A pond vacuum is a device similar to a wet-vac that allows pond owners to suck up debris out of their pond. These systems come in several forms. The most cost effective vacuums are the ones that use garden hose pressure to form a vacuum and suck up debris. There are also electrically powered vacuums available that come with a variety of handy attachments.
Sludge, mud, algae and plant material can be a real nuisance in your garden pond. Waste that gathers in ponds has other consequences other that making it look bad. High levels of waste can make the water toxic and unlivable for plants and fish. Excess dirt, minerals and dead plants creates a feeding ground for algae, causing them to multiply in excess. A built-in pond pump can help remove the bulk of this material, but many times misses certain areas such as between rocks and pond edges.
Garden Hose Pond Vacuum
These simple pond vacuums attach to a garden hose to form a vacuum which sucks up debris into a fine mesh bag. Before use, a hose is threaded onto the base and turned on. Inside the suction chamber, the hose water forms a powerful stream directed into the mesh bag. Pond water naturally wants to follow this flow, scooping up debris and sending it into the bag. While not as powerful as an electric pond vacuum, these systems get the job done. They are widely used in the pool industry to clean pool floors and are quite cost effective. In fact, these pumps require a pool attachment pole to use (see picture). If you don't have a pool pole you will need to seek one out to use this device. The suction end of these pond vacuums will typically have a set of nylon bristles around the opening. Some higher end vacuums have interchangeable attachments. Having a variety of attachments close at hand can help get your pond thoroughly clean. For example, the pond floor would be best cleaned with a wide bristled attachment, while cleaning in between rocks would require a thinner, more intricate tool. The fine mesh collection bags can pick up everything from algae to dead leaves. Anything other than fine dirt can be picked up with these systems. The collection bags will need occasional replacement, but can be obtained from your local pool supply store.
Electric Pond Vacuums
For the serious pond owner, an electric pond vac offers added convenience and power over hose suction varieties. These models are quite similar to a wet vac except for one critical feature. When in use, the vacuum sucks up water from your pond, taking debris with it. The water is cleaned and then put back into your pond through an exit tube. Water comes in and goes out at a constant rate, never removing or adding water to your pond. This type of pond vacuum cleaner has a distinct advantage over the hose powered ones, in that it does not fill up your pond with water while you clean. Many of these systems come with a variety of attachments to help you clean better. These attachments are placed on the end of the cleaning tube and are interchangeable. Special attachments like a string algae nozzle and crevice tool can be an invaluable asset. A long handle allows users to access all areas of the pond including the sides, bottom and under waterfalls. Before working, users place the exit tube into the pond so that the cleaned water can return to the pond. However, you can leave the tube out of the water if you want to empty the pond of some water. The dirty water also works great as a fertilizer for the garden, as it contains decaying plant material.
All in all, a pond vacuum cleaner can be a valuable tool even for people with small ponds. The ability to vacuum up and remove grime is essential in keeping a pond crystal clear. Netted tools work great for removing large obvious debris, but a vacuum can reach places that nets can't. Most individuals will probably do just fine with a hose powered vacuum, but some people enjoy the added convenience of the electric models. And last but not least, don't suck up your fish!
Related Posts: Vacuums for ponds are closely related to a pool cover pump, a type of suction device that removes water from a pool cover.