Best Pond Vacuums of 2018 & Buying Guide
If you’re going to buy a new pond vacuum, then there’s a lot of things you need to consider. Buying a vacuum for a pond is nothing like buying a regular vacuum except for the fact that they both suck debris.
Buying a pond vacuum is also much more difficult because the amount of information available on pool vacuums is much less than that of regular vacuums. You simply won’t have the same knowledge base. Fortunately, we’ve combined most of the verified information that we could find on pond vacuums and put it together in this one guide for buying pond vacuums.
Oase Pondovac 4
Pool Supply Town Pond Vacuum
Polaris Spa Wand Cleaner
So how do I choose a good pond vacuum?
First, it’s good to understand how a pond vacuum works. It may seem like a complicated and foreign concept but it’s actually quite easy to understand. Pond vacuums sound pretty similar to a wet/dry vac when you understand the way they work.
A pond vacuum works by sucking the water out of a pond. Once it’s been sucked up, it’s filtered through a mechanism in the vacuum. Afterwards, it’s spat back out into the pond, fresh as ever.
Now that you know the basic function of a pond vacuum you can start to consider which kind you think would suit you best. There are several basic varieties of pond vacuums you can choose from.
- Hand-pumped pond vacuums are good for the folk who don’t mind putting in a bit of extra manual labor to save a buck. These are also good for people with smaller, shallower ponds – if you have a big pond, it doesn’t matter how energetic you are, you’ll have a hard time cleaning it with a hand pumped vacuum.
- Hand-pump pond vacuums work a lot like a bicycle pump except in the opposite direction. Instead of forcing air out of the pump, you’re sucking dirty water back into it. Dirty water is filtered and the debris is stored in a bag or other similar debris catching receptacle.
- Sometimes you need to pay for replacement bags when you’re using hand-pumped pond vacuums. Despite saving money on the unit itself you may end up spending extra on replacement bags if you use it very often.
- Single-chamber pond vacuums are good for general uses. Chances are, if you have a normal-to-small sized pond, you’ll be able to clean it with a single-chamber vacuum. They’re good for cleaning smaller debris and can handle fine sand and other impurities.
- Double-chamber pond vacuums are for folks who have ponds that are able to hold more than a few family goldfish. These vacuums can handle a lot of sludge and grime, and powerful ones are even able to suck up pebbles and small rocks.
- Vacuums using a continuous-vacuuming system are super convenient, especially for folks cleaning bigger ponds. Many pond vacuums require you to pause your cleaning process while you’re emptying the filtered water back into the pond. Continuous suction units allow you to continue sucking up dirty water while the rest of it is filtered through a second chamber and pumped back out.
What sort of features can I choose with my pond vacuum?
Like a regular floor vacuum, you can choose the specifics of your pond vacuum to suit your needs. The most common options available for people buying new pond vacuums are the following.
- Suction power. Anyone buying a vacuum is going to have to decide whether they need a vacuum with super powerful suction, or one that uses less energy and has less powerful suction. The suction power of a pond vacuum is relative to the amount of horsepower in the engine.
- If you’re cleaning a smaller pond then you should need no more than 1200 watts. If you’re cleaning a bigger pond then you’re going to need to look for a higher powered motor.
- Some high powered vacuums rely on the suction power of two or more motors.
- The suction power also determines how deep of a suction you’ll be able to get. This can be looked at in two ways:
- The depth of your suction. If you have a deep pond, of course you can rely on the length of the hose to provide suction all the way to the bottom of the pond. However, a vacuum with powerful suction can do that without blindly having to direct a hose all over the bottom of your pond.
- The thickness of sludge that can be cleaned up. If you’ve never vacuumed your pond before then you’re going to have a whole bunch of sludge built up at the bottom. Even if your pond is small you’ll need a powerful motor to gather all the sludge.
- Your budget. Naturally, more powerful vacuums are going to cost more than weaker ones. It’s important to balance your budget with the amount of suction power that you need, as well as deciding on whether you really need other features. If they can be sacrificed to save a few bucks to make sure your family has good food to eat, then so be it.
- Additional cleaning tools. Regular vacuums sometimes come with crevice tools, dusters, or brushes. Pond vacuums come with similar tools that function well with cleaning water.
- Extension wands work just like those for regular vacuums – they extend the reach of your vacuum and allow you to easily point the suction to where you need it.
- There are many nozzle attachments you can get with pond vacuums. These include crevice tools so you can get into tight spaces, LED light attachments so you can see what you’re doing underwater, and more.
- Some vacuums have inbuilt filters that can easily be removed, washed, and replaced, adding a huge amount of convenience to the cleaning process.
- If your pond doesn’t have a thermometer, or you don’t want to keep one in the water, you can get a thermometer attachment for your vacuum to check the temperature whenever you clean it.
