If you are maintaining a thriving ecosystem for your fish and plants, you are going to need to run a vacuum through it from time to time.
If you neglect your pond, waste byproducts, dying leaves, insects, and even bacteria could begin to overtake the aquascape you have worked so hard to build. This creates an environment where your fish and plants suffer.
Avoiding it is easy enough to do, too.In this guide, we’re going to help you find the best pond vacuum cleaners in 2019, understand why you need one, what you should look for when thinking about buying one, and how to use them to care for your pond properly.
What Are The 6 Best Pond Vacuum Cleaners?
When it comes to looking for the best pond vacuum cleaners, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of options you have available. And, with the high price tag that some manufacturers are asking for their vacuums, you could end up spending more than you need to.
To help you save time and money, we have broken down 6 of the most popular pond vacuums and listed them, along with the pros and cons of each. Look through the list and decide which one works best with your pond.
1. OASE Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner - Real Time Saver
In our research, we have found that the best pond vacuum cleaner is the OASE Pond Vacuum. The Original Pondovac features a dual-chamber design that helps minimize the maintenance you need to do on it.
The OASE Pondovac 4 is a professional-level vacuum that delivers commercial-grade results without the commercial pond vacuum price tag. This means you’ll spend less time cleaning your pond and more time enjoying your aquascape.
The Pondovac 4 is easy to clean and disassemble. The vacuum comes with multiple different accessories to help make your life easier. With an 1800-watt motor, even the toughest dirt and grime gets removed. You can also use this vacuum to clean your swimming pond.
- Dramatically reduces the time it takes to clean your fish pond.
- Dual holding tanks means less time spent emptying the waste.
- The vacuum is easy to assemble; the instructions are clear.
- The vacuum will clean itself once you are done.
- Some customers have reported that the hoses may clog.
- The suction, compared to others, could be improved.
- The built-in timer will power the vacuum off after a few minutes of use.
2. OASE Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner - Fantastic
If you’re looking for the best pond vacuum for leaves, the OASE Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner quickly takes our #2 spot. This vacuum is smaller than the Pondovac 4 and features a 1200-watt motor that won’t die on you while you’re in the middle of maintenance.
Each Pondovac Classic comes with multiple accessories to help you make quick work of cleaning your pond. Like the Pondovac 4, you can also use this vacuum inside of your home or outside in your swimming pool or pond.
If you do not need the same power levels provided by the Pondovac 4 and want to save a few bucks, the OASE Pondovac Classic could be precisely what you need. It’s a fantastic koi pond vacuum for the price you’re paying.
- The Pondovac Classic helps take care of algae, dirt, grime, and leaves.
- You can pull dirt and debris from ponds as deep as 4 feet.
- The waste collection bag does not move around like they do with other models.
- Some customers have complained the hoses are small.
- The collection bag could be bigger; a small vacuum uses a small bag.
3. ODYSSEY Muck-Vac Pond Vacuum - Very Pleased
If you have a large fish pond that you cannot remove your fish from every time you want to maintain the water, the ODYSSEY Muck-Vac Pond Vacuum could be precisely what you are looking for.
The Muck-Vac is designed to prevent turbidity and cyclones in the water, so you know that your fish and plants are safe. This is one of the more compact and affordable pond vacuums we have featured, making it an excellent choice for smaller ponds.
- The Muck-Vac provides excellent suction power for its lightweight design.
- Each Muck-Vac includes simple-to-read instructions to get started quickly.
- The design of the Muck-Vac makes it portable and easy to use.
- You may pull small rocks and debris through the vacuum.
- Some customers have reported clogging due to the hose diameter.
- Sometimes, the telescoping pole will slip positions.
4. OASE Pondovac 3 Black Pond Vacuum - Simple And Fast
The OASE Pondovac 3, while an older design than others we’ve featured, is still a fantastic pond vacuum for most people. The Pondovac 3 has a dual-chamber design, like other OASE vacuums on this list, which means you can operate continuously without interruption.
The dual-chamber design helps cut your maintenance time in half by expelling debris from one chamber while the second chamber continues to provide suction power. You can empty the vacuum once you are done maintaining your pond.
Each Pondovac 3 comes with the accessories you need to reach the deeper parts in your pond and scrub off tough grime, algae, and dirt. Replacement parts are easy to find, should you have an issue with your Pondovac 3.
- The price is incredibly attractive and economical for first-time pond owners.
- The transparent chamber design makes it easy to see when it is full.
