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Pond maintenance -

Need Help?  Just give us a call (03) 9737 9663 or send us an email

No pond is totally maintenance free.

If you have a well designed pond with a low maintenance filtration system you may only need 10 to 15 minutes, once or twice a month.

Ideally a full pond clean should be done as infrequently as possible. Full clean outs mean that you need to start all over again and it takes time to establish a natural ecological balance in the pond.

Partial water changes, of about 10%, can help to freshen things up and gives an opportunity to siphon out some of the pond debris.

The 5 Keys to establishing an ecological balance....

  1. Choose plants from each of the 5 Pond Zones (see Zone Map) to create a well balanced selection.
  2. Don't add more fish than your pond and filter will support and don't over feed your fish.
  3. Choose the right pump to circulate the pond water.
  4. Choose the right skimmer and biological filtration system.
  5. Lots of rocks and pebbles to create a habitat for beneficial bacteria.

Preventative pond maintenance

Preventative pond maintenance is generally better than a full overhaul. Oz Watergardens has not only the set benchmark as a producer of waterlilies and pond plants, but we also help people with their pond maintenance and can also overhaul those that are out of control.

Why Clean?

  • Build up of leaves.
  • Build up of silt and mud.
  • Invasion of weeds.
  • Over grown plants.
  • Plants turn yellow and die.
  • Smelly water.
  • Fish start to die.

Some of the key steps to a full pond maintenance /overhaul.


Depending on the plants you may need to remove them from the pond. Waterlilies have their leaves supported by the water and need to have their stems supported as you lift, to avoid breakages.

Store the plants in temporary buckets, or in a shady position to prevent them drying out.

Over grown plants can be cut back and divided just like many other perennials.

Re-pot the more vigorous new shoots of the divided plants.

Place some newspaper in the base to prevent soil falling out the drainage holes of your


Use a heavy Loam soil, not a sandy soil. We mix some of the Oz Watergardens Aquatic planting mix in as it holds onto nutrients and helps to keep it in the plants root zone rather than leaching out into the pond water where the algae grows.

Fertilise with some Oz Watergardens slow release fertiliser tablets placed in the soil.

Position the plant in the centre of the container and back fill with soil to keep it in place.

Top dress the soil with some decorative pebbles so that the fish can't dislodge the plant and muddy up the pond.

Be considerate of the environment by disposing of the excess plant material safely and not allowing it to become a weed in our waterways.

Pond accessories

Remove the pond pumps, fountains, filters and under water lighting.

Wash all parts clean with a soft brush. Some disassembly may be required to get to the serviceable parts.

Inspect for damage and wear to leads.

Check that pump impellers and fountains are not blocked.

Service the filters by washing the sponge or mesh in some of the pond water, so that you don't kill off the beneficial bacteria.

Replace filters if damaged.

If you have a U.V lamp as part of your filtration system, carefully clean the glass housing. Replace the globe every 12 months as they lose their effectiveness if they are not clean and operating at full strength.

Check the underwater lighting. Clean the lenses and replace globes if required.

Water removal

Bail out the water using buckets, siphon hoses, pump or pond vacuum.

If fish are present, try to net off an area to prevent the fish from being scooped out.

Fish are easier to catch when the water level is lower.


Collect some of the pond water in buckets to hold the fish.

Capture the fish with a net. Not an easy task. Avoid using your hands, but if you need to, make sure your hands are wet with pond water.

Transfer the fish to your temporary pond/bucket.

Pond clean out

Time for some elbow grease.

Remove the sludge. This is high in nutrients and is great for the garden.

If there are rocks and stones, they may need to have the algae washed or scrubbed off.

High pressure spray and/or scrub out the pond.

Check for any damage to the pond lining which may become potential leaks.

Repair as necessary.


Once clean, we can start to put everything back in.

Reposition the pond pump, fountains, filters and lights.

You can partially refill the pond with water while replacing the plants. As the water rises slowly there will be less stirring up of soil from the newly repotted plants. If you wish to wait until the pond is nearly full with water. Water them thoroughly, then slowly lower the plants into the water as you place them in.

If filling with tap water, you should add a water neutraliser like the Clearpond Pondstart, for the chlorine and test the pH. Ideally the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.4. Adjust if necessary. pH balancing tablets are an easy way to adjust the water to a safe level.

If you wish to fill with rain water, you may need to consider the source. In an industrial area there may be pollutants. Water collected from Zinc roof tops may be too high in Zinc and older houses with copper guttering may also be a problem. Rain water is often described as soft water. In nature this water would run down streams and rivers and would collect minerals which would dissolve in the water. Hardwater is high in minerals. If you have clean rain water, we suggest that you add some Oase Hardness Plus to make the pond water more like nature intended.

Once filled, test the pump, fountains, filters and lights. Leave the pump operating in order to circulate the water and to also aerate the pond.

Place the buckets containing the fish into the pond without tipping them in. Leave them for a time so that the water temperature in the bucket/s equalises with the pond water, then slowly tip the bucket of fish into the pond.

Need Help?

Consultancy and advice

As Australia's largest wholesale producer of waterlilies and other pond plants, we are the industry leader. As such, we are recognised as the main source of information that people look to for guidance.   To book a consult please feel free to contact us on (03) 9737 9663 or via email

Oz Watergardens is currently working with the Nursery Industry and Government departments to update their databases and help people understand how to recognise aquatic weeds and what they should do to help control the risk of potential aquatic weeds.

We also look towards and work with other businesses that back their products and that have a proven record in the aquatic plant industry. Oz Watergardens have developed their own brand of Pond plant fertiliser tablets. We recommend and use OASE and Clearpond pumps, filter systems and pond products.

We also provide onsite consultancy (within Victoria) and with all the experience of growing more pond plants than any other business in Australia, who better to tell you how to care for your pond plants or advise you on your pond maintenance. We can even develop a step by step program for you.

Pond plant rejuvenation and pond cleaning

People who are looking to re-pot or rejuvenate their pond plants can find all the information that they need in our Tips and Hints section. If you are not confident doing it yourself or you don't like mud, we can do it for you. We can even teach you onsite (see our TV segment on The Garden Tap).

We believe that it is important to provide the best information to help people make the best decisions. Weed identification is important in the care and maintenance of the pond, as well as the protection of the environment. Pond health is also improved through the use of quality products, pond treatments and the appropriate pond maintenance being undertaken at the right time.

Seasonal pond maintenance, care and advice...

Check out our seasonal maintenance guide to pond maintenance. Register via email and get seasonal newsletters to keep you up to date, plus handy tips and reminders on what you need to do each season.

Whether you need a full drain and clean, leaks repaired or a new fountain pump, we can help! 

To find out more about what Oz Watergardens Pond Services has to offer, check out our Pond service website

Need pond plants for an Expo, show, temporary display or even a garden wedding?

Oz Watergardens' plants are the industries preferred choice for the award winning displays at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden shows. Our plants have also been on display at The Australian Tennis Open, TV shows and on Movie sets. For further information about our Pond Plant Hire service, just follow the link.

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