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Planning and Installing your own "Practical Garden Pond"
Planning and Installing your Own Garden Pond

Planning and Installing your Own Garden Pond

"If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably end up someplace else!" This timeless truth is important in planning a pond just as it is in planning a life. Before you begin is the time to visualize what kind of a pond you really want. Here are some of the possibilities:


The Water Garden >> 


A pond primarily created as a home for beautiful water plants with luscious flowers and delicate greens. The water garden will need lots of sunlight and you should not plan on having koi or even very large goldfish. A few small to medium Goldfish, Shubunkins, Golden Orf or Gambusia along with tadpoles and frogs will provide appetites to eat up mosquito larvae without threatening to eat delicate foliage. A true water garden will also avoid fountains and waterfalls because the constant splashing will cause rot on plants since the top side is not meant to be wet all of the time as is the bottom side. The still water and modestly inhabited water garden can be maintained with minimal filtration but will also usually be murky beneath the surface. 




koi pond

<< The Koi Pond


If koi are your joy, sun or shade is not as much an issue as the size and style of the pond. Bigger is better as the koi will also get quite large. Some shade and/or deep water will also help you keep the water temperatures within safe levels for your fish. Although you can “get away” with keeping Koi in smaller ponds, big beautiful Koi need at least five gallons of water per inch of fish, and Koi ponds should be well filtered and aerated. If you are into Koi build the largest pond you are willing to afford & maintain. 


The Family Fish Pond >> 


The most common configuration for a family pond is a moderate combination of aquatic delights. A combination pond can bring together moving water (fountains, waterfalls, or streams), plants, and fish all in one place. Waterfalls and streams create pleasing sights and sounds, a variety of fish and pond creatures add the thrill of animal life to your pond, and a few well placed hardy and sturdy plant species in pots on shelves at the edges, floating in the pond, or planted in bog filters, make a serendipitous environment that is many hobbies within the pond hobby!


A good way to mix large fish and lush plants is by creating separate sections for fish and plants. Perhaps a smaller upper pool or bog for attractive plants and a larger lower pool for large fish. A bog provides natural filtration, while at the same time, fish waste dissolved in the water provides nutrition for the plants – a very practical symbiotic relationship.


 family pond

Swim Pond



<< The Swim Pond


Perhaps the ultimate in Multi environments is the “Swim Pond”.  The Swim Pond is filtered by modern pond filtration and natural bog principles.  It is planted around the edges and marginal areas for beauty like any ornamental pond.  It can even have a modest fish load. But the swim pond also has a dock for climbing in and out without disturbing the beautified pond edges and a deeper area set aside specifically for swimming.   No more ugly concrete swimming pools needed.    The swim pond is not ideal for frequent large swim events or parties which would have a negative impact on the pond. The Swim Pond does combine a refreshing place to swim with a beautiful backyard pond environment.   




Once you have decided what kind of pond you want the next critical issue is where to put your pond. One philosophy of pond location is to ask yourself, "Where do I spend my time?" By this mindset, the more your day-to-day activities take you near your pond the more value it will be to you. Put it where you will pass by often or where you frequently spend your leisure time. An alternative view is to create a “vacation spot” in your own back yard away from your daily activities. 

Some people even incorporate a little “cabin” and outdoor cooking area into their pond location.  The ultimate vacation at home concept may be to create a “Swim Pond” (see above).   Where ever you put the pond, keep in mind that you will need access to electricity and water.  Outlets must be a GFI (Ground Fault interrupted).

Important TIPS to enhance the natural beauty of your pond:

One of the most important differences between a professional or natural looking pond and one that appears amateur is whether or not liner is showing above the waterline. Most people line the edges of their pond with rocks but the difference between sticking a few rocks on the surface jutting out clumsily over the pond and a small rock wall coming up out of the pond is huge.

It is perfectly fine to leave liner showing on the bottom of the pond if you like, but a thin line of visible black rubber ABOVE water level will draw everyone’s eye to itself and it is always an eyesore. The way you beat this problem is to build a special ledge for a rock wall the entire way around the pond. This ledge is dug before the liner is measured or installed. Then the liner is put in place and is placed to cover the pond bottom and sides including this ledge. The ledge must be completely level. The ground around it may rise and fall but the flat seat of the ledge itself must be level.

