Have a pond in your garden or property? That’s great! What can make it even better? A pond filter, of course. And not just any pond filter will do, you will need the best pond filter that is sure to meet all your requirements pertaining to proper pond maintenance. So let us embark on our journey to find the best pond filter. But first, there are a few basic, rather elementary questions that need to be answered before we venture out to find the best pond filter.
What is a Pond Filter?
We know it’s not like you have been living under a rock, but there are a lot of people who still don’t know what a pond filter is or what a pond filter does. A pond filter is an essential accessory if you want to have a neat, clean, and algae-free pond with clear water. It removes debris like dirt, leaves, and organic material from the pond and keeps the water clear and oxygenated properly.
In case you are thinking, ‘I don’t need a pond filter’; know that your pond is at constant risk of suffering from permanent water imbalances and algae problems. If you think it’s not that big a problem or you can ‘still manage’, then you can kiss your healthy and beautiful pond goodbye and welcome a swampy muck instead. Be smart and reasonable, let us guide you in understanding all the essential details pertaining to a pond filter along with information on how you can choose the best pond filter.
Why You Need a Filter in Pond?
As we mentioned, the water in your pond is susceptible to a number of imbalances; the harmful bacteria in the pond along with the toxins formed in the water (or the ones left by fish or any marine life that you wish to have in your pond) can disturb the nitrogen cycle of the pond; this results in poor water quality and formation of algae and other bacteria. Surely you must want to have some fish in your pond? But even if you don’t, there are a lot of foreign elements that can still affect the health of your pond.
If you want to achieve balance in your pond naturally, you will need to have at least 2/3 of your pond covered with suitable plants stock to act as a natural filtering system. At best, it should take about 16 to 18 months for the whole effect to kick in and the water to achieve a suitable nitrogen cycle, creating a perfect balance for a naturally efficient pond filtration system. That is if you are lucky and everything goes according to plan. This in itself is a rare phenomenon and there are numerous failed examples all around us.
This is why smart people opt for something much more efficient and quick, a pond filtration system. Not only is it effective, but pays off well as a long term investment. If you have successfully chosen the best pond filter, chances are that you won’t be needing to spend much afterwards. Neat, clean and healthy pond with clear water is just one step away. Chose the best pond filter and enjoy having a beautiful, neat, and clean pond with clear water.
Different Types of Pond Filters
Now we are getting in the thick of it. It’s time to discuss the different types of pond filters. Essentially, most of the pond filters work the same way. They are commonly designed to possess multiple chambers with a filtration mechanism in each (like a filter foam or a media). The water is usually forced into the filter with a water pump but there are filters that are designed to use the power of gravity for the water to flow through the filtration chambers. The system initially filters out dust and other forms of particles (dirt, debris, etc. using broad filtration media), then the water passes through a form of biological filtration where helpful bacteria help clean and improve the quality of pond water. Finally, another filtration chamber usually containing activated carbon or zeolite enriches the water and it is sent back in the pond.
There are basically three main types of pond filters that are essential to filter different types of debris or impurities. These include:
- Mechanical Filters.
- Biological filters.
- UV filters.
1. Mechanical Filters:
Mechanical filters act as the first line of defense for your pond. They play their part in taking out the unwanted physical impurities from the pond. This includes fish waste, left-over fish food, leaves, or other organic material that may pollute your pond. They are fundamental for the cleaning of any type of pond and are always used in combination with other types of filters. They are also present in the complete filtration system as an inbuilt part of the whole filtration process. The filtration media for mechanical filters is available in various forms such as vortex, sponge, and filter brushes.
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2. Biological Filters:
The second line of defense that is fundamental for cleaning the invisible impurities form the pond water is a biological filter. Similar to a mechanical filter, there is a filtration media present in the biological filter that takes out impurities with the power of bacteria that are beneficial for the health of the pond. The media consists of bio-balls, small pieces of geometrically designed plastic, or any other object. The objective is to provide media with a large surface area that can host beneficial bacteria, allowing them to colonize the media. Those bacteria help in removing waste products from the pond water by digesting it and breaking down the nitrites and ammonia. This results in a more suitable and nourish water quality for the pond and fish. It is the most important step in the whole process of pond cleaning and plays a fundamental part in the cleaning of green (algae infested) water.
3. UV Filters:
Ultra Violet or UV light consists of high-frequency waves that are known to kill bacteria. It is highly recommended to use a UV filter if you have fish in your pond or your pond is susceptible to algae formation. They are available as standalone units and can be combined with most biological filters. Mostly, if you are opting for a whole package that has all the important components installed, the UV filter will already be incorporated in it. It is an electrical unit through which water is pumped and it is usually installed before the biological filter. The U light kills-off the alive algae cells and harmful bacteria that passes through its unit and the dead bacteria and algae cells (which combine together and form clumps after dying) get filtered. This eliminates the problem of green water and making the water healthier and suitable for the aquatic life you keep in the pond.
