Top 6 Best Pond Filter System Reviews 2017
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Pond filtration aims to create a clean and balanced ecosystem in a pond. Filters come in different types. Know the unique characteristics of each to decide which type is best for your pond. The buying guide and the reviews below can help you find the best pond filter.
- 1 How Filtration Works
- 2 Considerations When Choosing Pond Filters
- 3 Top 6 Best Pond Filter Reviews 2017
- 3.1 #1. Pondmaster PMK190 190gph Pump and Filter with Bonus Fountain Head
- 3.2 #2. OASE BioSmart 5000 Filter
- 3.3 #3. TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit
- 3.4 #4. Jebao CF-10 Pressured Pond Bio Filter with 13W UVC Clarifier
- 3.5 #5. TetraPond Bio-Active Pressure Filter with UVC Clarifier
- 3.6 #6. Best Choice Products 4000 Gal Pressure Bio Filter with UV Sterilizer Light Koi, 13W
- 3.7 Pond Filter FAQ
- 3.8 Conclusion
How Filtration Works
Filtration works as an eliminator of sewage, dirt and biological waste. These elements continuously accumulate in your pond and harm your fish and their environment. A filter’s job is to pull out these harmful materials out by drawing dirty water from the pond, pushing it into some filtering materials and then releasing clean water back to the pond.
Considerations When Choosing Pond Filters
It is easy to get overwhelmed when shopping. There are many brands, models, types, sizes, and features to look into and compare. The suggestion is to start with these two aspects.
Different types of Pond Filters
- There are five major types of pond filters. First is the in-pond sponge filter type, typically used for a small pond with 500 gallons or less. The filter is attached to a pump. For this filter, using an additional bio-chamber is recommended. That will help ensure thorough cleaning.
- The second type is the skimmer type which works by catching large debris like dried leaves before they reach the bottom of the pond where they will rot. What it does is draw water from the pond’s surface. That way, large waste matters are also drawn into the filter. Skimmers are used for both small and large ponds – starting from 250 gallons.
- The third type is the pressure filter. This is a mechanical filter and it works by forcing water to pass through a sponge that functions as a debris trap. You can put this type of filter under the ground or above the waterline. Pond volume for this type is 5000 gallons.
- We also have the UV sterilizers, which technically are not water filters. Also called clarifiers, the function of sterilizers is kill organic particulates. That includes bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi. Garden pond clarifiers alter the cellular structure of microorganisms, thus killing them.
- The last type is the waterfall filters. They are mechanical filters using bio ceramic beads, balls or mesh. This type is placed above water level and is used only for ponds that are 1000 gallons or less.
What Size Pond Filter Do I Need
Most people tend to choose cheap and small filters due to budget constraints. This usually leads to inadequate filtration and recurring health problems among fish.
Know the right filter size. First, find the volume of your pond. You will have to do some math calculations for this.
Get the height, the length and the width. If it is a square pond, you have s x s x s to compute for the volume. A square pond with a 10-ft side has a volume of 1000 ft3. For more complicated pond shapes, you’ll friend will do the explanation.
Whatever volume you get, you will multiply it by some number n depending on the shape of the pond. This is computing for the pond’s gallon capacity. For our square pond, n is 7.5. Final computation will result to 1000 x 7.5 = 7500 gallons. For irregularly-shaped ponds, use n= 6.7. For rectangular ponds, use n = 7.5.
However, environmental factors may cause your future to work harder. That means you have to multiply another number to come up with a higher gallon capacity. If your pond is less than 2 ½ feet in depth, multiply the gallon capacity by 1.25. If our square garden satisfies this condition, the adjustment will result to a final reading of 7500 x 1.25 = 9375 gallons.
For subtropical climate locations, use 1.35. If the climate is temperate, multiply by 1.15. If the pond is totally exposed to the sun and there is no shade covering it during the day, use 1.25. Where two conditions apply, use the two corresponding multipliers in a single computation.
Note: If you have a koi pond or an extremely high fish stock, it is smart to consider larger filters. Don’t concern yourself about biologically over-filtering your pond. That’s actually next to impossible.
