Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: March 24, 2022
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It’s important that you provide a clean environment for the fish in the pond. Without one, they will struggle to survive and won’t grow to their natural size. Creating a balanced nitrogen cycle with just plant life and healthy bacteria is very difficult and can take a lot of time. If you want to keep your pond in perfect health, it’s a great idea to use the best pond filter to get rid of those toxins and provide a constant source of oxygen.
We have examined more than 25 different products and have found the nine best pond filters out there. We think that the OASE BioSmart 5000 stands above the rest. It has mechanical and biological filtering, as well as a huge capacity. Added to that, it also has temperature and cleaning indicators. It could be, however, that it’s not suitable for your pond. If not, we have eight other brilliant options here to choose from.
To get the best pond filter for your needs, you have a lot of things to consider. The flow rate, the filtration system, dimensions, build quality, and style are all vital features. That’s why we’ve spent countless hours and have consulted several expert sources to give you all the information you need. To make this info clear and concise, we’ve created a comparison table followed by detailed reviews of each product, a buying guide, and FAQs to make it easy for you. Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll know how to get the best pond filter for your needs.
Filtration system: biological and mechanical filtration with distinct zones
Dimensions: 23 x 16.1 x 19.1 in.
More features: built-in cleaning indicator, thermometer, 3-year warranty
If you have a large pond, then this filter from OASE is going to be perfect. The model that we looked at was great for ponds of up to 5,000 gallons, and they also have a model that will go up to 10,000 gallons.
That capacity helps to make it one of the best pond filter systems out there, but there’s a lot more to it than just size. Temperature and cleaning indicators are extremely useful as it will take the guesswork out of keeping your fish in the best possible health.
Another aspect that we like is that it has both mechanical and biological filtration. As with any filter, the biological powder will take time to develop, but in the meantime, mechanical filtration is highly effective.
The 3-year warranty that you get with the filter shows the quality that it has, and you can have a high level of confidence in its construction. Some have complained that the outlet is a little flimsy, but this is easily resolved. Overall it’s the best pond filter out there for anyone looking for a high-capacity model.
More features: quiet operation, energy-efficient, 1-year warranty, includes fountain pump, nozzle, extension tubes, and diverter valve
If you’re looking for a fountain feature, then this could well be the filter that you’re looking for. It doesn’t have the highest capacity, but it will allow you to clean the toxins out of your water while also having something that will be a stylish addition. Moreover, it doesn’t cost the earth.
It’s not for the biggest of ponds as it is only capable of providing filtration for up to 500 gallons. The flow rate is also relatively low at 320 GPH, but it does come with a pump. If it’s suitable for your pond size, then you’ll enjoy the fantastic qualities that it has.
It is primarily a biological filter with the 10 bio balls that it has, but there are also 2 filter pads that are going to be highly effective. It helps to make it very environmentally-friendly and one that has excellent efficiency when compared to a lot of its rivals.
The lid can sometimes pop off, which can be annoying, but apart from that, it’s pretty much flawless. The fountain is brilliant since it will help to aerate the water as well as will look pretty in your pond. The filter is fairly easy to install, and there are extension tubes included for faster installation.
Filtration system: mechanical, biological filtration and aeration
Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 12.5 in.
More features: 5-year warranty, includes filter mat, biological filter media bag, multi-hose fitting
We have seen a wonderful fountain filter already, but this is a waterfall model. It gives you excellent filtering abilities while also having that aeration. It all adds up to a level of water quality that is going to allow your fish to thrive.
A marvelous aspect of this filter is the level of build quality is has. That is shown by the 5-year warranty that will give you peace of mind that you’re getting a brilliant model. Despite its smaller size, it still has an impressive capacity for ponds of up to 1,000 gallons.
That being said, it could be a little too small for some who are looking for a larger filter. There are various levels of filtrations here. It offers mechanical cleaning through the sponge filter while also having a biological purification with the media bag it comes with.