This ledge is not the plant shelf. If you are planning for plant shelves that is a separate item. This ledge is to be wide enough for the decorative covering you will be using (usually wall building stone although bricks or other decorative non-corrosive inorganic objects may be used).

If using typical wall stone a good width for the ledge would be about eight inches. The height will vary. Make it at least eight inches high in the place where the edge of the pond is the lowest. (It is permissible to fill in small valleys and hollow spots to make the pond edge more consistent if necessary and desired).

After the liner is put in place and covers this ledge, build a small wall on this ledge that goes the whole way around the pond. Cap off the top of the wall with your largest stones so that now the liner above water level is all covered from the top and from the view across the pond. The ledge will now disappear and so will any visible ugly black liner above the water level.

River Stone

Another option is to cover the remaining liner that is visible at the bottom of the pond with nicely rounded natural "river stone". This is not nearly as important as the rock wall around the upper edge – a black liner on the bottom of the pond is not necessarily ugly as it will soon be covered with some mossy algae.


Still, the river rock look is very attractive. The important thing is to decide ahead of time whether or not you will line the whole pond with river rock. If you plan to leave the liner at the bottom of the pond showing, dig your sides relatively "straight up and down". This makes the liner on the sides all but invisible and keeps the visible liner at a distance at the bottom of the pond.


If you plan to cover the bottom with river rock, then leave some slope to the sides of the pond. This allows you to stack river rock up the sloping sides for literally all the pond liner to be covered.

A third alternative is to dig the sides straight up and down and cover only the bottom with river stone. The nice thing about this option is that it can be changed. You can add river stone after the fact or take it away if cleaning it becomes an issue for you and you decide you don’t want it. Sloping sides should only be used where you know you want river stone. You can see sample photos of ponds built both ways here on the Practical Garden Ponds web site under Pond Photos.




Keep in mind that shapes speak. If you have a formal house and yard consider a formal pond shape like a square or perfect oval and consider using cut stones, bricks, or landscape pavers. If, however, a more natural looking pond would fit better into the rest of your landscape (often the case), irregular shapes, uncut stones and random depths will probably give you a natural look consistent with your yards theme.



If your pond is built on a hill, use it to your advantage. Dig into the hill put the waterfall at the uphill end of the pond. Have the rock wall that protrudes from the pond extend up as high as the bank and bring your water flow off that natural embankment.

Do NOT build your pond in a natural drainage basin. People do this thinking it is good use of a useless spot. This will cause problems. Rainstorms will lift out your liner, dump your fish into your lawn and cause a mess.

Also, junk and debris from your yard will wash into the pond. Therefore, avoid natural low drainage areas and deflect runoff around your pond.




Equipment for easy maintenance of a beautiful garden pond.

Please accept some advice – when it comes to filtration "cheap" is not usually practical. No pond is a decoration. Every pond is a hobby. In other words, you will have to be involved with your pond. But the degree and type of involvement you want should be strongly considered before you build your pond. Many of us enjoy building the pond and interacting with it, but most of us would rather sit by the pond than clean and maintain it. There is a wide variety of degrees to which you can be involved with your pond. On one extreme is the person who likes tinkering with the natural balance and is willing to constantly work at maintaining a healthy pond without expensive devises.

Keep in mind however, that no "closed system" (a pond without a continual fresh source of running water and an overflow that exhausts foul water) is truly "natural". It is possible to have a nice pond with minimal equipment, but it requires effort (water changes, a consistent balance of plant & animal life, etc).

On the other hand if your budget allows for professional grade equipment you can build a pond that is almost no work at all. This planning and installation guide is aimed at the homeowner who wants a serious or professional quality pond.

Beyond what is discussed here, we can sell you equipment to build a spectacular show pond like you might expect to see at an upscale mall, but this paper is not about that. Neither will we spend time on the minimal equipment with which you might end up with an ugly plastic puddle plopped into the middle of the back yard.

