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Best Pond Vacuums 2019: the Most Complete Buyer’s Guide

What is a Pond Vacuum and Why You Need It

Both artificial and natural outdoor water reservoirs (pools, fountains, water gardens, etc.) tend to get dirty over time. Debris settle onto the bottom and form a layer of organic sludge that makes water unclear and serves a source of bacterial infections. If not removed, this sludge can cause plants and fish diseases and even death. The easiest way to clean out the debris is using a pond vacuum cleaner. The principle of working of this device resembles the mechanism of action of a conventional household vac. Instead of air, it sucks and (optionally) filters water, collecting debris.

Types of Water Vacuums

Basically, there are two garden pond vacuum cleaner types. Though the principle of action and the purpose of different devices are identical, they vary in terms of the power source. In particular, one can choose between electric and hand-pumped models.

  • Hand-pumped models are lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to use in small water resservoirs, fountains, and aquariums. They require manual pumping. The process is rather slow and the efficiency is relatively low.
  • Electric models are much more powerful and versatile. They are used for the cleaning of larger natural and artificial ponds and pools and can suck pebbles, small stones, and other types of hard organic debris.

Electric vacs are much more popular and powerful; they are chosen for a hassle-free cleaning of all kinds of water reservoirs. Manual options are for tiny impoundments and large aquariums.

The Best Pond Vacuums 2018: a Comparative Chart

Brand

 

 

Capacity (Gallons)

Wattage (watts)

Suction Depth

Weight

Extra attachments

Chambers

Warranty

Pro Aquatics 1400 Watt

BUY NOW AMAZON 6

1400

6 ft 12 lbs + 1 2 years

Professional 1400 Watt Premium

BUY NOW AMAZON 6

1400

6 ft 11 lbs +

1

N/A

Koi Pond Monsta Pump

BUY NOW AMAZON 350 16.4 ft N/A 2 years

Polaris 5-100-00

BUY NOW AMAZON 2-5 ft

2.2 lbs

+ 90 days

Aura 6250 Paradise

BUY NOW AMAZON 2-5 ft 2.95 lbs N/A

OASE PondoVac Classic

BUY NOW AMAZON 6 1200-1400 7 ft

23.5 lbs

+ 1 2 years

OASE PondoVac 3

BUY NOW AMAZON 5 1600 7 ft 30 lbs + 2 2 years

Matala Power-cyclone

BUY NOW AMAZON 13 1200 18 ft 45 lbs + 2 18 months

Matala Pond Vacuum II

BUY NOW AMAZON 4.5 1150 6 ft

23.7 lbs

+ 1 18 months

Oase Pondovac 4

BUY NOW AMAZON 10 1800 7 ft 37.4 lbs + 2 2 years

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pond Vacuum

Even a small pond vacuum is a relatively expensive device, not to mention heavy automatic and semi-automatic machines. This is not a kind of an appliance you are going to buy every month or every year. That’s why it is crucial to choose the right cleaner not to be disappointed. Here are the main things to consider.

Power Consumptions

Water vacuum cleaners have to suck large amounts of water and hard debris from a reasonably big depth, filter it, and discharger the remaining water. This is an extremely energy-consuming procedure, so the power consumption of a good water vac starts from 1000 W. When choosing a vac, one must consider that the power is directly related to the size and depth of the pond as well as the amount of sludge. The deeper and dirtier the pool is, the more powerful cleaner you need.

Debris Size

Do you need to clean an impoundment from silt and algae or from larger debris, such as fallen leaves and small parts of solid waste? Most powerful models can suck in even small stones and pebbles. To collect large-sized and hard debris need a vac with a higher sucking power and special nozzles. A basic single-head nozzle is good for small-sized debris and silt only.

Water Return Valves

A machine with a return valve will not simply suck in the water and discharge it somewhere on a lawn. It will return the filtered water back to the pond. It helps to keep the lawn clean and dry all the time.

The Size of Your Pond

There are, probably, no two identical water pieces. Their size, depth and bottom counter vary significantly. Choosing a cleaner check what size water pools it fits. This information can be found in the product’s specs. Keep in mind that a weaker device will be simply inefficient.

