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What Are the Best Tips for Making a DIY Pond Filter?

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  • Written By: M. Kayo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2014
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The best tips for making a do-it-yourself (DIY) pond filter are careful planning, choosing a simple design and determining which type of filter is best for a particular pond. Obtain or create a set of plans for the desired filtration system, and make a complete list of all materials and parts needed before building the filter. Do some research and find out which types of homemade pond filter systems will provide the best results for specific pond sizes and types of pond water. Everything needed for a complete DIY pond filter may be found at local home improvement stores. Carefully consider and plan for requirements like watertight electrical connections and total pump filtration capacity.

Before starting to build a DIY pond filter, consider the size of the pond and the type of pond water to be filtered. For example, a large pond that contains fish will require a different type of filtration than a small pond that supports only plants and that is used as a water garden. The best DIY pond filter systems will help to maintain well-balanced water by using the right design, proper filtering material, and beneficial bacteria for a specific pond environment. Another good tip is to consider how much time is needed for pump cleaning and maintenance. Some DIY pond filter systems may require very little attention while others can require much more time and effort to maintain.

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Building a DIY pond filter is not difficult. The materials needed to make a pond filter may be easily acquired at just about any neighborhood home improvement center or hardware store. A small, basic pond filter can be constructed using a 5-gallon (19-liter) plastic bucket. The bucket should be filled with clean one-inch pebbles, gravel, golf balls, lava rock, or other filter media to a depth of about 6 inches (15 cm). As water is pumped through the top of the homemade pond filter, helpful bacteria will collect on the surface of the filter media and clean the pond water, expelling cleaner water from holes in the bottom of the bucket.

Use extreme caution when installing the electrical wiring that runs between the location of the pump and the power source. Take care to ensure that this connection is not exposed to any water, especially if running wires underwater. Other tips for making a DIY pond filter include making sure the pump has enough power to circulate half of the water in the pond every hour. The homemade pond filter should be large enough to hold at least five percent of the total amount of water in a pond. For example, a 5-gallon (19-liter) plastic bucket should be large enough for a pond that holds around 100 gallons (379 liters) of water.

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