The addition of a pond can add value and curb appeal to any home. There are some important features to consider though, including how to ensure the pond stays fresh and clean.
The addition of a pond skimmer can help keep your pond in the best shape possible.
Whether you are new to building and caring for a pond or a seasoned landscaping pro, finding the best pond skimmer for your personal needs can be a not fun chore.
Aquascape Signature Series Pond Skimmer Filter
Best Pond Skimmer in Our Rating
- Faux rock lid blends in perfectly to hide the unit
- Handles up to 10,000 GPH
- Locking 8-inch weir door protects fish
- Easy to install, use, and clean
Selecting the Best Pond Skimmer in December, 2020
Aquascape Series 1000
21 x 22 x 26.5 inches
|Atlantic Water Gardens|
17.8 x 19.5 x 19.5 inches
Atlantic Water Gardens
Laguna Skimmer Filter
24.3 x 18.3 x 22.3 inches
|Helix Skimmer Package|
14 x 14 x 32 inches
Helix Life Support
|OASE Living Water Filtoskim|
18 x 19.5 x 23 inches
|Atlantic Water Gardens|
17.5 x 24 x 22 inches
Atlantic Water Gardens
|Aquascape Series 200|
19.7 x 18.4 x 22 inches
|OASE Aquaskim 40"|
14 x 14 x 32 inches
|TetraPond In-Pond Skimmer|
13.5 x 10.5 x 9.7 inches
11.5 x 11.2 x 9.1 inches
1. Aquascape Signature Series Pond Skimmer Filter : Easiest to Disguise and Hide Skimmer
The Aquascape Signature Series Pond Skimmer Filter was a hit among our testing team members that hate the look of traditional pond skimmers.
It includes a commercial grade faux rock lid which blends in seamlessly to ponds. It is UV-resistant, so you can enjoy the beauty of your pond for years to come.
This offering from Aquascape is corrosion-resistant to stand up to the constant exposure to water and the elements.
2. Atlantic Water Gardens Pond Skimmer, with 6-Inch Weir Door : Best All-Around Option
The Atlantic Water Gardens Pond Skimmer features a weir door measuring 6 inches that can safely accommodate both smaller and larger ponds. The weir door optimizes water flow to maximize the skimmer’s efficiency.
The skimmer is crafted with a support bar and a rolled upper rim to provide added strength to the unit.
The Atlantic Skimmer is a box surface skimmer. Thanks to its heavy-duty build, it can be easily concealed with rocks or plants to create a serene scene for your pond.
3. Laguna Skimmer Filter : Best for Beginners to Ponds
This option has been created to work best in ponds with a pump that operates with a strength of 2000 GPH to 4200 GPH.
The Laguna skimmer features a compartment where you can safely place your pond pump. The main basket of the skimmer holds a lot of debris and is extremely easy to clean.
4. Helix Life Support Skimmer : Best for Areas with Extreme Weather
Our testing team was thrilled by its performance during freezing and thawing, making it one of our favorite choices.
The Helix Life Support is fish friendly making it a lovely model for Koi ponds.
5. OASE Living Water FiltoSkim 3000 Pond Skimmer : Easiest to Clean
The debris holding basket is easily accessed and requires little effort which made it a hit among our testing team members that dislike cleaning their skimmer.
This offering from OASE has a special spot for your pond pump. It is incredibly easy to install and use as well.
6. Atlantic Water Gardens Pond Skimmer, with 9-Inch Weir Door : Great Choice for Ponds with Fish
Thanks to its larger door opening, this skimmer is a lovely option for ponds or water gardens that have a surface area of up to 600 square feet.
The Atlantic Water Gardens Pond Skimmer accommodates pond pump flows that are between 2,000 GPH and 4,000 GPH.
7. Aquascape Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer Filter : Most Durable
The Aquascape Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer Filter provides efficient debris management for ponds up to 200 square feet. This model has a weir door that measures 6 inches to keep fish safe while removing debris.
The skimmer has a rounded shape which reinforces the unit’s strength, durability, and performance.
The Aquascape Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer Filter has an extremely sturdy and durable lid.
8. OASE AquaSkim 40 Inch Pond Skimmer : Best for Ponds with Algae Growth
The OASE AquaSkim 40 Inch Pond Skimmer is perfectly suited to ponds sized medium to large. This skimmer is fully compatible with dual inlet pumps or any pump with processing capabilities of 1,600 GPH to 3,500 GPH.
Our testing team was shocked at how well this skimmer eradicated an overgrowth of algae that has turned one pond green and murky.
The OASE AquaSkim 40 Inch Pond Skimmer can be used in most any type of pond.
9. TetraPond In-Pond Skimmer : Awesome Budget Choice
You can couple this pond skimmer with pond pumps that accommodate between 550 and 1,900 GPH.
Don’t let the inexpensive price tag fool you, the TetraPond In-Pond Skimmer is powerful and works quickly.
10. OASE SwimSkim Floating Pond Skimmer : Top Budget Pick
The skimmer can be fully assimilated into existing ponds and automatically adapts to any water level.
The OASE SwimSkim features an integrated aerator. The aerator provides oxygen to the pond as it gently skims the surface.
Best Pond Skimmer – Buyer’s Guide
Once you’ve made the investment of time, money, and hard work to create your pond, keeping it in optimal running order is extremely important. The addition of a pond skimmer can alleviate a lot of the work and stress for you. Unfortunately, buying the right pond skimmer can be a confusing and frustrating process.
The market is currently inundated with thousands of different pond skimmer versions, each with benefits and drawbacks. Gaining a fundamental understanding of how skimmers work and what to look for will be helpful as you navigate through the sometimes murky waters of pond care. Let’s take a closer look at what you really need to know.
What is a Pond Skimmer?
