How to Build a Pond Filter System

A beautiful water garden often means having a natural pond filled with lovely aquatic plants and possibly even fish and other water loving animals. These ponds can contribute a healthy supply of aerated water to the ecosystem. Pond filtration is a critical element to keeping the system working perfectly.

Calculate the exact size of the installed pond. These measurements will determine the size and degree of filtration needed. Use a flexible measuring device, such as a rope or hose, to lie down across the pond to measure its area.

Build in any natural water flow areas or devices, such as waterfalls and streams. These devices will assist the filter to move the mater through the ecosystem more efficiently and naturally.

Consider mechanical filtration that collects debris and contaminants in a filter. Biological filters use bacteria to breakdown any contaminants, and some filters utilize unltraviolet light to consolidate algae and impurities.

Lay down gravel or foam layers that encourage good bacteria colonies to grow and handle the break down of fish waste and organic matter.

Determine the maximum flow rate of the filtration method used. Faster flow rates can actually harm the rate at which the healthy bacteria colonies grow.

Place the pond filter in the pond or outside of the pond area. The filter should always be above the maximum water level of the pond for best flow. Put a pipe in place to direct the wastewater from the pond to another area a good distance from the pond.


Contact the local building authorities to learn the specifics on building codes for the area and obtain any permits needed. Hire a professional electrician if you're installing a powered pond filter.


Never use an old swimming pool liner to line the pond. These contain chemicals and chlorine that will harm the pond's ecosystem and possibly the filter itself.

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