After you make your much anticipated pond, you voluntarily accept a role for the rest of your life, that is to keep it clean and healthy. Mind you cleaning isn’t just for show, the well being of your fishes depend on it.

Many owners don’t know how to clean pond water with fish in it properly. It’s sad because it is so easy to do.

You have to remove all devices and decorations, take out all fish out of the tank, then scrub the basin and the walls, scrub off all the gunk, exterminate all algae, clean up the filter and pump. That basically sums it all up.

If you want to more then don’t go anywhere, just scroll down a bit below…

Instructions on how to clean fish pond

To preserve the health of the fish and plants, you should keep a clean, well-maintained pond.

Before cleaning a fish pond you should keep in mind that it’s not necessary to drain a pond every time you think about cleaning it, unless the pond water is absurdly muddy & dirty then you would have no better option but to drain the pond.

Things you will need to clean a pond

  • A large bucket to keep the fish
  • Cleaning net
  • Large bucket
  • Gloves
  • Rain boots
  • Brush

Steps to clean pond water with fish in it

How To Clean Pond Water With Fish In It

1. Swing to the left & to the right, it’s surface cleaning time

Try to remove all floating materials, leaves, and other waste from the water using the pond cleaning net.

Unplug and remove the pump and all the electrical gadgets. Removing the pump and decorative setup will give you sufficient mobility to clean the pond. You will have to put less physical effort into cleaning the surface area.

2. Let’s deal with the fishy situation


Removing the fish is a voluntary judgment. For normal cleaning, you don’t have to remove the fish. If your pond is absurdly dirty and muddy and you are thinking about using chemicals or want to drain the pond then removing the fish is recommended.

After removing the fish you should put them in a deep container filled with the pond water. You shouldn’t use tap water to fill the container, the chlorine present in tap water will be deadly for the fish.

To avoid fish from jumping out of the container, cover it with net or mesh,

don’t seal it, there should be sufficient air circulation in the container. Preserve the fish out of the sun until the cleaning is done.

3. Rub- rub, brush-brush: getting rid of the mush

It’s time to clean the pond basin and pond wall. If you have drained the pond and have access to the pond bottom, then You can use a shovel to scoop out all the slurry material, decayed leaves, and muck.

This sludge increases the nitrate level of the pond which greatly enhances the algae development.

While removing sludge put on a pair of gloves and a rain boot for safety, the pond bottom can be quite slippery.

If you are cleaning the pond without draining it, then the pond Vacuum can be a great support. To remove the sludge from the pond bottom, You can use a pond vacuum cleaner as an efficient and quick cleaning tool. If there is lots of gravel present in the pond the vacuum’s hoover will get jam pretty rapidly.

You don’t need to remove the fish from the pond , these vacuums are fish friendly, so your fish will be in tip-top shape no matter how much you use a pond vacuum.

In the undrained pond cleaning process, I recommend to wait for a few weeks before starting the pond filter cleaning. The waiting period will stimulate the growth of the beneficial microorganisms, positively affecting the pond ecosystem.

4. Time to deal with the Algae

A bit of algae is beneficial for the pond ecosystem but overgrown algae are a burden. You can use a toilet brush to remove the overgrown algae from the pond wall.

Are you thinking about chemical treatment for your pond? Using hydrogen peroxide will amplify the algae removing process.

If your pond water holding capacity is up to 1000 gallon then you can use 0.48 liter of hydrogen peroxide. Dilute the hydrogen peroxide and let it flow with moving water.

You should be patient with the chemical treatment, it might take weeks to be thoroughly worn out. Please remove the fish before using this chemical treatment.

Keep in mind that algae are crucial for the pond ecosystem, eliminating them completely will put a negative impact on the health of the pond.

Cleaning the pump and filters: The cherry on top

It’s time to clean the pond filter and pump. If you don’t have a pond filter installed then it’s highly recommended to install one.

While cleaning the filter, you should avoid using tap water. The chlorine-filled tap water will harm the good bacteria and other beneficial microorganisms.

After cleaning the pond, reinstall the pump and all the equipment and decoration.

If you have used tap water to fill the pond then it’s better to dechlorinate and check out the water quality, tap water possesses chlorine and other chemical entities which makes it safe to drink for us but not for the fish.

Plants, fish, microorganisms can not survive in chlorine contaminated water so dechlorination must be done. while checking the water quality Check pH value (should be 6 to 8) and KH value ( should be 95 to 155 ppm).

It’s not wise to replace the water up to a hundred percent, but if you have then please wait for 2 to 3 weeks, let the water mature, then put the fish back in the pond.

The best time to clean a fish pond

During spring to autumn, the water temperature starts rising and the fish becomes relatively active. So, you should try to clean the pond somewhere around March to May.

Remember to check out the pond filter conditions. Also,remove leaves and floating scraps from the water and trim the ponds plants to a moderate size.

After reaching mid-autumn, you should prepare for an intense cleanup. In Mid-late autumn season amphibians like frogs, dragonflies, and other insects finish laying their eggs in the pond and the larva hatching from the eggs are mature enough to move & fly.

So rest assured you won’t be hurting anyone.

The fish hibernate during the winter. If you love your fish then please give them a comfortable and safe atmosphere to hibernate.

During this season the trees lose most of their leaves so cleaning the water with the pond net should be done regularly otherwise the leaves will sink and decay.

Use a pond vacuum to clean the pond basin and pond wall and check the pond filtering system.

These steps will ensure the water quality of the pond is up to the mark.

Draining or Without draining: Which cleaning method is better?

You don’t have to drain a pond to clean it, treat it as a last resort.

It’s a traditional misconception that you need to remove aged water to clean the pond. But mature pond water possesses an ample amount of microorganisms that reduces nitrate consistency and helps sustain a healthy environment for both fish and plants.

I believe it’s best to keep the old pond water as much as possible.

However, If your pond is absurdly dirty and muddy then it’s best to drain it and execute a proper cleanup.

Draining  the pond using a pump will be time-saving, and it will ease the execution. You can choose from the numerous variety of pumps depending on your budget and other priorities.

Final words

A fish pond brings a nice and relaxing touch to its surroundings. It is only fair that you do something nice for them too. Keeping the pond clean is a good way to keep them happy.

And, doing that is no big deal.

I’m sure my article will give you proper insight on how to clean pond water with fish in it. The in-depth knowledge that you got here will help you solve any problem you might face during cleaning.

Why don’t you start now? Best of luck!

Similar Posts