Common Types Of Pond Filters

Water quality is one of the essential factors to the long-term health of a pond or water garden. And, the health of a pond is critical to keep pond fish and plants healthy. In order to maintain pond water quality, especially ones that have fish, a pond filtration system is needed.

THE PURPOSE OF A FILTER SYSTEM

A pond filter system serves two purposes for a pond. First, is to act as a mechanical filter and the second is to act as a biological filter. Each type of pond filter can serve as a mechanical or biological filter for ponds; sometimes both. Before we get into the types of pond filters, let’s take a deeper look into the two kinds of filtration.

Biological Filtration. Just as it occurs in the wild, the biological process of beneficial bacteria also occurs in a pond. When pond fish produce waste, it can eventually turn into nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia. When ponds have improper biological filtration, the waste and bacteria in the pond can reach a point that it becomes creates an unhealthy environment for the fish and other pond inhabitants. Biological filtration utilizes beneficial bacteria to maintain healthy water qualities in a pond.

Mechanical Filtration. Mechanical filtration is one of the main kinds of pond filtration that happens in a pond. In this filtration system separates and removes wastes and solids, such as the ones produced by fish. That said, mechanical filtration strains solids from the pond water going through it, which is essential for the efficiency of a pond’s biological media.

 

COMMON TYPES OF POND FILTERS

Pond filters help remove algae, dirt, and debris in a pond while also helping it restore a proper balance by adding beneficial bacteria from a matured filter. If you are thinking about buying pond filters for your pond, there are many types to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the common types pond filters.

Pond Skimmer Filter

A skimmer filter can be effective in just about any sized pond, from 250 gallons to larger than 100 gallons. Skimmer filters are mounted at water level outside of the pond liner. The main purpose of a pond skimming filter is to eliminate debris that falls or is blown into the water of the pond before it sinks to the bottom and decomposes. When debris decomposes, the pond water can become gross, mucky, and smelly. The filter works by continually taking in the surface water off the pond, collecting debris. Pond skimmer filters are a necessary part of a pond filtration system no matter the size of your pond.

Pre-Filter

Pond pre-filters, also known as filter boxes, are specially meant for smaller ponds, anywhere between 200 and 500 gallons. Pre-filters are typically sponge filters that sit in the middle of a pond, attached to the intake of the pond pump. Submersible pre-filters are designed to collect solid materials such as leaves, debris, fish waste, and string algae that is in pond water. Pond pre-filter installation is a cost-effective way to protect pond pumps and help them operate more efficiently by preventing clogs in the biological filter. In addition, pre-filters help ensure the safety of pond fish and other inhabitants by preventing them from being drawn into the pump.

Pressure Filter

Pond pressure filters are mainly used in small to medium sized ponds. These mechanical filters work by forcing water through a filter sponge that collects small debris and particles. Compared to other types of filters, these offer pond owners flexibility and convenience. Since these filters are pressurized they can be placed either above the pond’s water line or buried in the ground, making it easy to hide in the landscaping or behind a waterfall feature. Many pond pressure filters are equipped with a UV sterilizer which is effective at removing algae particles from the water. Most pressure filters also come with a back flush function, which allows for hassle-free cleaning of the filter sponge. Pressure filters work well simultaneously with pond skimmers as they handle the smaller pond debris.

Waterfall Filters

Unlike other pond filters, pond waterfall filters are not pressurized so they need to be placed above a pond’s water level. These filters can be used in any size pond, however small to medium sized ponds tend to benefit the most from the biological component. Generally, these filters will include biological and mechanical filter media to provide efficient filtration for enhanced water quality. Waterfall filters are multifunctional units used to create beautiful waterfalls, rambling streams, or even pondless waterfall features. These filters can help increase the aeration on a pond, making it cleaner and healthier.

UV Sterilizers

Although they technically are not a pond filter, UV Sterilizers play an important role in pond filtration. UV Sterilization is proven to be the safest and most effective method of preventing and eliminating green water problems in the pond. Pond UV Sterilizers help eliminate free-floating organic particles in the water, such as algae, fungi, viruses, and bacteria. This is done through the exposure of high powered UV lighting. The structure of tiny organic material is altered when exposed the UV lighting. UV Sterilizers can benefit any pond, helping eliminate gross green water and waterborne bacteria and viruses. UV Sterilizers are a great addition for pond maintenance, especially if there are fish in the pond.

All these common types of pond filters can help keep a pond clean and healthy. Before you purchase a pond filter it is important to consider the various types of filters, as well as the size of the pond and whether or not there are fish or other pond inhabitants living inside. Perhaps most importantly, you need to ensure you are buying quality pond filters. Cheap pond filters are not only inefficient, they also will not last very long.