- The construction is durable and built to last.
- The lower-power motor is not as good at removing tough grime as others.
- The lower-power motor means you may spend extra time cleaning.
5. Matala Pond Vacuum II Muck Vac - Fast And Easy
The Matala Pond Vacuum II Muck Vac is another great pond vacuum that works for ponds up to 3,000 gallons in size. This has received the nickname “The Muck Buster” from quite a few customers who have used it.
If you have problem algae, dirt, grime, debris, or leaves, the Matala Pond Vacuum II is at your service. It features an auto drain and fill to help make your maintenance easier. Dirty water gets automatically removed and expelled through your outlet hose.
The automatic cycling operates under suction for up to 40 seconds and then spends 20 seconds cycling the expelled waste. Each Pond Vacuum II comes with multiple accessories to help break down tough dirt and grime and reach those deeper parts in your pond.
- Each Pond Vacuum II comes with multiple attachment heads and several extensions.
- The Pond Vacuum II provides great suction for the price tag.
- Matala is well-known for manufacturing durable, high-quality products.
- The vacuum will shut off after 20 seconds of draining, even if it's not done.
- This vacuum will not pull rocks from the bottom of your pond.
- The outlet hose must be appropriately positioned to expel all of the waste.
6. Matala Power-Cyclone Dual Pump Pond Vacuum - Awesome And Impressive
Another excellent choice from Matala is the Power-Cyclone Dual Pump Pond Vacuum. This unit was built to work hard and keep going, even under the harshest conditions. If you’re looking for a commercial-grade pond vacuum, this is one that easily fits the bill.
The Power-Cyclone Dual Pump Pond Vacuum features twin motors and dual chambers to help get your work done quicker. The vacuum provides impressive suction power and can quickly expel your waste up to 30 feet away, with the included hoses.
For large ponds and ponds that are continually getting mucked up, this is one of the best vacuums you are going to find. However, the added functionality and power come with a higher price tag than many others we’ve seen and featured.
- The Power-Cyclone features reliable twin motors and dual chambers.
- This vacuum can easily remove rocks and stubborn debris from your pond.
- The transparent design makes it easy to see what you’re doing.
- You will need to cycle the vacuum off to let it cool from time to time.
- The included plastic tubing is prone to bending and kinking.
- This is one of the more expensive vacuums we have featured.
Why You Need A Pond Vacuum Cleaner
If you have built a pond that requires regular maintenance (99% of ponds do), you need a vacuum. Outdoor ponds can get all kinds of muck, grime, and debris in them. Not to mention the waste and byproducts from your fish consuming food.
Unless you’re planning on keeping an “all-natural” pond that maintains itself, you’re going to need a vacuum. Sure, you can get down and dirty on your hands and knees to keep the pond clean, but we use tools to save time and money.
Even though you may not have necessarily thought about needing to vacuum your pond before you started building it, you probably realized shortly after. The amount of stuff that gets in your pond doesn’t just create a harmful environment for your fish and plants.It also creates situations where your pump can get clogged. A clogged pump is a pump that isn’t working. If it stays clogged long enough, you could burn up the motor. Then, you’re going to be replacing another expensive piece of equipment. That’s a situation that could have been avoided.
How To Choose The Best Pond Vacuum For You
If you are nervous about making your purchase or want to ensure that you’re making the right purchase, there are a handful of factors you’ll need to consider.
While weighing out different options for the “best” recommendation we could make, we considered each of the factors below.
Hose Length & Cord Length
Extras & Accessories
Size & Weight
Even though you may not think about it before buying, the length of the cord and hose that comes with your new vacuum is a critical piece of information. This is especially true if you have a deeper pond or a pond that covers a larger area.
If your pond is deeper in certain areas, for instance, you will need your vacuum to reach those areas without you standing next to the motor. This means you’re going to need a longer suction hose and a vacuum strong enough to provide the suction necessary to reach those deep areas.
Some vacuums will include extra lengths of the hose so you can reach those deeper areas. You can customize the total distance based on your specific needs.
Other times, your pond may be smaller but located on a separate part of your property than your power outlet. That means you’re going to need an extended cord to reach. Using an extra extension cord lets you move the vacuum closer to your pond.
However, the added convenience of having an extra hose and extension cords will mean that you have more equipment to store when you’re not using the vacuum. Managing longer sections of hose and extension cords while you’re using the vacuum can be frustrating, too.
Before buying, measure from your power source to your pond, and then into the deepest portion of your pond. This will help you determine the length of the hose and cord you’re going to need.
