Java has a good VM and a good GC but if you want to take control of things pools are the way to go.
It shouldn't be too much hassle though, a project-wide or class-wide find and replace might even do most the work for you.
A number of vector operations create new vectors behind the scenes as well so numerous calls can start to add up allocations quickly.
While it might not be the main problem you are facing it is worth taking the time to investigate, in my experience pools make life so much easier when working one games and trying to prevent GC stutters.
Like the look of the video by the way - cool mechanic.