If you own a pond in your garden, it can be quite a nightmare to keep clean, particularly if there is a great deal of debris and sludge build-up in it. One of the most popular methods for cleaning ponds is by using a pond vacuum. These are ingenious appliances that can efficiently remove muck from the bottom of a pond with little to no fuss and without requiring netting.
Are you contemplating investing in one of these amazing garden pond accessories, but are completely new to the world of pond vacuums? If so, this post is ideal for you as we will not only highlight some good quality pond vacuums that are currently for sale, but we will also look at why they are so important and if you really do need one, situations where you might not need them, the different kinds of vacuums available and key things to look for when choosing the right one for you and your pond.
First4Spares Heavy Duty 1400 Watt 30 Liter Pond Vacuum Cleaner with Full Extension Cleaning Kit
For a moderate price, the First4Spares Heavy Duty 1400 Watt 30 Liter Pond Vacuum Cleaner may be an ideal choice to getting rid of all kinds of debris, waste and sludge from your pond. It is automatic and provides a high level of flexibility with 4 heads – a mini brush tool, 2 crevice tools along with the main brush head. The vacuum also features a fully extendable kit consisting of 4 tubes to give you up to 2 meters of reach.
There is a discharge bag made from fine mesh that needs to be attached to the appropriate pipe to prevent the waste making its way back into your pond. But, it appears to be very easy to setup and use.
Oase Pontec Pondomatic Pond Vacuum Cleaner
A slightly more expensive model than the one above, the Oase Pontec Pondomatic Pond Vacuum Cleaner is likely priced as such because of the manufacturer. Oase are a big name in pond accessories and are known and appreciated for designing and building products that are reliable and efficient.
The Pontec Pondomatic Pond Vacuum Cleaner features a choice of 3 different nozzles, a 2 meter hose for discharge and a 4 meter one for suction. It is another 1400 watt, so quite powerful and therefore suitable for small and large ponds. According to the manufacturers it is capable of removing debris as big as 10 mm.
Oase Pondovac Start Pond Vacuum
Another on our list from one of the leading manufacturers of pond accessories, the Oase Pondovac Start Pond Vacuum is at the higher end of the price range. With 1400 watts and a 27 liter holding capacity, it comes with a wide array of different heads to offer the greatest flexibility. In addition to these great value features, it also has an automatic activation and debris emptying and comes with a full 2 year warranty.
Waldbeck Lakeside Evolution Pond Mud Vacuum Cleaner
Waldbeck is another fairly popular brand and their Lakeside Evolution Pond Mud Vacuum Cleaner features a 1400 watt motor and comes with three different attachable heads and two working stages. With a 1.9 m smaller segment suction pip for larger smaller depths and 4 meter suction hose for larger depths. It also features a 30 liter holding capacity tank and a 2 meter drain hose that allows you to use it continuously.
Do You Really Need A Vacuum For Your Pond?
The only other way to remove sludge and debris from your pond, without a pond vacuum is by a bacteria-based remover or using a simple net by hand. However, these particular techniques are best employed in ponds that don’t have fish or smaller-sized ponds. This is because they often take a lot longer to become effective cleaning methods.
It’s also worth noting that a simple net will not be able to clean away the finer sediment that collects at the bottom of the pond, meaning that the water will just get dirtier because you will just be stirring the muck up. While a bacteria-based remove is unable to remove larger muck and debris, such as stones, gravel and twigs.
With ponds that have a heavy amount of debris, particularly busy with pond life, vacuums are the best option remove dirt from the bottom. Heavy duty, high quality pond vacuums are capable of removing large debris, along with the silt, so it often takes just one single session to complete the job. Another benefit is that although bacteria-based removers are generally only able to work properly in warm temperatures, vacuums can be used in winter and summer time.
Different Types Of Pond Vacuums
You will notice that there are two main types of pond vacuums available – power and manual hand pumped. Understanding a bit more about both of the types and how they differ from one another, you will be able to decide which is the best type for your pond setup.
Electric Powered Pond Vacuums
Electric powered vacuums use surface pumps and can suck up the larger, heavier debris compared to a manual hand pump. They are generally the best option out of the two, because they can clear most kinds of debris and dirt.
They are available in a wide range of handle lengths, water flow rates, pump ratings and come with an array of different attachments.
