The Three Main Types of Pond Filters
Before building your water garden it is important that you make sure it has enough filtration. Inadequate filtration is one the most common mistakes DIY pond installers make and this can cause all kinds of problems.
Properly designed water gardens with good filtration have beautiful, crystal clear water that is easy to maintain. There are three main types of filtration used in pond filters:
Mechanical Pond Filtration:
Mechanical pond filtration is simply the trapping and removal of large and small debris (such as leaves) with the use of some type of physical barrier. This barrier may be a pond skimmer, fiber mats, plastic beads, Matala filter mats, etc. To be effective mechanical filtration must be able to filter out even the smallest particles in the water to provide better water clarity. Mechanical filtration does require cleaning as the components simply catch and trap the debris to allow easy removal. Your choice of filtration will determine how often the filters need to be cleaned.
Biological Pond Filtration:
This type of filtration has bio media that has a large surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow on. Beneficial bacteria convert ammonia and other harmful toxins into nitrates. The more surface area for bacteria generally the better a biological filter will work, but you must remember to provide the correct flow rate of water and oxygen into the filter for the best results. Also, a biological pond filter must run constantly, or the beneficial bacteria will die and you will have to restart the process all over again.
Chemical Pond Filtration:
This is the least recommended method of filtration simply because you are not addressing the problem and just treating the cause of an improperly designed pond. You can use chemicals such as Zeolite and Activated Carbon to help remove organic wastes, odors, and excess nutrients, but it must be used regularly.
It is much easier to install these pond filters before construction begins, then trying to retrofit new filters. Each pond has different needs for filtration and all the factors must be taking into consideration. Some questions to ask yourself;
- Will the pond have fish? If yes how many?
- Is the pond located near deciduous trees where leaves will be a problem?
- Will the pond have plants to help filter the water?
- How deep will the pond be?
- How much sunlight will the pond get?
These questions will help get you started on selecting the right type of pond filtration for your project. Now that you know the basic types of pond filtration in the upcoming articles we will cover the filters available for mechanical and biological pond filtration.