If you have a pond it is pretty much inadmissible not to have a pond filter, especially if you have fish swimming around. Pond water, when not cleaned properly, easily gets turbid and dirty. Fortunately, this can be solved by getting the best pond filter.
Having such a gadget will keep your water clean and algae free. In general, a pond filter introduces sufficient oxygen into the water, keeping it sanitized and fresh. However, there are different types of pond filters, each possessing its own advantages and disadvantages. That’s why our team compiled this buying guide. We want you to be well-informed and know everything there is to consider when choosing the right unit.
How a pond filter works, what you need to know when buying one, how to maintain it, and of course, which are the top 10 products on the market right now, are just some of the things we will look through. So let’s begin!
Best Pond Filter Comparison Chart
Pond Boss Filter Kit with Pump
|View On Amazon|
TetraPond Submersible Flat Box Filter For Ponds
|View On Amazon|
OASE BioSmart 5000 Pond Filter
|View On Amazon|
TetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier for Clean, Clear Ponds
|View On Amazon|
Jebao Aquarium Koi Fish Pond UV Light Sterilizer
|View On Amazon|
TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit
|View On Amazon|
Pondmaster Pump and Filter with Bonus Fountain Head
|View On Amazon|
Top 10 Best Pond Filter Reviews
Here we’ve gathered some of the best products on the market at the moment. They are ordered in a list with no specific order. This is because all of them are great at their job and it’s up to you to find the one for you.
1 . Pond Boss Filter Kit with Pump
The Pond Boss Filter can help you create, maintain and enhance your backyard pond, waterfall or fountain feature. This equipment is eco-friendly and you can use tubing to connect it to your water landscaping. During the summer it is good to clean the filter every 2-3 weeks. However, during the winter this needs to be done about every month or so.
The included 320 GPH pump, has a 5′ maximum lift. For this product, you don’t need spray heads, because of the way it’s made. You have to fully submerge it in the water, for it to work. The idea of the diverter valve that you have included is to change how much water flows to the fountain head and how much to the exit valve. For this, you can place it halfway in between the pump tube and the fountainhead.
- Energy efficient
- It is quiet when working, so you can peacefully enjoy your garden.
- Thanks to a diverter valve you can adjust how high the fountain sprays.
- If you don’t clean it regularly you will shorten its life and it will stop filtering the dirt in the water.
- It is hard to keep the weight of the box at the bottom of the pond so you might need the additional weight of rocks or something else.
2 . TetraPond Submersible Flat Box Filter For Ponds
This Flat Box Filter is great for ponds up to 500 gallons. It is 13 inches (34 cm) big. This filter doesn’t come with a pump but it can fit a wide variety of them – from 200 to 2000 GPH. It can also prevent the pump from clogging with dirt or any other particles.
To install it, all you have to do is hold it under water until it’s fully submerged and all air has been removed. You don’t need weight to hold it down. It works thanks to a fine foam mat, which will remove any particles when the water passes through. Then, the water is drawn into the pump. The clean water is discharged into the pond through the fountain or waterfall. These water features provide good aeration to the pond.
- Doesn’t need anything to hold it down
- You can clean it with a hose and reassemble it quite quickly
- Can be hard to transport everything in the box that it comes because it doesn’t have a handle.
- Can be tricky to connect it with the pump and then to remove them apart when you have to clean it.
3 . OASE BioSmart 5000 Pond Filter
You can get great some biological capability with the high-surface-area filter foams that this OASE has. This means that distinct filter zones encourage habitation for a variety of good bacteria. These organisms are an important part of different phases of the nitrogen cycle, which increases the transformation of harmful ammonia in your pond.
BioSmart filter is suitable for ponds up to 5,000 gallons, but with no fish. It has a built-in cleaning indicator which will notify you when you need to clean it. You can also check the water temperature at any time through the water temperature display. Now it might not have a UV lamp as a feature but you have an intake where you can hook one up. Also note that this unit can’t be submerged, because it is not sealed.
- You can get great oxygenation tanks to the thorough filter design with both biological and mechanical filtration.
- It has features such as a built-in cleaning indicator and water temperature display.
