Related Content

Pond filters are fundamental equipment essential for clean, clear and healthy pond water. AquA AnimaniA provides a wide selection of quality filters to suit the needs of your pond or water garden, whether you have a small ornamental pond, an idyllic rambling waterfall and stream or a well-stocked garden pond or koi pond!

We are proudly feature the complete Laguna pond product line. Laguna is dedicated to innovative product development and customer satisfaction and offers a wide range of quality products for creating and maintaining beautiful water gardens.

  • Clear-Flo Kits

  • Filter Spillways

  • Skimmer Filters

  • SkimAway Skimmers

  • Filter Fountains

  • Pond Skimmers

  • Filter Falls

  • External Biological Filters

  • Pressure-Flo Filters

  • Mechanical Underwater Filters

  • Biological Underwater Filters

  • Underwater Round Filters

  • Mechanical/Biological Add-On Chambers

A pond filter is one of the most important product of any garden pond whether it be a fish pond or simply a water garden. Getting the right size of fish pond filter is one of the pond owner’s most common mistake so we’re here to help you choose the correct one.

A pond filtration system is vital to having a clear and healthy pond. The filtration system consists of a pond filter, filter media, a pond pump and pump tubing. Some koi pond filters have a built in UV clarifier. But for the filter itself, here are some varieties available.

Submersible Filters

The first kind of pond filter is a submersible filter. This can be located inside the pond. On one end of it (or even within the filtering unit) is the pump with a tubing connected to its discharge side. This discharge side usually has a pipe threaded or barbed threaded nipple where the tubing can be attached to. You’ll attach the tubing to the intake area of the water pond filter.

The advantage of having a pond filter that is submersible is that it is out of sight and can be hidden in the pond. Most of them are made out of black plastic which can be camouflaged within the pond. The disadvantage of having the garden pond filter inside the pond is that it can be inconvenient to get to it to clean it out.

External Filters

Another type of fish pond filter is an external filter. As the name suggests, this filter does not get submersed within the pond but sits somewhere on land. As to where you locate your filtering system, that’s up to you but you will need to know that there are a variety of external or non-submersible filters to choose from.

A gravity fed koi pond filter is an external filter that sits on the shore somewhere. The water that comes from the pond pump enters in this filter near the top and flows through filtering media products to the bottom of the unit. The water that gets discharged from this filter will need to flow down to the pond. The water cannot flow uphill (or against gravity) to any type of water feature. If you have a waterfall, you can locate this filter near the waterfall and let the water coming from the filter to go into the waterfall unit or waterfall area.

Pressurized Filters

There is also a type of pond filter that is pressurized. This means that the filter can either work as a gravity fed filtering system where the water has to flow down to the pond or it can flow up to a waterfall unit or somewhere uphill. Some of these pressurized pond filters can be partially buried along the side of the fish pond, too, making it more convenient. As with any type of water pond filter, you can easily cover them with one of our fake rock covers to conceal it within the nearby landscape.

UV Filters

The past few years, several manufacturers have combined a pond filter and a UV light altogether as one. This can be a great feature for most garden pond owners who do not have a large volume of fish. Within the pond UV filter chambers, water passes by the UV light where it kills algae, some fungus, bacteria and parasites. The dead algae & fine silt particles gets trapped in the filter pads where they can be removed. This type of filtering system makes it convenient for most garden pond owners. You have the benefit of having a pressurized filter so it can be located partially buried at the edge of the pond or can be placed on top by a waterfall unit. It’s really quite a neat little package.

Vortex Filters

Another type of pond filter is a vortex pond filter. This predominantly filters out large solids before getting to a pond waterfall unit. With a waterfall unit, the filter pads can be hard to clean as they are located at the bottom of the waterfall unit. The Vortex Solids Filter (VSF) is a pre-filter that removes the majority of solids from the water prior to the waterfall filter where biological filtration occurs. How it works: Incoming water enters the VSF at a slight downward angle. The heavier solids are pushed to the outside and directed towards the bottom by the grooves in the outer wall. A drain port makes for easy cleaning of the solids that accumulate in the cone shaped sediment area at the bottom of the filter. The water then flows through a filter pad at the top of the filter (where it is easier to clean). After the fine solids are taken out, the water then flows via gravity out thru three air entrainment ducts, which enrich the water with oxygen.

Fish (Koi) Pond Filters

Lastly, there is one other type of fish pond filter or koi pond filter and that is a bead or bio-tube filter. These are used predominantly for large koi ponds or fish holding tanks where a large volume of fish are held. These filters can offer superior filtering performance and are super easy to use. Some, come with a complete back wash system where you simply turn a valve on the top of the filter and the incoming water washes the bio tubes or beads within it and discharges it out the drain system. With this type of pond filtration system, you never have to get your hands dirty by rinsing out pond filter pads! While not inexpensive, these pond filters work great at keeping your fish pond water clean.

