Does My Garden Pond Need a Pond Filter?
Deciding Whether or Not to Install a Pond Filter in Your Garden Pond
Here are the first things that need to be considered-
The size of your finished pond
The location of your pond
The climate of your location
The amount of sunlight your pond will get
The amount of overhanging foliage
Whether you plan to have floating plants or submerged plants
Whether you want crystal-clear water
Whether you have the ability to manage the filtering system
Whether you can afford a good filtering system
If you plan to have fish in your pond
Size of Pond
Very small ponds can often get away without a filtration system because they are easier to clean by hand, and are often more accessible for changing water, scooping leaves or draining. Because of their size, though, it will be easy to learn how to clean a small pond filter. Very large ponds are often too big to install an affordable filtering system, and adapt well to being allowed to 'go natural'. You will have to work harder to learn how to clean a large pond filter. Medium sized ponds often need a filter because they aren't small enough to be cleaned easily, yet aren't large enough to self-balance as an ecosystem.
Location of Pond
If your pond is located in an area that gets too much sun, it may become over-run with algae, and if there is a lot of overhanging foliage your pond will quickly fill with surface debris and submerged leaves. If you live in a very warm climate, algae will grow quickly, and if you live in a very cold climate, your pond may often freeze. These types of conditions are usually easier to handle by having a pond filter.
Pond Plants- Floating, Submerged or Marginal?
If you plan to have floating plants, they will help shield some sunlight, and will help keep the water clean (as long as debris is not falling on top of them), but they are diffcult to keep out of surface pond skimmers. Underwater plants will also keep pond water clean, but tend to have roots that grow into the pumps and clog them. Marginal plants work well with ponds with filters and without.
Koi Fish and Other Pond Life
Most people like the idea of having fish in their pond, and will want to add some Koi Fish or other fish to their pond, but it's very hard to keep fish healthy (without a lot of planning and work) in a pond with no filter. Fish produce a lot of waste which quickly builds up in the water and does not disappear unless a perfect ecosystem is created. This is very hard to do for beginning ponders. It is very hard to keep the water clear, and hard to see the fish. Plus- think about it- would you like to be living, eating and breathing in your bathroom 24/7? It's much kinder to keep your fish healthy by installing a filter.
If you do decide to get a filtering system, make sure to get the largest filter and pump (of the highest quality) that you can afford. It is less expensive in the long run to get something that does a good job and lasts a long time.
Enjoy your pond!