A hybrid or complete pond filtration unit has all the three types of pond filters incorporated inside it and acts as a single unit that can filter all kind of physical impurities, treat green water, and eliminate micro-impurities at the same time.
There are a few more subtypes of pond filters and they have more to do with how the filtration process flows/proceeds instead of how each filtration unit works. In a sense, we can call them types of filtration process flow instead of just filters. It includes:
· Gravity Return Filters:
These filters act upon the principle of gravity where a pump pushes in the water from the pond into the filtration unit. The unit is usually placed above the pond and the pond exists below the surface level of the filtration unit so that the water can just flow down into the pond after filtration.
· Pressurized Filters:
The filtration unit is pressurized in this system which allows flexibility in terms of placing the filter. These filters are usually placed below the ground so they are not visible and the water outlet (which is usually a pipe) can be hidden or decorated to provide the appearance of a small waterfall.
· Gravity Fed Filters:
Gravity-fed filters are not the same as gravity return filters. Contrary to gravity return filters, gravity-fed filters use the power of gravity for the water to flow inside the filtration unit. The filtration chamber is designed separately, which can either be above or below the ground. If it is above the ground, the pond must be at a level which is below the filtration unit; and in case the filtration unit is below the ground level, a pump is used to force out the water into the pond.
These are some of the different types of popular pond filters, take your time and assess your requirements. Surely this will help in choosing the best pond filter as per your requirements.
Top 8 Best Pond Filters For Crytal Clean Pond
Now that you are aware of different types of pond filters and how they work, we would now like to suggest some of the best pond filters that we believe will fit your requirements perfectly. In our humble opinion, these are the top 8 pond filters in the market these days.
Number #1: OASE Bio Smart 5000 Pond Filter
OASE Bio Smart 5000 Pond Filter is suitable for ponds that have a capacity of up to 5000 gallons with no fishes. It has an innovative flow-through filter design that provides maximum oxygenation through its mechanical and biological filter. It has advanced features such as an inbuilt indicator that informs you about when you need to clean the filter and a thermometer that tells you about the temperature of the water at all times.
Product dimensions: 23.03 x 16.14 x 19.09 inches.
Weight: 14.33 pounds.
Price Range: $170-$200
Number #2: Pondmaster PMK190 190gph Pump and Filter with Bonus Fountain Head
Pondmaster PMK190 190gph Pump and Filter with Bonus Fountain Head comes equipped with a 10-foot power cord and consumes merely 15 watts of household current. It is a 190-gph pump for smaller 200-gallon ponds and deck ponds. It comes equipped with a waterbell fountainhead. It is made with the best quality material and provides the best environment of the aquatic life in your pond. It has mechanical and biological filtration properties.
Product dimensions: 12 x 10 x 18 inches.
Weight: 2.9 pounds.
Number #3: Pond Boss Filter Kit with Pump
Pond Boss Filter Kit with Pump is an eco-friendly filtration kit that is energy efficient and operates quietly. The best thing is that this combined set costs less in comparison to purchasing individual parts. It is suitable to be used in ponds with 500-gallon capability. It has an energy-efficient 320 GPH fountain pump and a sloped lid that prevents the accumulation of debris. It also has two filter pads to collect smaller debris and impurities which increases pump life and reduces maintenance cost. The bio-filter uses bio-balls that help in the growth of beneficial bacteria that help in regulating the nitrogen cycle of your pond.
Product dimensions: 6.97 x 12.36 x 6.22 inches.
Weight: 3.89 pounds.
Price Range: $60-$70
Number #4: OASE Filtral Uvc 700 Pond Pump and Filter
OASE Filtral Uvc 700 Pond Pump and Filter is an all-in-one, compact, in-pond filter unit. I9t has a UV Clarifier with built-in filtration and 4 types of filter media that provide mechanical and biological cleaning for ponds of up to 700 gallons. It is powered by a 250 GPH pump and includes a 7W EPA-registered UV Clarifier, two filter foams, as well as bio-media elements and filter pebbles to ensure extra cleaning power. It can be used with and without nozzles. The three interchangeable nozzles can be used to create an attractive water displays. It is designed for complete submersion so it remains discreet and does not impact the visual display of your pond.
Product dimensions: 11 x 8 x 10 inches
Weight: 7.4 pounds.
Number #5: VIVOHOME Pressurized Biological Pond Filter
VIVOHOME Pressurized Biological Pond Filter is EL listed and has a 13 watt UV sterilizer light and is suitable for ponds with a capacity of 1600 gallons. It is made of strengthened ABS material which provides effective insulation and resistance against sunlight, water, and environmental factors (including aging of material). It is convenient to clean with 4 Built-in brand-new filter sponges make a double filter area per unit volume to improve filtration and reduce maintenance. It hosts an effective sealed pressure filter system that helps the nitrifying bacteria breed faster using biotechnology which improves water quality.
