The fall cleaning is less thorough than your spring cleaning. The main goal is to remove any large amounts of organic matter, which will decompose and release gases that are harmful to fish. A buildup of this gas under a layer of ice may even kill your fish. It is also the best time to “winterize” your plants (we will cover this in the Winterizing Checklist).
Drain pond completely.
Set fish aside in a clean container that has pond water in it. Examine the fish for overall condition.
Using a skimmer net, scoop the majority of debris from the pond.
Do not rinse the pond. Chlorinated water will destroy bacteria that are beneficial. You may sweep the pond with a soft bristle broom.
Fill the pond with fresh water and add the de-chlorinator.
If your marginals have started to turn brown, trim them back so they are a few inches above the water line. For lilies, remove the brown leaves and stems. Then set the pots in the bottom of the pond. All tropical plants should be removed (and kept indoors) or discarded now.
You can decide about bringing in the pump now. If your pump is below the freeze line for your area and is resting on the bottom of the pond, you can leave it in and running until temperatures drop below freezing. If the pond is installed at or above the freeze line for your area, remove the pump and bring it inside for the winter.
Remove any pond treatment when the temperature falls below 50 degrees.
If you live in an area that freezes, you may want to install a de-icer. Breaking the ice may create shockwaves that could kill or harm your fish.Click edit button to change this text.