One important point to consider when installing the plumbing for your pond filter is if you should get a fish pond filter that has a UV in it, you will need to shut off the UV for a few days when you add beneficial bacteria to your pond. This is so you don’t kill the bacteria when you add it to your pond. If you have a UV that is not within your filter and it’s an external UV light system, then you will need to create valves in your plumbing so you can divert the water flow from going to your UV light for about 3 days while the bacteria attaches itself to some type of surface area within the pond or pond filter so it where it will colonize and grow. Beneficial pond bacteria is your friend and you want to do everything you can to establish a good colony of it. Without it, your pond will be greeen, stinky, smelly and your fish will die. It’s that important.

To determine the size of your fish pond filter you will need to know how many gallons of water your pond holds. For those with preformed ponds, this can be easy as it will state right on the unit. For those who have created their pond with a pond liner, you will have to do a little math.

To calculate the number of gallons your pond holds, this is the typical formula: Length of the pond times width of the pond times depth times 7.5. This will be the number of gallons your garden pond holds.

Say that you calculated that your pond holds 3,000 gallons of water. You will need to filter this total volume of water every 3 to 4 hours. So, divide 3,000 gallons by 3 and you get 1,000 gallons every hour. This would be part of the information you need to determine what size of pond filter to get.

Koi pond filters are designed to adequately filter a certain volume of water along with a particular size of fish load. A fish load basically means, how many fish you have and what size they are. This is where the majority of people make a mistake so please pay attention to this. Getting the wrong size of pond filter is one of the most common mistakes most fish pond owners make.

If you have a pond that holds 3,000 gallons and are looking at a pond filter that filters 1,000 gallons you’re only partly on the right track. You will need to look at the specs for the filter to see how large of a fish load this filter is for, too. If the manufacturer states that it is only for a fish pond with 5 or 6 fish that are 6″ long, and you have 30 fish that are 6″ long, then this will not be the correct size of filter for you. You will need a filtering system that is much larger or else you will have to get rid of a lot of fish so you are within the parameters that the filter is suitable for. This is where so many people make the mistake. Either they get the wrong size of fish pond filter to begin with or they may get the right size filter but the fish multiply thereby putting too much demands on the pond filtration that no longer can do an adequate job at keeping the pond clean.

You can replace your pond filter pads and media as they need to. We have a selection of replacement filter pads and offer custom size pond filter pads of varying thickness. We also have other media for filtration systems.

One last point to mention about pond filters is that you should never clean the media within the filter with tap water. The tap water will kill the beneficial bacteria that are colonizing in it. This good type of bacteria is responsible for keeping your koi or pond fish alive as it breaks down all of their wastes and turns them into useful substances within the pond. This is referred to as the nitrogen cycle. More about that in our pond maintenance and pond building course.

To properly clean your pond filter pads, simply use some clean water from the pond. Put the water in a large bucket and swish the pads around in it. You can also bang your filter pads along the pavement or side of the bucket which will help dislodge the larger particles.

We are happy to help you select which type of pond filter you may need. We know the math and everything can be a little tricky for some particularly when you’re calculating what size of pond pump you need for the filter and for a water feature. A simple solution for new pond owners is to buy a pond kit which has everything you need to create a beautiful pond.

At AquA AnimaniA we have 1000s of quality pond products. Let us know how we can help you enjoy your pond even more – with the right selection of pond supplies and friendly, helpful advice.

We also offer a variety of products that will help keep your pond clean and healthy. We carry a full line of pond kits, pond supplies, pond accessories, pond products and pond equipment as well as a healthy selection of pond fish and pond plants!

Be sure to inquire, or visit our store and outdoor AquA Gardens in person, to see the complete pond filter selection we have available, in-stock. We can also special order unique items and other products from our vast network of national and international partners and suppliers.

Bookmark and Share
Bookmark the permalink. Share the short url.

Updated: July 16 2012


About AquA AnimaniA

AquA AnimaniA is your #1 local source for a wide variety of family pets, birds, small animals, aquarium fish, pond fish, amphibians and more! To properly care for your pets, we have expert advise on hand to help you with all your pets and water related needs. We also carry a comprehensive and extensive line of aquariums, live aquarium plants, live coral, aquarium supplies, ponds & supplies, plus countless pet supplies, including accessories, equipment, foods, treats, toys for dogs & puppies, cats & kittens, birds, amphibians, reptiles, aquarium fish, pond fish, small animals, exotic pets and other critters.