- The filter foams prevent the growth of harmful ammonia and instead enhance the development of good bacteria.
- You need additional parts in order to connect it to a waterfall or fountain.
- It can be hard to find a pump to go with this filter.
4 . TetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier for Clean, Clear Ponds
The TetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier comes in a few sizes and the 36 Watt Bulb can work up with 8800 gallons ponds. It has a 15 feet power cord and includes ¾, 1, and 1 ¼ adapter. It can remove heavy algae blooms within five days. To do this, it exposes them to UV light, which destroys the reproductive ability of single-celled algae. After that, they are dumped out of the Clarifier. There it clumps and is removed by the filtration system you use.
To check the lamp, you have transparent fittings. This will help you to know when to change the PL-S UV bulb since it provides you with 11 months of uninterrupted work. However, when the Clarifier clears the water, you don’t need to run it continuously. A tip we have is to note that this lamp can take only a certain water flow rate, so you need a pump of the right size.
- The filter is easy to disguise.
- Durability is impressive
- Installation is easy to handle
- Features high-quality quartz for extra sturdiness
- The product can’t filter debris or other particles except for algae organisms.
- It can break when it freezes.
- You need additional fittings.
5 . Jebao Aquarium Koi Fish Pond UV Light Sterilizer
Just like the name says, this product is designed to destroy single-celled organisms such as viruses and bacteria. The sterilizer can kill fungi and protozoa as well as control algae. You can use them for your ponds including fresh and saltwater systems. You can install the sterilizer either vertically or horizontally.
The max flow rate of this product is 4400 GpH. It’s complete with 22 ft cord and a UL listed sealed transformer. You have to make sure it is put externally and not submerged. If you want great sterilization effect, install it in-line after the pond water has passed through a filter. Another tip for fine performance is to make sure you replace the 36W UV Bulb every 6-12 months of usage.
For cleaning the quartz sleeve, it is recommended to use swimming pool muriatic acid, lime away or a similar item. Note that if you use an abrasive substance it can scratch the quartz.
- Kills and controls a variety of organisms including algae.
- The package comes with additional ¾”, 1 – ¼”, 1” and 1- ½” fittings.
- The flow rate is pretty high
- Needs maintenance, you have to clean the Ultraviolet quartz sleeve. This way you will remove the film from the surface that could otherwise hinder the effectiveness of the UV.
- Cannot be submerged – needs to be hidden
6 . TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit
In this kit you get a 325GpH pump, flat box filter, swivel adjuster, diverter assembly and 3 fountain attachments: frothy, spray and a bell pattern. What’s more? Included with the filter you get a fine pad, tubing and fitting for the pump connection. The pump must be submerged and it pushes 325 gallons per foot.
The flat box filter might float a bit, but you can easily fix it by placing some rocks on top to hold it down. Don’t forget to clean the pre-filter sponges as well as the fountainhead, they can get dirty and clog.
- Through the flow control nob on the side of the nozzle, you can alter the height of the fountain and control the size of the spray.
- You can choose a full kit depending on the size of your pond, small 75 to medium 250 gallons.
- The kit has included a lot of accessories that you will need, so it’s great to be able to have them in one package instead of buying them separately.
- It takes some trial and error to figure out the connections because the device comes with poor instructions.
- Putting the spray attachments on and off is hard because it’s a tight slip-on fitting instead of threaded.
7 . Pondmaster Pump and Filter with Bonus Fountain Head
As the name suggests the kit has three parts: a pump, a filter, and a water bell fountain head. The 190 GpH pump is designed for 200-gallon ponds. It has a 10-foot power cord to power it with. If you decide you want to change the fountainhead you can do that, as long as the tube size is correct.
If you aren’t sure what to do with this kit during the winter, we recommend you store it in a warm area. This way you ensure it won’t freeze which can cause dome mighty problems later on. Note that you have to clean the filters. How frequently you do it depends on how much algae your pond has.
- Made out of high-quality material
- The filter has dual filtration.
- When it is fully submerged it works quietly.
- Easy to clean the filter, it comes with a foam type that can be washed.
- Dirt can clog and cause a change in the flow through the fountainhead.
