How to Clean a Fish Pond


Once you've built a fish pond in your yard, keep it maintained frequently to keep the water and fish healthy. A thorough cleaning of a fish pond is often done at least three to four times a year, but you should clean your fish pond as soon as possible once you notice murky water or if the pond smells particularly bad. The most important area to clean is the bottom to get rid of any algae buildup. The best way to make sure you clean your pond efficiently is to have the water completely drained through a pump or by hand. Of course, before draining you will need to safely transport your fish.

Step 1

Transfer the fish in your pond to a small baby pool filled with water that can hold the fish while you clean the pond. Start by slowing draining out nearly half of your pond water using a large bucket and then scoop out each fish using a net. Wear rubber gloves when cleaning your pond to avoid coming in to contact with algae and bacteria.

Step 2

Remove the water from your pond by using a pump or large bucket, depending on the size of your pond. Purchase a pond pump at a local garden or pool store. Dispose of the water into the sewer drain or over soil in your lawn.

Step 3

Clean the filter of your pond by spraying it with a high-pressured hose. Filter areas can include rocks, filter pads or material to filter the water from being sucked into a pump. You may need to remove these materials and thoroughly clean them with soap and water if they are covered in algae.

Step 4

Gather all rocks at the bottom of your pond and place them in plastic bags. Place at least a dozen rocks into a large strainer and sift them around. Spray them with high-pressured water. Clean each rock with dish soap and rinse thoroughly to remove any algae.

Step 5

Spray all around the pond with high-pressured water and then wait at least 30 minutes for the pond to slightly dry. Use a shop-vac to suck up all excess algae and dirt in your pond, especially near the bottom.

Step 6

Add the rocks and other materials back to your pond. Refill your pond with fresh water that has no chlorine and then carefully add the fish back to your pond. Turn on your filter pump once you're finished cleaning.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bucket
  • Fish net
  • Baby pool
  • Pond pump
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hose
  • Plastic bags
  • Dish soap
  • Scrubber
  • Strainer
  • Shop-vac


  • The Professional Way to Clean a Pond
  • Fish Ponds
Keywords: clean pond, pond water, high-pressured water

About this Author

Greg Lindberg is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in creative writing. His professional writing experience includes three years of technical writing for an agriculture IT department and a major pharmaceutical company, as well as four years as staff writer for a music and film webzine.