Best Pond Filter Reviews

Pond pumps are one part of the recipe for a clean pond, but a filter system is arguably the most important thing to look at for clear, healthy water. To keep your fish happy or simply to enjoy the clear water of your outdoor pond, you’re going to need the best pond filter for your type and size of pond. I want to introduce you to the features of pond pumps and help you make the choice for yourself about what is best for you.

Best pond filter reviews 2017


Benefits of a High-Quality Pond Filter

Quality filtration makes a huge difference for your pond. You can get a lot of benefits from a better system that’s designed for your type of pond and your needs. Here is what you can expect from the best pond filter systems:

Clear water

The most obvious benefit of a good filter is that it will clean up the water and turn it from opaque to clear. You’ll be able to enjoy your fish and wildlife more easily while also just being able to admire a beautiful, clear pond in your own yard.

Proper nutrient balance

Filters don’t just make the water look good though, many pond filter types also improve the balance of different types of bacteria in your pond. Ponds have a whole bacteria lifecycle, which is increased even more when you add fish to the water. To keep plant and animal life healthy, you need to help maintain the right balance of nutrients and bacteria.

Mechanical filter types don’t help with this balance, but many pond filters for fish ponds have biological filtration as well that will improve this balance.

Add water features

If your pump doesn’t include anything for a water feature, many filters do. A lot of filter kits come standard with a fountain or waterfall feature that is going to improve the look of your pond and increase the aeration of the water.

Top 5 Pond Filter Reviews Comparison

Product Name


External or Submersible?

UV Clarification?

Filter Volume

Filtration Type

Pump Compatibility

Our Rating

Best Choice Products Bio Filter

Best Choice Products 4000 gal Pressure Bio Filter with Uv Sterilizer Light Koi, 13W


Yes, 13W

Up to 2500 gallons


500 – 4500 gph

Editor Choice

Pond Boss FM002P Filter Kit w/ Pump

Pond Boss FM002P Filter Kit with Pump



Up to 300 gallons


300 gph pump included in the kit


OASE BioSmart 5000Pond Filter

OASE BioSmart 5000 Pond Filter



5000 or 10000 gallons

Mechanical, Biological

500 – 5000 gph


TetraPond 26596 Waterfall Filter

TetraPond 26596 Waterfall Filter, Up to 1000-Gallon



Up to 1000 gallons

Mechanical, Biological

500 – 4500 gph


TetraPond Flat Box Filter

TetraPond Submersible Flat Box Filter



Up to 500 gallons


200 – 2000 gph


How to Choose the Best Pond Filter

Here are the main features of pond filters and how they might impact your choice for a good filter:

Submersible or External

Pond filters are not limited to one location. You can choose a filter that is either submersible or external, depending on what you prefer and how you want the area to look. Submersible filters will be disguised in your pond landscape, because they will sit underwater and out of view of the eye. However, they can sometimes require more cleaning, as they may get dirtier over a shorter period of time.

External pond filters may detract from your landscaping around the pond unless you can hide them in the décor. These filters are easier to maintain though, because they are out in the open and can be accessed quickly.

Filter Volume

This should be one of your main concerns when it comes to choosing a filter. There are two things to consider: your pond size and your fish load. Pond size is easy to know if you have a pre-made pond, but you’ll have to do a bit of simple math for a natural pond. Choose a filter that is capable of handling at LEAST your pond’s estimated volume, if not greater than that

The other thing to look at besides the actual or estimated volume of your pond is the fish load. The more fish you have, the heavier the workload for the filter because fish change the bacterial and physical climate of the pond. If you have a small fish load, you can get a filter rated for your pond size or very close to it. However, if you have a larger fish load, you need a filter that’s rated for a larger pond than yours, so it can keep up with all the extra filtration needs.

Filtration Type

3 basic types of filtration exist: mechanical, biological, and chemical. It’s rare to find a chemical filter for a pond, although not impossible. The main types you’ll find for ponds are mechanical and biological. A lot of modern filters combine both of these methods for even more thorough results.

Mechanical filtration focuses on small or large debris pieces in the water itself. It’s useful for keeping the water clear and helps catch all the nasty dirt that might get stuck in your pond over time from the fish or from natural causes. Biological filtration focuses more on the bacterial makeup of the water, helping you balance it out and make your pond a healthy environment for fish.

Chemical filtration is more useful if you have a pond that may be contaminated with an organic or inorganic pollutant that is bad for the watery environment. This type of filtration isn’t necessary for most ponds, but can be essential in areas with some sort of chemical pollution risk.

UV Clarification

For your water to look even better and clearer, a UV clarification system may be part of the filter. What this does is shines a strong UV light into the water intake pipe, causing algae to clump up together into large pieces. Large algae pieces more easily get caught in mechanical filtration, so you can have a cleaner pond that’s free of small algae as well as debris and other particles.


Most filters have a fairly standard maintenance routine, but it’s a good idea to know what that is before your go and buy a filter. The last thing you want is to but something that’s going to take a lot more maintenance than you anticipated. It’s nice to be able to enjoy your pond without having to constantly mess with it to have it stay clean!


Choosing the best pond filter will make a big difference, so consider the information carefully before making a selection. Personally, I would recommend the Best Choice Products Bio Filter as a great selection for a lot of pond owners. It offers biological filtration and UV water clarification for small to medium ponds up to 2500 gallons. Many different pumps are compatible with it, the maintenance is easy, and it is easy to install externally nearby your pond.

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