Out of all the things that need to be done to keep our ponds in good condition and ensure that any fish stay healthy, one of the most essential things to include is a pond vacuum.

The removal of all the dirt and sludge that gathers at the bottom of the pond on the pond liner is an important task. Pond vacs are great for sucking out the rubbish which accumulates in the pond, contaminating the water and causing problems for wildlife.

Pond vacuum cleaners can help to reduce cleaning time in garden ponds by hours and also removes a lot of the hard work and mess involved.

You might think that there is no need to clean out the bottom of fish ponds, since it goes unseen to most and is hidden under the water. However, allowing debris and slime to accumulate at the bottom of the fish pond can in fact lead to future problems with the water quality and can also affect the health of the fish. A clean pond is a healthy pond. A little organic matter can be ok in wildlife ponds with no fish but just wild pond life. But fish ponds should really be clean to help both fish and filter bacteria.

How does my pond get dirty?

There are many different elements to a pond which can create the sludge at the bottom of it. Aquatic compost can fall from the baskets and collect at the bottom for example. Leaves can also fall in and problems are caused when they begin to rot and decay.

Uneaten fish food can also accumulate and cause problems, which is why it is a good idea to not over feed your fish in the first place. An obvious problem is fish waste. Large fish like Koi in particular eat a lot and so produce a lot of waste. If you own a lot of fish and it’s difficult to keep track of them, there might even be dead fish at the bottom which is not a good environment for the rest to live in. A filtration system is recommended for any pond that contains fish, but pond vacuums lend a massive helping hand.

How do they work?

Despite all the unpleasant things that can congregate in the bottom of the pond, this is no reason to get your hands dirty in order to clean it out. You don’t need gloves up to your elbows or a little net, because this is where a pond vac comes in handy.

Most fish pond vacuums are operated from the side of the pond and use telescopic pipes to reach every side and surface, even deeper ponds.

Like household vacuum cleaners, pond vacs work use a suction hose to remove dirt and grit. But instead of removing these elements from carpets and flooring, a pond vac will use suction power to pull water up while sucking up the debris as well. Different models can work in a variety of ways. Most models like the Oase pondovac ditch the removed water and the muck straight down the drain via a discharge hose. Some models such as the Blagdon pond Monsta trap the sludge in a filter bag or a specialised container. The rubbish can then be disposed of out of the bag or container easily.

For a small garden pond or water features, hose powered models are ideal. They are light and easy to use plus the added bonus is the cheapness compared to the pump powered models. Hose powered models also clean up to 2-3 feet down into the pond, attacking places which are usually difficult to reach. They also tend to collect the muck from the bottom of the pond in a bag.

For larger and deeper fish ponds there are a couple of styles of pond vacuums for pond owners to choose from.

Most pond vacs come with a large cleaning head as well as a small one to reach the awkward areas. Large vacs often collect the debris in a container, while pumping the water back into the fish pond.

Can I recycle pond waste?

It can be beneficial for your garden to use the pond waste and dirty water as a fertiliser. While the debris can harm your pond, it can work wonders for your plants as it is full of nitrogen based compounds.

Some models will allow you to direct the drain hose towards your flowerbeds which can save you the job of emptying the container or bag only to have to feed it to your plants afterwards. A model which can clean you pond and feed your garden plants is the best pond vacuum.