Cleaning a Garden Pond

May 3, 2016

I had a customer come to me and tell me that her children played a prank on their neighbors and poured Dawn in their neighbor's pond, not realizing they had koi fish in the pond. It killed all 29 of the fish. My question is doesn't Dawn have chemicals and how would you get that out of the filter box and off the liner?



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July 27, 20170 found this helpful

A fish pond, turtle pond or aquarium that runs on a pump and filter all works the same. They will need to take their pump apart and change the charcoal, filter mater, and decominatiate the pump. Pet stores sell a product to do this with. The pond needs to be drained and scrubbed out. After filling the pond again, they will need to use a product in the water and let the pond sit for 24 to 48 hours.

I have 3 120 liter aquariums in my home. Once I had a parasite that attacked my fish. I had to decontaminate my bowl, change all the pump material and buy new gravel.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
July 31, 20170 found this helpful

I would drain the pond (possibly even use a shop wet vac) and clean the pond and liner, and rinse well. It will need a new filter and the tubing and pump will need to be cleaned as well.

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4 More Questions

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August 24, 2014

We recently added a small landscape pond with a waterfall feature to our yard. I recently added a small group of water lilies and noticed a strong skunky water odor. The plants I was gifted smelled before I put them in the pond. I noticed the smell the most when I turned the waterfall feature on. Suggestions?

By Valerie B


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December 7, 20170 found this helpful

Sounds like a bacteria build up. Usually introducing oxygen and sunlight corrects this problem. Evidently the plants you were given came from a pond that wasn't the healthiest.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 7, 20170 found this helpful

You can put some diluted bleach in the pond

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July 10, 2016

It is not a pond with fish and vegetation, just a water pool with pump and water fountain feature. It gets cloudy. It is in full sun. What can I use naturally, i.e. vinegar, baking soda, or peroxide that will clear the water?

pool with fountain


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March 11, 20170 found this helpful

I don't think any of the above will clean it. Does the fountain have a filter that needs to be changed? Is it deep enough that you could add a couple of fish to clean it? Check at a pool or spa store to see what they have.


Even if you used chlorine tablets to clean it, they would be so diluted by the water that it would be like a swimming pool-if an animal were to drink it, it would not harm them.

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July 11, 2014

How can I clean a pond, we have inherited, of a very bad smell. We cannot empty it as it's in an inaccessible place and doesn't have running water. We believe the previous owner emptied their grass cuttings in it and they have sunk to the bottom and presumably are now rotted. Any help be appreciated.

By John


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July 15, 20140 found this helpful

I think you will need to use use a sump pump or other way to clear out the muck. If the pond is just too big or inaccessible to dredge, you might just have to wait for the organic material to decompose naturally.


We had a garbage can full of grass clippings and yard waste that got forgotten and left out in the elements over the winter. Yuck! By the time we discovered it, it was full of water and insect larvae. The smell was terrible, probably similar to your pond. We dumped it out in a corner of the yard and ran inside. After a few days, the gunk dried out and the smell was gone. The lawn in that corner never looked so green and lush.

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May 1, 2012

It is frustrating when your beautiful garden pond become a murky green from algae. This is a page about controlling algae in a pond.

Controlling Algae in a Pond

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