Vacuum Type

The type of vacuum determines the suction power. Commonly, one-chamber and two-chamber options are distinguished. Two-chamber devices are more powerful and have a larger capacity. Their main distinctive feature is an ability of continuous vacuuming: they don’t need to switch between suction and discharging constantly.

Cleaning Depth

The hose length is not the only thing that determines the maximum cleaning depth of a pond vacuum. The deeper you submerge the nozzle, the more power the device needs to suck in the water. The maximum depth is always indicated in the list of a vac specs. The right cleaner must reach the bottom of your pool and be powerful enough to work at this depth.

Benefits of the Best Pond Vacuum Cleaner

There are several methods of cleaning water pools. You can clean it manually (just physically remove the dirt) or use some chemicals that kill bacteria (and useful plants). Meanwhile, there are strong reasons to spend some time and pick up a vac cleaner. Why is it so important to choose the best pond vacuum? Here are just some thoughts.

Reduced Interference

A good vacuum is almost 100% safe for fish and plants. This is its core advantage against chemical and physical methods of cleaning. High-quality vacs effectively remove sludge and debris without making any harm to the natural reservoir inhabitants.

The Cleaning is More Effective

As of today, cleaning ponds with water hoovers is the most effective method. To reach the same effect by cleaning it manually you’ll spend way more time and efforts. Using a vacuum cleaner is the most convenient, cost-effective and efficient approach.

Cost-Effective

Yes, pond vacuums can seem a bit pricey and they consume much power. But if you calculate the real cost of other methods of cleaning, you’ll that it is worthy of it. If you hire professionals to clean your pond, you have to pay. If you do it on yourself, you lose your precious time. A vacuum helps save money and time.

Better Waste Removal

Vacuuming is sometimes the only way to remove debris from the bottom and walls of the pond. Neither water filters nor chemicals remove a thick layer of sludge and silt effectively enough. With a vacuum, the pool will be crystal clear.

How We Decided

With dozens of brands available, deciding which pond vacuum is the best is quite a challenge. Before writing this review, our team of experts had conducted a comprehensive market analysis. We analyzed and compared specifications of 20+ popular models. After that, we studied several hundred of pond vacuum reviews. Finally, top-ten options were chosen: all the devices included in our ranking are tried and tested by specialists and real customers. Meets the winners!

Best Pond Vacuums 2018: Our Choice

All in all, our ranking includes ten popular models of water vacuums. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. On top of a brief review, we’ve written a couple of words of our own for every model.

Pro Aquatics 1400 Watt Koi Pond & Water Garden Vacuum Cleaner

Pro Aquatics 1400 Watt Koi Pond & Water Garden Vacuum Cleaner

Review

This option is powerful enough to suck in silt and muck in the water at the depth of up to 6 feet. Thanks to several attachments, it is quite versatile. The machine has only one chamber: it means that it can’t suck and discharge water simultaneously, so it has to alternate between these two activities. There are two options of using the collected water: you can either discharge it on your lawn/garden plants or pour it back to the pond.

What we think

Pro Aquatis does its job well though we can’t call it the best pond vacuum cleaner around. It fights with sludge, muck, and silt but not with larger debris, such as fallen leaves. The tube is made of plastic and seems to be medium-duty.

PROS

  • powerful and reliable;
  • a good cleaning depth of 6 ft;
  • several attachments;
  • relatively affordable.

CONS

  • one chamber;
  • not for large debris;
  • the plastic tube quality is average.
Professional 1400 Watt Premium Pond & Muck Vacuum Cleaner w/Free Pond Cleaning Gloves

Professional 1400 Watt Premium Pond & Muck Vacuum Cleaner

Review

On top of a powerful 1400-watt motor, this cleaner offers a good versatility thanks to four nozzles for various types of debris. It is a standard single-chamber vac with the maximum depth of cleaning of 6.6 feet. The filtered water is discharged back to the pond. There’s no inner pond vacuum pump; instead, gravity is used to pour away the water.

What we think

This is another decent general-purpose vac. It is great for catching algae and small debris, but it is not perfect for silt removing, as some fine particles go through the filter and are discharged with water back to the pool.