Additionally, look into the following:
- Type of filtration (mechanical/biological)
- Easy maintenance
- Energy efficiency
- Ability to control string algae
- Ability to control green water
- Idealness for existing/new pond
Top 6 Best Pond Filter Reviews 2017
We cover 6 of the top rated and best selling pond filters for sale in the market today. Not all of them are in your list, but just in case you find something beneficial or noteworthy from filters our list, please don’t hesitate to share a piece of your mind.
|Pond Filter Model||Price||Our Rating|
|Pondmaster PMK190 190gph Pump and Filter||$$||4|
|OASE BioSmart 5000||$$$||5|
|TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit||$$||4|
|Jebao CF-10 Pressured Pond Bio Filter||$$||4|
|TetraPond Bio-Active Pressure Filter||$$$||5|
|Best Choice Products 4000 gal Pressure Bio Filter||$$$||5|
#1. Pondmaster PMK190 190gph Pump and Filter with Bonus Fountain Head
The Pondmaster PMK190 190gph is good for ponds with 200 gallons of water. Advantages for this filter are:
- Made of good materials
- Uses Danner products, promoting a high-quality environment for aquatic life
- USA made
- Comes with a bonus fountain head
- Minimal power consumptions (15 watts)
- Biological and mechanical filtration
- Comes with a limited warranty
Some reviews pointed out that this filter clogs easily, but that’s not always the case. That depends on the “dirtiness of the water” and the size of the pond. Choose carefully or you will have to make do with frequent cleaning of the filter over a wrong choice.
The bonus fountain head is something catchy, but in truth, it is a great addition to the set. You can have the basic bubble pattern and also the water-bell type pattern from it. If you’ll use other pump/filter nozzles to replace the head, you can have more amazing patterns to enjoy.
#2. OASE BioSmart 5000 Filter
This filter works well with Aqua Max eco pump units. Consider that match and you will have a perfect filtration team.
Another big feature is the ability of this filter to retain beneficial microorganisms. It has separate sections designed for settlement of beneficial bacteria. Beneficial pond bacteria help in maintaining clear water and breaking down organic waste. The OASE fish pond filter boasts of these:
- Has a built-in cleaning system. You don’t need to manually unclog the foams.
- It is user friendly. The temperature gauge, sludge drain and cleaning indicator are included for ease of use. For this one, it is easy to call this unit as an all-in-one pond filter.
- UV-filter ready
- Setting up is easy.
Note that the outlet tubing is quite short and you may need to buy additional pipe. Connectors can be bought from leading hardware stores nationwide.
#3. TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit
If you’re looking for a submersible and your pond is from 50 – 250 gallons, this is one of the best that can find. While it can keep your pond clean and reduce clogging in your pump, the fountain set can maximize beauty for your pond garden. Outstanding features include:
- With pump capacity of 325 gallons of water per hour.
- It comes with a long cord.
- It has a 3-yr limited warranty.
- The box contains 3 fountain heads with 3 patterns (bell, spray and frothy).
- The fountain is divertible.
The fountain stem is ultra flexible. If you’ve got an eye having the water from the fountain tube go through the rocks or spray on leaves, you can do it with this. Talking about submitting to the will of the owner! The fountain’s flexibility is a gift to a creative mind.
Cleaning can be done much more infrequently. If you’ve been cleaning on a weekly basis with your past filters or manually, this filter is going to reduce that to only once a month.
#4. Jebao CF-10 Pressured Pond Bio Filter with 13W UVC Clarifier
The manufacturers of the CF-10 have clearly explained the pond filter system or mechanisms involved in its 3-stage filtration or cleaning process. That’s great for people who needs to scour FAQs just to get a good hold in their mind of how things work in their filters. This is really a huge help coming from the company. For people who like to know the specifics, just see the product description for this product. Here’s a quick rundown CF-10 features.
- Three- stage filtration – mechanical, biological and UV Clarification.
- Backwash feature
- Can clean ponds with up to 1500 gallons
- Protects beneficial bacteria
- Quartz glass tube allows maximized penetration of UV rays
- UV lamps have high output and last long
Although the company talks much about this product’s UV capacity, leaking near the UV lamps has been noted by pond filter reviews. If that happens to you, don’t panic. Removing the o-ring and placing it inside the head of the lid worked for many.
