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16 messages
24/02/2014 at 17:28

My tiny garden pond has a butyl liner and was doing fine until I was unable to garden in the autumn and all the apples from my fruit trees came down, many of them into the pond.  Result -  disgusting, stinking black water with what looked like an oil slick on it.  Now emptied out although all plants but one died.  There seems to be a slimy slick on the liner. Can anyone tell me how to clean it before I refill it?  Just ordinary disinfectant or something more wildlife friendly?  I want frogs to take up residence but shan't have fish.

24/02/2014 at 17:37

I would just use water and a gentle scour with a nail brush.  


24/02/2014 at 17:44

I'd agree with Annie - better just to use water and elbow grease although you could use a little drop of washing up liquid which would do no harm especially if you rinse it well at the end. The only thing I'd say is - Annie - I wouldn't have fancied cleaning my last pond with a nail brush! 

25/02/2014 at 11:21

on the allotments we used Jeyes fluid ( follow instructions ) to clean our water butts they also sometimes get a little slimly, a good rinse and all ok, maybe this might do the trick. 

25/02/2014 at 11:24

No, not Jeyes fluid if you want wildlife to survive in there!  It's poisonous!!! 

25/02/2014 at 11:37

Could you borrow a pressure washer from a friend and use that on a "gentle" setting? It would save you getting in the pond to scrub and risk damaging the liner and because you're just using tap water it wont affect the wildlife (once the chlorine has evaporated).

25/02/2014 at 12:25

According to the R H S jeyes fluid used correctly ( follow instructions as i said ) is ok for cleaning garden equipment and as i said rinse well  the pond is empty so this can be done properly, iv used it many times with no ill effects, Follow instructions and your ok.

25/02/2014 at 12:46

Garden equipment is one thing but I really wouldn't use it for ponds.  

The Jeyes' Safety Data Sheet says,


The product contains a substance which is very toxic to aquatic organisms." 

We'll have to agree to differ on this one Alan 

By the way, how are you doing?  Have you decided what to do with that olive tree?

25/02/2014 at 13:25

Ahh yes the olive is toooo close but iv got a nice sunny spot for it when i get back out,

the apples from Overstrand were exceptional ,about 7 foot tall very good condition with tie strap and a good stake,£19.99 Bramley £14.99 im well pleased,they look like they belong here,next there getting me a(Bob T Gardener) Black Butte Blackberry ,Bob says there very good ,thornless and loads of big black fruit  ohhhhh apple and blackberry pie , gauge is in ,its a dwarf and a Breaburn ready to join them soon then its a wisteria on the house with bird boxes for it to grow round ,i think we might have hedgehogs in the pampas  so there being left till much later when i build a few hotels for them,now do we feed or let them b as i dont want to encourage cats or foxes ,weve already got a fox who has his supper on the back step and leaves all the feathers for us to clean up, and next doors just bought a cat, im going to try the tipbit way to see if he dont use our garden for a loo as were a friend who feeds me now and again type of thing hope it works, 

25/02/2014 at 14:58

Thanks so much everybody for your suggestions.  I do want wildlife in there and as it's really tiny (too small to get into!) but has a deep bit in the middle, I think I'll try a combination of the scrubbing brush and strong water from the hose and then bale it out again.  Was quit difficult to empty and had to wash all my clothes - and myself - after cleaning out the water.  The stink was appalling - never smelt anything like it.  Wish me luck putting it all back together.

25/02/2014 at 15:06

Alan - check this thread   I put a link on there to a hedgehog site - somewhere on there are some pics/videos of ways you can put food out for hedgehogs that cats and foxes etc can't get to. 

Fostonlass, good luck with the pond - can you show us a pic when it's up and running again?  I'm trying to find a way of incorporating a wildlife pond into this garden and I'd be really interested to see yours 

25/02/2014 at 15:21

Fostonlass - have you tried siphoning the water out? A piece of hose filled with water and one end put in the pond etc. Only trouble is that you need the other end of the hose lower then your pond level to start off with. We used to clean our fish tanks that way. It was easy once you had the knack. But buckets and sponges will do the job as well. A small amount of debris at the bottom won't do any harm. 

 You'll get there 

27/02/2014 at 08:36

No haven't tried that but I will cos my little pond isus raised up.  Thanks.

27/02/2014 at 11:10
27/02/2014 at 22:35

Thanks. Will look it up.  Tetrapond perhaps?  Will try to get decent PIC when its done.

27/02/2014 at 23:06

Sorry fostonlass.

I have never had the need to use it fortunately. I saw a clip years back where the chinese used some sort of volcanic clay/mineral powder to clean a big pond/lake. and all the scum just floated to the top and it was raked off. Wish i could find it now. It had something to do with a small outcrop of rock in the sea, just off the beach that was about 50 foot high and someone wondered why the top was so fertile with it being surrounded by salt water. The rock filter it and gave nutrients to the plants on top. It was brilliant. 

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