Any pondkeeper will tell you that having a fish pond is a hobby that requires you to get your hands dirty from time to time. For many their fish pond is their the pride and joy as well as the focal point of their garden and keeping it in the best condition possible is a top priority.
This is usually done with a combination of regular maintenence and pond equipment with a good filtration system being the most important. However, even with a good pond setup debris is still going to make its way in to your pond and eventually sink to the bottom..
This is where the trusty pond vacuum cleaner comes in to its own. These handy devices make short work of pond maintenence clearing algae and debris to leave your pond in a far healthier state. If you keep fish then removing the debris is even more important than for those with a wildlife pond. Koi fish in particular are known to be very messy fish and produce a lot of waste this combined with decaying plant matter is a recipe for green and murky pond.
In this guide we will be sharing all the information you need to know for when choosing the best pond vacuum.
How To Choose A Pond Vacuum
The first thing to consider when choosing a vacuum is the actual size of your fish pond. This will then help you to decide which type of pond vac is the best option.
Manual V Electric
There are two different types of pond vacuum cleaners these are manual and electric. Manual pond vacuums are the more affordable of the two and are powered by a hand pump system. This type of pump is ideal for smaller ponds and is good for removing silt and debris. The disadvantage of manual models are of course that you have to provide the power with physical exertion.
The alternative option are the more preferable mains powered pond vacuums. These are motorised and powered by electric giving them more suction power and depth than a manual model. They are also capable of removing much larger debris and do a more thorough job overall. This all comes at a cost and as you may of guessed this type of pond vacuum cleaner is the more expensive of the two. If you have a medium to large pond then you will find these vacuums to be far more effective and time efficient than the manual variety.
Key Features To Consider When Choosing A Pond Vacuum
After deciding which is the right type of model for your ponds needs it is worth considering the main features.
- Maximum Suction Depth – This refers to how deep the vacuum can suck debris from the bottom of your pond. It is recommended that you choose a model with a maximum suction depth that is deeper than your pond to ensure it does a clean and thorough job. The average maximum suction depth on most models is around 2 metres.
- Tank Capacity – Depending on the model you choose this may or may not matter. However, some pond vacuums feature a double chambered system that creates continuous suction. This means you don’t have to keep emptying the sludge storage tank. This is due to the use of two cylinders with one emptying as the other fills. Then there are models that allow you to put the water you have removed back in to your pond. If you opt for one of the more affordable single chamber models they the tank capacity should be taken in to consideration. Generally speaking a good size tank is 25-30 litres.
- Suction Hose – The suction hose is the hose that you will be using to clean your pond and the longer it is the better. Most models will come with a suction hose that is 4m long and anything shorter than this will be a hassle. If possible it is a good idea to choose a pond vacuum with transparent hose as it allows you to see the debris been sucked up. With non-transparent hoses you can end up cleaning an area of your pond long after it is clean.
- Discharge Hose – The discharge hose is where the dirty pond water is disposed from and again the longer the better. When buying you will find that the discharge hose is usually 2m long.
- Accessories and Attachments- A good model will come with plenty of accessories and attachments. These are designed for those hard to reach areas and make the whole process of cleaning your pond a lot quicker.
- Price – A good pond vacuum will set you back about £100 for this price you will get a model that gives you a suction depth of 2 meters and the ability to suck up debris ranging from 2mm to 10mm. These are however only single chamber models which do take a bit longer to clean your garden or fish pond than a dual chamber system model. Dual chamber system models are more expensive and are best suited to cleaning larger ponds.
How To Use A Pond Vacuum
Best Pond Vacuum
Oase Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum
Oase are the German brand behind the very popular Pondovac range of pond vacuum cleaners. In total there are five different models in the range catering to ponds of different sizes and depth. Due to their patented technology Oase pond vacs have built a reputation of being the producers of the best pond vacuums on the market. The Pondovac 4 is one of their best sellers and it has everything you need to give your garden or fish pond thorough cleaning.
With a very powerful pump system and 1700W motor the Pondovac has excellent suction capable of giving a deep and very thorough cleaning. It features an extendable hose which allows you to reach various pond depths with ease. There is a maximum suction depth of 2.4m and it is capable of sucking up debris ranging from 2mm to 10mm in size.
The feature that separates the Pondovac range from those of other brands is the dual chamber system. This great time-saving device allows for continuous vacuuming of your pond and eliminates having to wait for the cylinder to empty. If you have a large pond it will allow you to complete the job of cleaning your pond in far less time.
