Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Pond filter systems are indispensable for water and pond maintenance in most ponds. They prevent the water from turning green, stabilise the ecological balance around the fish living in the pond and ensure a beautiful, clear pond.

With our pond filter system test 2022 we aim to help you find the right pond filter system. We have looked at different systems and compiled the most important factors for your purchase.


  • Pond filter systems filter toxic substances from the water, such as ammonium. The filtering of this substance is essential, especially in ponds with a fish population.
  • Every garden pond is different. Therefore, before buying a pond filter system, you should consider which aspects are important to you and how your pond is constructed.
  • Pond filter systems consist of a filter system, a pump and hoses for the water. Do-it-yourselfers can also build their own filter system from these components.

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Buying and evaluation criteria for pond filter systems

There are many pond filter systems currently on the market. In order to be able to decide on the best choice for your pond, you have to weigh up a few criteria. We have picked out the most important ones and present them to you below.

In summary, these are:


The size of the pond filter system depends above all on its functionality and the filter technology installed. Very small filters are hardly noticeable visually and can be concealed well next to the pond. Below we present the most common filter technologies. However, the standard space requirement for commercial pond filters is approximately 0.5 x 0.5 metres.

In most cases, the size factor plays a role in the appearance. A beautiful pond can quickly be ruined by an excessively conspicuous pond filter. To prevent this, filter systems with pressure filters, for example, have the option of burying the filter. With other filter systems, smaller models can be well concealed by plants.

Scope of delivery

The scope of delivery for pond filter systems should be carefully considered. A well-functioning pond filter system usually consists of at least the following components:

  • Filter system
  • Pond pump
  • Tubes for water

Complex pond filter systems can have further components and make them even more functional. Mud vacuums, for example, can remove coarse mud and dirt particles from the pond.

The power supply is a logistical challenge in the garden pond. In most cases, you have to take care of this yourself. Options for this are power supply via the socket or via a solar cell.

Pond volume

Especially ponds with fish stocking should have well-functioning filter systems.

In some cases, the specification for the optimal pond volume can already be found in the model number.

Although filter performance depends on many more factors than size alone, it is given by manufacturers as a guide to buying the right system.

When it comes to pond volume, manufacturers differentiate between ponds with and without fish, as the material turnover is different here.

For example, manufacturers give the figure 8000 for the corresponding number of litres. For ponds with fish, the corresponding volume should be about half of this, as more pollutants are produced here.

Filter mechanism

The filter mechanism is another important point when deciding for or against a pond filter system. Below we have presented the four most important and common types. Each filter mechanism has its own specifications and advantages. The choice depends mainly on the size of the pond and the pond inhabitants.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a pond filter system

Before buying a pond filter system, there are a number of things to consider. After all, it should fit your pond exactly and you should not have any problems with it. We will now introduce you to the most important aspects of buying a filter system for your pond and answer essential questions.

What is special about a pond filter system and what advantages does it offer?

Pond filter systems keep the water in ponds clean and stabilise the balance of the ecosystem it contains. Without a pond filter system, the pond can become polluted with natural waste such as leaves, algae and the like. A garden pond with a pond filter system has a significantly higher water quality.


It is particularly important for fish to remove accumulated toxins. This can be achieved with a pond filter system.
(Image source: peter67 /

If your pond is only inhabited by plants, a pond filter system is not absolutely necessary. If, for example, you want to have a very natural pond in your garden, similar to a biotope, you can do without a filter system. However, if you have a garden pond with fish, it is advisable to install a pond filter system.

What types of pond filter systems are there?

The filter technology is used to differentiate between pond filter systems. There are currently a large number of filter technologies on the market. In the following we present the four most common ones.

Pond filter systems with pressure filters

Pond filter systems with pressure filters are recommended for small ponds with few to no fish. They can clean the water mechanically and biologically, for example with UV-C lamps or filter sponges. Since the pressure filter can be easily buried with the connections on the cover, it offers the possibility of not visually influencing the garden idyll.

  • Easy cleaning
  • Can be buried
  • Good suitability for streams
  • Rather unsuitable for ponds with several fish
  • Good results only for small ponds

With pressure filters, the manufacturer's instructions on the recommended pond size should be followed closely. The best results are achieved if these are slightly above the actual size of your pond.

Pond filter systems with continuous flow filters

Continuous flow filters usually work without technology. As the name suggests, the water simply runs through the filter. This usually only works in conjunction with a pump that transports the water through the filter.

