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Same here...hole in pond liner and badly needing to re-do. However, it looks ok at moment, as torrential rain filled it up and before it had a chance to drain away it froze over. Lulled into a false sense of security for now. We have constructed a larger pond in another site in garden so don't know whether or not to keep damaged one and re-do or just carefully empty it all and fill in the hole?
I know this is something I need to do too. We had so many newts in the pond over the summer that I am worried about losing them if I muck the pond out. You seem to imply that sieving the muck is a good method - any other hints?
I too need to clean up my pond! When is the best time to do this so not to disturb all the wild life, its not more than 2' deep at the lowest point but the plants have all gone mad with roots creeping everywhere.
Surely, as an entomolgist you must know that this is not the best time of year to empty your pond as so many animals and insect larvae lie low in the warmer bottom of the pond until spring.
Alternatively, you could use your spare piece of liner to make a bog garden. Dig a suitable area to one spade depth, line the hole with the liner and return the soil. It will hold any rainwater and you can grow boggy plants...


We too have a pond, slightly larger! 14' x 10', full of frogs, newts and other creepy things. It gets so fouled that we really should empty it and start again. This seems an impossible task though. Anyone had similar experience? We would love some advice.
My pond, approx 3mtrs x 2mtrs x 1.5mtrs deep has been in existence for just over a year now and the water is as clear as it has been since I set it up. It isn't overshadowed by anything and is probably in full sun for 1/2 of the day (when the sun shines). I have 10 goldfish which are maturing nicely (rescued from previous pond as 1" specimens)and I would like to have some effective (but not smothering) top floating plants to give them some protection. I have the usual pond soldiers and some water chrysanths as well as a floating solar fountain and some water lilies, but I feel they are vulnerable without more cover. Having seen at least one frog, toad and newt lurking at verious times I am reluctant to disturb the sludge as surely it would contain edible things for all the wildlife. Obviously I remove any leaves that settle on the surface, to prevent them sinking and decaying. Should I leave things as they are or risk upsetting the balance by scooping out? Any ideas or suggestions would be gratefully received.
Wish I'd got Liz's space! Glad you have dug an even bigger pond but make your damaged one into a bog garden giving you a whole new variety of plants to grow and admire.

My problem: my lily decided to float out of its basket in September resulting in better growth and production of flowers but will it die left floating in freezing conditions? When should I attempt to haul it out and replant it?

I'd like to know when the best time is for cleaning up a pond and how often it should be done. Weeds take over all winter and we only clear them when it's warm enough to go outside without a coat on. But I'd love some proper guidelines about keeping it healthy and not overgrown.

Our method is pond-care by neglect and ignorance. Flag irises take over and make huge immovable mats with their roots, and so does watercress. We put in goldfish and koi, but frogs, newts and toads turn up in droves. We get bats flitting over, unusual birds with no fear of us, amazing beautiful insects that look like humming-birds. And we've no idea of what most of them are.

Like Rosemary we have a large pond - ours is even larger - I reckon it's around 25 feet by 40 so have an IMMENSE job to take on. But I too would like advice on when is best time of year to give it an overhaul. We have newts, frogs, toads etc, plus had moorhens nesting this year so how do we best keep everyone/thing happy?!
can anyone give me advice on how to keep our pond water clear. The pond was put in April 07 and has a UV filter and waterfall but we cannot get on top of the algae problem. Pond size 7ft by 4ft by 1.5 ft deep.
I have a pond which I have wanted for years and which my brother in law dug out for me in August/September last year. But because this is all new to me I wondered if the horrible stink emanating from it recently is only due to the leaves which have fallen in, which I know will rot and break down.

It is a wildlife pond, (I hope - there are frogs in the garden anyway), so no pump or anything. Am I ok to just fish out the leaves, which I've done, and wait for Spring and (hopefully) the frogspawn? It does have some plants in it, some of which are oxygenators, which were growing well but now don't seem to be contributing much oxygen to it. And it is very murky.

I too looked after my pond with well-intentioned neglect, allowing nature to take its course for about 5 years (and goodness knows how long before that by previous owners). The lone goldfish seemed happy, so did the frogs.

However, the fish disappeared over the summer, the grasses were starting to take over, so late autumn seemed the best time to take action. We emptied the water and dug out the plants, mud, silt etc and decided to replace the liner. We are now waiting for decent conditions to put the new liner in, restock the plant-life and wait for the frogs to return. Choosing the right time to do this wasn't easy - whenever you do it causes disruption, but hopefully the frogs had time to find new winter quarters.

Our pond is quite small, but last year we had Dragonfly larvae, frog and toadspawn, whirligig beetles and pond skaters. Some trouble with blanket weed, which we wind up on green stick and add to the compost heap. Can't see any wildlife at present. (We don't have fish. It's purely for wildlife) Now we have the beginnings of duckweed in among a reedtype plant. I'm trying to get most of it out with a small fishing net!!
We also have a pond which leaks, thanks to a heron who thought he could come for a quick snack on two of our fish:( it's leaked for about 2 or 3 years but last year it's got worse, which makes me think it's sprung another leak).

We have about 15 medium-large fish,loads of frogs & pondlife. Anybody got any advice what to do? I would love to dig another pond but I'm put off using liner as it leaks so easily & preformed ponds look to false. Also does anyone have any tips to keeps cats away from fish!


Reply to Katy and others

There is probably no 'best' time to completely clear out a pond. Inevitably you will disturb something at any time of the year. The usual advice for ponds, streams and ditches is to clear them piecemeal, stretch at a time, leaving the remainder to harbour the wildlife that then recolonizes the cleared region. Unfortunately, with my relatively tiny pond, and my punctured liner, I had no option but to remove the whole thing and more or less start again from scratch. I was pleased to be able to find the frogs and ensure some continuity of microscopic life be innoculating the new water with a few bucket-loads of the previous mud. And several dozen damselfly larvae went back in too.

I moved into a new house about a year ago, it has a small pre-moulded wildlife pond right in the centre of the back garden! There are at least 13 frogs (i presume frogs) one of which is albino. as the pond is tiny and not in a convenient place i am planning to move the pond into 2 small ponds lying side by side, inside a raised wall bed at the end of the garden. Is it ok to put the ponds at a higher level given there is a slope to ground level? I will separating the frogs initially into two ponds to give more space be the right thing or should i move all into 1 pond and let them find the 2nd pond???
We have a pond which is about 3.5 feet deep but must have at least a 1.5 feet of muck at the bottom. It has a number of small goldfish living in it, the offspring of four original fish. We need to clean it out completely before the newts arrive - it is a popular venue for them in the spring. Will it be okay to move the fish now or should we wait a little until the weather warms up a little more? A few days of fairly fine weather is forecast and the temperature should not drop below freezing.
Carol - many thanks for your idea on the bog garden. Problem I have now small, mature pond is full to overflowing with frogs. Everything seems to prefer the smaller, mature pond, which is quite sheltered. We are 960ft above seal level, very exposed and the larger pond is, unfortunately, also very exposed. This will also be larger pond's first full year. The water lily did really well for its first year but plants in baskets, around the ledges, had to be moved when the wild, windy weather started. Would really appreciate any advice on ledge planting as baskets had to be set on different levels of bricks but didn't quite seem to blend into a natural setting. Scared to plant directly onto pond liner. Any help would be extremely appreciated. Never mind, the cement crocodile (very tasteful) on pond path hasn't fallen in/moved yet so maybe I need to weigh everything down?
People worry too much on how their wildlife pond looks, if the little creatures are happy leave well alone,removing algae can also cause the death of quite a few larvae of dragonfly etc. Live and let live.