Practical Garden Ponds sells, uses, and recommends upper and high mid-range equipment to keep pond maintenance at a minimum and results beautiful.

I recommend one of several types of systems based on your goals. There are lots of other philosophies for building a pond. These methods will work if you take the time to understand and follow the principles these systems are built around.

All systems I recommend have four main components:

  • water entry into the filtration system,
  • pumping action (source of motion),
  • water purification (type of filtration)
  • and water return (re-entry to the pond.

Water Entry into the Filtration System

The first thing we need to establish is how the water will enter the filtration system. This can be done via a pump which is simply laying on the bottom of the pond, it can be done via a bottom drain (connected to a pump is most cases), via a skimmer box with a pump inside, or via a skimmer with an external pump kit. In most cases I recommend a skimmer with a pump inside. Skimmer values include:

  • It removes floating debris from off of the surface of the pond BEFORE the debris water logs, sinks, and begins to decay on the bottom of your pond.
  • It hides unsightly pumps and cords.
  • It provides significant pre-pump filtration at the edge of the pond where it can be maintained with minimal effort. This meaningful pre-filtration replaces clumsy small sponge filters or filter boxes located on the front of a pump in the pond, which collect muck quickly and require frequent cleaning (as often as every day depending on the size of the pond and the smallness of the pre-filter). Cleaning an “in pond” pre-filter usually means getting wet up to your elbows! Not so with a skimmer!
Skimmer boxes also protect your pump and therefore add longevity to it.

Some skimmers incorporate extra features that add even more benefits. For example, Savio Skimmers, and Crystal Pond Skimmers also house and hide an optional UV clarifier, if desired. Because they are simply seated inside the skimmer installation and removal is very easy. UV clarifiers will eliminate "green water" in a pond and are definitely recommended in all sunny locations or as needed.

In ponds near trees where leaves are a problem, in four season areas where pumps and UV’s are seasonally removed etc, the benefits of a quality skimmer increase dramatically! The one and only disadvantage to a skimmer box is that it is more difficult to use a skimmer in conjunction with a decorative fountain.

Bottom drains are valuable in certain situations, especially Swim-Ponds and really large koi ponds. However, in most ponds perfect results can be achieved without one.


Pumping action / Water Motion

Of course what you need for this function is a pump. The question is what kind should you buy? That varies a good bit depending on your purpose. If you are using a skimmer, all you need is a high quality submersible pump to locate in the sump of the skimmer. There are many reasonable pumps on the market.

Choose one that accepts at least minor dirt particles (in other words a pump with ¼ inch or larger holes in the protective screen) as opposed to a typical mag-driven pump requiring a sponge pre-filter is very important.

I recommend Oase Mag-drive pump because the unusually high quality of the impeller allows it to move particles. The cheap magnetic impellers on most other pumps need to be protected with a sponge filter which makes maintenance a nightmare.

You will have much less maintenance if you use a "solids pump" in the sump of your skimmer but here are two cautions. Only use a solids pump if there is some other means of removing debris from your system. If the pump is pumping large solids into the bottom of a bog for example, you will have difficulty removing the solids and they will cause clogging of the bog.

A solids pump is perfect if you are sending your water to/through a Livingponds filter, box filter, Ultima II, Oase Screenmatic, or other external and accessible filtration system. Otherwise stick to a pump with some form of large debris restriction. Do not use a solids pump where fish may enter it (like out in the open pond). Fish will be diced if they swim inside a solids handling pump. There is a trade off with solids pumps as the abuse they can endure seems to shorten their life span.

Most of the pumps on the market are of a “sump pump design”. In general, a sump pump design is best used in a skimmer as it needs protection and is not truly designed for continuous use under difficult conditions.