Manual Hand Pumped Pond Vacuums
Fairly self-explanatory, manual hand-pumped vacuums are operated by hand and pumped to remove muck from ponds. Generally speaking, these are easiest and best used as a cost-effective method if you only have a small pond. They either work by driving the water into a discharge hose or through a waste collection net. Some modern hand-pump models can also be connected to your water supply, so that you do not have to work as hard to use them.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Pond Vacuum
As high quality pond vacuums can be quite expensive, it is important to think carefully about which is right for you to purchase. The choice you make should be one that offers you good value for money, return on your investment, is reliable and will allow you to clean your pond effectively and efficiently for many years. The following are also other considerations to make when choosing the best on for your pond.
Flow Rate And Power Consumption
Most importantly, you need to choose the right vacuum for the size of pond you own. If your pond is especially big and there is a high volume of sludge generated a heavier duty model will be best. However, for a smaller pond with less sludge, you will not need nearly as powerful a vacuum.
It is worth opting for a slightly more powerful model than you really need, to allow you greater flexibility, particularly if you expand your pond at a later date or more debris collects up.
Normally, pond vacuums consist of a pump on the inside that cycles the water into the collection chamber and out again. The rating of that pump is measured in GPH or gallons per hour – in other words, the volume of water that can be cycled by the vacuum in an hour. Therefore, the higher the GPH a vacuum has, the faster the device will be at cycling your pond’s water.
Along with the flow rate, it is worth considering the energy efficiency and power consumption rating of a vacuum. As a high number of the pricier models have a 1000 watt or more power rating, they aren’t the cheapest thing to run over longer periods of time. Unfortunately, you can’t really avoid this as most high quality vacuums required for cleaning high volumes of water require a lot of electricity.
The best way, with that in mind, to choose the most economic and energy-efficient vacuum would be to choose one that meets all your cleaning needs, as this will mean you don’t need to spend longer than necessary cleaning or use it on more separate occasions than necessary.
Nozzle Sizes, Accessories and Attachments
It depends on how flexible you want your vacuum to be, but it may be worth looking at the different nozzle sizes and attachments they often come with. A normal vacuum with just one head might only be able to remove fine silt and may, therefore, not be appropriate for larger debris and leaves. While a vacuum that features a range of head attachments will allow you to remove a full range of debris of various sizes.
We feel it is best to give yourself as many options as possible. At a minimum you should look for one that comes with a narrow and small head for tighter corners and a wider brimmed head for larger areas. Heads with bristles on the end are also recommended as these can help to dislodge any debris caught in pond lining folds and cracks.
Maximum Depth of Suction Vs Length of Hose
Obviously it is essential that you ensure the vacuum you choose has enough cabling to enable you to plug it into a plug socket. However, it is equally important to ensure it has a hose that is long enough to allow you to clean the bottom of your garden pond.
Furthermore though, you need to give special consideration to not just the above, but the maximum depth of suction compared to the length of hose. In most cases, a vacuum will have a longer hose than the maximum depth of suction. So you could end up with a vacuum that has a hose 16 ft long, but only has a maximum depth of suction of 6 ft.
There is no point whatsoever investing in a longer hose that doesn’t have enough suction for the size of your pond. A long hose can be good if you only have a shallow pond that covers a greater surface area. For a deeper pond, it may be worth investing in a slightly shorter hose that offers a higher suction depth.
The depth of suction a vacuum is capable of is related to the vacuum’s pump and its head height or how well it drives water uphill.
Mobility And Weight Of Vacuum
Electrically powered vacuums, as you can probably guess, are often very heavy. This is particularly true when they are filled with muck, sludge and other debris from your pond. Vacuums built on wheels are recommended, regardless of the pond size, because they are safer and easier to use.
Method of Discharge and Debris Holding Capacity
Depending on how much debris is actually generated in your pond and how quickly you want to remove it, you need to look at the holding capacity. For quick remove and less repeated cleans, always choose a model that has a high capacity. Pond vacuums that have lower holding capacity for debris usually need to be discharged and cleaned regularly.
It depends on your budget, but more often than not, the more expensive higher quality vacuums will feature an automatic discharge and this is often coupled with an internal filter of some kind. This means the the discharge is sent to a drain or through the filter into the pond again, with less of the muck. In cheaper, lower quality models though, there is normally just a storage chamber that the sludge, muck and whatever else is collected in and that needs to be emptied by hand once it is full.