Undoubtedly, a fish pond beautifies your backyard or garden. But you have to keep it clean as well for it to stay beautiful. A pond vacuum is a perfect tool for this job.
A pond vacuum is an equipment that sucks out all the muck and sludge off the bottom of the pond, keeping the pond clean and healthy for the fish living there. Although some basic cleaning can be done by the pond owner themselves, they need a pond vacuum for cleaning the bottom of the pond.
But, there are other options for this job as well. So, read on to learn more about whether or not you really need a pond vacuum cleaner.
What are pond vacuums and how do they work?
Pond vacuums are devices used for cleaning the bottom of a pond. They work exactly like the vacuum cleaners that are used in our homes.
But one difference between them is that our household vacuums clean the dirt by sucking the air inside while the pond vacuum sucks in water instead of air in order to clean unwanted wastes at the bottom of your pond.
Some of them suck water through hose pipes while some of them use a pump similar to that of a pond pump, sucking in detritus along with it.
You don’t have to worry about draining your pond by using a pond vacuum. Because there are specialized containers made of muslin and other components which trap the muck inside of it, releasing the water. So you can easily maintain the quality of water.
While cleaning out the container, it is better to do it near the pond. This will allow you to return the water to the pond and water the plants near it. There is another reason to do it, to which we will come back later.
Why should you use a pond vacuum?
So, to answer the previously stated question, ‘do you really need a pond vacuum?’ – yes, you do. Because although there are alternatives, most of them are not worthwhile.
If you don’t have a pond vacuum, you have to clean all the muck and debris that accumulated under the pond water by yourself.
You have to use either your hands or a net for this task. Not only does it take way too much effort and time to do this, but your personal hygiene will also go out of the window.
And if you are not very fond of handling dirt, you certainly will not be able to clean your pond as sludge and muck are worse than dirt.
Types of the Pond Vacuums
The size and type of the vacuums you have to use depends upon the size of the pond you have. If you have small fish ponds or waterfalls, it is better to use the vacuums which are powered by a hose. It is because they are lightweight and extremely easy to use. They are also cheaper than the pump powered ones.
These have muslin bags as containers and can easily clean up to 2 or 3 feet deep ponds. Not only that, but you can also use them to clean the corners of larger ponds which are difficult to clean using larger pump powered vacuums. Make sure to clean the muslin bag thoroughly for it to be ready for the next time you are going to use it.
If you have larger and deeper ponds, you can choose from two types of vacuums. Some of them have the pump placed right behind the cleaning head while some models also contain blades in order to break the larger particles into smaller parts for them to be easily cleaned up.
Some other models also have two different types of cleaning heads, a larger one for normal use and a smaller one for cleaning the corners. These pump powered ones are more expensive compared to their hose powered counterparts. Some of them cost up to $200, though you have to consider the increased power and features.
Vacuums are also of different types according to their suction power. As some of them have bigger suction power, they will need more power in order to clean bigger ponds.
Also, there are single chamber vacuums and double chamber vacuums. You need to turn the single chamber vacuums off once they are full and discharge the waste.
But for double chambered ones, you don’t need to do that as they can perform suction and discharge at the same time. But they cost a bit more than the single chambered ones, so keep that in mind.
Pond Vacuum Alternatives
Although pond vacuums are necessary for your pond,not always everyone can afford to buy it. If you are faced with such a situation, no need to get frustrated as you have some other alternatives to pond vacuums.
To clean the surface of the pond, you can use a net. This will help you get rid of all the unwanted debris and other unwanted materials in one swoop. After you are done cleaning the surface, you can clean the bottom of the pond by scrubbing it by hand.
Although, it can be disruptive to the ecosystem of a deeper pond, as you need to drain the pond to scrub it. But if the pond is shallow, you don’t need to drain it at all.
What makes a pond dirty?
Debris is the most common nuisance when it comes to dirtying the pond water. These don’t come from only one place, rather a host of different sources. Leaves from aquatic plants fall to the bottom and rot there. Not only aquatic plants, but leaves also fall into the pond from other sources like big trees near the pond, due to being carried by the wind, etc.
Not every bit of the fish food that is given to the fish is eaten by them. These leftover bits of fish food sink to the bottom and decay, making up a large percentage of the sludge. Sometimes, although not ideal, dead fishes which somehow go unnoticed by the pond owner, drop down to the bottom and start decaying.
This sludge created by these decaying matters is extremely harmful to the pond environment. All these rotting organic materials produce toxins, which then mix with the water, making the water toxic in turn.
They also produce ammonia, which not only is a gas of acrid smell, but also is an extremely toxic gas that is detrimental to animal health. When fish disturb the sludge that is deposited at the bottom, the harmful hydrogen sulfide gas is produced and gets mixed with water due to this movement. They make the water toxic and smell absolutely horrendous.
What are the best pond vacuum brands?
I can suggest some brands of pond vacuums for you to choose from according to your need and pond size.
- OASE 032232 Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner: These big pond vacuums weigh up to 30 pounds and can clean up to 7 feet deep. It comes with a 16 feet long suction hose and 8 feet long discharge hose. If you are having issues with decomposing leaves,it is a great option to deal with that.
- Matala Power-Cyclone Pond Vacuum with Dual Pump System: This is a twin chambered one, which means you don’t have to turn it off while using it. But according to some users, it does not clean leaves well.
- Aura 6250 Paradise Power Spa Vacuum: Although this manual vacuum is designed to clean spas and pools, they are excellent for small ponds as well. They are great options for sucking up debris and leaves.
- The Pond Guy ClearVac: Coming with a 13 foot power cord, this is a unique vacuum. Not only is this a twin chambered vacuum but it also has 4 different hose attachments, which means you can use it in ponds with different depths.
Frequently Asked questions
1. Are the pond vacuums harmful for fish?
The pond vacuums are made in such a way that fish do not get caught in them. Although sometimes, no matter how rarely, small fish get caught up in the vacuum. But do not worry about their safety, even if they are caught, they are more likely to be pushed out through the discharge outlet.
2. How do you vacuum the bottom of a pond?
Every now and then, gently brush away any trash or algae to your bottom drain. If you lack a bottom drain, take the help of a pond vacuum to collect all the debris when it’s finished settling. Take care and avoid scrubbing too violently with liners since this may tear a hole in them!
3. How often should you vacuum your pond?
Ideally, you should not clean a pond more than once a year, and cleaning them every three to five years is even better. If you maintain the pond by using nets to prevent leaf accumulation and remove plant debris as it wanes throughout the year, you’ll need to clean less frequently.
A final verdict
Ponds are great additions to any property. They can be enjoyed by people of all ages and provide a calming atmosphere for the mind. The only downside is that they require maintenance, which includes vacuuming out algae or other debris from time to time. You may not need this expensive piece of equipment if you maintain your pond properly, but it could make life easier in the long run!
The only worthwhile alternative to a pond vacuum is a bottom drain. If you don’t have a bottom drain, having a pond vacuum for cleaning your pond is a must. If you’re looking to purchase one yourself, we recommend you make the decision after reading our in-depth review about some best pond vacuums.