Things to look for in choosing a pump to drive your waterfall or draw through your skimmer or filtration system include:

  • warrantee,
  • electrical use,
  • quality of bearings,
  • and purpose for which it was designed.
The only pump that I recommend for installing directly in the pond without a skimmer is the Oase Aquamax. The Aquamax was engineered specifically for pond use. It is designed AND manufactured by Oase (not a third party vendor). The high quality design allows this incredible mag-drive pump to lie directly in the lowest most debris filled caverns of your pond. It will rarely if ever require removal for cleaning. It has an unequalled five-year guarantee (and has been known to run 15 years without maintenance).

The Aquamax is freeze proof so that it can be left in the pond all winter with or without being run and the low pressure design of this pump  makes it one of the most electrically efficient pumps on the market. The Aquamax is expensive and worth it.

The ideal set up is to use an Aquamax in the pond for 24/7 filtration and a waterfall pump in your skimmer to be controlled with a switch or timer. This way a high pressure high flow pump can give you a great water feature when you want it, but you can shut it off conserving a lot of energy when you don’t need it and still have a healthy pond.

There are a lot more choices of pump for use within the protection of a skimmer. Oase’s Neptune and Profinaut are exceptional quality but Atlantic, Savio, and others sell a pump that will perform fairly well in skimmer conditions for a lot less money.

Always consider the energy tradeoff when choosing a pump. If you are going to keep the pump in a skimmer and use it “as desired” to run a water feature, the equation changes considerably. When used 24/7 a more expensive energy efficient pump will pay for itself.

Fountains and Lighting If you plan to use a fountain on a pump that is placed somewhere outside the skimmer in the middle of the pond you will have to choose a pump that is prefiltered.

The downside is that the pre-filter will have to be cleaned, probably frequently, but without it, the debris will clog the fountain and cause other problems. For busy people seeking very low maintenance I recommend skipping the fountain and having a gorgeous waterfall instead. If you do want a fountain, some pumps are better than others. Consider a screened pump or pump with a large pre-filter rather than a pump with a tiny sponge that will clog quickly. Buy value – not "cheap". The best home quality fountain pump I have found is the Oase Nautilus Pumps. The Nautilus line is designed with a lot of surface area for good flow in spite of a pre-filtering design. Fountains and lights can be directly mounted to a Nautilus pump. They are also durable, coming with an unparalleled five-year guarantee, and are electrically efficient.

We also carry professional fountain technology from Oase. It is possible to have dancing fountain and laser light shows at home if your budget is not shy. We have equipment suitable for Malls and Hotel displays if desired. Multiple lights and fountains run by computer program can be used to create significant displays that will wow everyone!

Purification / Filtration

There are three kinds of filtration strategies:

  • "Particle or mechanical filtration": The skimmer or pump screen provides the first line of defense, trapping large debris and making it available for you to remove it by hand.
  • "Chemical Filtration": This is accomplished with charcoal or other media that chemically absorbs gases like ammonia in the water. I do not generally recommend chemical filtration as there are better ways to do what needs to be done without the expense of replacing expensive charcoal or carbon regularly.
  • "Biological Filtration": Media is used to harbor beneficial bacteria and enzymes which break down natural pollutants in the water, processing waste like a sewage treatment plant. The best filters combine particle and biological filtration. Cost, ease of removing the particles that build up within the filtration system, prevention of resuspension of phosphates, nitrates, ammonia and other tiny contaminants, and appearance of the filter are all important deciding factors in choosing a filtration system. Here are my recommendations based on those factors.Wherever the filter can be located on higher ground than the pond and waterfall, the Oase Biotech Screenmatic is simply incredible.

    Oase offers the only “Clear Pond Guarantee” that is good for the life of your pond! (Ask about details or see the written offer on our website.) There are two significant features that make this filter head and shoulders above all others.

    First, there is a timed, electronic conveyor belt that lifts debris out of and away from the flow of water every twenty-minutes so that between simple cleaning operations this separated debris cannot re-contaminant your pond water. Other filters do not actually remove the debris they simply trap it until you remove it with regular maintenance. Trapped debris continually allows nutrients, gases and minute particles to escape back into the pond causing re-suspension.



The second feature that makes the screen-matic powerful is it’s phosphate removing cartridges. This feature significantly reduces string algae. Compared to other filters in its league the Biotech Screenmatic is even a bargain price. The only downside of this filter is that water flows from the Biotech back into the pond by gravity, making it inconvenient for some types of installation.