The waterfall design is a great addition. It allows you to place it next to the pond without it being an eyesore. It’s another one that is easy to install, and you’ll have it going in no time. It’s an excellent option for small to medium ponds.
More features: 3-year warranty, includes pump and three fountain attachments
TetraPond is another company that has been able to make a beautiful fountain and filter in one. It offers pad filtration, which may be seen as a negative to some people who would prefer to have that biological feature too.
The fountain feature looks marvelous, and it rises high out of the water. If you don’t quite like the effect that it produces, then you have the choice of three fountain attachments. That allows you to change it and offers a lot more versatility than you get with other models.
For those who have a basic understanding of what they are doing, they’ll find this pond filter to be very easy to set up. For those who don’t know where to start, the lack of instructions can be a little frustrating.
What you do get with this filter is a high level of quality. That is shown by the long warranty it has that should be able to give you peace of mind that you’re getting a quality model. If you like the look of this fountain feature, then this could well be the perfect addition to your pond.
Filtration system: mechanical and biological pressure filters, ultraviolet sterilizer
Dimensions: 15” (Dia) x 20” (H)
More features: 4 filter sponges, cleaning indicator, function switch, and water pump adapter
Next is the Casart Bio Pressure Filter, which works well both for decorative and fish ponds. However, you should only use it with ponds within the 1500 – 2500 gal size range.
It comes with high-quality ABS material construction that can either be placed on land or in the water. If you choose the latter, ensure the water level is lower than the snap position of the filter; otherwise, the device won’t work.
The Casart Bio Pressure Filter also comes with both mechanical and biological filters in addition to an ultraviolet sterilizer. As for the mechanical filters, they include four filter sponges that eliminate some of the impurities in your pond water. These can be removed for washing before you return them to the device, or you can opt to replace them with new ones.
We noticed that the sponges have varying densities, and these increase their filtration efficiency. Also, the manufacturer includes an indicator in the device that floats up when these filters need cleaning or replacing. As for the biological filter, the device comes with algaecides which help eliminate the algae population in the pond.
Furthermore, the design of the product is made for easy installation. Lastly, the device ships with adapters that make the connection to the various pipe sizes a cinch.
Why is it special?
Mechanical and biological filtration
Features a cleaning indicator
Switch to determine where impurities go
Adapters to fit different pipe sizes
Easy to maintain
What are the flaws?
In some cases, water leaks into the UV light electrics housing
Filtration system: pressurized filtration with coarse filter, a fine filter, bio-balls and UV clarifier
Dimensions: 9.6 x 16 x 13 in.
More features: can be used under water, promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria
Using the best pond pressurized filter means that you have more flexibility in where you’ll be able to place it. This one can be used underwater and can be hidden away. Having a prominent and ugly filter can be a huge drawback for some, but you won’t get that here.
As well as having that flexibility, the filter is also highly durable for the most part. However, the lid can crack if you’re not gentle with it. While that isn’t a common issue, it is one that you should think about. If that does happen, then you should be able to get a replacement easily.
It isn’t the filter with the highest capacity out there, but it’s suitable for ponds up to 1,200 gallons and copes with pump pressure up to 700 GPH. It’s brilliantly effective, and you get that pressurized filtration while also having bio balls and a UV clarifier.
That level of filtration is excellent and is going to give you excellent water quality. The bio balls will develop over time and will give you friendly bacteria that will help to clear out any toxins. The filter is also easy to install, and you should be able to do it yourself. Once you have it working, you’re going to be able to see the benefits straight away.
More features: RGB colorful LED lights, energy efficient, flow knob, includes pump with pipes and three fountain attachments
If you have a small pond, then this filter is going to be perfect. It has a fountain feature that will aerate the water and make it look great in the process. It’s only suitable for ponds up to 50 gallons, but it will work brilliantly if it suits your needs.
As well as the filter, you also get colorful LED lights. It adds to the style of the filter and makes it a great talking point when anyone sees it working. Sometimes the filters can clog, but if they do, it’s a problem that will easily be resolved.
