. When I vacuum the pond, do I need take the fish out first

    • Hi Christina,

      You do not need to remove the fish from the pond. They will most likely stay far from the vacuum…

  3. Thank you for your concise & easy to use web site.

    Question: when using the Pond-O-Matic XL or Pond-O-Vac IV how do you NOTsuck up the fish? Do you need to take the fish out of the pond? It is unclear from either the pictures or the words as to what happens to the fish.
    Our pond is about 10′ X 10′ (with a liner) & is about 4′ deep in the middle. It has not been emptied of water for at least about 4 years although we haven’t had fish in it for many years because of a leak. Last summer, we finally got some fish: 4 Koi, 4 Orfies, & 2 Shubunkins. We love them, they’re great The water was crystall clear (we have a UV light) & many floaters (i.e. water lettuce, hyacinths, parrot feathers) but there was green slime on everything (I think it was string algea). I do think there is a lot of muck in the water. So, this Spring I think it should be cleaned. So if I get one of these vacuums, what happens to the fish. Thanks in advance for your answer. P.S. Several years ago when we did have fish & many, many frogs we discovered a snapping turtle at the bottom & realized that that was the reason we lost the fish & why we saw floating by, pieces of “frogs” We caught the Snapper & released it into a reservoir about 15 miles away. Anyway, thanks for all your info .

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