My second choice for out of the pond filtration is the Ultima II external pond filter by Aqua Ultraviolet. The Ultima looks like a swimming pool filter but is designed to manage the size and type of debris common to a pond with its bio-tube filter media. It is a professional unit complete with a pressure gauge to tell you when backwashing is needed. Backwashing takes place by the turn of a dial and is quick and painless. Backwashing takes one or two minutes without getting your hands dirty. The downside is that this filter should be hidden as it is a large plastic tank. However, it can be located up to ten feet from the pond and placed behind landscaping barriers. This can be an expensive item, depending on the size pond you are filtering but if you can budget for it, this filter is worth its cost!

Savio Livingponds Waterfall filters and Versatile filters are a very practical choice. These filters can be buried up to the lid helping with the appearance issue. They do have to be manually cleaned but this is very easy with the optional bottom drain assembly. While they require more work to clean than the Ultima, they are a lot less work than smaller or cheaper filters and they do produce excellent results in ponds up to 5000 gallons, yet are value priced. The Livingponds “Waterfall filter” is meant to be built into the landscape of the pond, using rocks to disguise and beautify it. The Livingponds “Versatile filter”, like the Ultima, can be placed back from the pond and hidden in the surroundings.

A very natural form of filtration is the planted bog. Consider a bog to be a separate area of the pond (which can be made with liner or with a container for that purpose) filled with pea gravel and planted with plants through which the dirty pond water rises up from the bottom seeping thru the gravel and flowing back into the pond via a waterfall. Atlantic makes inexpensive “waterfall filters” that are basically “pre-made” bogs which start at about $100. Bogs can also be made with liner, a small pond that has been filled with gravel.

After creating and camouflaging your bog above the pond so that water will pass thru it into the pond, you simply fill the inside of it with pea sized landscape gravel (rinsed well).

Next plant hardy or tropical bog plants directly in the gravel (no dirt except what is clinging tightly to the root ball). Turn on the water and viola, a beautiful and functional bog. Because the nutrient rich water from the pond is forced up through the roots of the plants, plant growth is phenomenal and water clarity is excellent. It is a truly symbiotic relationship between the fish and the bog.

Bogs can perform for months or even years before needed maintenance other than the trimming of plants. To prevent clogging of the bog, I recommend at least annual use of Microbelift Sludge remover or a similar biological product to keep organic sludge from building up under the bog and to maintain good flow. This form of filtration is actually an asset to the appearance of your pond.

As you can see, there is more than one way to clean a pond. Each has its advantages. Buy good equipment for long term value.


Water Returning to the Pond

Although with any of these recommended forms of filtration, the water can be returned to the pond via a waterfall, this is a built in benefit of the Livingponds filter and the Atlantic waterfall filter bogs. Creating a beautiful waterfall and/or streambed adds sound and movement that is fascinating and relaxing to all but the most hardened hearts. It also adds oxygen to the water, a big plus, but will increase evaporation and sometimes draw debris into the pond. To get the advantages of a stunning waterfall while avoiding the cost of running a high volume pump over a waterfall all the time, consider a two pump system as described earlier. In addition to the energy and maintenance advantages, a two pump pond is less vulnerable to crisis if one pump fails.

Selecting Pond Material

I use and recommend 45 mil EPDM rubber by Firestone. This is a flexible and durable material for a serious pond. Generally "preformed" ponds are easy to install but may not hold up well and, because they are shallow may cause difficulties in wintering fish. Freeform liner made ponds can generally be made to look & perform much more professionally. In areas with cold winters (below freezing) a liner pond can and should be made at least slightly deeper than frost level in your area.

To determine the liner size that you need, add the length of your pond, plus two times the maximum depth of the pond and add one or two feet for margin.

Length + 2X depth + 2’ = liner length

Do the same to figure for the width of the liner.

Pond width +2X depth + 2’

Creating Your Pond Shape

Use a rope or garden hose to create the shape you desire. Spray paint can then be used to preserve the outline while you dig. Buy the kind of spray paint made to spray lines with the container upside-down.

