DIY Pond Waterfall Filters

Updated February 21, 2017

Pond waterfall filters may be expensive, but that does not mean they are complex. Building a waterfall filter yourself can be done with some basic materials found at the local hardware store. Tackling this project with the do-it-yourself attitude can result in a waterfall filter that is just as effective as a store-bought one.

Pond Waterfall Materials

Purchase a plastic or Rubbermaid style rectangular tub or box with a lid. These make perfect containers for DIY pond waterfall filters. The size you get depends on the size and volume of your pond and how high you want the waterfall to be.

A hose is needed to get the water from the pond pump to the waterfall filter. A garden hose is ideal since it has threaded ends that can be screwed easily to both mechanisms. Choose a short one for the pond set-up. Other hoses or flexible tubes can be used. Opaque is best to prevent algae growth inside. Also purchase a short length of PVC pipe the hose will fit onto easily. Clean all materials thoroughly with plain water before using them.

DIY Filter Container Construction

The pond waterfall filter container must be large enough to both filter a sufficient amount of water and create the spillover effect you desire. Cut a flap in the top of the plastic box and fold it down to create the waterfall spill area. This will later be covered with rocks for a more natural look.

Cut a circle out of the side of the box 2 or 3 inches from the bottom. Be sure it is the same size as the PVC pipe. Cut the pipe a few inches long and insert it into the hole. Seal all edges on the inside and outside of the waterfall filter box with silicone sealant. The hose from the pond pump will connect to this port.

Filter Media for Clean Water

A DIY waterfall filter must provide both mechanical and biological filtration to keep the water clean and healthy. Create lots of surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonise int the filter box by adding small, rough-edged rocks first. Cover this with a thick layer of plastic Wiffle golf balls or purchased filter media such as bio-balls. The last layer in the waterfall filter provides mechanical filtration. Fabricated filter matting or synthetic quilt batting should fill a few inches of the filter box.

Naturalise the DIY Waterfall Filter

Once the waterfall filter is in place, make it look less like a plastic box and more like a real waterfall with the inclusion of rocks. Use the sealant or water-safe adhesive to attach a thin, flat rock to the plastic flap on the side of the container. Glue on smaller rocks to the sides of the flap as well. Use a pile of rocks or even soil to hide the sides of the positioned filter. Plant ground cover plants for a more natural look.

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