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.


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.



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.


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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