But it is one of those things you have to do. This year, my little pond was in particularly bad shape. My two youngest were old enough last year to “go fishing” and “feed the fish”. As a result, the pond had a lot of mulch, sticks and junk laying at the bottom. Not to mention that many of the rocks around the edge had been accidentally pushed in. *sigh*
We set the pump up to drain the water into buckets which we then carry to an out of the way place in the yard. Because my little pond is below a black walnut tree, the water has to be disposed of away from plants that I want to keep. Black walnut trees have a substance in them that is poisonous to most other plants. In the autumn, quiet a few leaves and nuts fall into the pond and basically turn the water into a huge vat of herbicide.
It is a shame too, because old pond water that is not poisoned makes for great fertilizing water for your plants.
I do have a few water and marginal plants in the pond that seem to do okay. I dug them out of a ditch and I think that they are naturally resistant to the toxins. I have no idea exactly what they are, but I think one of them is called a water hibiscus. They do look nice later in the year when they are all in full growth.
I also put a water lily in the pond last year. It appears to have survived the winter, which I did not expect. Cleveland winters are not normally nice to water plants. It looked pretty sickly (probably because of the black walnut), but I think we have gotten it out of the plant poisoned water in time.
I then pull out every little bit trash from the bottom of the pond. I actually have to climb into the pond to get at it and this is the part I hate. It is squishy, smelly, filthy and cold. Plus, as I said, it is a pretty large amount this year.
Once the whole pond is empty, I rinse it down a few times but I make sure not to rinse away all the algae on the sides. We will be putting gold fish back in the pond and they like to nibble on it.
The sand was recommendedd to us by a friend a few years ago. It does help to keep the debris that does get into the pond on the bottom of the pond. The water stays a little clearer.