So what are the best pond vacuums?
Now that you know a bit about what you need in a pond vacuum, it’s time to start shopping around. Unfortunately, pond vacuums aren’t massively popular like household vacuums are. You’re probably not going to see a huge variety of pond vacuums at your local hardware store, so it can be hard to figure out where to get a good one.
We’ve reviewed a lot of pond vacuums online and have figured out which ones are the best for overall function. You’ll probably be able to find a good unit to suit you and your family below, no matter what size your pond is.
1. Oase Pondovac 4
The Oase Pondovac series are often referred to when people ask what to use as their first pond vacuum. They’re reliable, easily used, and fairly affordable given their good functional ability.
These vacuums are set to use the Pioneer Net Bags, which are very popular among pond vacuum users. These containment bags allow you to hold freshly sucked-up water while it’s
filtered, after which it’s drained back into the pond. There’s a waste bag at the end that traps garbage and sludge while allowing the filtered water to return to the pond.
The Pondovac 4 has a powerful motor of 1700 watts which means it’s great for cleaning bigger ponds and more than enough for cleaning smaller ones. It’s one of the best dual-chamber units meaning that you can use a continual suction while you’re straining sludge out of the water.
The hose is 16 feet long which is quite impressive, and the suction depth is an additional eight feet. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a pond too deep or too wide for this vacuum to handle.
The whole unit comes with a solid two-year warranty, so if your pond is absolutely loaded with sludge and manages to clog this vacuum, you’ll be able to replace it.
- Very reliable unit
- Easy to understand
- Has a motor powered by 1700 watts
- A good dual chambered unit
- Boasts an impressive 16-foot hose
- Eight feet of suction depth
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Motor smells kinda funky
2. Matala Power-cyclone Pond Vacuum with Dual Pump System
This particular pond vacuum is a master at cleaning out thick, built up sludge that other vacuums don’t have the capacity to move. It uses two separate motors, each powered by 1200 watts, to provide a continuous suction system that allows you to attack year’s’ worth of debris without compromising your vacuum.
There’s a pre-filter bag included in the vacuum that helps to eliminate waste. This is before it makes it to the impressive 50-liter storage tank. The clean water is made separate from the rest and pumped back out through the sludge pump powered by a single horsepower on its own.
The unit comes with a whopping 26-foot hose as well as a 30-foot discharge hose, so you can suck things up from nearly ten yards away while spraying clean water just as far away from the suction hose. The whole unit is designed to be easily moved back and forth with solid handles, good wheels, and a great ergonomic design.
- Massive holding tank
- Double chamber vacuum
- Has a very long discharge hose and a very long suction hose
- Ergonomically designed to prevent injuries over extended use
- Great filtration system
- Pretty expensive
- Despite ergonomics, the unit is very heavy
3. Polaris Spa Wand Cleaner
Just because this unit is advertised as a spa wand cleaner doesn’t mean it won’t work on your pond. In fact, it works very well compared to a lot of other products on the market.
This is a handheld unit that’s very comfortable to use, but despite its ease of use, it’s a pretty powerful unit. It may not be as powerful as the last entry we reviewed, but for a handheld wand cleaner, it’s impressive.
It’s a handheld pump, so it’s going to be more affordable than the other units. This also means that you’re going to have to put some actual effort into cleaning your pond. Because of this, these units are recommended for people with small ponds, as well as pools or fountains.
It works like a bike pump or other magic wand hose. You stick the thing in the water and pump it to suck water up. Whatever debris or sludge is in the pond will be caught in the unit’s filter basket and the rest of the water will be poured back out.
The filter basket is easy to remove and easy to clean, so you don’t need to worry about wasting tons of time dealing with clogged filters (though you may need to change it once before finishing your pond.)
- Good for light tasks
- Easy to store
- Simple to use
- Good suction
- Not good for heavy duty cleaning
- Only good for small areas
4. Pool Supply Town Pond Vacuum
This is a cool vacuum because you can just attach it to your garden hose. It works great with ponds or jacuzzis or fountains and can even handle bigger ponds, though it may take a while for you to notice effects.
Simply attach it to your garden hose and stick the hose in. The pump will do the rest for you. It’s not going to provide you with the same cleaning quality as the manual-use vacuums, but if you’re just looking to keep things tidy, this will do.
- Very easy to use
- Simple instructions
- Works while you’re away
- Good for various types of water
- Not great for big ponds
So which is the best?
We’re going to go with the Matala Power-Cyclone unit. It’s the most powerful of the bunch, and it’s great for use in all ponds.
Sure, it’s a bit more expensive, but you’re getting your money’s worth. You won’t need to replace it soon, and if you move to a new house, it’ll be able to handle anything that you’ll have waiting for it.