A pond skimmer is part of a complete filtration system for your pond. The skimmer works in tandem with any mechanical or biological pumps or filters. Ponds are continuously exposed to a plethora of outdoor elements which may result in clogging from debris such as twigs. The pond may also be subject to a coating of biological waste thanks to fish, plants, or flowers within the surrounding ecosystem.
A pond skimmer is a filter that both collects and traps the debris mechanically. The skimmer will pull the debris through a screen or net. The debris is deposited into a filter, which can be removed to for cleaning and easily returned to the skimmer where it can continue cleaning your pond.
Do I Really Need to Use a Pond Skimmer?
While rivers and streams have water that is constantly moving, most ponds are closed water systems. This fact means that rather than being swept away with the water’s currents, the debris instead floats on top of the water before eventually sinking down into the watery depths. The debris may contain fallen leaves, twigs, and other materials as well. The debris then collects at the floor of the pond and begins to decay.
The decaying debris contributes to a dirty and unsafe home for plants, fish, and wildlife due to the release of nitrates and ammonia during the decaying process. Fish and plants can both be harmed or even killed due to these toxic substances. It can also create a stinky and ugly eyesore of a mess. The addition of a pond skimmer will prevent these issues and allow you, your plants, fish, and surrounding wildlife to continue enjoying the pond.
Differences Between Pond Skimmers and Filters
A pond skimmer is designed to be installed on the surface of the pond water to act as a pond’s primary filtration system. A pond filter is usually submersible and placed in the bottom of the pond. The filter will be fitted with either a mechanical or a biological filtration system. The filter will work to improve the environment of the pond by drawing in dirty water, filtering out any impurities, then pushes the clean water back out into the pond.
Conversely, a pond skimmer is a pivoting tool to collect debris that is floating at the pond water’s surface. The skimmer removes anything that should not be in your pond before it ever gets the opportunity to sink and decay. If you are a fan of fresh, vibrant ponds, the addition of a high-quality pond skimmer working with a pond filter will help to ensure your pond is clean and safe.
Key Considerations for Picking the Best Pond Skimmer for Your Needs
Selecting the proper pond skimmer is easy when you keep these four considerations in mind.
- The Size of the Skimmer: For smaller ponds you can select a skimmer with a more compact design. The skimmers capability must match the volume of the pond. For example, if your pond holds around 1,000 gallons, you will need a pond skimmer that can accommodate ponds of at least that size. If you plan to upgrade to a larger pond, you can select a model with higher filtration capabilities, but it will be more expensive. Finding a skimmer calibrated to your pond size and flow rate will save you money in the long run.
- Ease of Cleaning: Let’s face it, cleaning out the pond skimmer is not the most exciting way to spend an afternoon. Selecting a model that is easy to clean will save you time and frustration. Many versions employ a flip top cover to allow easier debris removal.
- Lifespan: For medium to large sized ponds filled with plants and fish, you will need to purchase a heavy-duty pond skimmer. A heavy-duty skimmer will also be a prudent choice if your area experiences a lot of cold weather to thrive during rough pond and weather conditions. Double check to be certain the skimmer can last through freezing and thawing cycles if adverse weather is common in your specific climate.
- Skimmers for Fishy Friends: If your pond has fish such as Koi, it’s important to understand what naturally curious creatures they are. They may be tempted to explore the skimmer then become sucked inside and trapped. Pond skimmers that are crafted with a special net to protect your fishy friends, a detachable door, or a floating weir door will keep your aquatic pets happy and safe.
The Different Types of Pond Skimmers
There are here separate categories of pond skimmers. Let’s take a closer look at what makes each type unique.
Floating Pond Skimmers
Floating pond skimmers float on the top of the pond, just like their moniker suggests. The skimmer collects floating debris as it travels around the surface thanks to the water’s flow. This version is a terrific option for smaller ponds since they do not require any extra plumbing and they are usually less inexpensive when compared to other types.
They typically have a pump already installed inside of the skimmer, so you can just drop it in and enjoy heightened cleanliness within your pond’s eco-system. On the downside, floating pond skimmers do require a greater amount of maintenance and cleaning when compared to other models. Floating skimmers are also not as well suited to larger ponds.
Pond Skimmer Box
Pond skimmer boxes are set up with the mouth of the skimmer at water level. This placement allows the skimmer to collect fallen leaves and other unsightly items. The skimmer is fitted with a large basket used to collect the debris and will need to be placed into a hole near the bank of the pond and then attached to the pond’s liner.
Box pond skimmers are wonderful for ponds with fish. This option would also be a good choice for larger ponds as well and can be discretely hidden with rocks or plants to preserve the natural beauty of the pond. This version requires less cleaning and maintenance but will require a strong pump and adequate water flow to properly function.
Submerged Surface Skimmer
The third and final type of pond skimmer is the submerged surface skimmer. This option rests along the bottom floor of the pond with the top barely touching the surface of the water. The skimmer must be attached to your pond pump so that it can draw in water from the center of the pond.
Submerged surface skimmers work well in any size pond and are very discreet so as not to create an eyesore. They offer better debris holding capacity than their floating skimmer cousins. Conversely, they are somewhat difficult to clean and are not safe for fish-filled ponds.
The addition of a pond skimmer will take your pond from meh to marvelous since skimmers are extremely helpful in cleaning debris that could eventually decay, releasing plenty of unsavory toxins. Toxins such as ammonia and nitrates can make the pond uninhabitable for plants, fish, and other wildlife. Keeping your pond’s size and special features such as fish in mind will be extremely helpful in finding the best version for your needs.
We hope you enjoyed learning about pond skimmers and reading through our reviews of our favorite models. We are always thrilled to hear from our readers. Drop us a quick line below with your pond skimmer tips and tricks.