Choosing a garden pond vacuum | Living the Country Life
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Choosing a garden pond vacuum

Using a vacuum meant to clean water features can save you time and make the chore less nasty
Photo courtesy of Drs. Foster & Smith

A clean garden pond is a healthy garden pond. Even if the water looks pristine, there are areas the pond filter can’t get to because filters aren’t very good at removing settled debris. The muck that collects on the bottom and between the rocks can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and toxic gas buildup. Using a vacuum specifically meant for water gardens can remove the gunk.

Kelvin Fujikawa is an aquatics education specialist with Drs. Foster & Smith. He says there are two basic types of pond vacuums – motorized, and siphon-based that operate with water pressure from your garden hose.

"The motorized versions are the ones that look like your classic home vacuum cleaners, or perhaps even a shop vac. And those models are usually, as a general guideline, used for slightly larger ponds, maybe 1,000 gallons or larger," says Fujikawa. "The siphon-based, the water pressure-based vacuums are usually recommended for a smaller pond, generally 1,000 gallons for less."

Most siphon vacuums are limited in the number of accessories they can handle, except for a brush head and debris bag. The motorized vacuums have many more options for getting into and cleaning places that would be difficult by hand.

"They’re looking for perhaps like an algae removing nozzle, or a gravel head," says Fujikawa. "Just like conventional vacuum cleaners have different attachments, these motorized pond vacuums will have assorted attachment heads as well to tackle specific regions of your pond."  

Fujikawa says you can buy an excellent siphon vacuum for under $100. The motorized vacuums generally cost anywhere from $200-$500.

Learn more:

Comparisons of pond vacuums

Best types of vacuums for your size of garden pond

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