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How to Clean Sludge From an Outdoor Fish Pond

You can clean the sludge out of a fish pond even while the fish are still swimming inside. With care, you can do so without causing any harm to them. You will need some specialized equipment, but you can likely rent it from a local hardware store. In no time, you and your fish will be enjoying the crystal clear waters of your newly clean pond.

  1. Set up your drainage equipment. Unscrew the clamp from the outlet or waterfall side, and allow it to drain off into your yard or surrounding area. Before you start draining, you may want to screw on a hose to the end of the pump where the water will be expelled. There will have to be enough hose to lead out of the pond, and realistically, you can let that end be on your grass or better yet, in a garden. The sludge that comes out makes excellent organic fertilizer.
  2. Start draining the pond. Submerge your pump in the deepest part of your pond. Turn the pump on and allow it to begin pumping water out. Once the water starts draining and exposing sludge, grab your broom.
  3. Sweep the sludge out of the pond. Sludge is merely the organic waste of plants and animals that accumulates at the bottom of every pond. So, taking your whisk broom, sweep the organic waste toward the pump inlet at the pond's bottom. You will be able to remove nearly 90 percent of the sludge by doing this, so keep at it until there is about a quarter of the water left.
  4. Turn off the pump. Now you can pull it out of the pond.
  5. Refill the pond. Use the buckets of dechlorinated water or a hose if you have country well water. Your fish may be a little spooked, but they will be alive and well once the pond has been refilled.

Things You Will Need

  • Small portable water pump
  • Whisk broom
  • Hose

Tip

  • You can also dechlorinate the water using a commercial dechlorinator to be safe. Depending on the size of your fish and your pond, you may need multiple bottles.