See what we did there? Sucks…vacuum…? A vacuum cleaner sucks up dirt….? Just trying to make you smile when you think about having to clean your pond! The fact is, cleaning your pond properly is an important part of your overall pond maintenance, so you have to just, well, suck it up! Actually, sucking up dirt from the bottom of your pond is easy if you use the right pond vacuum!
Let’s face it – vacuuming is no one’s favourite job. At home, we probably only really do it before Aunty Mabel comes to visit – and then we only attack the places she can see! So why do we even need to vacuum the bottom of the fishpond – no one ever sees that?
The truth is, there is gunk at the bottom of your pond. You might not be able to see it, but it’s there. Aquatic compost from plants, decaying leaves that fell onto the pond and then sank, uneaten fish food and debris washed into the pond by rain, all ends up as a potentially toxic sludge at the bottom of the pond. If you don’t vacuum up this sludge reasonably regularly, it starts to decay – and this produces ammonia. It can also create hydrogen sulphide, and neither of these gases is particularly fish friendly. They can also give your pond water an unpleasant smell. This is why regularly vacuuming your pond is essential for the good health of your fish, and to keep it as a pleasant feature in your garden.
Choosing The Right Pond Vacuum
All pond vacuums work in roughly the same way as a household vacuum cleaner, but instead of using airflow to create suction, they use water. The debris and sludge sucked in with the water are trapped in the vacuum’s filter, while the cleaned water is then returned to the pond.
There are many different types of pond vacuum available, and the one that’s best for you depends mainly on the size and depth of your pond. For smaller ponds, water features and waterfalls, a hose powered vacuum cleaner is ideal. They are light and easy to use and have the added advantage of being less expensive than the pump powered models
Larger ponds require pump powered vacuum cleaners, and you could also explore investing in a pond-side vacuum.