Single-chamber vacuum systems generate less power than dual-chamber systems do. Even while providing less suction, overall, most pond owners will be more than happy with a single-chamber vacuum.
The significant difference between single and dual-chamber vacuums is the chamber inside of the vacuum, itself. In a single-chamber vacuum, the one chamber manages both sucking and discharging. It takes care of both in a single system.
In a dual-chamber vacuum, though, your vacuum will have multiple chambers. One chamber functions to create suction while the second chamber is used to discharge. This dual-chamber system is good for expelling waste much more quickly than single-chambers.
On rare occasions, you may find a third type of vacuum. The third type is a suction system that operates under a continuous vacuum, rather than discharging. Continuous vacuum systems use dual motors that work to both create suction, and to discharge. This is comparable to a dual-chamber vacuum, but continuous vacuums utilize dual motors, instead.If you need to discharge while you are also vacuuming consistently, a continuous system is the easiest to use. If you need to discharge waste in a separate part of your property, for instance, a single-chamber or double-chamber vacuum may be a better option.
Pond vacuums will either be manual discharge or automatic discharge. If you have a manual discharge vacuum, you will need to disconnect your hoses and reattach them to the outlet to discharge the waste you have collected.
This type of setup does give you control over when (and where) your vacuum begins discharging, but it also requires more work and time on your part. If you aren’t removing the waste often enough, the vacuum can become clogged, which means even more work.
Automatic discharge vacuum systems work, as the name implies, on an automated basis. They continuously eject the waste that you’re collected based on where the outlet of the vacuum is located. Many times, you will attach a hose to the outlet and control where the waste is expelled.
Automatic discharging vacuums help ensure that the vacuum, itself, doesn’t end up getting clogged but they also require more attention to detail. You’ll be paying attention to what you’re sucking into the vacuum while also watching where what you’re sucking up is getting expelled.
Power is another critical factor to consider before purchasing a pond vacuum. More power is usually better but comes at a higher price tag. Higher power output has a few benefits, though.
First, with more power, you can clean your pond more quickly. You can also get a deeper clean than you would with a lower power motor. But, more power isn’t always necessary.
Most pond owners will figure out that a 1,000-watt to 1,200-watt motor will be more than enough for their pond. For small and medium ponds that’s usually all the power you need. If your pond is larger, though, or you’re running extended hoses, you may need more power.
For larger, especially commercial ponds, you might need to think about purchasing a pond vacuum that has a dual-motor setup. This will deliver all the power you need while helping prevent you from overheating or overworking a personal vacuum.
Depending on what all you need your pond vacuum to do, there may be extras and accessories you’ll either get with the vacuum or want to think about purchasing after the fact.
Some of the more common accessories help you scrub the bottom of your pond, provide filters for larger waste, or give you nozzles that make getting into hard-to-reach areas more comfortable to do.
You can also add on collection bags, more filters, extra hoses, extension cords, your options are indeed based on what you need from the vacuum. Most times, you may not realize you need an accessory until you see one and realize how much easier it would make your life.
Buying a vacuum that includes these extras and accessories is usually worth the money. When we say it makes cleaning your pond easier, we mean it. You’ll get creative with how you use them and save yourself a ton of time while maintaining your aquascape.
The size and weight of your vacuum make a huge difference when it comes time to maintain your pond. If you want portability, you will want to choose a vacuum that is smaller and lighter in weight.
However, if you have a larger pond, you can get away with a more substantial vacuum that provides more power while using more hoses and extension cords. In general, smaller vacuums are going to cost less money to purchase and operate than larger vacuums.
If size and weight is an issue for you, a small vacuum under 20 pounds is your best bet. Paying attention to the weight of the machine can help you determine if the vacuum is going to be too large for you to handle on your own once it arrives.
You’ll also want to think about how to store a larger vacuum. If you are limited on space, purchasing a smaller vacuum may be your only option.
When you’re purchasing any equipment for your pond, you want to make sure that you are receiving a warranty through the manufacturer. You never know when the machine could malfunction and the last thing you want to do is hand over more money for a new one.
Most manufacturers will offer a two-year warranty for their vacuums. This usually covers manufacturer defects and will not cover damage that you’ve caused. That means you’re going to need to take care of the equipment if you expect the manufacturer to honor their warranty.
You do not want to purchase a vacuum that does not come with a warranty through the manufacturer. You may also want to verify that the company you are buying the vacuum through has a return policy in case you realize you purchased the wrong vacuum.