If you want the best pond filters for your pond, PondMAX is your one-stop-shop. We carry a wide selection of pond filtration products, such as pond UV sterilizers, waterfall filters, pond pressurized filter, pond filter skimmers, and so much more! PondMAX has all the pond care equipment you need! Shop our selection of pond filters and other pond products.

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Part 2: How To Improve Your Outdoor Living Space

Your outdoor living space should be just as much of a place of solace as your indoor living space. If you don’t enjoy spending time in your yard, you may need some help in determining what you can do to make your outdoor living space a more enjoyable and comfortable space. In a previous blog, we began a list of the ways in which you can improve your outdoor living space. Today, we will finish our list of ways that you can transform your yard into an outdoor sanctuary, and we will give you a few more ideas on how you can make your garden pond the main feature of your yard. For all of your garden pond needs, including your pond filtration system, lighting, and more, Castle Aquatics can help.

FEATURES TO IMPROVE YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE CONTINUED

  • A Fire Pit – Whether you get a portable fire pit for your yard or you have a fire pit installed as a key feature in your yard, a fire pit is an excellent way to create a warm and inviting atmosphere where people will want to gather and relax.
  • Swings – Regardless of the kind of swing—patio swing, tire swing, hammock—even adults enjoy the many different varieties of swings, and adding one to your yard could be an enticing feature that draws you and your family and friends to the yard in order to enjoy the gentle rocking motion of a swing.
  • A Deck – if you’d like to really spruce up your yard, instead of having a patio or a small deck off of your home, a deck can be a large, multi-level feature that not only adds beauty to your yard if you choose a deck with a natural wood look, but it can also add to your yard’s functionality by creating a more defined space to place your outdoor furniture and other outdoor features.
  • Lights – Aside from the light on the exterior of your home for your yard, you should also consider installing additional lights on features such as your stairs, walkways, and tables. You can even hang twinkle lights between your trees to create a magical look.
  • Speakers – Installing outdoor speakers can greatly improve your outdoor space by allowing you to create the atmosphere you’d like with the sound of music. Your guests will love the addition of music to your outdoor space.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR GARDEN POND YOUR YARD’S MAIN FEATURE

Once you decide to add a garden pond to your yard as one of the key features that can improve your outdoor living space, we have a few ideas on how you can place your pond in order to make it your yard’s main feature. In our last blog, we already discussed features you can add to your garden pond in order to make it stand out, but you’ll also need to know where to place your garden pond to really make it your yard’s main feature.

If you really want your pond to stand out, you will want to place it near one of your other key features for your yard. Your garden pond shouldn’t be tucked away in a corner. You can add your garden pond to the middle of your yard or even close to your patio or deck in order to be able to view the pond when you’re at your outdoor table. Placing your pond in the middle of your yard or near other key features can actually add to the appeal of the pond. If your pond is placed correctly, you can add a stone walkway around it, a bridge over it, or you can even place a gazebo next to it to really maximize your ability to spend time near your pond and enjoy it as your yard’s main feature.

A garden pond can be such a beautiful addition to your yard in order to create a more enjoyable space. If you combine a garden pond with some of the other features we mentioned that can help to improve your outdoor living space, you may end up spending more time outside than you do inside. For all of your garden pond needs including your pond filtration system, Castle Aquatics has the garden pond expertise you need. Shop our pond products today!

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Part 1: How To Improve Your Outdoor Living Space

If you don’t love your outdoor living space as much as your indoor living space, you are missing out on utilizing valuable square footage that’s included with your home. While most people think of their home—the space that is boxed in by walls—as their place of refuge, there’s something that being outdoors can do for people that no interior space can ever provide. What most people don’t realize is that their outdoor living space can be equally, if not more, relaxing and enjoyable as their indoor living space. One way in which you can create an outdoor living space that is relaxing and enjoyable, is to have a garden pond built in your yard. Castle Aquatics can help with all of your garden pond needs, including your garden pond filtration system.

THE PERFECT GARDEN POND

If you’re looking to create an outdoor living space that you love, building a garden pond is a good place to start. Garden ponds can create an enchanting atmosphere for your yard, and it can be an interesting point of conversation when you have guests over. The perfect garden pond could include features such as koi fish, lily pads, a waterfall, rocks, and lights. However, the beauty of creating your own garden pond is the ability to include whatever features you know that you’ll enjoy the most.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES TO IMPROVE YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE

If your outdoor living space needs a complete makeover, you may want to add additional features to your yard that could really boost your enjoyment when you’re in your outdoor space. Here are some additional features that you can add to your yard in order to improve its functionality and enjoyment:

