How to Maintain a Backyard Pond | Ask This Old House

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In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Jenn Nawada helps a homeowner restore their backyard pond to its former glistening glory.

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Landscape contractor, Jenn Nawada takes us on a house call to help a homeowner clean up their backyard pond. After assessing the pond and noticing the amount of algae, Jenn thinks calling in an expert for help is in order. They remove the fish and drain the pond. After adding lights, changing filters, and adding some helpful bacteria, they get the pond back up and running before adding the fish.

Difficulty: ⅖
Cost: Under $200
Time: One day

How to Maintain a Backyard Pond
1. Start by pumping water out of the pond and into the tank. Keep any fish within the pond from getting pulled toward the pump.
2. With a few inches of water in the tank, use the fish net to scoop fish from the pond and carefully place them in the tank. Add an aerator to the tank to add oxygen. Continue pumping water out of the pond until it’s drained.
3. Use a pressure washer to spray the algae off of the rocks, liner, and other surfaces. The algae will collect in the bottom of the pond so pump it out.
4. Repair or restack any fallen rocks or stones. Be sure that they’re sturdy and sitting securely. This is a good time to add lights to the pond, hiding them behind rocks and stones.
5. Run a garden hose from the home’s outdoor spigot and begin refilling the pond.
6. Replace the biological filter and add additional filter medium if necessary.
7. Add de-chlorinator to the water before installing an auto doser to replenish the helpful bacteria automatically.
8. Carefully place the fish back in the pond.

Where to find it?
Cleaning the pond required a large tank area to drain the water, a power washer to clean the stones, and a new filter for the spillway. These items can be located at most pond supply stores and some landscape supply stores.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Fred Pape, New England Aquatic Landscaping [], and Forever Green Landscaping, Inc. [].

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Large tank []
Submersible pump and hoses []
Fish net []
Pond lights []
New filter []
De-chlorinator []
Auto doser []

Pressure washer []
Garden hose []

About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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