Sludge in the garden pond - Instructions and tips for sludge reduction

Sludge in the garden pond - Instructions and tips for sludge reduction

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Well, where did the fish go? If the water is so cloudy that you can no longer see it, it is high time to desludge the garden pond. Here is a guide.

Garden pond always in the spring

What falls into the garden pond all year round and seeps to the bottom is very remarkable. Algae, dead plant parts, fish excretions and food residues that sink to the bottom also do the rest. No wonder that over time this also forms a thick, slimy layer of mud, which on top of that also cloudes the pond water. Then at the latest you have to act and sludge the garden pond. If you don't do this, it can happen that you will end up with a smelly mud hole instead of a beautiful biotope in the garden.

When is the best time to desludge?

The best time for desludging is in spring, before you put your fish back in the garden pond. So you don't have to catch them again later and put them in water tanks to desludge your garden pond, because you have to drain all the pond water to do this. This will save you and your fish a stressful ordeal.

Pond vacuum cleaner with little pollution

If the water in your garden pond is only slightly contaminated, the use of a normal pond vacuum is sufficient. These 3 models are popular:

If the silt is heavier, you should follow the instructions below.

Instructions for desludging a garden pond

➥ Step 1:

First of all, you have to remove all the water from the pond. This is particularly easy with powerful pumps. This also has the advantage that the aquatic plants are not exposed to the sun and the heat for too long.

2 Step 2:

Once the pond water has been completely drained, you must then relocate and check all water plants. For example, cut back aquatic plants that have become too large and cut off unsightly shoots.

3 Step 3:

Now it is time for the actual work: desludging. You have two options. On the one hand, you can use a special sludge extractor that can be borrowed from a specialist company, or you can work with a bucket and shovel. So first remove the sludge layer.


Be careful with this step! This is the only way to prevent the pond liner and the pond fleece behind it from being damaged.

Tip: offers pond liner directly from the manufacturer.

4 Step 4:

Now a high-pressure jet should be used, as it can be used to remove sludge and algae growth particularly effectively from the pond liner and stones.

Then pump off the resulting polluted water.

5 Step 5:

If the pond is completely empty, you should also check the pond liner for damage and repair it if necessary.

6 Step 6:

If the pond is clean, you can fill it up with fresh water and use your pond plants and fish.

Sludge reduction tips

There are some things you can do to prevent a thick layer of mud from forming on the bottom of your garden pond. Just follow the tips below and you will save yourself the regular desludging in spring.

➤ Tip 1 - Put aquatic plants in the pond:

In order to give algae no chance at all, aquatic plants are essential in a garden. These remove the nutrients from the algae. On top of that, regularly cut back the aquatic plants, they bind even more nutrients through their growth, which has the consequence that the algae practically starve.

➤ Tip 2 - Spread the leaf net over the pond:

Especially in autumn it makes sense to stretch a net over your garden pond so that the autumn leaves do not fall into the water. This cannot rot in the pond and therefore cannot contribute to the formation of a layer of sludge.

➤ Tip 3 - fishing for algae:

It is also important that you fish out algae regularly so that they do not spread explosively in summer. Fishing reduces the nutrients in the water, which in turn prevents the algae from multiplying. These 2 seaweed nets are popular:

➤ Tip 4 - use ecological pond sludge remover:

If you use an ecological pond sludge remover, the sludge layer does not become that thick at all. This product breaks down the pond sludge with the help of oxygen-producing bacteria, which keep algae formation at bay (reading tip: How algae develop in the garden pond). The pond water becomes wonderfully clear again just a few hours after using the ecological pond sludge remover.