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Filters, Flowers, and Fish - A Filter Primer

Filters, Flowers, and Fish - A Filter Primer

What could be more fun than filling your man-made pond with beautiful fish and plants? Water gardening adds a whole new dimension to the life of a gardener. Natural ponds have Mother Nature to help them with cleaning and filtering the water: sand, soil, plants, rocks, wind, and rain, But the manmade garden pond needs our help, and so to keep your plants and fish healthy, invest in a great filtering system. Overall, the key to a healthy clean pond with happy fish and flowers is a balance. Create a filtration system that will keep the chemicals and biological materials in the pond in the perfect balance to prevent diseases and algae buildup.


A pond pump is required to run a filter, fountain, or waterfall. The sound of running water adds greatly to the enjoyment of the pond. Pump and filter work together to clean and brighten your water feature. Water must be pumped to flow constantly for effective filtration to take place. Filtration is critical in keeping pond water healthy, clean and clear. Without water circulation and filtration, a pond will suffer from a lack of oxygen and, consequently, poor water quality, and diseases in plants and fish.

If you want healthy fish, plants, and water, invest wisely in your filtration system. You can stay within your budget, but carefully consider the size of your pond and the work you are asking your pump and filter to do.   There are two ways to filter your pond water if you want to have fish and plants. You will want both mechanical and biological filtration. Mechanical filtration removes physical waster from the pond, such as algae, rotted leaves, and other solid wastes. You can even achieve mechanical filtration with electrically powered skimmer filters, and even with handheld pond skimmers. Biological filtering uses chemicals which neutralize damaging wastes and biologic material in the pond, creating a clean and balanced environment for your fish and plants. Most ponds will benefit from the use of a biological filter – in fact, biological filtration is essential if you are keeping koi or goldfish. We have several types of biological filters to choose from at pondsuppliesforless. Call us or chat with a customer service representative right on our website. 

The use of a pump and filter together will allow you to keep more fish and will keep your plants healthier. Finally, a UV light enhances the performance of the filter by eliminating algae and bacteria which can case unattractive scum or “green water”. The companies who build the top-quality filters at have thought of everything, and a great many filters are available with the UV light built in. 

It’s important to understand how fish interact with the pond environment. Fish excrete ammonia, which is harmful to the manmade pond environment. Biological filters change these excretions into less harmful nitrates. Purchase a biological filter that is large enough to serve your whole pond. Bigger is better because as the fish grow and spawn, they create more waste.  A well-designed filter from a reputable company is a must. You will want one that doesn’t clog and is relatively easy to maintain.  In addition, buy fresh, effective biological filter chemicals from specialists such as

Plants, too, absorb chemicals and feed on algae, and remove nitrates and phosphates from your pond. When buying plants, ask your supplier for the kinds that are especially effective at cleaning water. Then, help your plants out with fertilizers especially designed for them, and a filter that works hard to clean your pond.


Gardeners may wish to purchase filters which include all the needed components. Install one of these products to take care of several filtration needs at once. For example, has an exciting series of products - a pressure filter that provides both mechanical and biological filtration. These even include a built-in UV lamp which further cleans your water, eliminating bad bacteria.

Other pond lovers may wish to select each filter component to create a custom system, to meet every budget. provides countless ways to do this. For example, some pond lovers may seek out waterfall filters. These add flowing water to the beauty of the pond and increase aeration. They are available in different sizes for different ponds. Some gardeners may even choose an ultra-cleaning pressure filter! This Cadillac of filters by Laguna also contains a UV light and is relatively easy to clean. 

With the appropriately sized filter, the pond lover can even add specialty products such as statuary and spitter fountains. Look for spitter fountains that come with a UV light – this type will help to clean and aerate the pond as it adds beauty and fun.

Here, we have discussed a few basics about selecting your filtration system. To create the luxurious pond that you want, brimming with healthy fish and flowers, start with the most basic of all: crystal clear water.

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