- It’s not a good idea to choose this item for a fish pond, because it will wear quickly. This is due to the plastic construction of the motor, which makes it difficult to clean.
- It is tricky to understand how to change the size of the head.
8 . Best Choice Products Pressure Bio Filter for Pond
Do you have a 2500 gallons pond with some fish or 1500 gallons pond with a lot of fish load and you want to find a suitable filter? This Bio Filter can take you up on all of this work. It can create a healthy pond by preventing the spread of single-celled algae.
The pack includes an inlet and outlet hose adapter, a multi-directional valve for cleaning and bio balls. However, it doesn’t have a pump. The height of the item is 20 inches and the diameter is 12 inches. The Flow rate is 4000 GPH. Note that you shouldn’t submerge it in the water of the pond.
- It has included a UV lamp with 8,000 hours of life and you can choose to unplug it during winter time.
- You will know when to clean this item, thanks to a flow indicator. Apart from that, the filter is able to self-clean thanks to a backflush feature.
- Not submersible
- You need to find ways to hide it with decoration around the pond
- When you clean the filter it can be tricky to reassemble it because of a black rubber O ring, which if not put correctly, may cause leaking.
9 . TetraPond Waterfall Filter
This Waterfall Filter can help you get a beautiful shape of a cascade in your garden. It is easy to assemble and it has a mechanical and a biological filtration. You can easily hide it underwater, with rocks or other decoration. A tip on how to camouflage it is placing lava rocks at the top. That will give it a natural look. These types of rocks are recommended because they have a lot of surface area for the bacteria to grow on.
It is also suggested that you use a pump between 500 and 4500 gallons per hour since it doesn’t come with one. The additional prescribed ID tubing is 1 or 1 ¼-inch. Upwards in the filter, you have a fiber mat which traps dirt, debris or other particles as water comes from the bottom.
- The TetraPond will provide you with beneficial bacteria, because of the bio-activators it has
- It is relatively easy to clean, you don’t have to disassemble the intake hose
- If you have rocks on the top, you can find the filter pad effortlessly
- Easy to install
- It can be tricky to hide the pump
- You have to buy accessories because they aren’t included
- The flow of the water can be weak
10 . Jebao Pressured Pond Bio Filter
Some of the features of this Biofilter are the backwash facility, cleaning indicator, 13-watt UVC and a window for viewing it. This product works well with natural ponds that have fish in them. For instance, a pond with some plants, the filter cleans up to 1500 gallons, but if you also have fished it can drop down to 1000 gallons.
To start the mechanical filtration, the water is pumped into the filter. Two foam discs collect the different sizes of particles and debris. Then you have biological filtration as a second step. For this, the water passes through the bio-balls at the base of the filter. Because of the large surface area of the balls, the bacteria can grow freely. On top of all, you have a UV lamp which gets rid of algae.
- You can pick a filter for a pond between 1000 and 4000 gallons. Depending on that, you can also have a pump to go with the biofilter.
- It has a dual filtration system for better cleaning. The bacteria that grows inside will help naturally convert toxins into useful nitrates and create a healthy habitat.
- One of the features is the backwash.
- Whenever power to the pump is interrupted the latches slip off
What Is A Pond Filter And Why Do You Need It?
We all want a healthy pond for our fish and that is exactly what a pond filter does. It keeps the water in your pond clear of algae and debris.
If you don’t have a large population of fish and the size of your pond is not that big, you may choose not to have a pond filter. Still, we think that a pond with clear water is a beautiful view so we would recommend getting one.
Pond filters remove waste products from fish and plant debris, that is why they are preferred for bigger ponds with a large population of fish. However, if you want a balanced ecosystem you definitely need a filter. It is simple, if you have an electric fence, for example, you will need the good quality electric fence charger; if you have a pond, the situation is the same – you have to look for a good pond filter.
Biological Filtration VS Mechanical Filtration VS Chemical Filtration
Before choosing a filter for your pond you need to think about the different types of filtration that exist. Basically, there are three main types of filtration.
