What Is The Best Pond Filter: Skimmer And Biofall Types

What the best pond filter can look like

The wrong pond filter can result in a nasty-looking and smelly backyard pond. Nobody wants their backyard pond to become an eyesore. This is why they try to find the best pond filter for their water feature.

A pond filter is an essential piece of equipment for any pond, large or small. Not only does a pond filter help to keep the water clean and clear, but it also plays an important role in the health of the fish and other aquatic creatures that call your pond home. If you already own a pond filter but need to clean it, be sure to check out our guide on how to clean pond filters.

There are many different types of pond filters on the market. This can make it tough to decide which one is right for your pond.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the most popular types of pond filters so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

The Best Pond Skimmers

New skimmer about to be installed

The best overall pond skimmer is the Aquascape Pro Signature Series 1000 Skimmer (not featured above.) There are several reasons for this:

High Pump Flow

The AquascapePro Signature Series 1000 Skimmer features a pump flow rate of up to 10,000 gallons per hour (GPH). This is significantly higher than the average pond skimmer, which has a pump flow rate of only 3,000 GPH. The increased pump flow rate means that the AquascapePro Signature Series 1000 Skimmer can effectively remove more debris from your pond. 

Rigid Debris Basket

The AquascapePro Signature Series 1000 Skimmer also features a rigid debris basket. This is important because it means that the basket won’t collapse when it’s full of debris. This often happens with other pond skimmers. The rigid basket also makes it easier to clean because you can simply remove it and empty it into the trash without having to worry about it falling apart. 

Filter Mat

The AquascapePro Signature Series 1000 Skimmer comes with a filter mat that captures small particles of the debris before they have a chance to clog up the pump. This is important because it prolongs the life of the pump and prevents it from working harder than necessary. 

Faux Rock Lid

The final reason why the AquascapePro Signature Series 1000 Skimmer is the best pond skimmer on the market is its faux rock lid. This lid not only looks realistic, but it also helps to conceal the skimmer so that it blends in with your landscaping. 

Here it is compared to other pond skimmers:

Aquascape Pro Signature Series 1000 SkimmerEasyPro PSA9000 Axiom SkimmerHelix Pond SkimmerAtlantic Watergardens Big Bahama
Filter MediaFilter PadDebris NetFilter PadDebris Net
Basket TypeRigid basketBrushesRigid basketBrushes
Skimmer OpeningWidth: 8″
Height: Adjustable
Width: 8″
Height: 8″
Width: 8″
Height: 8″
Width: 6″
Height: 6″
Lid TypeFaux RockBlack plasticNoneBlack plastic
Maximum Flow Rate (GPH)10,0009,000Not Available7,000

The Best Pond Waterfall Filter

Biofalls waterfall filter and skimmer

The best overall waterfall pond filter is the AquascapePro Signature Series 6000 Biofalls. There are several reasons for this:

Filter Mat

The AquascapePro Signature Series 6000 Biofalls comes with a durable filter mat that is designed to capture small debris and particles before they have a chance to enter your pond. This helps to keep your pond water clean and clear. It also prolongs the life of your pump by preventing clogs and build-up.

Rock Tray

The rock tray included with the AquascapePro Signature Series 6000 Biofalls is specially designed to evenly distribute water flow. This leads to more efficient filtration. The tray also prevents rocks and other debris from entering the pump chamber, helping to extend the life of your pump. 

High Maximum Flow Rate

The AquascapePro Signature Series 6000 Biofalls has a maximum flow rate of 15,000 gallons per hour (GPH). This is one of the highest flow rates on the market, meaning your waterfall will be able to accommodate even the heaviest of rains without overflowing. 

Sizing

The AquascapePro Signature Series 6000 Biofalls is specifically sized for ponds up to 6,000 gallons. This makes it one of the most versatile waterfall filters on the market because it can be used in both small and large ponds. 

Here it is compared to other top brands:

Aquascape Pro Signature Series 1000 SkimmerSavio Waterfall Weir F060Helix Bio-Mechanical ReactorAtlantic Watergardens BF3800 Filterfalls
Filter MediaFilter MatsMedia PadMoving Bed Waterfall FilterFilter Mats
Waterfall Opening28 inches31 inches8 inches38 inches
Rock trayYesNoNoNo
Maximum Flow Rate (GPH)15,00010,000Not Available6,000 to 8,000
Maximum Pond Size (gal)6,000Not Available3,0008,000

Considerations When Picking The Best Pond Filter For Your Water Feature

Pond Volume

Pond by a patio and gazebo

Pond filters come in many different shapes and sizes. They’re not a one-size-fits-all-ponds product. This is why it’s important to consider the volume of water in your pond before choosing a pond filter. A pond filter that’s too small won’t be able to do its job properly. A pond filter that’s too large will be a waste of money.