PROS

  • 4 nozzles included;
  • great for algae removing;
  • a cleaning depth of 6.6 ft;
  • a powerful 1400-watt motor.

CONS

  • fine particles are not retained;
  • the filter needs to be cleaned often.
Koi Pond Monsta Pump Vacuum Filter System Cleaner

Koi Pond Monsta Pump Vacuum Filter System Cleaner

Review

This is a chamber-free system of continues vacuuming. Water with debris is sucked from the impoundment and passes through a tube and a long hose to the collector. The debris stay in the collector, and the water is discharged. There are two options available: discharging water to the garden or back to the pond.

What we think

This system works faster than most conventional vacs. It is great for rough water cleaning from larger debris. That being said, it is virtually useless if you want to remove silt or sludge.

PROS

  • 4-ft cleaning depth;
  • fast continuous vacuuming;
  • removes larger debris;
  • a spare impeller included;
  • a telescoping aluminum handle.

CONS

  • doesn’t remove silt;
  • has a medium power level.
Polaris 5-100-00 Spa Wand Swimming Pool/Spa Cleaner Vacuum 510000 Blue OEM

Polaris 5-100-00 Spa Wand Swimming Pool/Spa Cleaner Vacuum

Review

This is a manual cleaner for easy pond vacuum cleaning. It is designed for the cleaning of small spas and pools. Several nozzles that are supplied with the cleaner add versatility. It is lightweights and easy to use; no electricity is required to use it.

What we think

In our tests, the vac was able to collect sand and small-sized debris. Certainly, it is not for silt and sludge removing. This is a good entry-level option for occasional cleaning of small water reservoirs.

PROS

  • economic and eco-friendly;
  • inexpensive and easy to use;
  • several nozzles for various types of debris;
  • effective for removing small-sized debris.

CONS

  • get clogged with large-sized debris;
  • for small ponds only.
Aura 6250 Paradise Power Spa Vacuum

Aura 6250 Paradise Power Spa Vacuum

Review

This is another compact manual option that is effective for cleaning spas and small water ponds. It uses no electricity, batteries, and other power sources and causes no harm to the eco-system of the reservoir. The device is lightweight and has ergonomic design. It effectively collects sand, small stones, coins and other small- and medium-sider litter.

What we think

On the plus side, the aluminum tube can be protruded to the length of 7 feet. On the minus side, no spare nozzles or attachments are included. Not a bad option for collecting small litter in shallow pools and spas.

PROS

  • ergonomic and convenient;
  • no electric power consumed;
  • easy to use and lightweight;
  • the tube can be protruded up to 7 ft.

CONS

  • no extra nozzles;
  • for shallow ponds only.
OASE PondoVac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner

OASE PondoVac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner

Review

This Oase pond vacuum is a classic example of a single-chamber cleaner. Thanks to a long suction hose and a powerful 1200-watt motor, it can collect debris from the depth of 7 feet. Four nozzles included provide an excellent flexibility. The vac is capable of collecting silt, algae, and medium-sized debris. Through the suction hose, dirty water passes to the main inner chamber with a filter. Once it is full, the machine stops sucking and pushes away filtered water through a discharge hose.

What we think

Oase is a typical “working horse” – reliable and versatile. It is great for algae removing. In our opinion, the discharge hose could be a bit longer, and the chamber – a bit bigger. Because of frequent mode switching, the work is relatively slow.

PROS

  • powerful and reliable;
  • easily removes algae;
  • four various nozzles included;
  • 2-year warranty.

CONS

  • a bit heavy and bulky;
  • the discharge hose could be longer.
OASE PondoVac 3 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

OASE PondoVac 3 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

Review

This is another great vacuuming machine that we couldn’t but mentioned in our pond vacuum review. It boasts two chambers, which makes it capable of simultaneous sucking and discharging water. The suction depth of 7 feet is pretty good, and a 1600-watt motor ensures a decent power of suction. With several types of nozzles available, this OASE vac effectively collects most kinds of organic debris.

What we think

OASE manufactures top-notch products, and its PondoVac 3 is no exception. It is more powerful that PondoVac Classic and more affordable and compact that PondoVac 4. If you are looking for a versatile and powerful machine for regular cleaning, that’s what you need.

