Pond Cleaning
Cleaning is often considered by pond keepers in the spring and early summer seasons to get rid of debris that has accumulated in the pond over the winter months. A complete cleaning that includes removing the fish and draining the water offers both risks and rewards. Before a complete cleaning is undertaken, one must be aware of a few important points about the dynamics of ponds in the spring and early summer months.

To survive winter's near freezing temperatures in ponds typically 18-30" deep, the fish enter a necessary period of dormancy when water temperature falls below 45&Mac251;F. This dormant phase is characterized by reduced activity and metabolism. The fish refuse food, their respiration slows and they produce very little waste.

During this period of dormancy, the beneficial nitrifying bacteria that breakdown fish waste begin to die off since they have no energy source. As spring approaches and the water begins to warm, the fish's metabolism increases, they begin to take food and they produce waste. The nitrifying bacteria necessary to handle the waste are slow in catching up to the amount of waste the fish are now producing and ammonia becomes a serious problem very quickly. Even small amounts of ammonia can kill fish within a few hours. Water must be treated and monitored properly before and after fish are introduced back into the pond. This requires tasks to be completed by both the pond owner and by the company performing the pond cleaning.

Stress exacerbates an ammonia problem. Fish that have been removed from the pond undergo tremendous stress and their physiological response contributes to an already dangerous ammonia problem. For a more complete explanation of the effects of stress in captive fish, please visit our website, www.aquariumconnection.com/twg/pondsol/stress.html. Stress is a very real reaction and can lead to death. Every effort must be made to reduce stress. Stress to both the beneficial bacteria in the pond and the fish are risks that the pond owner must understand and accept. While this risk is a short term negative to pond cleaning, long term, both the fish and pond will benefit from pond cleaning. Pond cleaning helps raise pH, reduce waste and debris that can lead to problem algae, and reduce chance of fish disease.

The period following pond cleaning is critical. Before returning the fish to the pond, add Pond Instochlor water treatment to remove chlorine. Once the fish are returned to the pond, Water Garden Cleaner and Barley Straw should be added immediately. Water tests must be performed by the customer every day to detect the presence of ammonia. A water sample can be taken to Aquarium for analysis for a nominal fee. At the custoomer’s request, a test kit can be provided and billed along with services. If water tests show the presence of ammonia, steps must be taken immediately to reduce it. Use Amquel for ammonia or Pond Ammonia Remover by Jungle. If Nitrite is also present use Amquel Plus. Continue to use Water Garden Cleaner following the start up instructions on the bottle. *Note after using treatments with any of the products mentioned that bind ammonia, with the exception of Water Garden Cleaner, water tests for ammonia will only be accurate using a FastTest test kit by Aquarium Systems. These products react with other tests kits giving a false positive reading. Contact Aquarium or Dan Wiles Landscape Company for more information on testing and water changes that the pond owner can do if the pond is treated for ammonia and nitrite readings.

Assisting pond keepers with pond health and appearance are important aspects of our business. Keeping fish alive and healthy is our first concern and we make every effort to inform our customers of procedures and products that ensure responsible fish care. Dan Wiles Landscape Company and Aquarium cannot be held responsible for fish losses due to failure on the customer's part to follow the recommended procedures outlined above, or for any reason.

Our Pond Cleaning Service
I. Complete Water Change and Pond Cleaning
Drain pond
Place fish in covered 80 to 150 gallon aerated container
Remove as much sludge, algae and debris as possible
Clean filters as needed
Treat pond with water treatment such as Instochlor
Treat pond with Water Garden Cleaner
Put Barley Straw in pond
Start filter and pumps (parts and repairs are not included unless mentioned below)
Return Fish to pond.
Leave pond owner, or responsible party, with emergency ammonia product
Leave pond owner, or responsible party, with test kit if requested by customer below
Leave pond owner, or responsible party ,a copy of this contract
Other materials and services not included unless mentioned below

Additional Services with Complete Water Change will be discussed as needed

II. Partial Water Change and Cleaning

Often a partial water change is all that is needed or is recommended. 50% water change will be performed with all other aspects of Complete Water Change except removal of fish from pond as described above. Pond owner understands there is no way to remove all debris and the landscape crew will remove as much as possible with pumps and nets while the 50% of the water is draining.

We provide test kits required and bill the customer at the customer's request.

Ponds are designed to be natural - not sterile. The goal is to provide long term water quality for plants and fish by removing both debris and algae. Complete removal is not possible or desirable to the living organisms that keep the pond balanced and healthy.

Pond cleaning service quotes must be accepted by the customer withing 30 days. The contract can be cancelled by Dan Wiles Landscape Company at any time, for any reason.

There are no warranties, either expressed or implied, including WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, except as expressly included herein.

e-mail: dan@dwlandscape.com
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