To calculate the volume of your pond, you will need to know the dimensions of your pond in terms of length, width, and depth. Length and width can be easily measured with a tape measure. Depth can be a little more tricky, but the best way to measure it is with a long pole or a measuring stick.

Once you have these measurements, you can calculate the volume of your pond using the following formula: 

(Length x Width x Depth) / 1000 = Volume in Gallons

For example, if your pond is 10 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 4 feet deep, the volume of your pond would be (10 x 8 x 4) / 1000, which equals 32 gallons. 

Once you know the volume of your pond, you can determine what size pond filter you need by using the following guidelines: 

  • Your pond water needs to go through the pond filter every 1 to 2 hours
  • Waterfall filters may need a higher gallon-per-hour flow rate depending on what speed you want the water to come out
  • Err on the side of larger pond filters so your pond stays clean and clear

Type Of Pond Filters

Waterfall filter being installed

Waterfall (BioFalls)

Waterfall filters are designed to mimic a natural filtration system for your pond. The filter uses gravity to pull water from the pond and then passes it through a series of filters before returning it via a waterfall.

The most common filter media material is activated carbon. This can effectively remove dissolved organic matter, toxins, and other contaminants from the water. The water then flows back into the pond through a waterfall. This help to oxygenate the water and keep it circulating. 

Waterfall filters are typically powered by an external pump. This helps circulate the water and ensures that it passes through the filters on a regular basis. In most cases, the pump will be inside the filter chamber. This makes it so you can’t see the pump from outside of the pond. The pump will also typically have an adjustable flow rate so that you can control how quickly the water flows. 

Skimmer

A skimmer filter is a system that helps to clean ponds by removing leaves, debris, and other organic matter from the water. Skimmer filters typically consist of a net or basket that collects debris and a pump that pulls water through the filter and returns it to the pond.

Skimmer filters work by drawing water from the surface of the pond into the filter, where it passes through a series of screens or pads. The screens or pads trap leaves, debris, and other organic matter while allowing water to pass through. The filtered water is then returned to the pond. 

UV Sterilizer

UV sterilizers work by exposing bacteria and algae to ultraviolet light (UV light.) This light disrupts the DNA of the microorganisms, preventing them from reproducing. As a result, the population of bacteria and algae in your pond is reduced, keeping your pond clean and clear. 

UV sterilizers are an effective way to control the growth of bacteria and algae in your pond. However, it’s important to note that UV sterilizers will not remove existing bacteria or algae from your pond; they will only prevent new growth. For best results, pair your UV sterilizer with a mechanical filter, which will remove existing debris from your water. 

Prefilter

A prefilter is a mechanical filter that is placed before the main pond filter in a filtration system. The prefilter’s purpose is to remove large particles from the water so that they don’t clog the main filter. While prefilters are not necessary for all pond filtration systems, they can be helpful in extending the life of your main filter. 

There are two main types of prefilters: media filters and gravity filters. Media filters work by trapping particle matter in the filter material. Gravity filters work by allowing heavier particles to settle to the bottom of the filter, where they can be removed. 

Pressurized

A pressurized filter is a type of mechanical filter that uses an air pump to force water through a chamber filled with filtering media. The media can be anything from gravel to activated carbon. The size of the filter will vary depending on the size of your pond. Pressurized filters are typically located outside of the pond. They can be used with both above-ground and inground ponds.

Types Of Pond Filter Media

Mechanical Filtration

Mechanical filters are designed to remove physical debris from your pond water. This type of pond filter typically contains a series of pads or sponges that trap contaminants as water flows through the filter.

Mechanical filters are a good choice for ponds with a lot of debris, such as leaves and sticks. They are also a good choice for ponds with fish, as they can remove harmful parasites and bacteria from the water. 

Biological Filtration

A biological filter is designed to remove dissolved organic matter from your pond water. This type of pond filter typically contains a media, such as gravel or sand, that provides a surface for beneficial bacteria to grow on.

