There are times of year when the water lilies bloom and the primrose unfurls its butter-yellow petals, that the water is so busy you can barely make out the surface let alone the lining. During other seasons, however, the pond ecosystem recedes, leaving what can be a dark and feculent basin of water in its wake.
To many, a pond vacuum may seem strange, but to the avid water gardener, they’re an essential part of pond maintenance. They give you peace of mind, knowing when the time comes, you’ll be able to clean up your water feature quickly and easily without having to fully drain and replenish it.
This makes pond vacuums perfect for ponds bustling with fish. You can clean their home up without evacuating them beforehand. Even if your pond is purely ornamental, a good vacuum will help you keep things looking clean and crystal clear.
So, to get that pond looking its best, we’re going to be discussing five of the very best pond vacuums available at the minute. Then we’ll trickle through an in-depth buyer’s guide and brief FAQ section so you can find the perfect one for you and your pond.
In a Hurry?
Here’s our top pick right here.
OUR TOP PICK
Coming in at our number one spot is a powerful and versatile vacuum with all you could ever need to turn your sludgy pond puddle into the glistening jewel of your garden. The continuous pump function is an awesome feature. Rather than filling a heavy tank and then emptying it manually, the Pondovac 5 constantly circulates the water back out a different hose.
You can expect five extra attachments when buying this vacuum, which is the largest package we could find on the market. You get an adjustable floor nozzle, a string algae nozzle, a wide nozzle, a brush nozzle, and a wet suction nozzle. All five of them are well designed, fit easily, and perform their duties well.
If you’re somewhat of a busy bee, this vacuum is perfect for you. With a maximum flow rate of 2100 GPH and a suction depth of 7.5 ft, it will clean a 4000-gallon pond in less than two hours, even if it’s been a while since the previous clean. The flow can be adjusted easily via the regulator fitted into the handle, and maneuvering your pond vacuum has never been easier thanks to the extra-large wheels.
This vacuum comes with four aluminum section tubes, one 16 inch suction hose, and one transparent section tube so you can see the passage of debris and quickly identify any blockages.
- 21000 GPH
- 7.5 ft suction depth
- It works very efficiently
- It’s really easy to set up and use
- It comes with 5 specialist nozzles
- Transparent hose shows you exactly what’s being removed
- Dual, continuous pump function is faster and more practical
- Comes with a 2 year warranty
- It doesn’t require all that much maintenance
- Larger wheels make it easy to transport
- It’s expensive compared to some other options on our list
- Tubes don’t have a lock-in design
Exorcising the waters at our number two spot is another Oase product that might suit you if the Podovac 5 was a little rich for your tastes. The Classic is the first in series of these infamous pond cleaners. The fact it’s still on the market and as highly rated as it is tells you something about its quality.
Featuring an intelligent sensor that alerts you when the tank is getting full by automatically stopping the motor, you get somewhat of a continuous cleaning mechanism. As soon as the tank is emptied via the 2-in-1 suction/discharge hose, the sensor instantly kicks the motor back into action.
The Classic has a 6 ft maximum suction depth which, although is not quite as impressive as our first pick, still means you don’t have to break out your scuba gear for a completely pristine pond. You get four nozzle attachments with this model and you can expect the fantastic transparent section tube as well.
We did our research and discovered that the 1200 watt motor will probably run at about 1000 GPH. This means it’s probably more suited to slightly smaller water features and ponds, but more than capable of larger tasks if you’ve got the time.
- Comes with four nozzle attachments
- Runs at around 1000 GPH
- Automatically empties using intelligent sensor
- The expelling process is incredibly quick
- Compact design with handle to make transportation easier
- 6ft suction depth suitable for most ponds
- Transparent section tube
- The tank fills quite quickly which slows the process down a little
Keeping all the gills happy and healthy at our number three position is a well-priced alternative to other dual-function vacuums on the market. This Pond Guy masterpiece has the same continuous flow, dual-chamber reservoir design as our top pick. No halting things for automatic or manual emptying of tanks. It does it all for you.
If you’ve got one of those inexplicably deep ponds, you’re in luck with this vacuum. With a 1600 watt motor, you can expect somewhere between 1050 to 1100 GPH of suction, even at depth of 7 ft.
Similarly to our number two pick, this pond vacuum comes with four different nozzle attachments so you can get cleaning all kinds of surfaces straight away. The Clear Vac also comes with the handy transparent section tube so you can keep an eye on what’s passing through.
The Pond Guy doesn’t quite have the prestige of other brands, which works in your favor in this case. This vacuum has almost the same spec as our number one spot, at almost half the price.
- 7 ft maximum suction depth means you can clean safely from the side of your pond
- Offers an estimated 1050 to 1100 GPH of suction
- Dual reservoir technology means you can use this continuously
- Very efficient
- Comes with 4 nozzles
- Has the clear section tube so you can see the process.
- Affordable for the advanced design
- Not as powerful our number one pick
- Some customers had problems with clogging
Giving your pond water the flawless clarity normally associated exclusively with the Bahamas is another Pondovac model. This time we’re looking at the third iteration in the series.
Here is another vacuum with an awesome continuous cleaning function. Water goes in one tube and after the filtration process, shoots right out another. Pondovac 3 comes with a powerful 1600 watt motor, so you can expect a really efficient cleaning process and a maximum suction rate of around 1050 GPH.