Apart from the lights, you also have various water patterns and three fountain attachments to choose from. All that comes at an excellent price that helps to make it brilliant value for money. It’s also easy to assemble, and you’re not going to have the frustrations that come with other filters.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in filtration, then this isn’t going to be the one for you. If you’re looking for a brilliant water feature for small ponds that also helps to filter the water, it’s perfect. It looks great, and it will help your pond to look stylish in your garden.
Filtration system: mechanical, biological and UV clarifier
Dimensions: 13 x 13.7 x 15 in.
More features: comes with 3 foam filters, Bio-Lava rock, filter indicator, handles for cleaning, flow knob
Laguna is another company that has been able to make a model with excellent efficiency. It’s perfect for those who need to highest levels of water quality. With this filter, your fish is going to thrive and easily grow to its full size.
It has the usual mechanical filtration and comes with three foam filters that are going to be able to get through a lot of the work. Additionally, there is a bio-lava rock that will help to develop healthy bacteria that a thriving pond needs. For final cleaning brilliance, there is a UV clarifier.
This filter has a few other great features too. There are handles for cleaning, a flow knob, and also a filter indicator. Moreover, this filter will be able to handle a high flow rate depending on the model you get, as there are plenty of buying options.
A few quality control issues have been reported with defective models, but this is very rare. The filter is easy to operate, and you’re going to be very impressed with the performance it has. It’s a complete filtration solution and one that you’ll be very happy with.
Filtration system: pressurized mechanical and biological filtration
Dimensions: 10.5 x 20 x 10.5 in.
More features: 3/4″ fitting, compact size
Pondmaster has been able to make this pond filter that shows great performance in a compact space. That smaller size makes it very easy to fit almost anywhere, and you’re going to be able to hide it out of the way if you’re worried about it being an eyesore.
There is no backwash available, which can make it a little harder to clean, but overall maintenance isn’t really an issue. As well as the high-quality mechanical filtration, you also have biological filtration that will remove those toxins from the water.
Despite having that compact size, it’ll still work for any pond that is up to 1,000 gallons. It makes it ideal for small to medium ponds. It can also cope with a high flow rate, allowing you to get a powerful pump.
It takes a 3/4″ fitting and is relatively easy to install. It’s another great option for anyone looking for a durable and high-quality filter. It’ll be able to last for a long time and allow your fish to thrive in a healthy environment.
Why are we impressed?
Two filtration stages
High flow rate
Perfect for small to medium ponds
What negatives must you be aware of?
Things to Consider
Getting the best pond filter isn’t a decision that you should do lightly. All ponds are different, and you need to get one that is perfect for your needs. That’s why in this section we’ll give you all the information you need to make the right choice for you. Once you’ve read this guide, you’ll know all about the key features and how these pond filters do their magic.
Things to consider before buying a pond filter
The first thing that you need to know to choose a pond filter is the type of pond you have. This includes the fish that will be in there, where the filter is going to be placed and approximately how many gallons the pond is. Once you know that, it’ll make the buying process a lot easier. As we go through the sections, it’s a great idea to make a note of how they relate to your pond. By the time we get to the end, you’ll know how to get the best pond filter for you.
Size of your pond
The first thing that you need to do is work out how many gallons your pond holds. To do this, you need to find the width, length and depth in feet and then times this all together. To covert it from feet to gallons, you then times that figure by 6.25.
For a small pond, having a waterfall with a compact filter could be perfect, and the Pond Boss Complete Filter Kit with Pump is a great example of that. If instead, you have a much larger pond, the OASE BioSmart filter would be perfect as they have models suitable for ponds of either 5 or 10,000 gallons.
Maximum flow rate
The majority of filters don’t come with a pump, and, therefore, you will have to get one separately.
In order to get the pump that’s compatible with your filter, you need to know the GPH your filter can handle, which stands for gallons per hour.