PROS

  • versatile; removes all types of organic debris;
  • suction depth 7 feet;
  • two chambers allow non-stop vacuuming;
  • easy transportation.

CONS

  • it is quite expensive
  • a discharge hose is not long enough.
Matala Power-cyclone Pond Vacuum with Dual Pump System

Matala Power-Cyclone Pond Vacuum with Dual Pump System

Review

This Matala is mentioned in all best pond vacuum cleaner reviews just because it really has a lot to be loved for. It is one of the most powerful all-purpose cleaners around. Matala has an impressive suction power – it can elevate debris from the depth of 18 feet. The machine has two chambers – it allows non-stop vacuuming. Matala Power-Cyclone is ideal for large and deep ponds.

What we think

It is a really heavy-duty device with an incredibly long sucking hose of almost 26 feet and a discharge hose of over 30 feet. If you have a deep and wide pond, Matala is a must-have.

PROS

  • heavy-duty and powerful;
  • two chambers for continuous vacuuming;
  • incredibly long hoses;
  • extra nozzles included.

CONS

  • heavy and bulky;
  • more expensive than most cleaners.
Matala Pond Vacuum II Muck Vac

Matala Pond Vacuum II Muck Vac

Review

This vac is the first in the Muck Buster series of Matala. It is a typical single-chamber device that alternates between sucking and discharging water. With a 5.5-gallon canister, one full cycle takes about 40 seconds. Thanks to several vacuuming heads included, the machine is rather versatile and efficient. It effectively collects algae, silt, muck, and medium-sized debris.

What we think

This is a well-made vacuum cleaner from a well-established manufacturer. With a decent suction depth of 6 feet, it ideally suits for medium-sized (up to 2500 gallons) ponds. The only drawback is a sort of narrow tube that quickly gets clogged with larges debris, such as leaves.

PROS

  • well-made and durable;
  • a powerful motor;
  • removes various types of debris;
  • effective against muck and algae.

CONS

  • can get clogged with leaves.
Oase Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

OASE Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

Review

Our guide would be incomplete without this Oase pond vacuum review. OASE Pondovac 4 is considered the golden standard in the category of electric double-chamber cleaners. It is powerful, reliable, and versatile enough for most situations. Whether you need to remove algae, thick sludge, leaves, or other types of debris, Oase will do it. With the sucking depth of 7 ft and an 1800-watt motor, it is one of the most effective vac cleaners around.

What we think

This is a great multi-purpose vacuuming tool for fast and effective reservoir cleaning. That said, we’d like its discharge hose to be slightly longer than 8 feet. With an 1800-watt motor, this machine can’t be called energy-saving, so be prepared to pay for the power and convenience.

PROS

  • a powerful motor and good suction depth;
  • two chambers for continuous vacuuming;
  • versatility; extra nozzles included;
  • 2-year warranty.

CONS

  • a discharge hose could be longer;
  • expensive. 

Five Facts about Vacuum Pond Cleaners

Pond cleaning with a vacuum

  1. Some vac cleaner models can be used in ponds with live fish, but beware that fish babies can be sucked into a hose.
  2. Never use a pond vacuum to clean a swimming pool with people in it. It can be dangerous.
  3. The construction of a water vac is identical to the construction of a household vacuum cleaner, but it must be more powerful to be able to suck water.
  4. Vacuuming is the safest and the least aggressive method of impoundment cleaning.
  5. Vacuuming helps to minimize chemical processing of swimming pools with chlorine.

Pond Vacuum Cleaning, Use, and Maintenance

It goes without saying that a good vac cleaner is a must if you have a pool, a koi pond, or a water fountain in your garden. It is also important to know how to make a pond vacuum cleaner last longer and work with the maximum efficiency. Here are general buyer tips.

Cleaning

All the debris collected, sludge, silt, murk, and dirty water pass through the cleaner’s tubes, hoses, and chambers. A sufficient part of sludge can settle on the walls of the machine’s inner parts. That is why it is crucial to clean it regularly. Disassemble your vacuum after every use and clean all its parts separately from inside and outside. Rinse them with clean water and let them get dry in a natural way. After that, assemble the cleaner and store it in a dry place until the next use.

