Wanting to clean rocks....wouldn't you?

East Tawas, MI(Zone 5b)

Sometimes I worry when moving things into my pond.
A friend once brought me a plant----then my fish almost died, wasn't
moving, so I reached in ... picked him up~ and found a blood sucker!
My friend later told me he had picked it out of a lake.

So here it is... I brought home some lake rocks from a friends beach and think it would be in my best interest to clean them first. Things I worry about~ to name a few, are pond snail eggs, all those little "did that speck of sand just move" critters, zebra mussels etc.

Have you done this... cleaned rocks? What do I do? Boiling water? Bleach soak? Bake them?
Or do you just go with the flow and say water to water life will spread.
I can think of things I really don't want introduced.

Anyone experienced on this issue?
...itching to set the rocks :(

Athens, PA


All my rocks came from a friend of mine that lives on one of the hills. I don't think any of the rocks came from her pond. When we brought home the rocks from her house, we would give them a good hard blast with the hardest setting on the nozzle on the hose.

I would think if you left the rocks out to bake in the sun after they have had a hard blast of water, the sun would bake out any of the living nasties. Once they have baked on one side for a day or two, I would flip them to bake a couple more days.

Others may have some ideas that would help.

East Tawas, MI(Zone 5b)

Thanks for responding Carolyn,

My first water feature had rocks both found and purchased, all were from land digs. LOL ~ of course, when I moved, I brought ALL those with me Whew! I cared for them pretty much as you described.

But as I said-- I do worry. When I think of the force of the waves crashing upon them, and those little critters and eggs making it through just fine...hmm. I 'm just not certain it would work as well. I know from aquarium care and years of experience, that snail eggs can dry out and they can still return as~~ instant snails just add water.

The rocks are currently in the sun~~LOL, but really we are not getting much sun right now in Michigan. And these are smaller rocks...fitting 2 to 4 in a hand. Lots of turning there! Lots of scrubbing too- if I do.

Have even thought of roasting in a fire pit .........
currently the only living things that will go in the pond will be water lilies, grandchildren and myself....oh, and the surrounding wildlife.

Thanks again for your input.

Athens, PA


I had aquariums for years when I was growing up. Your 'instant snails' conjures up images of tubifex dried worms that I used to feed my fish.

I was going to mention bleach as a way of cleaning your rocks, but I would be hesitant as the bleach could be absorbed into the rocks.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

I was all rocks even those that come from a local company with bleach and then pressure washer. They accumulate a white dust on them and I don't want that to go into pond.
I'm probably paranoid from loosing fish so I try to be careful. I don't soak them in bleach but just a dip on a large tarp and then the pressure washer very thoroughly.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Trying to avoid all forms of life will never work. You'll always have a few little leeches, snails, etc....even IF you clean your rocks. They come in with rocks, plants, fish (eating it one place, you buying it, and it pooping it into your pond) , and sometimes just finding their way naturally with frogs and toads. Unless they are a nuisance, I wouldn't worry about it.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Went outside this morning at 4AM and guess what was on the side of my house--4 very large CTF. When I shined the flashlight on them they all went up inside of metal fascia on roof line. Made me so mad.
Will have to stay on the lookout for them and try to get rid of them.
All fish are doing good right now in both ponds. Must be because they are eating their cherrios. LOL
Happy ponding all.

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