  • Patio Pavers – instead of boring concrete, update your patio to include pavers. Concrete pavers can be found in multiple shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can really get the design you want. You also have the option of choosing clay pavers for a more traditional look or flagstone for an all natural look and feel.
  • Furniture – in order to enjoy your outdoor living space as much as your indoor living space, you’ll want furniture that you find comfortable. Having a table and chairs is ideal for your backyard so you can enjoy dinner outside on a warm evening. However, if you really want to relax in your outdoor space, you’ll want to find a comfortable couch and chairs that you can sit back and relax on.
  • Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers – If your yard is bare—completely lacking in trees and flowers—you’ll want to invest in some plant-life to add beauty and privacy to your yard. While most garden ponds have some kind of landscaping around them, you’ll want the rest of your yard to have the same magical look as your garden pond.

If you’re interested in having a garden pond installed in your yard, Castle Aquatics can supply you with all of the supplies you’ll need to make your dream a reality. No garden pond is complete without a pond filtration system, lights, and of course food for your fish! Contact Castle Aquatics today to learn more about garden ponds, and stay tuned for our next blog where we will finish our list of ways you can improve your outdoor living space.

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Common Winter Pond Maintenance Mistakes

For pond owners, pond maintenance is always on their minds, especially during the warm summer months, when ponds are enjoyed the most. Many water garden and pond owners have the misunderstanding that once the temperatures drop, pond care is no longer necessary. The truth is, to maintain a beautiful and appealing pond, maintenance and care is required throughout the year, especially during the winter for those pond owners who reside in colder climates with harsh winters.

If you are a pond owner, is essential to maintain the health of your pond, especially during the winter. However, pond maintenance during the winter season must be done properly. To help ensure that owners care for their ponds the correct way, and avoid pond maintenance mistakes, we put together a list of mistakes pond owners should never make when performing pond maintenance.

MISTAKE #1: BANGING ON THE ICE

In the winter months, ponds are much more likely to freeze, especially in the colder regions of the nation. If you find your pond frozen and are unsure of which steps to take, be sure to check out our previous blog, What Should I Do If My Pond Freezes to guide you in the right direction. When ponds freeze, many pond owners know the importance of creating a hole in the ice to allow for proper gas exchange. However, what most pond owners do not know is that you should never hit or kick the ice in an attempt to create a hole. Banging on the ice of a pond can create sound waves that can be harmful to pond fish. Instead of trying to break the ice open, pond owners should use a de-icer to create a hole in the ice’s surface. If a person does not own a deicer, they can be found at almost any pond supply store, or instead of a de-icer, pond owners can create a hole in the ice by simply pouring boiling water on an area of the ice’s surface.

MISTAKE #2: FORGETTING POND WATER TREATMENTS

Pond water treatment is something that should be done during each season, not just the summertime. Just as pond maintenance is important year-round, a pond’s quality of water is just as important, if not more important in the winter than it is in the summer. Applying a quality bacteria blend to your pond at least once a month will help with preventing debris that normally collects in pond water during the colder seasons, leaving your pond fish happier and healthier.

MISTAKE #3: USING A CHEAP OR INEFFICIENT DE-ICER

As you now know, deicers can be extremely helpful in winter pond maintenance. Because de-icers play such an important role, it is important to ensure that pond owners are using a good quality, effective deicer with at least 1200 watts of power. Cheap deicers commonly fail or are not effective in ponds of larger sizes. However, purchasing a quality de-icer, pond owners can ensure that there will always be a  hole in the ice’s surface to allow for gas exchange, keeping your pond in good shape and providing pond inhabitants with a healthy environment.

MISTAKE #4: LEAVING A DEICER ON CONTINUOUSLY

Many pond owners have the misunderstanding that deicers need to be left running. The truth is, this actually is a bad idea. In the winter, deicers can consume a lot of energy. Pond owners who reside in colder climates may be tempted to leave their de-icer on to ensure their pond does not freeze over, but it is not really necessary. When using deicers, pond owners should periodically check on the hole. If the hole seems to be closing up, simply switch the de-icer on for a day or two to solve the problem and then shut it back down.

MISTAKE #5: FORGETTING TO TURN ON THE DE-ICER BEFORE GOING AWAY

Just as pond owners forget to turn off their deicers, many forget to turn them on. As mentioned above, it isn’t good for your de-icer to continuously be running, however there is an exception. If pond owners are going to be away from their pond, perhaps taking a trip to a much warmer area, for a week or more during the cold winter months, their pond’s de-icer should be left on. Forgetting to turn on your deicer before leaving for a while could leave you with a frozen and unfortunate situation upon your return. It is essential your pond has everything it needs, including a de-icer, before leaving. Ideally, if pond owners are going to be away from their pond, they should have a friend, family member, or neighbor care for their pond while they are gone. This way, a de-icer won’t have to run continuously and pond owners can save money on their energy bills.

