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  • Anybody with a Koi pond?

    Need advice...It's time for me to start up the pump again. I just had the ponds put in last year, and the company that installed them for me advised cutting the pump off from November till May. They are no longer in business so I cant call them with my questions. Do you have to periodically drain the pond and clean the muck out? And if so, how do you do it? With a wet-vac? I have a small pond at the top of a hill with a 29 ft. waterfall/stream that runs into a larger pond at the bottom of the hill. Would I be okay to just add more water and chemicals and turn it on again, or does it need to be thoroughly cleaned out on the bottom before I start it up? What was I thinking? It's a beautiful sight, but I am dreading doing the maintenance on this thing!

  • #2
    I don't have a koi pond, but used to have and maintain (mine and other peoples) large aquariums (Mine was a 90 gallon one. Kids could have used it for a hot tub). If the pump has been off that long I would advise cleaning it out before restarting it. Take a 5 gallon bucket and put the fish in there (if you have too many use a few buckets) use the water from the pond in the bucket (this keeps some of the old water so you don't shock the fish with all fresh water). Shop vac sounds like a pretty easy way to do it. I would just empyt it onto surrounding plants (fish emulsion is great for plants... emulsion=poo). Then refill the pond partialy with the chemicals, pour the fish and thier water in and top off with any more needed water.
    Sounds like you have your work cut out for you but the shop vac should make it easier. Don't clean it too well or you will get rid of the 'good' bacteria. If you suction the gunk off of the bottom you should be in good shape. If getting the fish out has stirred the water up a lot give it a half hour or so to settle back down.

    Huffle
    Last edited by Huffle; 05-04-2008, 10:58 AM.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the yarn I cannot return... courage to change the yarn I can... and the reciept to know the difference.

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    • #3
      Huffle, thanks. I was afraid of that! I guess I'd better start shopping for a wet-vac! It's not actually the work that I'm afraid of. It's the "yuck" factor...being afraid of coming across a snake in the pond, emptying gross stuff out of the wet-vac, sticking my hand into the skimmers to get the filters out...I am just not cut out for "man" stuff!

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      • #4
        cotton, if you put the fish in the buckets,put the whole bucket in the fresh water long enough for the water temp to change gradually,then put the fish in the fresh water,a sudden change in temp could shock them.

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        • #5
          My hubby hooks a piece of rubber tubing up to the pond pump, and pumps the water right out. When it gets close to empty he pulls the pump out (you don't want the pump to suck up the gunk) and finishes the job with the sh0p vac. It's a stinky, dirty job when you get to the bottom.

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          • #6
            When we had our pond, we kept the pump on 24/7/365. we had it 5 or 6 yrs or maybe more and only drained and cleaned it once. It was big, kidney shaped, 17' at longest, about 4-5 ft across and about 3-1/2 ft deep. The only reason we drained it was because DH has put some fingerling catfish in it when we first put it in and they were eating the koi, so we drained it and got the catfish out and took them to the local lake (don't tell anyone, that's against the law, we found out later ) we had several 5 gal buckets we filled with the water from the pond, and put the fish in as we drained it, make sure to keep buckets in shade and covered, koi love to jump out!!! we even found a couple baby fish that had hatched in the bottom of the filter, thay were about 4" long! lol

            good luck

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            • #7
              anybody with a Koi pond

              I am so glad you posted about this, we installed one last year too, no fish in it, but I had plants on the elevated part. I did not cut my filter and fountain off, it just kept working all winter-it is next to the house. I do need to skim alot of leaves out and put new plants in it this year-I will be watching this post for any ideas.

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              • #8
                And, don't "thoroughly" clean it. It needs the natural bacteria to help keep it healthy. I'd sweep the gunk into a pile and pick most of it up, but wouldn't scrub anything.

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                • #9
                  Wellsms, the reason the installer told me to cut the pump off from November till May is because he said that with the cold temperatures, if I left the pump running, the water would stay too cold for the koi. But if I turned it off, they would go down to the bottom of the still water and stay warm enough during the winter. If I had no fish in it like you, I probably would have kept the pump going too. Thats an idea tho...I dont care much for the fish anyway...I just like the waterfall and the plants and the wonderful noise that the stream makes, especially at night when I'm trying to go to sleep. If I got rid of the fish and kept the pump going all year round, seems to me that I wouldnt have to do this heavy cleaning once a year because it would definately stay cleaner.

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                  • #10
                    Well, I did it! And it really wasnt bad at all! It was so simple! The shop-vac worked great! Thats what took the longest was getting the old water out. And there wasnt much muck in the bottom at all - just a lot of leaves that I got out with a net and a "gopher". Then I just rinse it down and filled it up again! Felt bad sucking all that water out because it was loaded with baby tadpoles, and there were more frogs out there than I could count! One lesson I learned...when I buy water plants again, I will never buy another Sensitive Plant (thats what its called). It was tiny when I bought it last year and grew humongous before it died, but the big pond was half-full of Sensitive Plant roots! So glad thats done for the year! Dont be afraid of doing it if you have to - its a piece of cake!

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                    • #11
                      Just a heads up on the tadpoles. We've had them in the past (the boys go to the local creek with a bucket and bring as many as they can home!). They will clean the pond from top to bottom. As they grow they eat all the gross slimy stuff. When we've been able to keep them alive our pond is sparkling.

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                      • #12
                        Good job Cottun bet you feel great about it now that it is done. I would love to hear the waterfall as I went to sleep too. Would be great.

                        Huffle
                        God grant me the serenity to accept the yarn I cannot return... courage to change the yarn I can... and the reciept to know the difference.

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                        • #13
                          I don't know if this is true or not, or even remember where I heard it, but I did hear years ago that Koi attracted Snakes? Water Moccasins??? Is that Hogwash?
                          Lauren ~The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. ~
                          Martin Luther King, Jr.

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                          • #14
                            that sounds beautiful cottun. Why don't you post some pics for us? I would love to see it.

                            Hey that would be a neat post. You should all post pics of your ponds. I don't have one, but my goose has an inground plastic pool for her swimming pleasure. I could post a pic of that....lol You really wouldn't want to see it.
                            DARE TO BE DIFFERENT

                            www.myspace.com/luvkidrock4ever

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                            • #15
                              I would love to post some pictures, but I dont even own a digital camera anymore. Gave it away because I never figured out how to download the pictures so I gave up on it. I may get another one and give it a try again.

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