At this point, you are down to the nitty gritty details. We have already discussed where to put the pond, how to dig and plan the basin, and how to build the waterfall. Today, I want to talk about the filtration and pump system. I first want to qualify today’s topic with saying that there are many different ways that filtration can be accomplished, but the one I talk about today is my favorite. To me is the cleanest, simplest way to maintain clean and clear water. And since I am the one writing this blog, I can tell the way that I like…right?
Ok, how many of you have ever paid attention to the holes in the side of a swimming pool where the water swishes in and out? They call that a skimmer. Anything that is floating on top of the water swishes into that hole and does not come out, i.e. leaves, bugs, tree parts, etc. That is an easy way to have continuous filtration without working for it, it does it for you. Well the same goes with this pond. They make skimmer boxes that can be installed on the opposite end of the pond from the waterfall that act the same way. They are designed to catch floating debris before it can settle to the bottom of the pond, which the only way to get it off the bottom is with a net. Skimmer boxes are to be installed on the opposite side of the waterfall so you can create a flow from the waterfall all the way across the pond to the skimmer.
The skimmer box is designed brilliantly. It has a multi-stack filtration system inside it that catches all types of debris before it reaches the pump. It first have a net for the big stuff, and then it can have several types of filter media to catch all the little stuff. Behind the filtration is the main waterfall pump. This pump stays perfectly clean of debris and is able to pump clean water up to the waterfall box that has already been put into place at the top of the waterfall. Then in the waterfall box, as we previously discussed, has more filter media for any small stuff, and even has a bag full of lava rocks for algae control.
With this chain of events, the maintenance of your pond will be very little. You will want to check and/or clean the skimmer box at least weekly, and sooner during dirty times of the year (fall). The waterfall box needs to be cleaned once per month. The cleaning of these items is very simple. Turn off the pump and remove the filter media, spray it off with a water hose and put it back in. That is all it takes. After the pond is fully built, we will talk about some simple chemicals you can use on a weekly basis to never have algae or dirty water problems.