Ponds with smelly water are unpleasant to bear; they certainly detract from the enjoyment of your outdoor space. Ponds that are not sufficiently aerated will require a regular clean up. Cleaning and restoring the pond is not a difficult task but definitely not a job everyone will love doing. It is quite a messy and smelly job. Here is how to restore a backyard pond that has smelly water.
Step 1 – Drain the Pond
Connect the pump to a discharge pipe and place the pump deep inside the pond. In case you have a ProBead biofilter, just turn the valve to drain position. Select a hard plastic container of bigger size to temporarily hold the fish living in the pond. Set up an aeration unit. Collect some water from the discharge pipe in the container. Don’t completely fill the container since this may enable the fish to jump out of the container. Now place the end of the discharge pipe into the surrounding landscape so that the water from the pond flows through it. Let the water flow until most of it is emptied and fish are easily caught.
Step 2 – Transfer the Fish to the Container
Switch off the pump and catch the fish using fishing net and a bucket of water. Transfer them to the container already filled with pond water. Remember to keep the container out of direct sunlight and cover the container as after you transfer the fish. This prevents the fish from jumping out of the container. Fishes can survive in the holding tank for just a few hours. Hence it is necessary to complete the whole job of cleaning on the same day.
Step 3 – Drain the Remaining Water
Once all the fishes are transferred to the holding tank, switch on the pump and drain the pond until remaining water is emptied. Switch off the pump.
Step 4 – Remove the Plants from the Pond
Remove the plants from the pond. In case there are plants, which fade soon without water, transfer them to a temporary container.
Step 5 – Clean the Pond
When the pond is empty, start cleaning towards inside of the pond. A high-pressure nozzle connected to the garden hose or a power washer can be used for cleaning rocks, waterfall and gravel. Scrub the algae from the rocks. Cleaning some algae may require pulling by hand. However, it is not necessary to clean off all the algae as little algae left in the pond may prove beneficial.
Step 6 – Rinse off the Debris
Use the garden hose to rinse off the dirt from the rocks and waterfall. Let the discharge pump keep running. Work towards the center of the pond so that all the dirt is collected at the deepest point and is easily discharged by the pump. A wet-vac can also be used to suck all the dirt in the pond.
Step 7 – Refill the Water and Transfer the Fish Back
Refill the pond with fresh water. Once the pond is half full add de-chlorinator to make the water safe for fishes. Also add some fresh pond water to the container housing fishes. Remove some water from the container and again add some fresh water. This lets the temperature of the water in the container slowly adjust to the pond water and hence the fish are not subjected to a sudden change of temperature. Replace the water plants and install the aeration pump. Transfer the fish back to the pond.