As Koi became more accessible, people started buying these exotic fish for their garden ponds. Koi can be very expensive, fetching up to $200 000 at an auction house, which may imply that they need royal treatment when introduced to your garden pond! So how often should you clean your Koi pond?
Koi ponds need to be cleaned regularly. It is recommended that Koi ponds are cleaned each time the season changes. It is also essential to follow a set-up schedule for when to clean your Koi pond. This will keep your garden pond in the best shape possible.
The cleaning of a Koi pond should take place in all four seasons. Knowing what must be done when cleaning your Koi pond in these different seasons is also essential. Our comprehensive guide will tell you what cleaning tasks need to be done for each seasonal clean of your Koi pond.
When Should You Clean Your Koi Pond
Cleaning your Koi pond frequently is essential for having healthy and happy Koi fish. As different seasons start, the conditions change, and some seasons may require Koi owners to do more of a deep clean than other seasons. The different cleaning that must be done in different seasons include:
Cleaning During Summer
During Summer, your Koi pond would be at its peak. This means it’s the time your Koi are most active and when algae and bacteria are most common; therefore, during this time, you must clean your water filter and valves once a week.
Summer is when Koi fish start swimming more, eating more, and leaving behind more waste. You will need to do minimal maintenance during summer, but when doing maintenance, you should follow these steps:
- Drain your biofilters and clean them thoroughly
- Clean out all the filter mats
- Clean out your pond pump intake
- Thoroughly clean all skimmer baskets
- Trim your water plants
- Add shading to your pond to minimize bacteria production
Cleaning During Spring
When spring starts and the water temperature rises, your Koi will become more active again. When temperatures rise to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), you can start feeding your Koi again. As temperatures rise to about 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius), you can turn on any running water features.
If your Koi pond was heated during winter, you should turn the heater off when temperatures rise to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). As this is also when your Koi’s immune system will be at its weakest, you should check for signs of any illness.
You should thoroughly clean your Koi pond at the beginning or in the middle of spring. A thorough deep clean is essential during this time of spring. When doing a deep clean, there are also a few steps that you must follow. Do the following steps for the best results:
- Drain, clean, and power wash the whole pond
- Wash the filter pads, or replace them if necessary
- Clean water features and remove any debris
- Clean the pump and do any maintenance needed on it
- Reconnect the pump and start the filtering again
- Make sure all pond lights work and replace them if necessary
- Pump water back in and add necessary water treatments
Cleaning During Fall
The maintenance you must do in the fall is mostly because of leaves falling from trees and ending up in your Koi pond. A skimmer net can remove any fallen debris in the pond. Fall is also the best time to diagnose and treat Koi, who might be ill.
Maintenance done in fall helps prepare the pond for the winter season. After temperatures fall below 50 degrees, feeding should stop. When temperatures drop below 40 degrees, you should turn off any running water features. During this time, all the steps from spring must be done as well as the following steps:
- Clean out the water filter and the skimmer
- Install a net over the pond to catch any fallen leaves
- Trim all the plants surrounding the pond
Cleaning During Winter
Koi fish are less active during winter, and their metabolism slows down. It is essential to winterize your pond by either heating your pond or bringing your Koi fish inside if your home has enough space. Heating your pond might be expensive, but it is the most practical option.
A minimal amount of maintenance and cleaning must be done during winter. The maintenance necessary to be done include:
- Create an ice porthole to release any gasses built up in the pond
- Clean out your filters
- Check the water quality regularly
General maintenance must be done throughout the year. The general maintenance includes repairing broken pumps and water features and adding water treatments. General maintenance also includes cleaning your water filters and replacing pond water.
Bio fall water filters are recommended to be cleaned three times a year. The seasons in which it is best to do so are spring, fall, and winter. Normal skimmer filters should be cleaned once a week and during all the seasons.
It is recommended to change pond water during the spring and fall cleanings. In spring, you should replace 20 to 50 percent of the pond water, while in fall, you should replace 50 percent. Throughout the year, you should also replace water that has evaporated.
Tips To Keep Your Koi Pond Water Clean
If you don’t want to do a spring cleaning every month of the year, it is essential to have a good maintenance regime. Seven easy steps will help you limit the amount of cleaning you need to perform on your koi pond.
- Don’t overpopulate your Koi pond.
- Don’t feed your Koi too much.
- Cover the bottom of your pond with 40% – 60% of the plants.
- Have the right size pump for your pond.
- Before the debris decays, clean it from the pond.
- Use the right type of filtration for your pond.
- Keep your water below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Much Does Professional Koi Pond Cleaning Cost
Professionals can also do koi pond cleaning for you. The pond size will determine the cost. The bigger the pond, the higher the price will be. The filtration, stream length, a bog, negative edge, wet well, or wetland filtration can affect the cost of professional cleaning.
Here are some cost variations for the cleaning of a Koi pond by size:
|GALLONS IN THE POND||PRICE PER CLEANING|
|500 – 1,000||$250 – $450|
|1,000 – 1,500||$350 – $550|
|1,500 – 2,500||$450 – $650|
|2,500 – 3,500||$450 – $700|
|3,500 – 4,500||$500 – $800|
|4,500+||$550 – $1,000|
A thorough cleaning of a koi pond is required at least once a year, with regular maintenance with each change of season. Deep cleaning would have to be done in early spring or fall but maintaining the pond throughout the year will help limit the extent of major cleaning.