Making your own pond filter is an easy, practical way to clean your water and keep your pond healthy. A pond filter, in essence, is a box or bucket containing biomedia, which are solid items with large surface areas upon which good bacteria cling. Water is pushed through the biomedia at a constant rate, keeping the bacteria healthy. The bacteria then munch away on any fauna growing in your water. The end result is a nice clean pond. In the directions below, pebbles and gravel works as biomedia.
Pumps for ponds are available online and at garden stores, but these machines can be a bit overpriced. With a little elbow grease and a couple of hours of work time, you’ll save yourself a bunch of money. The following instructions create a little waterfall-type feature in a corner of your pond, but feel free to tweak them to suite your needs. Follow these directions to build your own pond filter.
What You'll Need
Drill a hole in the bottom of one bucket so that your PVC connector will slide in snugly. Attach the connecter and seal with aquarium glue. Put aside for 24 hours so that it sets. Fill your cloth bag with a five-inch layer of sand, and tie it off. It should fit the bottom of the bucket with the PVC connector perfectly.
Make three rows of holes, 2 inches apart, in the bottom of the second bucket. Make sure they’re small enough so the pebbles and gravel won’t escape. Make a 4-inch layer of pebbles in the bottom of the bucket. Top that off with an inch layer of gravel. Roll up 12 feet of the pond filter media and wedge that in the top of the second bucket as well. The media should be stuffed into the bucket, so if you need more than 12 feet rolled up, use more.
Set the second bucket inside the first. If the fit isn’t snug, adjust by adding more or less sand. Attach the hose to the pump and to the connector. You want to pump water into the first bucket, which will fill slowly and then fill the second. Make sure to angle the mouth of your second bucket toward the pond so the clean water returns. Firmly secure the pump and the filters and you’re good to go!
This filter will work well with ponds containing up to 5,000 gallons of water.
Feel free to adjust this design to suit your needs. Also, take a look inside commercially available filters for additional design techniques. Enjoy your nice clean pond!