It shouldn’t need too much maintenance, but when the time eventually comes, the motor has a quick release lock, giving you easy access to the rest of the mechanisms. You can also expect a sturdy wheel design reminiscent of our first pick, meaning you can transport it with confidence.
This is a very similar vacuum to our number three spot. The reason we relegated this one to our fourth slot was the pricing. That said, if you don’t mind paying a bit more for the assurance a brand name provides, this won’t be an issue for you.
- Dual reservoir system means non-stop cleaning, saving you time and effort
- 1600 watt motor provides around 1050 GPH of suction
- 7 ft maximum suction depth keeps flow strong
- Easy access components for maintenance
- Comes with 4 nozzles
- Sturdy wheels make transportation easier
- Comes with transparent section tubes
- Slightly more money than our fourth pick for a similar design
- Some customers claimed it couldn’t handle certain sludges
Our fifth pick is an industrial-strength mega cleaner perfect for more intensive jobs and people who own pond maintenance businesses. This beast has two motors that provide you with up to 2500 GPH of suction and an astonishing maximum depth of 18 ft.
Featuring the same continuous cleaning power as our top pick, this vacuum will have a small to medium pond fully cleaned in no time whatsoever. A larger pond might take as little as 2 to 3 hours to clean.
Due to the power of this vacuum, the manufacturer does advise to leave it to cool every so often during a clean, but that shouldn’t slow you down too much.
One of the things we really loved about this vacuum is the front wheel. This is a big help as it’s not just the most powerful cleaner on our list, but the heaviest as well. The third frontal wheel goes a long way in reducing some of the burden.
- Two motors make for super powerful 2500 GPH suction
- Works at great depth
- Continuous flow speeds up cleaning process
- Frontal wheel makes up for weight
- Perfect for commercial use
- Not suitable for the average pond enthusiast
- Stronger metal tubing is purchased separately
- Has to cool frequently
Best Pond Vacuum Buying Guide
Let’s have a think about what exactly you should be looking for in your new pond vacuum.
Coming up with a budget can steer you in the right direction when you’re shopping for a pond vacuum. You should take into account running costs as well as price tags.
Manual or Electric
Manual pond vacuums are hand-powered via an attached pump. We don’t recommend using one of these, especially for larger ponds, but if you have no access to electricity, they’re your only option. Electric vacuums are a lot more powerful and work way faster.
Cord or Cordless
If you’ve chosen to go electric, now you need to decide if you want a cordless design or one with a plug. Cordless vacuums aren’t as powerful as their wall bound brethren, but they can be pretty practical.
If you’ve opted for max power, assuming your pond isn’t right next to your door, you’re going to need a pretty long cord. We recommend going for something between 30 and 50 feet long.
GPH stands for gallons per hour and tells you how powerful the vacuum is. GPH, along with a few other design features, is going to define how long it takes you to clean your whole pond. If you have a smallish pond, we’d say a vacuum with 950 to 1000 GPH would be sufficient to get the job done in a decent time. If you have a larger pond, we recommend something with at least 1050 +.
The wattage of your vacuum’s motor often goes hand in hand with its GPH. It tells you how much power it needs to function. You should take this into consideration as these things might be running for some pretty long periods of time. The last thing you need is a big and unexpected energy bill.
These are the most basic tanks. They take on water until they’re full, when you’ll have to manually drain it before continuing. These kinds of vacuums are very affordable but they’re not time efficient.
Single Chamber System
These systems are preferable to tanks that require manual draining, but they’re still not as efficient as they could be. This system uses the suction hose to expel filtered water back into the pond. It will do this automatically which is great, but you can’t start cleaning again until the process is over.
This is the most efficient system currently available and it provides non-stop cleaning. Water is taken in through the suction tube and expelled through an exhaust hose simultaneously. This saves a lot of time as the draining function is seamlessly integrated into the cleaning process.
Every pond vacuum has a depth at which the maximum suction will start to suffer. You need to find a vacuum that holds its maximum suction at whatever depth your pond is. Most decent vacuums should be able to clean efficiently at 6 ft, but it’s always good to check.
These things aren’t exactly light, especially when they’re full of pond gunk. A vacuum with strong wheels will prove a big help when it comes to transporting them around the garden or loading them into vans or cars.
There’s no way around it. Vacuums are noisy machines. The dBA of a vacuum can be kind of hard to dig up, but a simple message to the seller or manufacturer might get you the answer you need. We think 60 to 65 dBA is a reasonable volume for a pond vacuum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a wet/dry vac for a pond vacuum?
Yes, you can technically use a wet/dry vacuum to clean your pond, but it’d make sense to drain your pond first. A pond vacuum doesn’t require a drained pond.
How often should I change the water in my pond?
You almost never have to completely replace the water in your pond.
You should replace about 15% a week with fresh water if your pond holds 5000 gallons or less, and around 10% a week if it holds more.
A pond vacuum is the perfect way of taking care of your little lake. Combine it with a filtration system and not only will you have the clearest pond this side of the Mississippi, you’ll cut down running cots of the vacuum and prolong its life.
We hope this information has proved valuable to you. A well-kept pond is a gorgeous addition to any garden. It doesn’t just look stunning and create a more interesting landscape, it invites a wider host of wildlife into your own little private Eden. Enjoy!