How to vacuum clean a pond

Updated November 21, 2016

Garden ponds are a wanted addition to any naturalists' home garden area. Maintenance is a must, but professional service can be costly or of poor quality. Mud, debris and algae are an eyesore and can be harmful in some cases. Clean and healthy water is a necessity for anyone sustaining koi or similar fish. Periodic debris removal, skimming and vacuuming of your pond can keep any potential problems under control.

Scoop out leaves or floating debris from the pond using a pond or pool skimmer. Quality skimmers can be purchased at supermarkets and DIY centres. Any rocks, sticks or solid debris in the pond will need to be manually removed before vacuuming.

Run the muddy water drain hose (if so equipped) of a purchased or rented electric pond vacuum away from the immediate area. Extension hoses can be added to a pond vacuum drain hose, allowing the muddy water to drain into a flower or vegetable garden. Some models require frequent stops to empty the tank as it fills.

Fasten the wide nozzle attachment on the suction hose and place it beneath the water surface in main pond area. Turn on the unit and gently begin stirring the sediment from the bottom and suction into the hose.

Change nozzle tips to fit the particular nooks of the pond construction. Some areas will require a smaller nozzle and others could require a flat, thin nozzle.

Turn off the vacuum unit and refill the pond water with a garden hose, if needed. Increase water circulation after cleaning to minimise bacteria and algae growth. Wash the vacuum tank and drain line using the water hose.


Check with local equipment rental companies for availability of renting a pond vacuum. It can be an inexpensive way to clean your pond. Clean pond at regular intervals to avoid build-up.


Follow all safety instructions for vacuum. Watch out for sluggish and slow fish. They can quickly sustain injuries from the vacuum.

Things You'll Need

  • Pond vacuum, extra hose and attachments
  • Garden hose
  • Pond skimmer
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