Updated/Fact-Chacked on April 25, 2023 by Gareth James
If you plan on creating a small pond this year in your garden, you will need a pond filter to keep things clean, especially if you are considering adding fish.
If you are a regular reader, you know we created a container pond in an old whisky barrel. This has been amazing for watching wildlife and inspired us to make a small dedicated pond in our garden (post coming soon). As we will be adding small fish to the pond, I’ve been researching pond filters.
Since there are various excellent products on the market, I decided to review some of the best pond filters for small ponds. These have been reviewed in my friend’s pond.
At a Glance
- POND BOSS Filter – Best Overall
- Pondmaster PMK190 – Best For Small Ponds
- TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit – Most Versatile
The 3 Best Pond Filters For Small Ponds
In this section, I’ll go over the top choices for small pond filters, considering their pros, cons, and why you may choose one over the other.
1. POND BOSS Filter – Best Overall
At a decent price point, you’ll get more than you pay for. What I mean is when you buy POND BOSS Filter, you’ll also be purchasing a nozzle, a filter, and a pump. Which, let me tell you, is way cheaper than if you buy each of them separately.
POND BOSS Filter is suitable for 1893-litre ponds and is very easy to set up. Further, you will enjoy a good night’s sleep, thanks to its quietness. And if you’re worried about the electricity bill, no need to because it is also very energy-efficient.
You can enjoy a little freedom with this pond filter because its diverter valve allows you to adjust the fountain’s height. And to do this, you simply have to install the diverter valve between the tubes in the middle of the pump and the fountainhead.
Another option that makes this product amazing and versatile is that it comes with two filters: coarse and fine. This lets you choose the one that works best with your pond.
Its only drawback is its lightweight (1.7 kilograms) that prevents it from settling at the bottom of your bond. You’ll probably have to put any weight over it to keep it from floating.
- A three-in-one product
- Energy efficient
- Very lightweight
POND BOSS Filter is the best filter to buy if you have an 1893-litre pond. Also, the included nozzle, pump, and filter make it an excellent pick.
2. Pondmaster PMK190 – Best For Small Ponds
If you want a great pond filter for your 757-litre pond, Pondmaster PMK190 is here for you. This product comes with a filter, a water bell fountainhead, and a pump. This means that you’ll have all the items required for setup.
Similar to the POND BOSS Filter, it’s energy-efficient, so your electricity bill won’t break the bank. Note that when you first use the filter, it might be a bit noisy. But once you lower it in the pond, it becomes quiet.
Another attractive feature about it is its 3-meter power cord, enabling you to place the pond wherever you need. This means that you can change the pond’s place, depending on the seasons, without having to disturb your pets.
This pond filter is exceptionally lightweight, coming at 1.3 kilograms. This means that you’ll have to place any weight on top of it to prevent it from floating on the surface of the pond.
- 15-year warranty for the liner
- Two-year warranty for the rest of the parts
- Easy setup
- Amazing for small ponds
- 3-meter cord allows it to be moved freely
- Might float
If you need a pond filter that is as amazing as our best overall pick, but you have a small pond, Pondmaster PMK190 is the one to go for.
3. TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit – Most Versatile
What I love most about TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit is its versatility. When you buy the kit, you’ll also purchase a water pump, a filter, and a fountain, which comes in three different display options: bell, spray, and froth. This way, you will surely enjoy personalizing your pond.
The kit also includes a swivel adjuster and a diverter so you can use them to adjust and decide the suitable water flow for your pond.
You’ll be pleased to know that assembling this pond filter is a piece of cake, and if you don’t like how it looks or don’t want it to be very obvious in your pond, you can easily hide it between the rocks.
Another reason it’s pretty versatile is that it comes in three sizes, allowing various people to buy it. To illustrate, it suits ponds between 284 to 946 litres, under 379 litres, and between 946 to 1893 litres.
- Comes in different sizes
- The fountain includes three display options
- Three-year warranty
- Weak fountain heads
- Durability could be improved
If you’re okay with paying a considerable sum of money and need a versatile pond filter that also comes with a fountain among other options, go for TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit.
The AllPondSolutions CUP-305 pond filter system offers a hassle-free installation with minimal preparation. This single-unit device features a 10-meter power cable, a built-in filter medium, and a 2000 L/h flow rate. Ideal for small to medium ponds, it includes a splitter for water circulation between a waterfall feature and the pond, with adjustable flow rates.
The system comes with three fountain heads, transforming it into a water feature. Its multiple filters include a coarse foam filter, two baskets with ceramic biological media, and one with K1 media, effectively clearing the water. A built-in 11-watt UVC lamp kills algae during filtration.
This versatile pump is perfect for those who appreciate aesthetically pleasing ponds, as it combines a waterfall pump and an attractive fountain while improving water clarity.
- Great for ponds with small fish
- Great value
- Have to keep buying filters
How do Small Pond Filters Work
Small pond filters play a crucial role in maintaining the health and clarity of water in backyard ponds and water features. They use mechanical and biological filtration methods to remove debris, excess nutrients, and harmful substances from the water.
Mechanical filtration involves using filter media, such as foam or sponge, to trap particulate matter as water flows through the filter physically. This prevents the buildup of organic matter that can lead to murky water and poor water quality. On the other hand, biological filtration relies on beneficial bacteria that colonize the filter media.
These bacteria break down harmful substances like ammonia and nitrite, which are toxic to fish and other aquatic life, into less harmful compounds such as nitrate. The combined action of mechanical and biological filtration ensures that the pond water remains clear, clean, and hospitable for the diverse range of aquatic life within it.
Why a Pond Filter is Important
A simple answer to this question would be yes. If you have a pond, you definitely need a pond filter. And now, let’s see why.
Ponds are like an aquarium; they need regular maintenance using a high-quality filtration system. Otherwise, the fish will become unhealthy or worse, die!
Pond filters provide the needed oxygen for the fish in your pond. This helps clear the water from algae, bacteria, and other toxic particles that may harm your fish, keeping it clean and healthy.
Pond Filter FAQS
Do you need a filter for a small pond?
Filters are recommended for small ponds to maintain water clarity and a healthy ecosystem, although not strictly necessary.
Do you need a filter for a small pond?
Fish can be kept in a pond without a filter, but it requires more effort to monitor water parameters and maintaining water quality.
Can you keep fish in a pond without a filter?
To keep pond water clean without a filter, perform water changes, add live plants, use a skimmer, introduce beneficial bacteria, avoid overfeeding, and consider a UV sterilizer.
How do I keep my pond water clean without a filter?
A small pond needs a liner or preformed shell, a pump, a filter, live plants, aquatic life (if desired), accessories, and a protective net or cover.
How do I keep my small pond from turning green?
Prevent your small pond from turning green by using a filter, adding plants, limiting sunlight, avoiding overfeeding, cleaning regularly, introducing beneficial bacteria, and using a UV sterilizer.
Mary shares a passion for gardening with her husband John, though she is more focused on growing veg on their allotment at St. Margaret’s Allotments, Durham. Mary also works in the lawn care industry and manages the lawns for the Durham University campus.