Determining Pump Size

“Everybody” says that the minimum pump size to use is a pump which, after compensating for gph losses for head pressure etc., will pump your entire pond volume through at least one time every two hours. This is a rule of thumb that experience says works well, but it is not really science. I recommend going by that proverbial wisdom if you are designing your own system as it is time tested and experience proven.

However, if you use an Oase system please note that Oase has scientifically tested their guidelines and can provide a guaranteed clear pond with substantially less energy used and water flowing than called for in the rule of thumb stated above. We have charts available (see right) to recommend the minimum size of equipment that will provide guaranteed results when using Oase. If you are not using all of Oase’s proven recommendations use the aforementioned rule of thumb.  

Another thing to consider is the appearance of your water features. Figure at least 150 gph for every inch of width in a waterfall to obtain an average flow. Use less for a trickling falls and 200 gph or more for a very full fast waterfall flow. When figuring "head pressure" also add one foot of "height" for every ten foot of running tubing, another foot of “height” for every sharp bend, etc.

Filters and UV’s are designed for continuous flow. Therefore, it may be helpful to use a separate pump from the one running filters and UV’s to create a large waterfall. Large water features create excessive evaporation, pull dirt out of the air, and raise energy costs.

A dual system may be cost efficient in the long run. An added bonus of separate pumps is that if either pump fails the other will sustain your pond while repairs are made.

Calculating Pond Size in Gallons For rectangle ponds:
multiply length X width X average depth X 7.48 = gallons

For round ponds:
multiply top diameter X bottom diameter
    X depth X .785 X 7.48  = gallons.











































































Creating a stone edge that will prevent any liner from being seen at the edge of the pond begins with a level ledge the whole distance around the pond. 


After installing the liner, you will build a loose laid stone wall on the top shelf which will cuase the shelf to disappear, creating a rock wall rising out of the water of your pond and disquising all of the liner at and above the surface of the pond.

  Below:  A stone wall inside the pond in process.  The left side is ready for capstone:

After the wall is finished all liner will be hidden above the water level.

It is optional to cover the sloped sides and bottom of the pond with smooth river rock as well (diagram below). If you are not planning to cover the sloped sides with river rock, cut the sides at a vry straight angle which will make the rubber beneath the water less eye catching.

Pond Shapes vary from "formal" (a geometric shape as in the pond below) to many "natural" or free flowing shapes like most of the ponds pictured on our website at

Work with your landscape: Many of the large boulders around the pond pictured below were already in the bank on which this pond & waterfall were built. We worked around the existing material with similar color stone so it would blend in well.

Benefits of a skimmer: Although it is permissible to simply put a pump right into the pond, in most cases a skimmer is preferable as it hides and protects the pump, keeps the pump much cleaner causing it to last longer and reduces maintenance all while improving the water quality of your pond by removing leaves before they sink to the bottom.

The only pump really suited for use directly in a pond without a skimmer is the Oase Aquamax which is designed specifically to hide and operate on the pond bottom.  

When using a skimmer, the water from the pond enters the weir or faceplate, and then comes thru the leaf basket. On Savio and Crystal pond models, the water also travels thru a chamber where the optional UV light fits if needed and desired. After the leaf basket or U.V. chamber, the water travels thru the filter matt (bio filter media) and into the pump chamber where your pump sends it on its way! Features like these are why Nate uses and recommends Savio, Crystal Ponds and Oase Skimmers.



Various skimmer sizes and styles are available for different needs. Below: Top view of Savio Full Size skimmer to show skimmer basket, UV compartment and pump area. With the filter mat in place the pump compartment is about 16.5" x 7" at the largest point. Larger solids handling pumps may be accommodated by removing the filter mat.

In this next photo, taken to demonstrate how well the skimmer disappears into the landscape, I actually removed some of the rocks to show the skimmer. This skimmer is capped with Savio’s large Faux stone which is large enough to completely cover the skimmer but is light weight for quick and easy removal.