The first one that we will just briefly mention is the Chemical one. It is mostly used in aquariums, therefore we are more interested in the biological and mechanical filtration. Still, let’s say a few words for the chemical filtration for it is never needless to learn some new information. The chemical filtration uses specialized media like carbon and resin and that way removes organic and inorganic pollutants. The pollutants adhere to the carbon or resign, leaving the water clean. As we said, people mostly use this type of filtration for aquariums. However, there are some cases when people choose this filtration type for their ponds.
This type of filtration uses nature’s nitrogen cycle to detoxify organic waste products. That way it removes the excess ammonia accumulated because of the big amount of fish or decaying leaves and other plants. The biological filtration comes in different forms – lava rock, bio-balls, plastic pinballs or other pieces of plastic, foam and so many other things. As soon as the ammonia level in the water begins to rise, a colony of special bacteria will break down the ammonia into nitrites. Nitrites are also harmful to your fish so after the nitrite level begins to rise, another colony of bacteria develops. This time the colony feeds on the nitrite that is dangerous for your fish and produces different kind of nitrite that can be utilized by your plants.
This process is called “nitrogen cycle”. It ensures the biological safety of your water and the healthy life of your fish. If you have a smaller pond you may not need a biological filtration. If your pond is lined, though, the situation is different.
Rather than forcing you to scoop out all the bio-matter through a mechanical filter, the biological filter will trap the waste in the tank and decompose it with the help of beneficial bacteria. This filter method has many health benefits and is similar to the filtration of natural ponds.
This filtration type is probably the most simple and we will tell you everything you need to know about the mechanical filtration with a few sentences.
The idea is to physically remove particles and waste matter from the pond water. Mechanical filters need to be cleaned and replaced regularly. They are made of synthetic materials such as – cotton and Dacron and that way they trap dead plant matter and debris.
It is important to remember that you need to clean the filters on a regular basis because if you don’t, waste products will accumulate and trust us, it will get ugly.
The high amount of sand, for example, can damage fish’s delicate gill membranes, and other debris such as uneaten food, fish feces, and dead algae will start to mineralize and eventually turn into ammonia.
Often, people choose to combine mechanical removal with other forms of filtration – chemical or biological. The combined system is super effective so you may consider it for your pond.
Pond Filter Types
There are so many different garden products for your household which we have reviewed for your convenience. However, in order to find the ideal one, you need to check all their features carefully. Sometimes there are different subtypes of a certain product, and when that is the case our product guides will be of great help.
Finding the ideal filter for your pond will be a lot easier if you know the basic filter types. And don’t forget to look for well-rated pond filters.
If your pond is beautiful and small, a submersible filter would be an easy way to add filtration. These filters are self-contained. In the submersible pond filtration system, the filter is put at the bottom of the pond. A suction is then created by a submersible pump and the filtered water is pushed to your decorative fountain or waterfall. Once that is done, the water is re-circulated back into the pond.
The drawback of the submersible filters is the fact that in order to perform routine maintenance you need to retrieve the filter from the bottom of your pond. That’s why people prefer this type of filters only if their pond is not that big, after all, there is a reason why these are considered to be pond filters for small ponds.
Other disadvantages could be the flexibility they lack when compared to external models and the uneven circulation that causes beneficial bacteria to die. However, those are all things connected to bigger ponds and, besides that, there are some models that incorporate ultraviolet clarifiers, which is a great advantage.
External Pond Filters
These are a great option for mid-size and larger ponds. The way an external pond filtration system works is easy. A pump draws water from your pond, moving it into a chambered filter that is put at a higher elevation. After that, the filtered water pours out of the filter, downhill to your pond. Most people direct this flow over a waterfall or streambed.
The great advantage of this type of filter is the easy maintenance due to the fact that the access is super convenient. They are also really flexible and there is a huge variety of components that you could incorporate into their design. The main drawback would probably be their size, as they are not so small and cannot be used for small ponds. External pond filters need to be connected to a separate pump that can be both external or submersible.
Pond Skimmers and Waterfall Filters
This filtration system is similar to swimming pool overflow filters. After your pond overflows into a recessed skimmer basket, the water is pumped to the other side of your pond. The waterfall bio-filter that is there, cascades the water back into the pond. The entire system is hidden by landscaping, so if you love the natural look of your pond, you should not be worried.
