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Spring Pond Cleaning

Our first article in our spring pond opening series deals with one of the most thankless jobs (but arguably most important) - the glorious spring pond cleaning!  As the pond water starts warming up we enter a "danger zone" at about 48F where bacteria and parasites become active, but the protective beneficial bacteria is not yet established.  Fortunately, an effective pond cleaning will prevent, or at least greatly reduce, the chances of bacterial infection or parasite infestations.  You want to clean your pond when the water temperature reaches 40F, and before any beneficial bacteria or water treatments are added.

The first step is to assess the status of your pond.  We are not big proponents of a complete water change if it can be avoided.  But you do need to get all (or nearly all) of the sludge, debris and leaves out of the pond as this is where all the nasties are hiding.  If this can be accomplished with a utility net or other device, then you're good to go.  Scoop as much debris as you can, then add a a sludge eating bacteria, like Microbe-Lift Sludge Away.

If sludge and debris accumulations are substantial, then you have two options: 1) Invest in a pond vacuum, like the Oase Pondovac 4; or 2) Drain, clean and re-fill your pond.  This option is a bit too involved for this newsletter - but we do have an article in our Information Center here: Full Spring Pond Cleanout.

Remember - it is important to clean you pond early in the spring, when the water temp reaches 40F, and before nitrifying bacteria and parasites become active.  When cleaning, focus on the leaves, debris and sludge on the bottom of the pond.  You do not want to scrub the green algae on the sides of the pond as this algae is beneficial to your pond's ecosystem, houses beneficial bacteria, and helps starve the early season algae blooms.

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