When it comes to small or large pond cleaning and maintenance in Rochester, New York, and the surrounding areas there is much you should know. Pond maintenance is something that needs to be done year-round. The tasks you need to perform differ depending on the season. Not performing these tasks you are making it harder for your pond to remain healthy.

yearly pond cleaning and maintenance - Western NYPond Cleaning and Maintenance in the Fall

Removal of Leaves & Debris

Fall is the time of year when the trees shed their leaves. If you have a lot of trees near your pond you may want to invest in a pond net to cover your pond for the season. That will save you from a lot of work in clean up. It is also a good idea to trim back any plants with a lot of growth and remove dead plants from the edges of your pond.

Check on Vulnerable Plants and Pets

If any plants for fish in your pond are not able to withstand the winter cold, you will want to bring them indoors to keep them healthy so you can re-introduce them in the spring.

Reduce Fish Feeds

If you plan on keeping hardy fish in your pond throughout the Winter. It is wise to reduce the amount of food you feed your fish as the temperature drops. This is because fish go into a state that is similar to hibernation and their metabolism slows down and they become dormant. You can reduce feedings, or you can begin feeding your fish specialized cold water fish food. Once the water temperature goes below 10 degrees Celsius, you can stop feeding fish altogether.

Pond Cleaning and Maintenance in the Winter

Pond maintenance during the winter months depends mostly on if you plan on running it through the winter, and if you plan to keep fish in it through winter.

Water Treatment

Adding cold water bacteria treatment to your pond will help maintain the water quality and reduce the maintenance that will be required in the spring. If you choose to keep your pond running through the winter, you will need to monitor your pond pump for ice buildup. Should the weather become too harsh you may have to remove your pump.

If you shut your pond down for winter, simply remove the pump and filters. Drain and store them indoors. You may also need to drain water lines or remove water from fountains, so they don’t freeze and cause damage.


If keeping fish in your pond through winter is something you plan on doing, then you will need to make sure there is enough oxygen. You can use a pond aerator plus a floating pond heater and deicer. A pond aerator creates bubbles on the surface of the water that will help prevent it from freezing and create an opening in the ice. A pond heater/deicer will prevent freezing and that can be controlled by a thermostat.

Pond Cleaning in the Spring

This is the time when a full pond cleaning is required. You will need to remove any debris in your pond from leaves, dead plants, sticks, etc. If you wish you may drain your pond and use pressure water to remove debris and scum from rocks and gravel. Be sure to remove the fish before doing this.

Do an equipment check and make sure it all works as it should. If not unclog the pump, filters, baskets, etc. When you fill it back up with water you can add beneficial bacteria to your pond to help prevent algae overgrowth. If you want to add more aquatic plants, spring is the time to do this.

Reintroduce or Add New Fish

If you removed fish for the winter or want to add new fish, you will need to acclimatize them to your pond. Once your pond has been cleaned out, add some pond detoxifiers to your pond. Then help the fish adjust to water temperatures by either adding the bucket of fish or bag of fish to your pond for about 15 minutes. You can then start adding some pond water to the bucket or bag to help them adjust.

Pond Maintenance in Summer

This is the time of year when pond owners spend most of their time enjoying their ponds. As the days get warmer there is maintenance that will need to get done.

Check Water, Fish, and Plants

Hot temperatures mean reduced oxygen levels in your pond. This can be dangerous, particularly for fish. Adding a pond aerator or bubbler can help increase oxygen. You can also consider adding plants or even an umbrella to add partial shade to your pond to provide your pets with shelter from the sun.

The heat from the sun can cause evaporation, so make sure your water levels remain optimal by adding small amounts of water as needed.

One major potential problem during the summer months is increased algae growth. Add beneficial bacteria to help with this problem and avoid feeding fish too much. Uneaten fish food and decaying debris will create a toxic environment for fish and plants.

Keep an eye out for fish and plants to see how they are faring. If fish have sores or start acting strange and plants are dying, you may need to test your pond water.  You may even need to do a water change.

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