Fall Fish Pond Clean-out Checklist


Fall is here and it’s a good time to think about doing a fish pond clean-out to prepare you fish for the winter months ahead. The process is fairly simple and can usually be done in one day but be prepared because it’s a messy and smelly job.

If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, just let us know and we will come out and do it for you. Call us at: 310-915-6600 or email ginger@sierrapacificdesign.com to schedule a Fall pond clean-out today.

Fall Fish Pond Clean-out Checklist

Fall represents a unique time of year when your pond can undergo dramatic changes in water temperature and water balance due to the change in weather and falling leaves and decaying plants.  Our Fall pond clean-out checklist will help you through the steps and if you need any assistance just give us a call.

Items you will need:

  • Buckets or containers to hold your fish
  • 26 feet of 1 ½” to 2” discharge hose
  • A high pressure nozzle for your garden hose or a pressure washer with 1500-2500 psi
  • Garden shears for trimming plants around the pond
  • Trash bin to collect leaves and debris
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wading boots

Pond Clean-out Steps

  • Drain the pond
    • Drain 1/3 to ½ of the pond water to remove contaminants and improve water conditions. Use the drained pond water to fill up your fish holding buckets
  • Catch and remove your fish
    • Transfer your fish into your temporary holding buckets
  • Remove debris
    • Remove leaves and debris and twigs from the pond basin by hand in order to protect your pond liner from tears
  • Prune plants
    • Trim back your water plants and prune dead stems to prevent decay. Water lily leaves and blooms should be clipped at the container and discarded. If your pond is near large trees you can consider hanging netting over your pond to catch the falling leaves.
  • Wash the pond basin
    • Wash the pond basin and rinse down and remove debris from rocks and gravel.
  • Clean the filters
    • Clean out the skimmer box and filters per the pump manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Refill the pond
    • Add in fresh water from your garden hose
  • De-chlorinate the water
    • Most city water contains chlorine and chloramines and should be dechlorinated before your fish are adding back into the new water.
  • Acclimate the fish
    • A pond clean-out can be stressful for fish. Slowly acclimate your pond fish to the new water temperature taking the fish holding buckets and floating them in the new pond water for approximately 15 minutes. Now dump some of the water from the holding container and replace it with the new pond water. Do this several times to allow your koi to get used to the new water. Once they are acclimated you can release your fish into their new clean and fresh environment.
  • Add beneficial bacteria
    • Condition your pond with bacterial additives specially formulated to work in cooler water temperatures.

Schedule A Pond Clean-out Today

Want to avoid the hassle of cleaning out your pond yourself? Let us do the work for you.
Call us at 310-915-6600 or use the form below to schedule a pond clean-out.

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Koi Pond Cleanout

Koi Fish and Colder Water

Some additional notes regarding water temperature. When water temperatures drop below 70°F, begin mixing your Koi fish diet with easy to digest wheat germ food.  At below 60°F, you should switch to wheat germ food completely.

Spending a little time now will save you a great deal of time and effort in the Spring and your fish and plants will appreciate it.

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