Product dimensions: 19.7 x 17.8 x 14.6 inches.
Weight: 12.47 pounds.
Price: Not Given.
Number #6: Goplus Pressure Bio Filter 10000L for Pond Koi Water 4000GAL
Goplus Pressure Bio Filter for Koi pond water is made from durable ABS material with a built-in UV system. It is easy to clean and maintain and has high quality filter sponges that can balance the flow of water. It has an electric cord that has a length of 15.5 feet and filter capacity of 25 liters. It provides purification, filtration, and sterilization in a single unit.
Product dimensions: 22 x 17 x 17 inches.
Weight: 17.74 pounds.
Price: Not given.
Number #7: TetraPond Bio-Active Pressure Filter for Clear and Healthy Ponds
TetraPond Bio-Active Pressure Filter incorporates mechanical and biological filtration to help you keep your pond clean and healthy.it provides a large surface area and an unrestricted water flow that results in improved cleaning. It is suitable for ponds with 1500 gallons’ capability and a backflush valve for fast and efficient cleaning.
Product dimensions: 17 x 15.4 x 18 inches.
Weight: 16.1 pounds.
Number #8: Best Choice Products 4000L Pressure Bio Filter for Pond
Best Choice Products 4000L Pressure Bio Filter comes equipped with 13W UV sterilizer purifier light. It also has an indicator that informs the user regarding the status of the filter so it can be cleaned on time. Its powerful filter is strong enough to filter 2500 gallons of water for normal fish load and 1500 gallons of water for the heavy fish load. It is easy to clean and comes equipped with adapters and valves.
Product dimensions: 14 x 14 x 20 inches.
Weight: 19.8 pounds.
Price: not given.
10 Things to Consider When Buying Pond Filters
We have mentioned the best pond filters that are currently available in the market and hope that it will help you in making a choice for your pond. But even if you want to make a pick besides the filters we have recommended, here are the top 10 factors that you must keep in your mind when choosing a filter for your pond.
- Your budget (no need to purchase overly expensive filters if an average one will do).
- The size of your pond (choosing wrong can cost you severely and may harm the aquatic life in your pond).
- The filtration power you need (consider the fish load in your pond).
- Plumbing and installation problems (submerged, exposed or grounded filtering units, etc.).
- Usage (continuous or with intervals).
- Types of filtration needed (you may or may not need a UV filter given your circumstances).
- Electricity consumption.
- Maintenance (cleaning and replacement of media).
- External factors (environmental effects on the filtrations system and the pond).
- Debris and impurities.
Finally, some FAQs pertaining to maintenance of your pond and the pond filtration system that you have installed.
1.How Often Should I Clean?
If you have a filtration system installed in your pond, it will be responsible for cleaning the pond; your job is to check on the filter and clean it on a regular basis. Most pond filters have an indicator on top that will tell you when the filter needs to be cleaned. It is recommended to clean for pond filter 2 to 3 times a year at most. If the water flow is getting effected, that is also an indicator for cleaning your pond filter.
2.How to Set Up a Pond Filter?
Most pond filters have instruction manuals with them that tell you in detail how to install them. It also varies as per the type. If you are opting for large or typical systems like gravity-fed filters, it is best to hire an expert to help you do it. Typically, have the filtration system installed near the pond (or inside if it is submergible) and place the pump inside the pond. The nozzle of the pump should be on the other end in context to the filter. Have all the electrical connections and pipes connected and placed right. Turn the filter on and watch the flow of water. If the pump is flowing the water through the filtration system and the filtration system is flowing the water out, you have installed the system successfully.
3.How Do You Clean a Pond Pump Filter?
If you see that your pond filter pump is not pumping the same, it may require a little bit of cleaning. For that, you may need to clean the filter of your pond pump. The pump should be unplugged and taken out before you start anything. Next, detach the filtration unit, clean any visible debris, and take out the media. Wash the entire unit with clean water. You can also use special products that will clean the media and won’t disturb the water afterward when the filter is submerged again.
4.How to Clean Pond Filter Media?
For cleaning the pond filter media, keep in mind that you mustn’t use chlorinated water. Remove solid debris with your hands and rinse the media in the pond water. The beneficial bacteria that grow in the media must be killed so avoid using any chemicals. Also, the cleaning should be a bi-annual procedure as regular cleaning will kill the bacteria. The gaps in cleaning are to ensure proper growth of that bacteria so avoid regular cleaning. If necessary, only opt for cleaning solid debris or any solid waste visible to the eye.
If you are blessed with a beautiful pond in your garden, yard, or property; you must make sure that you are taking proper care of it. This becomes especially important if you are harboring fishes or any other aquatic life in it. Choosing the best pond filter that will fulfill all your needs may be a bit tricky, but at the same time, it is essential. Choose wisely, so your pond may live well, clean, and clear.