Use

Even a cheap pond vacuum is a relatively powerful device that can be easily damaged if used improperly. To make the most of using a vac, adhere to several basic tips.

  • When attaching a nozzle, make sure it falls in its place and secured. If it is not secured reliably, it can drop away right under the water, and you’ll have a hard time trying to reach it. If you attach it improperly, you may simply break it down.
  • The same is about hose securing. Attach it to the tube or a vacuuming head correctly. Always avoid twisting of the hose, especially in the course of vacuuming.
  • Keep a nozzle (a head) under the water – it must touch the bottom or walls of the pond. The extension tube and a handle should be out of water.
  • Don’t forget to switch off the filter installed in the impoundment before you begin vacuuming.
  • To clean the pool, move the vacuuming head slowly. Your movements should be smooth and slow; and the head should touch the walls and the bottom under the water.
  • When the vacuuming is over, disassemble and clean the vac, remove the filter, dump out the collected debris, and rinse the filter.
  • After that, switch on the pond filter.

Maintenance

Like any modern appliance, a water vacuum requires a proper maintenance. The best approach is to read the user manual and the troubleshooting guide right after unboxing – particular recommendations can vary depending on the vac model. Here are general tips that can be applied to most water vacuum cleaners.

  • Clean the inner parts, including the filter, after every use. Don’t leave the device with sludge and debris inside it.
  • Assemble the vac only when all the parts are dry. After cleaning, they must get dry in a natural way.
  • Try not to store an automatic vacuum outdoors – being an electric appliance, it is not weather-resistant. Keep in in a closed dry place instead.
  • Don’t use pond hoovers for dry cleaning – they are designed to work with water only.

Pros and Cons of the Pond Vac in Your Life

Pros:

  • This is a fast and effective method of a garden pond cleaning with the minimal interference into its eco-system. There are models that are safe for fish and plants.
  • A water vac helps to keep water clean and clear, remove a layer of sludge on the bottom and walls and algae.
  • Natural silt is organic manure rich in nutrients. Most vacs allow to collect it and enrich the ground in the garden.
  • A modern vac cleaner is as easy to use as common household hoovers – you don’t need any special knowledge to utilize it.

Cons:

  • Pond vacuums are pricey. The starting price of the cheapest simplest manual device is $25-30. An average price of an electric dual-chamber machine, such as Clear Vac pond vacuum, is around $300.
  • Electric vacs consume much power. Regular vacuuming can turn out rather expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does a vacuum pond work?

A: It works like a conventional household hoover. Water is sucked by the suction head and passes through a sucking hose to the machine’s chamber. Then it is forced to the discharge hose (the particular mechanism can vary depending on the model) and released.

Q: Why Do You Need a Pond Vac?

A: A pond vac is a convenient modern tool for effective water reservoir cleaning. If you have a natural or artificial impoundment, a swimming pool, a water fountain, or any other water reservoir in your garden, you definitely need a vac to keep it clean and tidy.

Q: How Can You Get Rid of Algae in a Pond?

A: Electric vacuums are best for removing algae. Consider OASE PondoVac Classic or Oasis pond vacuum – these models are believed to be rather effective against algae and other organic debris.

Q: In a Pond with Fish, is it OK to Use a Pond Vacuum?

A: Yes, it is. Be careful when using a fish pond vacuum cleaner – fish babies and small species can be occasionally sucked in (it depends on the fish size and the size of the hole in a suction head.) If it happened, try to release water back into the impoundment via the discharge hose.

What does Cleaning out the Pond for Muck Mean?

Muck is formed of the remains of organic debris and accumulated on the bottom and the walls of a pond. It commonly has an unpleasant ammonia odor (rotten eggs). By cleaning out the muck, you make your reservoir clean and clear.

Verdict and Recommendations

In our pond vacuum cleaners review, we’ve told about ten popular models. The final choice will depend on several variables: primarily, the reservoir size and depth and the type of debris that are to be collected. If you need a powerful vacuum to clean a large and deep pond, consider Matala Power-cyclone with the suction depth of enormous 18 feet. Mind that it is the most expensive option – over $600.

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