How to Clean a Small Fish Pond – Filters Pumps with UV Clarifiers

If you want to know how to clean a small fish pond and how to use filters pumps with UV clarifiers, this is the text for you. Read here about my own first-hand experience.

When we moved into our new house, we inherited a small fish pool in the garden. It was in a really bad situation, the water was green and dirty. It was obvious that the bottom was covered with mud. But it was wintertime and we could not do anything. We could see some fish swimming in the water, and we could only hope they will survive till the spring.

The picture below on the left shows how this was by the end of March. We decided to do something, but we did not really know what to do. We have never had such a fish pond and I was completely undecided about what should be done.

Before and after the cleaning.
Before and after the cleaning.

My initial idea was to buy some of those vacuum cleaners for ponds, I have seen some that look promising. But the amount of mud on the bottom looked hopeless. To understand better our situation, and if you want to do something similar at your side, here are some basic data you might need to compare.

The pool in the picture above is around 1 meter wide and 2.5 meters long. The depth is around 40 cm. So this is a small pool, and the amount of water inside is around one thousand liters, basically one cubic meter of water.

Fish pond cleaning steps

I decided to do the job thoroughly. So the major steps were as follows:

  • I pumped out all the water. For this, I used the pump that was already in the pond.
  • In the process, I was able to capture all fish that was inside. We were delighted to discover that we had them 6 in total. So we filled our bathtub in the house, and let them stay there during the day while we were busy cleaning the pool.
  • The pool was incredibly dirty, so I removed all the stones and gravel, and I washed them all piece by piece. I did this all manually.
  • Then I removed all the mud and used some tools to remove some slimy stuff that was accumulated on the walls. The smell was very bad indeed.
  • I used a brush to clean and wash the walls and removed all the water so the pool was completely dry.
  • Then I filled the pond with clean tap water and we put the fish back.

Finding a new pump and filters for the fish pond

So the dirty job was over, but we knew the water will get green soon. We knew because we visited some specialist’s shop and we were told this by the person there.

It was necessary to find a new pump and install filters. We did not want to use the pump that was there, it was dirty and old.

In this search I realized there were several different designs that could be grouped as follows:

  • One type is with everything outside of the pond. This implies a box with a pump and filters in it, and then two pipes, one to take water from the pool and one to let it go back after it passes through the filter. I liked the system because I was thinking that fish is less disturbed with such a setup. My guess is that the pump always makes some vibrations that may be annoying for fish.
  • Then there was a system with the pump underwater, and with filters in a separate box outside. This is still good because you have easy access to the filters that need cleaning occasionally. But here too there are two pipes one taking water out and one flushing it back into the pool. I know that the pipes can be covered that they are not visible, but in my case this would imply changing the shape of the pond and I simply did not have time for this.
  • The third system is with everything underwater. The only thing that goes out is a tiny power cable.

The process of finding the pump took several days, and we noticed that the water in the pond became a bit different, it was already changing gradually.

Eventually, I decided to go for the third option. There are several reasons. The price was good, the tool was small and compact and its capacity was practically perfect for what we needed in our small pond. It was easy to use, and it had 4 in 1 functions.

This means that there is a pump in the box, a mechanical filter (just an open-cell foam) with an activated carbon bag and some stones, a UVC lamp, and a fountain tower. The picture below shows how it looks, I took it out of the pond just to make the picture for this text.

Our Combi Clear Filter from SuperFish brand.
Our Combi Clear Filter from SuperFish brand.

The picture shows the fountain chimney with a nozzle. There are several of these nozzles in the package so you can choose what you want, they all create different fountain profiles.

If you have searched for such tools, then you probably have some idea of how the mentioned UVC lamp works. This is about the C range in the UV spectrum and it is particularly harmful to germs.

Some claim that this may have some negative effects on the structure of the water because it can kill useful bacteria that should be present in the water. There may be some truth in this, so I am going to watch what is happening in the pond.

So far, the fish appears to be happy in their new environment. Several weeks after installing this new cleaning system, the water is crystal clear. The top picture above was taken on the day of writing this text, and you realize how clean it is. If I manage through the season without performing the full cleaning as described above, I shall be satisfied.

I wish to stress again that the crystal clear water in our fish pond is not just due to the filter and the UVC lamp we use. It was due to the cleaning of the pond, but these tools will hopefully keep it clear at least for some time.

All in all, I myself learned a lot in this episode with the fish pond cleaning. I might add a few lines much later to let you know how the filter works. So stay tuned and bookmark this text. Check also my separate text about pond cleaning with beneficial pond bacteria.

The system shown above I bought in one of our local shops. This was mainly because shipping from Amazon to our location was too expensive. But there are some really great products of this type on Amazon, you will see some below. One of them looks exactly the same as my own system, but it is from a different brand. Note that I have ordered them alphabetically so this is not ranking.

Note that you can install a UVC lamp clarifier even if you already have the other elements working. So you have some options of this type in the list below.

So follow the links to read more and check if they can ship it to you at a reasonable price. Some are Amazon Prime products so you can have them shipped for free.

