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Last updated: March 10, 2021
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A pond vacuum can be a big timesaver. It can clean ponds and other bodies of water, improving the purity of the water. You need to find the best pond vacuum to ensure that it will do an effective job. This article sifts through the top options.
We’ve created six pond vacuum cleaner reviews to find the best options for removing unwanted organic matter such as waste from the water in your pond. We found that the best pond vacuum cleaner was the Matala Pond Vacuum II Muck Vac. This looks a bit like an ordinary vacuum you might use indoors. It has an autofill and drain cycle to help with effective removal of sludge and other items such as pebbles. It is one of the best koi pond vacuum options as well as being great for cable length, suitable for taking outside and using even if there’s a bit of a distance to your pond. It isn’t the only option and as well as Matala pond vacuum reviews we’ve included Oase pond vacuum reviews and other prominent brands. There’s something for everyone.
Features we’ve looked at mainly relate to the ease of use. If poorly designed, pond vacuums can be difficult to use. Cable length and hose length can be a good way to negate this, they increase the coverage area and prevent power outside being needed. The suction features are also vital and show how effective a pond vacuum can be. The holding tank relates to how much waste product can be held before disposing of it. Our research is presented as a simple overview table before our detailed best pond vacuum reviews and a buying guide to help you to choose.
Hose length: 16′ long suction hose, 8′ long drain hose
Cable length: 16’
Suction system: 5 extension tubes, each measuring 15″ long and reaching depths up to 6′
Holding tank: 5 gal
Weight: 25.7 lbs
More features: eliminates algae, sludge, dead plants and leaves and small pebbles up to 3/8″ in diameter, on/off cycle for 40 seconds of vacuuming and 20 seconds of draining, 3 adjustable floor nozzles, mesh bag
This vacuum cleaner is our editor’s choice. It’s ideal for home use and is popular among people who don’t have massive ponds to deal with. That said, it has a 16’ hose and a 16’ cable. This extends how far away from the power supply you can be when using your pond vacuum.
It can remove debris such as dead plants and even small pebbles that are up to ⅜” in total diameter.
The clever cycle does 40 seconds of vacuuming and then 20 seconds of draining for more efficient removal of algae and other unwanted debris. Every 40 seconds that it collects it then gets rid of the debris for 20 seconds. This could be improved a little bit if you had more control over it.
The pump itself is pretty strong, too. It can work with ponds that are pretty deep, up to seven feet down. The holding tank of five gallons means it can hold plenty before you have to remove the unwanted debris.
There are multiple extensions to help you to target specific areas of the pond or reach lower down into the depths of your pond.
The side locks that keep the product together and allow it to function properly are a little bit flimsy, so you could find yourself having to replace these.
Though the product itself isn’t made with weapons grade quality materials, it gets the job done perfectly and the extensions are a big bonus.
What we liked:
Brilliant extensions for using the pond at lower depths
The Pond Boss can be used on both a pool and a pond and can do a great job on either. This has been named on our list as the best value, and it also states a claim for being the most versatile. As well as multiple wet uses such as the pool and pond features, it can be used as a dry vacuum cleaner. Though we don’t recommend using it indoors, this can make it really popular and easy to use on patios or other outdoor surfaces.
The way this can be so versatile is by including different nozzles. One is designed for algae while there are also nozzles for vacuuming in between stones or plants. The floor nozzle allows you to use outside of water.
The suction hose is 13’, and this can suck up debris from as low as 6.6ft.
The vacuum is designed to alternate between the suction feature and discharge feature so you can automatically discharge once it is full of material sucked from the pond.
One disadvantage is the fact that it circulates between modes every 20 seconds. As there’s no control over this it can make the job take longer.
The price point is very reasonable, making this a popular choice and offering good value for money. There aren’t many obvious improvements that could be made.
What we liked:
Can be used wet or dry
Suction is reliable with 1200w motor
Multiple nozzles to let you suit the items you are trying to remove
Large 8 gallon holding tank
What could be better:
Circulates every 20 seconds so job can take longer
Next on our list of the best pond vacuum reviews is the HALF OFF PONDS CleanSweep 1400 Pond Vacuum. This has been named our budget pick. For people who need the very best choice they can get at a low price point this could be the ideal choice. The features are actually pretty surprising considering the price.
The motor is 1400w and the Half Off Ponds cleaner features a mesh bag for more adequate filtration and separation of debris.
The cable length is 12’ which is not as long as some of the other options on the list. It’s still okay, but it isn’t as good as some models that allow for further distances from the power supply.
The suction hose makes up for this a bit with over 13’ in length. You still need to be careful if you have a large pond that is further from your home.