MISTAKE #6: NOT SHUTTING DOWN WATER FEATURES

There’s nothing that adds beauty to a pond like an appealing, relaxing water feature, like a waterfall. However, for pond owners to ensure that their water features continue to run properly, they must first take the necessary steps to shut it down properly for the winter season. When shutting down a water feature, pond owners should:

  1. Remove the pump.
  2. Store the pump in a bucket of water
  3. Blow out the pipe and cap each end using a cleanout plug.

By following this shutdown process, pond owners can prevent pipes from bursting if the remaining water inside the pipes freezes.

MISTAKE #7: FEEDING FISH

Growing up, if your first pet was a fish, you were probably reminded to feed it over and over again. While it may seem counterintuitive to avoid feeding your fish, it is important to keep in mind that pond fish will naturally slow down their systems when the temperatures begin to drop. When this happens, fish are unable to digest food properly. While it may be tempting to feed fish during these cold months, giving them food can be harmful, it could even kill them.

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Guide To Winter Pond Keeping

Just because the chilly weather is here (depending on where you live) does not mean that you have to close your pond or water garden. In fact, there are a handful of benefits to keeping your pond running during the winter months, like the formation of gorgeous ice sculptures that collect on a waterfall or stream, turning your backyard into a winter wonderland. Although ponds and  water gardens can be breathtaking in the winter it is possible that the buildup of ice can act as dams, diverting water out of the pond. And, if you live in the North and Midwest regions, you have to be cautious of ice buildup as it is much more common in these areas.  

It is best practice to check on the water features and the water level of a pond or water garden during the winter. If ice starts to build up and you notice the water level decreasing, it may be time to turn off the pump until the spring. However, if you decide that you want to experience the beauty of winter ponds, and don’t mind the extra care and maintenance, your biggest concern is ensuring that there is enough water for the pumps to operate.

Keeping your pond or water garden running during the winter is possible, but it does have its challenges. If you’re a pond owner who is considering keeping your pond open throughout the winter, we put together a brief guide that will answer common questions when it comes to ponds, water gardens and the cold winter months.


Can Ponds Even Run Through The Winter?

This is a question we are often asked and there are two answers, yes and no. During the winter season, the usual water supply options are not available due to inefficiency. Automatic water fill valves and outdoor water spigots should be turned off. Leaving them run throughout the course of the winter season will increase the risk of the pipes  freezing and cracking. Without the use of these valves and spigots, water garden and pond owners who choose to keep their pond running will have to find an alternate source of water to help replenish their pond. Using a hose is a quick and simple way to supply water to your pond. That said, it is normal for pond owners to periodically add water to their pond during the winter season.


Will Waterfalls And Other Water Features Freeze?

The size of the pump plays a pretty important role in a water features ability to operate effectively during the colder months. For example, if your water garden or pond has a pump that kicks out at least 2,000 GPH it can easily be used throughout the winter as long as it is continuously running. Because the pump is continuously moving water, it will help keep a hole in the ice that is near water features and in front of the circulation system.

However, if you live in a climate that has repeated freezing temperatures it could lead to excessive ice build up. Having too much ice can cause the entire water feature to operate improperly. If you notice that the flow of water into the circulation system is inefficient at keeping up with the pump due to ice, it may be time to shut the system down. Once the ice breaks down and melts, restoring the normal water flow, the system can be turned back on.


Will Pipes and Filters Crack During The Winter?

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to keeping a pond open during the winter is if the cold will cause the pipes and filters to crack. Most open type pond filters are made out of polyethylene and are constructed to bend and bow along with the freezing and thawing that winter brings.  Pressure filters should be winterized and drained if full freezing takes place in your area.  The pipes also will not crack if you choose to keep the pump running throughout the winter as there will still be a flow of water moving through the pipe. And, moving water does not freeze. Pipes will only crack in the winter if stationary water is left in the pipe and allowed to freeze. 


Most ponds and water garden owners choose to shut down their system in the bitter winter months to avoid the maintenance and care it requires. However, keeping them open in the winter brings worthy aesthetics to your yard. We encourage pond owners not be afraid to keep their system running as long as possible, getting the most out of them!

When you need supplies to keep your pond running during the chilly winter months, from aeration kits to pond solutions and treatments, be sure to shop the wide selection of pond and water garden supplies at Castle Aquatics! Our professionals can answer your questions about pond care and maintenance, and are ready to help you find the products your pond needs to stay healthy and running properly. For more information, contact Castle Aquatics or find the nearest dealer.

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