Spruce up your ponds or water features


DIY and how-to

A person's hand holding a pool net in a shallow garden pond.

June is a good month to clean out your water features and ponds before the fish and frogs start to spawn in early spring. It may seem like an intimidating task, but our step-by-step guide makes it very simple.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • First use a bucket to remove any fish or other water life, along with a small amount of pond water.
  • Then drain all the remaining water from the pond, until only black sludge remains at the bottom of the pond.
  • This black sludge is full of beneficial nutrients, so carefully scoop it out and place it in your garden beds around plants that could do with an extra boost.
  • Leave a small amount of black sludge at the bottom of the pond – this allows for the reintroduction of beneficial microbes into the pond water.
  • Remove all old or dying leaves of water plants. Also clear away any invasive plants that have intruded on the pond from the surrounding edges.
  • Refill the pond with fresh water and add a small amount of fresh water to the container in which you have been storing the fish.
  • Reintroduce the fish into the water, preferably one at a time. Feed the fish a small amount of food to encourage them to settle in and minimise stress.
  • If you live in a frost-prone area, it’s a good idea to place an old plastic ball on the surface of the pond. This will help to prevent the surface of the pond from freezing when temperatures drop very low.