This vacuum has a clever intermittent system. This means that when the vacuum chamber is full it shuts off. The chamber then drains out and when it has done so the motor can start again. This carries on until the end of the job.
This can be tough to get the hang of, there’s even a section of their Amazon listing showing how to use the product. However, for the price, this pond vacuum is really very reasonable.
The Oase Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum has been named as the best Oase pond vacuum. This brand has a lot of different products out there for cleaning your pool or pond, and the Pondovac 4 is a heavy-duty offering with a large hose.
It can ready depths of down to 7’. This is aided by a 16’ intake hose. There’s also a 13’ cable to allow you to be some way from your power supply.
The clever system has a dual-chamber. This means while it is draining it can still be intaking. One criticism a lot of pond vacuums have come in for is the fact that they have a stop/start system. This does not.
This is a heavy-duty product and as such, it is also a heavy product. 39lbs, more than many of the other pond vacuums.
The holding tank is just 2.6 gallons. This could maybe be a little bit larger in an ideal world.
There are four extension tubes and one has been designed with a special method to intake sludge and algae but not gravel that may deliberately be included in your pond. You don’t want to suck this up as it can also cause blockages.
If you don’t mind the extra bulk, this could be a good option.
Matala manufactures a lot of different pond vacuums, and this is truly one for the heavy duty users who have a large pool to deal with.
The holding tank is multiple times what many of the other vacuums can offer, as it is over 13 gallons in size. Naturally, this bigger size come with a higher weight, so it isn’t the most portable of pond vacuums, it weighs 70 lbs.
The motor has a suction of 1.5 horsepower. This is pretty impressive for a pond vacuum.
Like the other options on this list, it has a fill and drain cycle. First, it fills up the canister and then it discharges the water into the garden. This has a 70 second suction time and then takes 35 seconds to drain.
This all happens automatically, it is not hard to learn how to use this pond vacuum.
You can use a mesh bag that catches the more coarse debris before you drain the water. This means the water has sort of been filtered before release. One area this can struggle is with leaves. This is not the best pond vacuum for leaves as it can get clogged.
The Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum also has a massive cable of over 32’. This means it is suited for some commercial use. The advice of the brand is that this can be used on up to 10,000 gallon ponds, which is pretty huge!
If you need a big and effective product that can work on huge ponds, you may want to look into this option from Matala.
If you are worried about your long-term use of a pond vac and want a reliable product to ensure long term use, you can go for the option with the longest warranty. The Pond Guy ClearVac has an impressive 3-year limited warranty so you can rest assured of its quality.
There are four extension tubes, and these are pretty long at 19.5” each. The four attachments can be used for different surfaces.
You don’t have to wait through discharge cycles which can get annoying. There’s a dual chamber reservoir. This means that the sludge can be removed while the vacuum is still being used and collecting unwanted debris from your pool. The Pond Guy ClearVac can collect individual particles of waste up to ⅜”.
There’s plenty of power on offer with this product, 1600 Watts can be used to a depth of 7’. This means you it is reliable for use on fairly big ponds.
Both power cord and hose are 13’ long. This is a fairly average length and fine for most home uses.
The Pond Guy vac does a lot of the same things some of the other options on this list, but it is best for those prioritizing long warranties to protect their purchase.
What we liked:
Four different attachments for different pond surfaces
1600 watts of power
Works to a depth of 7’
What could be better:
Can be more prone to clogging, always a risk with pond vacs
Things to Consider
Buying a pond vacuum is not something you’ll do too many times in your life, unless you clean ponds for a living! This guide is to help you to make the right choice when it comes to choosing koi pond vacuum cleaner reviews or just vacuum ponds for a small garden pond with no wildlife. Choosing the best pond vacuum cleaner is not easy, but it is a case of matching up your own specific needs, the size of your pond (and distance form a power supply) and finding the right pond vacuum for you.
Features to consider when choosing a pond vacuum
The following features are those we have picked out as being the most important to consider when finding a pond vacuum for you. These have been used in our pond vacuum reviews. Reading through these features, you will notice that they give a clear comparison from one type of vacuum to the next.
What do the features mean? If you’re new to buying a vacuum for your pond then it can be tough to even understand what these features are and what they mean for your eventual buying decision.
The hose section is important. You need to match up the hose length to the depth of the pond. It needs to be able to reach the deepest part of the water, otherwise certain debris will be left behind and can still contaminate your pool. Hose length is a big part of this, but it doesn’t mean everything as the suction depth is also vital.
For a big pond, the longer the hose length, the better. It allows you to reach areas that smaller hoses wouldn’t. It can also mean you don’t have to move the actual unit as much around the pond.
This is vital if you have a big pond, but for small ponds, the hose length could be less of a consideration.
