Wiltrout Landscaping

  Seasonal Pond Maintenance Services  
  Spring Cleanout  
  Nearly every pond benefits from a spring cleanout. This eliminates any mucky leaves and sludge from the previous season, which helps control algae and keep the water clear and the fish healthy. If you find the job too difficult or too mucky to do yourself, we can do it for you! Give us a call at 715-723-8220, and we'll put you on the schedule.

If you have a very large pond (10,000 gallons for instance) it may not require a cleanout every year. Very large ponds tend to remain more balanced and may not accumulate significant sludge.
  A basic spring cleanout is performed as follows:  
Drain the pond, catch any fish, then hose it down and continue pumping the water out until clean. Rinse out the gravel filter if you have one. Make sure any pond lights are working. Rocks are not generally removed from the pond, although some rebuilding may be done if rocks have been dislodged during the winter or during the cleanout operation. After the pond is clean and any needed repairs have been done, you can fill the pond with water. Add bacteria* and start up the system (waterfalls, etc) again. Fish that have wintered in the pond can go back in -- just be sure to dechlorinate your water first if necessary. New fish or fish that have wintered indoors should wait until the water is consistently 55-60 degrees (May) to prevent cold shock and sickness. Your pond water should be
60°F before adding new greenhouse-grown hardy water lilies, and 70°F before introducing new tropicals.
  Why do we add bacteria in the spring?  
  To keep a pond naturally balanced, we dose it with beneficial bacteria as part of the spring cleanout. These bacteria colonize on the rocks and gravel and especially in the filter, where they work to break down sludge and keep your water clear. A brief algae bloom is normal in early spring while the system is reestablishing itself. If your algae problem persists, stop by the nursery and ask us about it.

For more information on how bacteria help keep your pond clean, see:
  How Biological Filters Work  
  Fall Pond Closeup  
  In our northern climate, we recommend closing down your water feature for winter. If you would like us to close up your pond for you, give us a call at 715-723-8220, and we will put you on the schedule. Typically we close up ponds late in October, but it does depend on the weather!  
  A basic pond closeup is performed as follows:  
  Remove any pumps or fountains and store them out of the frost in a plastic bag or in water to keep the rubber seals moist. (If the seals dry out, the pump will not work.) If you have an automatic fill device with a float, remove this and store it out of the frost as well. Disconnect the automatic fill line and blow it out with an air compressor. Cut off and remove excessive vegetation. If you are wintering fish in your pond, also remove excess fallen leaves.

If you have fish, you may either winter them in the pond or take them inside. To catch the fish, you will need to partially drain the pond, but the pond should then be refilled to protect the hardy plants.

For more information on caring for your fish during the winter, see:
  Caring for Pond Fish  
  If you have questions or would like to hire us to perform these tasks, give us a call at 715-723-8220. We're here to help!  
  Visit our Pond Shoppe for expert advice and a full range of quality pond care products!