When it comes to disposing of the dirty pond water there are two options with the Pondovac. You can either let the dirty water and sludge flow throgh the discharge pipe down the drain or attach the included debris collection bag to the discharge hose and put the hose in your pond. This second option will allow you to filter the water and reintroduce back in to the pond retaining the beneficial bacteria.
Another positive are the 5 nozzle attachments designed for specific areas of a pond. These include a string algae nozzle, wet suction nozzle, brush nozzle, area nozzle and a universal nozzle.
The Not So Good
The only negative thing to say about PondoVac models is the price, which is considerably higher than other brands. In this case we would have to say they are worth the additional cost due to the superior overall quality.
When it comes to cleaning large amounts of pond debris, sludge, leaves and anything else that makes its way in to your pond there really is only one option. The Pondovac range of pond vacuums are very practical machines with great power and they make pond cleaning much less of a chore.
PondHero Sludge Muncher Pond Vacuum
The Pondhero Sludge Muncher is a more affordable alternative to a Pondovac and it still retains many of the same specifications and features of more expensive models. With positive feedback from previous buyers it is one of the best budget models available.
With the same 1400 watts of power as the previous model the Pondhero offers very similar suction as a Pondovac. It doesn’t feel quite as powerful though, however the difference is minimal. There is a maximum suction depth of 2m, which should be suitable for all but the deepest of ponds.
The maximum tank capacity of 35 litres is an impressive amount and slightly more than other similar priced pond vacuums. This allows you to collect a large amount of pond debris before you have to empty it.
With every purchase there are 3 nozzle attachments these are the very useful crevice nozzle, wide nozzle and adjustable. The adjustable nozzle can suck debris up ranging from 2mm to 10mm in size.
The Not So Good
Unfortunately there aren’t any wheels on the Pondhero making it less portable than other models.
Offering a good mix of affordability and quality the Pondhero is a good choice for those on a budget. It has many of the features of more expensive models at a fraction of the price. The price difference is due to there being more plastic components in a Pondhero. There is a warranty of 12 months which isn’t the best but then customer reviews are very positive and quality doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Oase Pontec Pondomatic Pond Vacuum Cleaner
The Oase Pondomatic is one of the best selling pond vacs in the UK. This is probably due to it being one of the more affordabe Oase models which are usually quite expensive and highly sought after due to their superior quality. If you are looking to buy a top quality model at a reasonable price it is worth considering.
In terms of specifications the Pondomatic comes with a 1400 watt motor which is the standard for pond vacuums. The difference between this motor and a cheap pond vacuums is the overall quality. Oase motors are made from the best components and to a very high standard.
Capable of sucking up debris ranging from 2 to 10 mm in size and up to 2 metres deep isagain the standard with most pond vacuum cleaners. However, this model features a innovative slugde draining system within the 30 litre storage tank. This draws sludge through the suction hose in to a separate container that empties itself when
The Not So Good
The only issue we have with the Pondomatic is with the discharge hose. There are no problems with the hose itself just the length which is quite short at 2 metres long.
For smaller ponds the Pondomatic is a good alternative to the more expensive Pondovac. With powerful suction and a 2 m suction depth it should be capable of handling most pond cleaning tasks. The biggest difference between the two models is that this one utilises a single-chamber as opposed to the double-chamber of the Pondovac. This means that you have to switch this machine off between suction and discharge which means it takes longer to clean your pond.
Despite that the Oase Pontec Pondomatic is a great choice for smaller ponds and it has some very good features.
PondMaster Pond Vacuum
The Pondmaster Pond Vacuum is another popular model from a brand with a reputation of producing pond equipment with a good mix of affordability and quality. This model is very similar to the Pondhero with them both being priced very similar and more or less having the same features and specifications.
As with most pond vacuums the Pondmaster comes with a 1400 watt motor that is capable of sucking debris and algae up to a maximum depth of 2 m. There are three different hose attachments to meet all of your cleaning needs with the adjustable nozzle ranging from 2mm to 10mm.
It also comes equipped with a very generous tank capacity of 35 litres. The suction hose is a good length at 4 meters long and the discharge hose is 2m. Personally, I think the discharge hose could be longer but then 2m does seem to be the standard with most models.
One thing that separates the Pondmaster from the very similar Pondhero is that this model features four wheels for portability.
The Not So Good
Due to this being a single cylinder pond vacuum it will take you longer to clean your pond than with a more expensive double chamber model like the Pondovac.
With positive customer feedback and ticking all the right boxes in terms of features and specifications the Pondmaster makes a good choice for small to medium sized ponds. Price wise it falls in the range of what a good single cylinder pond vacuum costs being the same as many other models.
Swell UK Compact Pond Sludge Vac
The Not So Good