Also, check your pump. If it is causing much pressure on the seals, that can be the culprit. Despite the minor issue, everything’s going fine for this pond cleaner product.
Remember that the heavier load you have in your pond, the less is the gallon capacity that this filter can handle. You need to unload some materials from the pond if you want this filter with UV light to produce better cleaning results.
#5. TetraPond Bio-Active Pressure Filter with UVC Clarifier
This is another of those pressurized pond filters that are equipped with both mechanical and biological cleaning systems. It also has the UV algae-killing capacity that the Jebao CF-10 has. It is designed for pond size up to 1500 gallons. Here’s more:
- Equipped with back flush valve for faster cleaning
- Has bio-activators for unlimited water flow and better cleaning results
- Works much better if matched with the TetraPond DHP clog-free pump
- Comes with a two-year limited warranty
- Easy installation
- Easy to maintain
You have to wait for some time to see results. Green water problem is not solved immediately. Manual instructions say that it takes 3 weeks. Keep in mind though that the UV does not get rid of algae. Rather, it makes the algae sterile so that it will not reproduce further. For some people, results were already seen in just 4 days. It’s probably about the level of dirt or algae presence.
#6. Best Choice Products 4000 Gal Pressure Bio Filter with UV Sterilizer Light Koi, 13W
This filter from Best Choice Products is something that you should see if you have a large pond. The product description says it can handle only up to 2500 gallons, which is quite different from what it suggests in the name – 4000 gallons. However, it must be about the kind of load a pond has. You’ll know the real capacity when it starts filtering. Features include:
- Filters normal pond water
- Energy-efficient UV clarifier
- Comes with inlet and outlet adapters
- Comes with all parts needed for installation, easy to install
- Equipped with an indicator that tells when it is time to clean the filtering sponges
- Suitable for units that are heavily-loaded with fish
- Good with getting rid of the algae problem
If you’re struggling with green algae, and you’ve tried out treatments such as enzyme and Barley straw but saw nothing changed, you have to let this filter finish off the problem.
You’ll see the water getting clearer in three to four days. Give it two more days, and it will be so clear you can see the frogs climbing or hiding on the rocks. The fish will be more energetic and playful.
Pond Filter FAQ
How does a pond filter work?
A pond filter works by suctioning dirty water from the pond, cleaning it through the filtration process, and then releasing it back to the pond. The cycle goes on and on until the water clears up.
How do I clean my pond filter?
It depends on the model of the filter. Check with the seller or the manufacturer. Cleaning instructions are usually included in the manual. There are filters that have an auto-clean function. Others need to have their spongers removed and cleaned manually. Backwash and back flush features are specifically designed for cleaning.
I need to purchase a pump. What size do I need?
Determine your designed flow rate first. The flow rate should be half of your pond’s volume at the minimum. If you have a 3000-galllon pond, get a pump with a rate of at least 1500 gallons per hour.
You need to have one with a bigger rate if you have waterfalls or the load you have in your pond is quite heavy. Having large fish in your pond, for example, makes the load heavy. The same is true with having large plants and pond water that easily gets dirty.
What if I buy a filter that’s big for my pond?
As previously mentioned, you cannot over-filter a pond. On the other hand, under-filtering can cause problems. You are safe if you have a bigger unit than what’s recommended.
What is the proper size for a UV light?
You may have UV lights that’s too big for your pond (according to specifications), but that will not present any problem. A lot of manufacturers give lights that don’t work efficiently. If yours are bigger, that’s actually good. Over-sizing is a declaration that you will never see algae and green water again.
As you can see, the best pond filter is the one that matches the particular requirements of the pond. All filters that have been reviewed have their own outstanding features and functions beneficial to certain types of ponds.
Proper assessment of your pond and reading reviews will make your search a lot easier.
Remember: With pond filters, the goal is not to put an additional attraction. Rather, it is to maintain clean and healthy water for your fish, your plants and the entire ecosystem that belongs to that tiny part of the world.