The cable length is important, too. If you think about the cable on your indoor vacuum, it will dictate how many times you have to change the power supply, and how far you can roam. With a pond vacuum, it is unlikely that you will find power supplies outdoors. For this reason, you need something that will have a long cable to ensure you can plug it in further away and it still work perfectly.
The suction system dictates how much power the pond vacuum has, and what depths it is able to actually suck the debris from. Even if the hose is 13 feet long, this may be held at a diagonal angle. This means that there is a certain depth where the suction power may stop working. Many of the best pond vacuum cleaners can work at a depth of 6-7’. Any more depth and you may need to look for a commercial model. Even the Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum with a very long hose can’t work at below 6’ deep.
Holding tank capacity
The holding tank relates to how much water and sludge/debris can be held within the vacuum. This is a bit like the vacuum bag or container for dust on a standard vacuum cleaner. A bigger holding tank is useful for doing a bigger pond and it can mean less draining. The Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum has over 13 gallons of holding tank capacity.
This may not be needed if the model of pond vacuum offers continuous suction and drainage like the Oase Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum. This can effectively be emptying as it closes due to dual chambers.
Performance on different surfaces
Just like an indoor vacuum cleaner, you may find that your pond vacuum has many different attachments for use on different surfaces. These can be optimized to allow different materials to be intaken and filtered out. HALF OFF PONDS CleanSweep 1400 Pond Vacuum has four different attachments, as many of the different pond vacuums do.
The performance of pond vacuums on different surfaces can depend on the size of items it can filter out. Some work on items up to ⅜” in diameter, others work up to 1” in diameter.
This is important as it allows you to choose the vacuum based on the surface you are using it on. Do you have small stones or big pebbles? Consider this before making your final choice and work out which attachments will be ideal for the bottom of your pond.
We’ve even included one product, the Pond Boss Pond and Pool Vacuum, that can be used on multiple surfaces. You can use it indoors or outdoors depending on what you need, which means it suits even more than just the types of surface you expect in a pond.
How much does the product weigh? If you’re just looking for a vacuum for a small pond in your yard, there’s no point in going for a huge, 70 lb model that is difficult to use and move around. The lower weight models are better for this, but if you are dealing with a large pond, a bigger vacuum weight could be unavoidable.
Other accessories include meshes for filtration and other attachments such as extension tubes. There don’t tend to be a huge amount of accessories offered by the companies making pond vacuums.
For a decent pond vacuum, you shouldn’t expect to be able to spend less than $100. It is important that you don’t buy a cheap and flimsy product that will stop working. Poorly designed vacuums are prone to clogging and probably won’t come with the same warranty or features. $200 to $1000 is a fair price range for a good quality pond vacuum. Obviously, the larger the capacity you are looking for in terms of pond size, the bigger the product needs to be and therefore the bigger the price.
How does a pond vacuum work?
The way a pond vacuum works is pretty simple. It uses a pump to suck dirty water into the container. It then passes through a filter system or goes to a discharge where it is removed and drained out. The hose attachment can be used to target specific areas, as can the different attachments, which impact what is being filtered out and what is being left behind.
Once dirty water containing debris has been filtered out, it can be replenished in the pond.
How to use a pond vacuum?
Pond vacuums really are usually as simple as point and go. Check that you are pointing the hose attachment to the right place, and that you have set up a point for your vacuum to discharge. You can then use the pond vacuum by turning it on and letting it suck up the dirty, sludgy water.
Obviously, it is vital to consult with the instructions provided by the manufacturer as this can vary slightly. Usually, these pond vacuums are very easy to get to grips with, though there may be certain tips to keep the vacuum suction high.
Sometimes pond vacuums are suitable for pool use. It is important to be careful with this, and not to switch between using for pool and using for pond without disinfecting, as you can spread around contaminants. A pond vacuum can be purchased purely for pool use.
Old fashioned cleaning methods are the alternative. You may need to go in with a mesh or net and try to remove debris manually. This is time-consuming and not as effective as using a pond vacuum.
The Matala Pond Vacuum II Muck Vac is our top rated product at 9.9/10. With adjustable settings, five different attachments and an optional mesh bag, it gives a lot of control over the vacuuming and filtration. This makes it a great option for use in small to medium sizes of pond.
In second place is the Pond Boss Pond and Pool Vacuum with a rating of 9.8/10. This is almost as impressive and it gives great value. It is also the best pond vacuum for wet and dry use, as it can be used out of the water, too.
The HALF OFF PONDS CleanSweep 1400 Pond Vacuum is another great model with a very low price tag. We’ve rated it 9.6/10. It still offers 1400 watts of power and a great level of suction and filtration, even at an affordable price. Great for home ponds.