These bacteria break down harmful contaminants in the water, making it safe for fish and other aquatic creatures. A biological filtration system is a good choice for ponds with fish or other aquatic creatures. 

Chemical Filtration

A chemical pond filter uses chemicals to remove impurities from the water. Chemical filters are typically used in ponds that don’t have a lot of fish or other aquatic life. This is because the chemicals in the pond filter can be harmful to them. 

There are two main types of chemical filters for ponds: activated carbon filters and zeolite filters. An activated carbon pond filter uses charcoal to remove impurities from the water. Zeolite filters use a type of mineral called zeolite to remove impurities. 

*Premier Ponds uses both mechanical and biological filtration systems in the ponds we build. This helps them stay cleaner and clearer and helps lower your maintenance

Submersible Pond Filters

A submersible pond filter is a type of pond filter that is placed inside the pond, usually near the skimmer box. Submersible filters are one of the most popular types of pond filters because they are easy to install and maintain. This type of pond filter typically comes with a pump, which is used to circulate water through the filter and back into the pond.

How Submersible Filters Work

Submersible filters circulate water from the pond through the filter and back into the pond. The pump creates water flow and pressure, forcing the water through the filtration media.

The filtration media is typically made of nylon or polyester, which catches debris and dirt particles. The pond filter also has a biological media, which provides a surface for beneficial bacteria to grow. These bacteria help to break down fish waste and other organic matter in the pond. 

Types of Submersible Filters 

There are two main types of submersible filters: inline and canister.

Inline submersible filters are designed to be installed directly in line with the pond’s pumps.

Canister submersible filters are designed to be installed outside of the pond. These submersible pond filters typically have a larger capacity than inline submersible pond filters. They can also be easier to clean. 

External Pond Filters

External pond filters are placed outside of the pond itself and use a pump to circulate the water through the filtration system. The pump pulls water from the pond and sends it through a series of pads or sheets that trap debris, leaves, and other contaminants. The filtered water is then returned to the pond. 

There are two main types of external pond filters: gravity-fed and pressurized.

Gravity-fed external pond filters rely on gravity to circulate the water through the system. Pressurized external pond filters use a pump to force the water through the filter.

Both types of external pond filters are effective at keeping your pond water clean and clear. 

Maintenance

Skimmer basket with organic matter in it

Everything needs some amount of maintenance, and pond filters are no exception.

You can have your pond contractor come and take care of them when they do a pond cleaning. The only thing you really need to do is make sure your skimmers are clean every week.

You can clean your pond filter on your own if you want to. Start by taking the pond filter out of the pond and disassembling it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, use a garden hose to rinse off any debris that’s collected on the filter media. Once the media is clean, put the filter back together and put it back in the pond. 

Installation

Installing a pond filter is a relatively simple process that can be completed in a few hours with basic tools.

  1. Select a location for the pond filter that is close to an electrical outlet
  2. Dig a hole that is large enough to accommodate the pump and prefilter chamber
  3. Install the pump according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  4. Connect the intake hose to the prefilter chamber
  5. Connect the discharge hose to the bio-media chamber
  6. Fill the prefilter chamber with media
  7. Plug in the pump

Climate And Environment

One of the main factors that will affect the type of pond filter you need is the climate in your area. If you live in an area with warm summers and cold winters, you will need a pond filter that can withstand freezing temperatures. Alternatively, if you live in an area with mild winters, you may be able to get away with using a less durable filter. 

The water temperature in your pond will also play a role in choosing a filter. In general, colder water requires a more powerful pond filter than warm water. This is because cold water contains less oxygen than warm water, which can make it harder for fish to breathe. 

The environment around your pond will also affect your filtration needs. If your pond is located in an area with a lot of trees, you’ll need a pond filter that can deal with leaves and other debris falling into the water. On the other hand, if your pond is located in an open area, you won’t have to worry about leaves and debris as much. 

Other Features

Some filters come with extra features, like:

  • A thermometer
  • Lights
  • A splitter to send some water to a fountain or waterfall

Get Your Pond Oasis With Premier Ponds

A pond filter, while important, is only one part of the pond installation and maintenance process. While it can be fun to try building your own backyard pond, it takes a lot of knowledge and work to do it the right way. Not everyone has the time or energy to do it on their own.

If that’s the case, fill out our contact form today! We’ll help you get started on creating your backyard oasis.

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