The problems with conventional pond skimmers are not that much. The biggest drawback is how hard to clean they are and how irritating their installation can be.
If you are a pond owner and you want a big waterfall display, or you already have one, a waterfall filter is a good choice. Such filters help boost biological filtration and aeration. They also will provide you with a good pond water movement.
Pressurized Pond Filters
Last but not least, let’s say a few words about the pressurized pond filters. They are probably the most popular form of filter used nowadays. These filters are made up of a cylinder in which the filter media is put. The UV sterilizer is housed by a lid, sealed tightly onto the cylinder.
So, how do pressurized pond filters work? Your pond pump delivers water to the filter under pressure. The water then passes through the media and leaves, once again, under pressure. These filters are perfect for raised ponds and waterfalls.
The biggest advantage a good pond pressure filter has, in our opinion, is the fact that it can be placed wherever you like, as long as it is outside the pond. On the other hand, this filter often has a limited amount of media and you have to open it up in order to maintain it. There are some pressurized pond filters that have a cleaning mechanism for your own convenience. Remember, though, that if you have koi fish these would not be the most suitable.
We know, that sometimes pond filters may be too expensive or too hard to install and maintain, but trust us, if you have a pond, especially one full with fish, you need to buy a pond filter. When there is snow at your driveway you buy your ATV the best ATV Snow Plow and you clean the way to your house, right?! Well, it is the same with your pond. With the small difference that you should not wait for the debris to show up in your pond water, you should prevent it!
What Is An Ultraviolet System?
Besides everything that we already mentioned, there is one other filtration system that we need to talk about separately. Nowadays most of the pond filters that we already discussed come with a UV pond light. Still, there are some that don’t have such feature and you may have to buy a separate UV filter. That’s why we would like to give you some more information.
The UV pond filters are separated into two basic types: UV clarifiers and UV sterilizers. They both use electromagnetic radiation and by that remove the bacteria and algae from your pond water. Both sterilizers and clarifiers have a high-output ultraviolet light bulb. This bulb is protected by a quartz crystal sleeve. You are probably wondering what is the difference between both? The primary one is the intensity of the bulb. A sterilizer will have a higher intensity and because of that, it will remove not only bacteria and algae but also parasitic protozoa. This is due to the fact that UV sterilizers require a slower movement of the water passing through them. That way a more thorough exposure is ensured.
Despite the fact that people often call them “UV pond filters”, UV sterilizers and clarifiers do not filter the water. That’s why you will need an additional filter to get out the algae and bacteria killed by the UV “filters”, out of your pond. Another thing you should keep in mind is that the string algae is not exposed to the UV light because it does not travel in the water column. A negative side effect is the fact that good micro-organisms are also being damaged or killed.
We know how cool these filters might look but they have a lot of negative side effects. That is why we recommend you to use them only if you don’t have fish in your pond. If you use a UV sterilizer for a longer period of time the natural ecosystem of your pond could get severely disrupted. High levels of gram-negative bacteria could also appear.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Pond Filter
- The size of your pond – This is the most important factor that you should consider. If your pond is small, a submersible filter would do the job perfectly. If your pond is mid-size or big, you should think about all the other options.
- The amount of fish you have – This is the second most important factor. Our team would recommend you to consider not only the amount of fish but also the type.
- Type of filter – A good filter should be able to filter half of your pond volume in approximately one hour.
- Exposure to sunlight – The higher the exposure to sun, the higher the algae in your pond. All of that leading to the need of a larger filter.
This, guys, is the end of our buying guide and as you have already noticed, there are a bunch of things you need to know before being able to find the best pond filter. We hope that with our reviews and advice we have helped you at least a little bit to find what you were looking for.
If there is something you don’t agree with or you think that we have missed something important, do not hesitate to write us an email or leave us a comment. And, if you liked our buying guide don’t forget to share the knowledge with friends and family. After all, everyone should be able to get some advice and useful info.
We have a lot of different articles related to finding the right unit for your personal needs and your household, so go check them out! Thanks for reading and as always – stay put!