Thursday, April 19, 2012

Zen and the art of spring pond cleaning!

Well it's that time of year again...the dreaded day of the "pond overhaul". As my hubby stated, his most dreaded and despised day of working in the yard all year. It really is a nasty job cleaning that pond out and added to it the fear of fish loss as well. It's a nasty and tedious job and you have to be very diligent and careful about removing the fish and keeping them in a safe environment. Nothing worse than having those little guys hang in there under the ice all winter long to happily greet you in the spring only to ultimately meet their death due to carelessness in pond cleaning. It happened to us last year with our large koi and we were really distraught. And it just happened to my neighbor who actually had "professionals" come out to clean her pond. But I think after lots of reading and trial and error we finally have it down to a science. Well Tommy does anyway, I just hang around to help where I can which usually translates into making sure there is always a cold beer nearby for him.

This year we got a wonderfully early start due to the unseasonably warm weather and went to work Easter weekend. It was in the mid 60's and fabulous!

So here is where we start... lots of nasty green algae as you can see. Fish are swimming happily about without a clue as to what their day is about to turn into

it's a big job and entails using a sump pump to drain the pond, power washer to clean and a lot of other stuff

Gotta go fishing

We have 3 large koi, 3 medium koi/goldfish and last year out of the blue we got 11 assorted babies from a few different parents in the pond I think! We farmed one out to my neighbor and we only had 5 greet us this spring. I'm guessing racoons may have had lunch out of the rest. :-(

Once we get all of the fish out of the pond (which is no easy feat with the little babies hiding in every nook and rock they could find) we put them in a giant trash can filled with yucky pond water and 2 air bubblers. That was our mistake last year, we didn't aerate the water and as a result lost our big koi. You can see 3 babies tooting around on top! This is their first spring clean and they are trying to figure out what just happened...

Tommy dons his waders and Mango lends a helping paw

Time for power washing as Buddha looks on supervising...keeping it "Zen" although I don't think Tommy was feeling much Zen during this ordeal

almost drained out and you can see the muck

the dogs find it all very exhausting...

part of the process is power washing and then sucking out the water again from the power washer. You can see how happy Tommy is doing this job

the end result... a beautifully clean pond, crystal clear water and no fish fatalities this year!!

Buddha approves...

the reward at the end of a miserable day in fish muck... well deserved!

We are crystal clean for another year and all is well in The Hoke Zen Garden. Now we get to enjoy the outdoor, backyard life!


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