How to Maintain a Small Water Feature


Small water features don't take up much space, are less expensive to plant because you don't need as many plants and are easier to move than large water features. They don't need as much maintenance as large water features but that doesn't mean they don't need any. Keep your small water feature on a regular schedule and the water will stay clear. Your plants will thrive and your fish will be healthy.

Step 1

Remove floating leaves and debris by scooping them out with a net as soon as you see the debris. They will decay and ruin the ecological balance of small water features.

Step 2

Check the level of the water every week. Evaporation concentrates the salts and minerals in the water. Add water if necessary.

Step 3

Drain 20 percent of the water every few weeks and replace with fresh tap water. If you add more than 20 percent at any one time, use a product that will remove the chlorine from the tap water. Another alternative, if the pond holds 5 gallons or less, is to fill several buckets with tap water and let them sit for 48 hours. The chlorine will evaporate.

Step 4

Scrub down the sides of the water feature to remove algae on a monthly basis. Dying algae uses up oxygen from the water, so run the pump for 24 hours after you do the scrubbing.

Step 5

Check the tubing from the pump every month and remove algae and stuck debris by forcing water through the tubing with a garden hose. Clogged tubing makes the pump work harder, which burns it out faster. If a clog seems stuck, bend the tubing around the clog to loosen it and then flush with the hose.

Step 6

Brush the screening of the pond pump intake valve once a week to remove any debris or algae.

Step 7

Empty the water feature before winter sets in if you live in a cold weather area and the water feature is made of cement. Water expands as it freezes. If it gets into a crack it will push the crack wider, resulting in a leak. Turn the water feature bowl or basin over so water can't accumulate, bring it inside or put a waterproof tarp over the feature.

Tips and Warnings

  • Most water plants won't overwinter. Throw them out.

Things You'll Need

  • Net Product to remove chlorine from tap water Scrub brush Hose


  • "All About Building Waterfalls, Pools, and Streams"; Charles M. Thomas and Richard M. Koogle; 2002
Keywords: maintain small pond, maintain water garden, small water garden

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.