The Cal Stainless Steel and Bronze line is a small durable pump (available from 200 gph to 1200 gph). I recommend using them only with the optional strainer baskets pictured below.


SS & B’s are tough because they are direct drive, therefore they last a long time, and are able to handle any solids that can fit through the screen.

    Savio pumps (above) are convenient to install in Savio Skimmers with the optional “discharge kits”.

Atlantic (below) has a wide range of tough pumps like the Tidal Wave line which is good for high lift and high pressure situations. Tidal Wave pumps have a cast and stainless steel body, and are extremely tough. They put out excellent volume and pressure even at a challenging head height.


The best over all value in pond pumps in my opinion is the Oase Aquamax. This pump is expensive and worth it! This pump is engineered specifically to take 24/7 operation directly exposed to the muck and mud on the bottom of your pond. With its low pressure operation it uses very little electricity while plodding on with little or no maintenance for many years. It also has unique convenient features like a satellite draw potential with adjustable volume control. Oase has the best warranty in the business.

Oase also makes fantastic fountain and waterfall pumps including professional fountain pumps with head heights of up to 40’. On the “Varinaut” the flow may be controlled by computer program to create professional dancing fountains. The entire Oase pump line can be used with an ordinary dimmer switch for easy flow adjustment electronically! In every class of pump, I recommend the Oase brand above all others.


Oase Nautilus pumps (above) are designed specifically for fountain applications.  Professional “jumping fountains” with laser lights by Oase are also available (Unit pictured below. Several in use on bottom left).


(Above – Floating Aeration fountain with lights.)

The Oase biotech Screenmatic offers state of the art concepts that remove solid debris and phosphates from the water flow. And each Oase system offers a “Life of the pond, clear water guarantee”.









The Ultima II (below left) is another great filter. The results are super (see “Art’s Pond” on the Pond Photo page at and it is very convenient to use. This filter is over engineered for its recommended pond size, has significant capacity and has a powerful backwash feature that can’t be beat for ease of cleaning using the power from your pond pump.

(Above right) This exploded view of a Savio Livingponds filter is shown with the 22" waterfall weir. When used with the optional bottom drain this filter can easily be hosed clean and it sells for much less than other filters truly capable of a filtering a 5000 gallon pond. Pictured below in both available forms:


Below, I am constructing a live planted bog out of an Atlantic waterfall filter.


Above is a small preformed Atlantic bog, planted with bog plants and operating on a trickle flow. Below, a free-formed bog made with a frame, rocks and liner demonstrates a heavy and attractive flow rate. Notice the clear water.

The pond below is a large 40 x 20 pond with a very large free formed bog. The center of this pond is six feet deep. Note the clear water! This bog displays two waterfalls, one a spirited flow rate and the other a trickle falls.

Minimum Equipment to qualify for Oase’s Lifetime Clear Water Guarantee in a reasonably populated fish pond
(Ask me how the guarantee works):

Pond Size






UVC Clarifier




Aquamax SF 1600




Built-in 9
watt UVC




SF 2200




Built-in 9
watt UVC


1500 gallons


SF 3000




Built-in 9
watt UVC


2000 gallons


SF 3500




Built-in 9
watt UVC


3300 gallons


SF 2200


Biotec 10.1


Bitron 36C


4800 gallons


SF 3500


Biotec 10.1


Bitron 36C


6100 gallons


SF 3500


Biotec 18


Bitron 55C


6600 gallons


SF 3500


Biotec 18


Bitron 72C


9250 gallons


SF 6000


Biotec 18


Bitron 72C




SF 3500


Biotec 36


Bitron 110C




SF 6000


Biotec 36




In the above chart substitutions for Oase equipment above the recommendations may always be used instead to access better features or advantages.

For all situations where you are not following a specific manufacturer’s guarantee, use the formula “pond size in gallons divided by 2 equals minimum pump size in gph.” Use a filter which by manufacturer’s recommendation meets or exceeds your pump and pond size. Filters and UV’s have maximum flow rates which if exceeded will defeat the purpose of the filter or UV.





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































I look forward to serving your future pond needs!




Nate at