Guide to Backyard Pond Maintenance

Today we are going to take a look at backyard pond maintenance.

At Clearwater Creations, we have been helping homeowners install and maintain ponds and water features since 2011 – and we’d love to share our experience and expertise with you!

We’ll take a closer look at what’s involved with backyard pond maintenance and why it is so important. So, let’s get started!



Learn how to do your backyard pond maintenance


Why Backyard Pond Maintenance Is Important

Even though a pond requires less maintenance than a swimming pool, it still needs to be cared for from time to time. Regular backyard pond maintenance will keep your aquatic life healthy and will allow you to cultivate a wonderful ecosystem right in your backyard.

However, if you neglect to do backyard pond maintenance, your pond could become more of an eye sore than a beautiful landscaping feature and it could be unsuitable for nurturing your aquatic life.

Fallen leaves especially are a big threat as they release toxic gases as they decay which can destroy the ecological balance in your pond, so you will want to remove these during your backyard pond maintenance.



Backyard pond maintenance: Remove the dead leaves that have fallen into your pond


Backyard Pond Maintenance Tasks

The following are a list of backyard pond maintenance tasks including what they entail, why they are important to perform, and when they need to be done.


Spring Clean Out

Over the winter months your pond will collect a lot of falling debris which can build up and lead to algae and water issues in the spring. You need a certain amount of algae in your pond to keep it healthy as it provides food for aquatic animals, however if it grows excessively, then you have a problem.

Doing a spring cleaning is the largest backyard pond maintenance task that you will need to tackle. A thorough pond spring clean out includes the following steps:

  • Step 1: Drain the water out of your pond. If you have fish, you will need to temporarily move them while your pond is being cleaned out.

  • Step 2: Pressure wash, rinse, and vacuum out your pond. You want to remove the sludge from the bottom of your pond. A vacuum can help you do this, however make sure that you leave some mud on the bottom to support algae growth.

  • Step 3: Trim back and fertilize the aquatic plants that you have as necessary.

  • Step 4: Check any underwater light bulbs or fixtures that you have installed to make sure they are working correctly and replace any that are not.

  • Step 5: Re-adjust the rocks and gravel in your pond.

  • Step 6: Re-fill your pond and if you have fish, you can re-introduce them.

If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. There are companies that specialize in backyard pond maintenance that you can hire to do these tasks for you. If you live in the Peterborough region, you can contact Clearwater Creations.


small backyard pond is leaking: what to do

You can hire a company to do your spring backyard pond maintenance for you


Ongoing Maintenance

Controlling Algae Growth:

There are a couple of things that you can do to control the growth of algae throughout the year. A natural method is to grow floating plants such as water lilies or lotus. These plants block the sunlight and deter algae growth.

You can also grow underwater plants such as anacharis, hornwort, and parrot’s feather. These underwater plants will release oxygen into your pond water which will help to keep the algae down.

In addition you can plant plants that absorb high nutrients around the edges of your pond like lettuce or hyacinths. They will not only eat up the nutrients and starve the algae, but they will also provide even more shade to deter algae growth.

You could also use a rake to physically skim the algae out of your pond.



Planting water lilies will help deter the growth of algae


Maintaining the Water Level:

You need to watch the water levels in your pond especially during the hot days of summer when you can have a lot of evaporation. If the water level drops too low, your aquatic organisms won’t have enough oxygen and they may die.

Depending on how hot the weather is, you may have to fill up your pond every week in the summer. You should always keep your pond about three quarters full. Avoid using tap water to fill your pond though as it contains solutes that will encourage excessive algae growth.

A great ecological solution for re-filling your pond is to install a rainwater harvesting system. Using rainwater to re-fill your pond or for watering your garden and lawns reduces the strain on municipal systems. In addition, the stored rainwater can alleviate water shortages when there is little rainfall. The rainwater harvest storage system can also prevent flooding that typically occurs when heavy rains follow a drought. Learn more in the following video.


Re-fill your pond with harvested rainwater and do your part in helping the environment


Pump Maintenance:

If your pump or filter gets clogged, you should turn it off and flush out any debris that has collected in it.

Clean Your Lines and Fountains:

If your lines or fountains get covered with limescale or algae bloom, you can clean them with chemicals to remove the limescale and you can use algaecides to kill off and remove the algae.

Prune Nearby Trees:

If you have large trees that are hanging over your pond and completely blocking all sunlight, it is a good idea to prune them back. Even though you want to limit the amount of sunlight that your pond receives to deter algae growth, you do need to have some sunlight so that your plants can stay healthy.



Backyard pond maintenance: Prune back trees that are blocking the sunlight


Fall/Winter Maintenance

You can set up netting over your pond in Mid-September or early October to minimize the effect of debris in the pond. Once the leaves have all fallen, you can remove the net.

The main backyard pond maintenance task you need to do for the winter is to make sure there is enough water for your pump(s) to operate properly all winter long.

A pond pump that moves at least 2,000 gallons per hour of water can be operated in Central Ontario without a problem, as long as it runs CONTINUOUSLY. The moving water will usually keep a hole in the ice around the waterfalls, and in front of the skimmer. Learn more about winter pond maintenance in the following video.


Keep enough water in your pond to keep your pump running all winter


Trust Clearwater for Your Backyard Pond Maintenance

If you would like help with your backyard pond maintenance, contact the specialists at Clearwater Creations. At Clearwater Creations we are highly experienced in all aspects of pond maintenance and we would be happy to help you keep your pond clean and healthy.

If you don’t have a backyard pond and are thinking of putting one in, contact us today for a free quote.

Our services include:

“Amazing work and amazing people to deal with. Highly recommend for your pond needs”

Cherise Kimberlee, Facebook Reviews