Finally, as with any other purchase you make, price is a critical factor in helping you decide whether the vacuum you’re considering is right for you. While more expensive vacuums may have more features, accessories, and high-end materials, they may not always be necessary.
Unless you operate a commercial pond cleaning business, you may not need a high-end model.
Instead, you can purchase a vacuum at the lower end of the spectrum and save yourself a ton of money in the process. There’s a wide range of prices to choose from, and the price isn’t always an indicator of value.
As you’re looking through our recommendations, you’re going to find a balance between value and price. This should help you determine how much you can spend on a high-quality vacuum for your pond.
How To Use Your New Pond Vacuum
Once you have your vacuum at home, it’s time to get started using it. Below are some quick-start steps you can follow to get started as soon as the vacuum arrives at your door.
Plan Your Maintenance ScheduleStart by attaching your new regulator to your CO2 canister. Regulators are designed to work with most CO2 cartridges being sold today. This means you usually do not need to worry about purchasing a separate adapter. If you do, chances are high you may need a paintball canister adapter if you are using smaller store-bought CO2 cartridges.
Read The Instructions
Utilize Your Extras
Keeping your aquascape should be something that’s relaxing for you to do. Maintaining it shouldn’t be any different. Planning and developing a specific maintenance schedule that you’ll stick to will give you something to look forward to.
And, remember, a maintained pond is easier to maintain overall. As simple as that sounds, the more often you’re cleaning your pond, the less overall cleaning you have to do.
Before you use your pond vacuum the first time, we recommend spending time going through the instruction manual. The most significant rule we can give you is to keep your vacuum’s motor away from your pond. The worst thing you can deal with is submerging it and destroying the motor.
If you are having a hard time cleaning your pond or feel that it is taking you too long, the chances are high that you’re not using your extras. The accessories that came with your vacuum are there to make your life easier.
Go back through the instruction manual to determine how each accessory is used. Then, when it is time to clean your pond, attach the accessories and use them the way they are designed.
You’ll quickly realize that, not only do they save you time, but they can also keep your back, knees, and elbows from hurting. That makes looking forward to maintaining your pond easier to do. An easy-to-maintain pond is a pond that gets maintained more often.
How To Keep Your Pond Clean
Maintaining your pond’s ecosystem isn’t too tricky. By understanding how each element works together to help keep your water clean and free of harmful bacteria, you’ll better understand why you need each element to be in place.
Below are a few steps you can follow to guarantee your pond stays happy and healthy.
Add FishFish, while producing waste, are also fantastic at working to keep your pond clean. They will feed on insects, small aquatic creatures, and algae, so you don’t have to deal with it. However, fish do produce waste that can become problematic if left unchecked. If you do not vacuum the fish waste out of your pond, your water could become cloudy and create a harmful environment.
Maintain Your Filter
Knowing that your new fish are going to create waste byproducts, adding plants to help offset this waste is a good idea. Plants will help utilize the carbon dioxide created by your fish and convert it into usable oxygen to help your fish thrive. It’s a balance in your ecosystem.
Maintaining that balance requires pairing the right number of fish to the correct amount and type of plants that you want to keep. Plants also help keep the water cool during the warmer months, which your fish will appreciate.
A sound filtration system is a necessity. What your fish and plants can’t use, the filter will help the process out of the water. Using a filtration system with a pump that keeps water actively moving is a great way to minimize the amount of time you spend vacuuming the water, too. It isn’t a complete failsafe, but it does help reduce how often you need to use the vacuum.
As a point of last resort, you’ll want to vacuum the water and bottom of your pond regularly. This will help pick up anything that your fish and plants didn’t use (or created as waste) while also ensuring that your filter does not work too hard. It’s also a great time to run tests on your water to make sure you are still creating a thriving ecosystem.
What Is The Best Pond Vacuum In 2019?
This is a tossup, depending on the size of your pond, the amount of storage space you have available, your budget, and how often you’ll be using the vacuum.
Just remember, buying an actual pond vacuum is always your best bet. While some people may have gotten away with a Shop-Vac pond vacuum, going the DIY Pond Vacuum (Shop Vac) route will usually end up with a busted Shop-Vac and you are wondering which pond vacuum is best.
Take our word for it!
Affiliate links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Last update on 2020-08-06.
Top Editor's Choice on Best Pond Vacuum
Subscribe to our Newsletter!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest tips and news of our blog.