UV – UV rays kill bacteria, and, therefore, using this in a filter can help to clear the water. The Laguna Pressure-Flo PF1000 UVC Filter has a bright bulb to do this while also having mechanical and biological filters.
Pond filter size
As well as its size in terms of capacity, it’s also important to think about its physical dimensions. If you’re looking for a more compact option, then the Pondmaster 5430 Pond Filter would be a great bet as this has a high level of performance for its limited space.
You want your pond to look great, and the filter is an important part of that. You need to know where it’s going to be installed and how it will look.
On top of this, you also want the pond filter to be easy to install. It could be that you need to call an expert to get it fit correctly.
Ease of maintenance
Pond maintenance is vital, and you need to make sure that the right balance is found. The best pond filters will be able to require minimal maintenance with filters that won’t clog, nothing that breaks, and a filter system that works perfectly.
All pond filters will require a different level of maintenance, but the models from our list are very easy to use. Some of them won’t require cleaning or maintenance very often, which is great for those who want to be able to leave their filter. It also helps to have a filter that can be backwashed, which is something to look out for.
Submersible or not?
Unless they create a beautiful pond fountain, large filters can be an eyesore. One way of being able to hide them is for them to either be submersible or able to be placed in the ground, as you can with the Laguna Pressure Flo Filter.
A large part of that is whether the filter is pressurized or not.
A pressurized filter can be hidden away and often submerged, whereas a non-pressurized filter works via gravity, and, therefore, it will need to be placed above the pond.
The importance of this will depend on your preference and the design of your pond.
As well as these key features, there are also some other things to consider. Here, we take a quick look at them.
Indicator – There are models out there that will have an indicator that will let you know when the filter needs to be replaced. As well as cleaning, some also have temperature reading, and that can also be very useful.
Warranty – Having a strong warranty will give you peace of mind that you’re getting a quality model. That being said, it’s always a good idea to look at the small print to know exactly what level of cover you’ll be receiving.
Cord length – If your filter comes with a pump, then it’ll have to be plugged in via an outlet. If that’s the case, you want to ensure the cord is long enough to be able to travel all the way to your pond.
When it comes to getting the best pond filter, you will have to know how much you are willing to spend. For premium quality, the Laguna Pressure Flo Filter at just over $250 provides incredible features with its 3-step filtration system and ability to be placed in-ground. For huge capacity, the OASE BioSmart 5000 Pond Filter at just below $180 would be perfect.
The fish needs to be kept in a healthy environment. They produce toxic waste, and without a filter, there will be the growth of harmful bacteria and the build-up of other waste. They also consume oxygen, and this needs to be replenished over time. Due to all this, the requirements for a pond with fish are a lot greater than those without them. An effective filter will remove waste and prevent harmful bacteria while adding oxygen to the water. Without an effective filter, fish would struggle to survive.
The answer to this question will depend on several different factors, such as:
Number of fish
Hours of sunlight
Percentage of plant coverage
As long as you have a pond pump that’s compatible with your filter and a filter that is big enough for your pond, then you can be confident that it’ll be able to do its job. It’s also worth noting that biological filters take a while to develop. While it does, your mechanical filter is going to help to keep the pond clean. If you’re thinking of adding fish to a pond, then you want to make sure that the water is healthy before you do so. While the time can vary, all these filters will work brilliantly as long as they are compatible.
This will depend on the type of filter you have. With a mechanical filter, you simply need to remove the mat or debris basket and rinse it off with a garden hose. You need to do this whenever you see a drop in flow rate, but ideally, you’ll want to check this often. You need to be careful with a biological filter, as they don’t really need cleaning. It’s important to investigate any drop in flow rate, and sometimes they could do with a light rinse. There are also products out there, such as gels that can promote healthy bacteria, and this can be added in the spring.
As we’ve seen, there are many different types of pond filters, and the best one for you will depend on the type of pond you have.
For large capacity, it’s hard to look past the OASE BioSmart 5000. It is our favorite pond filter out there with the superior cleaning and useful indicators.