Holland Pond Rehabilitation
April 2006

 BEFORE: The pond had some problems; it had lots of small river rock that had gravitated to the bottom, so our plant shelves were uneven and covered with rock. Also, the small rock had collected lots of gook over the nine years since the pond had been built. The rock also made it so the pond was not as deep as we wanted.

The original Aquascape skimmer was a death trap for frogs, they got in between the filter mat and the pump, especially in winter, and got sucked into the pump. The fish were healthy and doing fine, but we decided it was time for a new skimmer, total clean-out, power washing, small rock removal and large rock rearrangement.

With the tremendous help, extensive research and patience of Deb at Water's Edge in Lawrence, we went with the Savio skimmer. The folks at Goode Feed rented us the small tank and helped arrange for the 700 gallon large tank that held the fish and Lisa, who we don't even know, let us use it.

After that, we were on our own. If we had known how much back breaking work we were in for, we may have hesitated. It took three days, dawn to dusk, but WE DID IT!

BEFORE: Fish are blissfully unaware of what's going to happen.

Water lowered so we can catch the fish; we caught the big ones first.

One of our remaining frogs, he escaped from the tank several times.

Old skimmer=death trap for frogs.
Small rock all shifted to bottom.

Lowered water shows all the gook on the rocks that had collected.

We wanted to save as much water as possible, about 1000 gallons.

Plants are out, rock is next. It gets down and dirty from here on out.

Rock/gook removal in progress. I had to wear two pairs of gloves, fingers hurt!

Our pump wouldn't suck up the gook, we had to rent one with larger intake.

At this point, we thought we were making huge progress - HA!

Getting down to the liner, still lots and lots of mucky stuff to remove.

Finally something to smile about-down to clean liner!

Old death trap skimmer coming out, the new one fit the same liner hole.

Jim dug out old skimmer, put in the new skimmer, plumbed and wired everything.

New Savio skimmer in place, it works great! He also fixed all the lights.

Before we put the net on, the biggest fish jumped out of the 700 gallon tank!

Finally down to the liner, rocks still need to be arranged, but progress occurs.

Late on the second day, putting the rocks back in place. Keep moving...

Repositioning the larger rocks, smaller ones not going back in! 

Kiddie pools & small stock tank emptied back into pond after rocks in place.

This hawk crashed into the window early on the third day. He flew off finally.

Day Three: Rock done, skimmer in, plants being repotted and placed.

Plants divided and repotted, positioned on newly available shelves.

View from the back, all the small rock piled up on patio! Lots of sand and gunk.

Time to lower the water in the big tank
and begin the fish rodeo.

We set the tank so the drain hole emptied right into the pond.

Catching the fish and transferring them back into the pond went very smoothly.

Water, plants and fish back in, they're checking out the new skimmer.

Done with the big tank, kiddie pools back at Wal Mart. One of them leaked!

Taking the tank back...Good thing we just bought a truck last weekend!

I have to say, my husband is amazing. I am so thankful for him. He can do anything! What a team we are!

Jim says: Wendy did the lion's share of hauling all of that rock and gunk out of the pit! I was impressed, to say the least. She's a gem and a wonder.

Coffee and cookies are essential during pond rehabilitation! Cocktails too!

Check here in a week or so for photos when the water clears.

patio furniture