Need help with filtration?
give our team a call on (03) 9737 9663
or send us an email
Who doesn't want to look at a pond with
fish swimming about peacefully in crystal clear water?
desire to have clean pond water is the most common driver behind why people
want to filter their pond, however, you need to understand what you are
filtering and why.
are just trying to finetune what would otherwise occur in a natural
The question is often asked "Do I need a pond filter system?"
In a large well
designed pond it should not be necessary.
Lakes and dams through their volume and size have a much more stable
environment. Just as with larger ponds,
they can develop their own natural ecosystem, provided
that there is the right balance of sunlight, water depth, water volume and
large pond is a much more stable environment and is less susceptible to
changes. However, the extremes of
temperature, light levels, high fish populations and/or low plant numbers can still
affect the water balance. Thereby
creating an environment where algae can flourish and cloud the water.
instances such as these there may be simple remedies such as introducing more
smaller ponds, however, the outside changes in the environment have a far
greater effect on the pond environment.
Strong sunlight quickly warms the water, whereas cold nights does the
reverse. It is harder to maintain the
ecological balance and especially if high fish numbers are to be maintained,
then a pond filter system should be included.
Do I need plants
and a water garden filter system to create a healthy
Submerged plants, sometimes referred to as oxygenating plants, are great
water clarifying plants, through the fact that they consume the same nutrients
in the water as algae.
What would you rather have - green water or more plants? This balance is more difficult to achieve in
smaller fish ponds, as small changes can have major influences in the pond
The solution is to include a biological filtration system to help consume
the nutrient load. Some even have UV
lights that can kill algae.
The 3 types of water garden
There are numerous water garden
filter systems on the market, but they can be broken down into 3
that trap and remove sediment and debris.
They may be skimmers that collect the leaves from the pond surface or
various forms of mesh screens and sponges.
provide a medium for beneficial bacteria to grow in and biologically detoxicfy
the pond water. The bacteria feed on the
toxic ammonia produced from fish waste and decomposed plant matter.
Ultraviolet (UV) filters
are designed to sterilise the water passing through them.
How do the
various water garden filter systems work?
skimmers act just like swimming pool skimmers.
They remove debris before it sinks to the bottom of the pond and reduce
filters remove larger debris and sediment
from the pond water via a mechanical screen, mesh or sponge. The finer the screen the finer the particles
they collect. Some small cheap pumps
have small sponges as a filter. They
regularly block up and reduce the pump flow, requiring more regular cleaning.
simple terms, small filters mean more work.
A mechanical pond filter system does not
effectively filter out the green water algae.
Biological filters are the most effective way to detoxicify the pond
water, by creating an environment that natural bacteria can grow in and thrive. To
work best, the bacteria need to attach themselves onto surfaces that have water
passing over them. The greater the surface area the more
bacteria. The more bacteria, the better the biological
filtration. These bacteria need oxygen to live, so they need the pond water to be
continuously pumped through the filter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If the
pump stops, due to a blockage or is turned off, the bacteria can use up the
oxygen and die. The bacteria feed on the
nutrients such as ammonia, nitrates and nitrites that build up in the pond from
fish waste and even decomposing plant material.
As a by product, the bacteria produce
nitrates and nitrites which are then a food source for the plants.
filters should not be washed or scrubbed clean as you end up destroying the
bacteria colony, which takes about 6 weeks to re-establish. If there is an excess build up of silt and
sludge, then a very light quick rinse in a bucket of pond water is all that is
required, to allow the pond water to flow freely through the filter again.
Ultraviolet (UV) filters are sometimes referred to as UV
clarifiers and UV sterilisers. In these
filters the pond water passes through a tube that has a UV light bulb inside. The UV light bleaches and kills the green
It is often used in conjunction with other filtration
methods as the water passing through must be relatively clear of particles in
order for the light to shine through and so to operate more effectively. They are best combined with biological
filters, which then trap the dead algae in the biological filter. The naturally occurring beneficial bacteria
then feed on the decomposing algae, and help to clarify the pond water.
What is the best
pond filter system?
answer to this question varies according to the size of the pond and the
desired outcome that you wish to achieve.
As with any pond filter system, there are
advantages and disadvantages, but all you are trying to achieve is a balanced ecosystem.
ponds can be designed so that there is little if any need for a water garden filter system. The trick here is to establish an ecological
balance, often through good plant selection, so that healthy pond water can be
maintained. The vegetation becomes the
biological pond filter system.
domestic gardens do not have sufficient space available. As a result, any pond designed for a smaller
space, while trying to replicate Mother Nature, may need a little help. In these circumstances we recommend a good
biological filtration system combined with a mechanical filter such as a
be aware that if you introduce fish into the pond you may need to increase the
size of your biological pond filter system.
ponds, especially with fish, should also include an ultraviolet filter. The nutrient load caused by fish waste in a
small pond is often difficult to manage with little room for lots of
plants. There are many commercially available,
small water garden filter systems, that incorporate
an ultraviolet light combined with a biological filtration system.
seek expert advice when choosing or trying to size an appropriate water garden filter system.
common mistake is to tell your supplier that you don't intend to keep fish,
then, after it is installed change your mind.
The pond filter system may often need to
be twice the size to cope.
What to avoid...
best pond filter system is only as good as the
pond design and pond maintenance will allow.
If you would like one of our Pond techicians to come out to help you,
- If you have drains or garden run off
flowing into the pond each time it rains.
You are introducing more dirt, nutrient and debris which make achieving
a balanced pond ecosystem all the more difficult to achieve.
- Leaves and excess dead organic matter
should be removed to reduce the nutrient levels.
- Over stocking with fish. Start with smaller sizes and numbers then as
the pond establishes, you may introduce more.
Remember that fish grow too.
- Only feed fish with what they can eat
in a few minutes once or twice a day.
Excess food is wasteful and only feeds the algae. During the cooler months, their metabolism
slows, feeding should then be reduced and often there is little if any need to
feed them at all.
please give us a call on (03) 9737 9663 or send us an email