Aquascape 95053 UltraKlean 2000 Gallon Biological Pressure Filter with 14 Watt UV Clarifier Sterilizer for Pond Water Feature, 2,700 GPH
  • Provides optimal filtration, efficiently traps dirt and debris and eliminates green water
  • Includes UltraKlean Bio-Media and T5 high-output ultraviolet clarifier/sterilizer
  • Simple to use cleaning feature allows unit to be backwashed in less than five minutes without opening the canister and getting hands dirty
Goplus 4 in 1 Pond Filter Pump, 660 GPH Fountain Pump w/ 9-Watt Sterilizer and Fountain Jet, All-in-One Pond Cleaning System (Black)
  • 【Powerful and Effective Filtering】Powerful four-level filter system gives you a clean pond. Large coarse filter foam can filter some large debris in the water first to prevent pump stuck. And then, water through three filter baskets which contain two kinds of filters for further cleaning. What's more, it equipped with a 9W lamp to deeply improve the water quality.
  • 【Three Detachable Fountain Heads】This pond water pump comes with a premium fountain attachment set which include three different fountain heads for adding extra appeal to your pond. In order to better display the fountain effect, our fountain pole can not only adjust the height but also the tilt angle.
  • 【4 in 1 Pond Filter System】In addition to the fountain, filtering and lamp, this water pump also has a pumping function. It is worth mentioning that this pump is equipped with a regulating valve for regulating flow to fountain head and/or auxiliary water. Strong magnetic ceramic rotator ensures strong and energy efficiency.
  • 【Convenient and Safe Using】There are some unique designs for better and safer use. It equipped with a viewing port, which is designed to see if the lamp is working properly. Additionally, the water pump is made of high-quality material with IPX8 water-proof level that runs submerged well. Even better, 33 ft power cord with UL certification is safe to use.
  • 【Wide Application】This pond filter with fountain set includes three fountain heads, fountain pole, regulating valve, elbow pipe and outlet, so not only create beautiful decoration for your pond, but also purify your pond water quality. Lightweight and compact design makes it perfect for fountains, pond and hydroponic systems.
HALF OFF PONDS HOPPF-H1000 Pressure Filter with Handle 9-Watt UV for Ponds to 2,000 Gallons
  • Maximum pond size is 1,000 gallons and 5,000 gallon fish ponds. Pump flow rates: 600 - 1,200 gallons per hour. Multi-Stage Mechanical Filtration removes coarse And fine floating particulates.
  • 2-Stage mechanical filtration removes coarse and fine floating particulate. Bio Balls biological filtration cultivates beneficial bacteria which converts ammonia and harmful waste into healthy nitrates that promote a healthy pond environment.
  • Bult-in clarifier with 9 watt clarifying bulb assists in water clarification. Glowing monitor indicates clarifying light is functioning properly. Visible indicator signals when pressure filter requires backwashing.
  • Heavy duty, watertight housing is easily accessible for filter maintenance. Can be partially buried to conceal filter.
  • Inlet/outlet barbs accept multiple hose sizes. Runs on 120 Volts/60 Hz with a 23' power cord
Laguna PF1000 13W Pressure Flo Filter
  • Features: 3 Step Filtration System: Mechanical, biological and integrated UV filtration work in unison to provide clean and clear pond water
  • New Energy efficient UV bulbs. New four prong bulbs are simple to install and provide powerful UV sterilization to prevent and eliminate green water
  • Premium European Construction and Patented Backwash Cleaning System;Power Cord Length 162 inches
  • Combine with a Laguna Max-Flo pump for the ultimate combination in filtration and performance
  • Pressure-Flo 1000 UVC is for ponds up to 1000 gallons and comes complete with a 13-watt UV lamp and 3 filter foams
OASE Bitron 55C UV-C Pond Clarifier
  • Easy To Install
  • Filter Included
  • Easy To Use
  • Package Dimensions: 5.0" L X 5.0" W X 5.0" H
The Pond Guy SimplyClear Pressurized Filtration System - SimplyClear and SolidFlo G2 1250 Combo
  • Three Types of Filtration One Powerful Unit
  • Perfect For Existing Or New Ponds
  • Filters Ponds up to 1250 Gallons
The Pond Guy ClearSolution G2 Filter System - 1250 Filter System w/ 9 Watt UV
  • Compact All-In-One Submersible Pond Filter System
  • Perfect For Ponds Up To 1250 Gallons With Built-in UV Clarifier & Pump
  • Fountain Set Includes 3 Nozzles
VIVOHOME Pressurized Biological Pond Filter with 13-watt UV Sterilizer Light, Up to 2100 Gallons
  • SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE - Made of strengthened ABS material, which features great insulation function, it can resist sunlight, water, and age; its maximum flow-through is up to 7000 L/H, suitable for decorative ponds of 1600-2100 Gallons and fish ponds of 800-1000 Gallons
  • CONVENIENT TO CLEAN - Equipped with a crank handle on the top of the pond filter, it allows you to clean the filter by the internal cleaning rod without opening the container
  • PREMIUM FILTER SPONGES - 4 Built-in brand-new filter sponges make a double filter area per unit volume to improve filtration and reduce maintenance
  • UV LIGHT - Comes with a UV light, it inhibits the growth of brown algae and reduces water pollution and fish diseases for your fish; a blue indicator light tells whether the UV-C light is working or not
  • POWERFUL EFFECT - This pond filter is an effective sealed pressure filter system which uses biotechnology to make the nitrifying bacteria breed faster; This helps to improve the quality of the water by speeding up the decomposition of fish feces; Notice: pump is not included

Last update on 2021-05-29  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You might want to read also my text about electric weed burners and about electric corded string trimmers. Thank you for reading. Let me know if you have questions or comments, there is a comment box below.

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