I’ve been meaning to do this for years, but finally got round to it this August bank holiday. The pond has never been good since we moved here in 1998. At first I thought that it could be fixed but slowly it dawned on me that the only solution was to empty it completely and start again. But that’s a huge job, so it kept getting put off.
So, my lovely husband decided the way to do this was to buy a cheap dirty water pump. Brilliant idea! We started by removing as much vegetation as possible, then pumping that filthy water away into the hedgerow (expecting some great growth on the hedge now). The pump sometimes blew the output pipe off, but Keith was the one operating that, so I got away lightly.
But then I had to get in the pond in my wellies and start pulling the roots out. It stank something rotten – loads of anaerobic digestion going on in there. It turned out that the plants were planted in large lump of concrete so they had to be removed too. Finally we had an empty pond. We discovered shelves we didn’t know were there. Oh, and had to rescue the odd frog and newt and re-locate them to the big pond.
We decided to add some gravel in the bottom, as well as plants, so went off to the garden centre. Finally it was time to fill it up and install the pump. I left it a week to settle, then went off to buy a few fish. My local centre tests the water for you before you buy fish. Unfortunately the water quality wasn’t yet good enough – too much ammonia. This is probably being caused by leftovers of the mud and mess that was there. Anyway, I bought a bacterial treatment to add to the filter to boost the good bacteria and clean up the ammonia. Really, I should have gone back and had the water tested again this last weekend, but I was busy helping Jethro move to his new flat. Next weekend we’re going away, so maybe Monday…