02-07-2009, 06:36 PM
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Hi Jonathan, you've got the right idea by cleaning out the pond. I would remove the fish to a small kiddie pool if available or any other container you may have. Take water from the top of the pond to fill the container because the water at the bottom of the pond is toxic. I usually have a pump that has a hose attached to it so that while I'm removing water from the pond, I can water my gardens.
Get yourself a wet vacuum and after you've drained as much water out as possible, suck out the rest of the muck with the vacuum. Make sure that you hose the sides of the pond down so that the algae along the sides doesn't have any sludge on it.
Then, replace the water, making sure that you use a conditioner which removes chlorine and chloramines from the water.
Then, place the fish into a bag where the water is just covering their dorsal fins, you could also use a smaller container. Add water from the pond to the container, wait five minutes or so, and continue to do this until the container or bag is full and then you can put your fish into the pond.
This way your fish won't go into temperature or pH shock.
Yours Koily, Lorraine