  • Easy cleaning
  • Technical failure impossible
  • All pond sizes
  • Filter visible in most cases

Continuous flow filters are the standard for cheaper models. They are an all-rounder among pond filters and are among the most popular.

Pond filter systems with bead filters

Bead filters are filled with a large number of transparent plastic beads in a closed pressure vessel. These are called beads and are mainly responsible for cleaning. Mechanical and biological filtration processes can occur on them.

  • Easy cleaning due to integrated rinsing system
  • Most popular choice for koi ponds
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  • Requires stronger pump than other filters

Bead filters already belong to the higher quality filter systems. Microorganisms settle on the plastic beads and can filter the pond water biologically.

Pond filter systems with drum filter and fleece filter

Fleece filters and drum filters are relatively similar and an example of how many variations of filter systems there are. They filter very finely through a stainless steel or plastic mesh in the case of the drum filter and through a fleece layer in the case of the fleece filter.

  • Fully automatic
  • no need for manual cleaning
  • Higher purchase cost
  • Usually only mechanical filtration

Filter systems with drum and fleece filters are among the more expensive ones. A close comparison with other filters is recommended.

For whom are pond filter systems suitable?

Pond filter systems are indispensable for pond owners. One advantage of pond filter systems is the visual component that comes with the clear water of the pond.


A pond with clear, transparent water can only be had in a garden in conjunction with a pond filter system.
(Image source: Free-Photos /

However, as already mentioned above, pond filters are also important for the ecosystem that exists in the pond. Without them, fish populations would be decimated, algae would spread too quickly and the oxygen content of the water would be unstable. A stable ecosystem, a beautiful appearance and a neutral smell. All this is guaranteed by a pond filter system.

What is the function of a pond filter system?

In most cases, pond filter systems are based on two cleaning mechanisms: mechanical and biological. For the above-mentioned results of a pond filter system, a combination of both mechanisms is ideal.

Type of cleaning cleaning mechanism
Mechanical cleaning Japanese mats, UV-C radiation, filters
Biological cleaning bacteria and microorganisms

Good pond filter systems combine mechanical and biological filter mechanisms. This ensures the cleanest results.

Mechanical cleaning can be done by UV radiation or filters, for example. Biological cleaning is done by bacteria and other microorganisms.

Good pond filter systems combine mechanical and biological filter mechanisms. This ensures the cleanest results.

These two components work together to produce clear pond water and a wildlife-friendly environment.

What does a pond filter system cost?

Pond filter systems are available at very different prices. On the one hand, this is due to the enormous variability in terms of the technology used in pond filters, but on the other hand it also depends on the manufacturer and the quality.

Type of filtration price range
Filter systems with pressure filter 100 - 350 €
Filter systems with continuous filter 75 - 250 €
Filter systems with bead filter 300 - 1600 €
Filter systems with drum filter / fleece filter 800 - 4000 €

Very inexpensive pond filter systems can be purchased for as little as about €100. However, the price can rise to over 3500 euros for fully automatic drum filters, for example.

How big are pond filter systems as a rule?

The size of a pond filter system varies greatly from garden to garden. It depends mainly on the size of the pond, the model and the type of filtration.

Modern pond filter systems can be quite small and easy to conceal. Custom-made systems are more eye-catching in the garden.

Simple filter systems are already available in dimensions of a few centimetres in length, width and height. Powerful or self-built filter systems, on the other hand, can be very large and massive.

Can you build pond filter systems yourself?

Pond filter systems can also be custom-built. It is a popular alternative to buying your own system for DIY enthusiasts. Simple pond filter systems can be made from a pump, a filter system and hoses. Instructions can be found on the Internet and on YouTube.

It can be a cheap and fun alternative to build the pond filter system yourself. As in the video above, in most cases a large rain barrel is used. Especially for small ponds, a more visually discreet option may be a more appropriate choice. Of course, this can also be the case for ponds of all sizes, depending on preference.


Pond filter systems should make the life of a pond owner easier. To ensure that this is the case, you should examine the above criteria carefully when buying. A good pond filter that is easy to use and achieves good results is worth a lot. Pond filter systems can be purchased in almost all price ranges. However, solid standard pond filter systems are available for as little as 100 euros.

Custom-made pond filter systems often take up a lot of space, but are even cheaper. Cleaning can be expected once or twice a season, which makes pond filter systems low-maintenance purchases. Drum filters and fleece filters do not even need to be cleaned at all. All in all, they are important tools for the pond and the fish living in it.

Image source: Capek/