A pond vacuum is an important tool for most water gardeners because it is convenient, easy to use, and effective. In most cases, a pond vacuum works similarly to a household vacuum cleaner, except instead of vacuuming carpeting, it is vacuuming water in a pond. Most models are designed to clean algae, fish waste, decomposing leaves, and other materials that settle at the bottom of a household pond.
Having a garden pond comes with several important job duties, and one such duty is cleaning the pond. A pond vacuum is the tool for the job. Beyond clearing the pond of dead leaves, debris and other decaying matter, some models can also help drain the pond water in preparation for winter, particularly in areas where the water can freeze when the temperatures dip low.
A pond vacuum can range in price from inexpensive, small models to expensive, industrial-strength models. For those who plan ahead, a drain can be installed at the bottom of the pond, thereby reducing the need for a high-powered vacuum; however, even with a drain, a vacuum is still necessary to remove much of the debris after draining the pond.
A small pond vacuum can often be used with a garden hose. It will remove debris and silt from the bottom of the pond and is perfect for sucking up small leaves, gravel, and other small material. Many models come with special attachments for use on a pond bottom comprised of vinyl or smooth plaster.
Some models of pond vacuums have the option of either letting the water flow out of the pond or recycling the filtered water back into the pond. By recycling the water, the water is conserved and many of the nutrients may remain in the water. In most cases, mud and debris simply collect in an external bag.
It is possible to make a pond vacuum. A pump can be built from an air compressor attached to a garden hose to suction out much of the debris on the bottom of the pond. It is economical only if an air compressor is already owned by the gardener; otherwise, the compressor itself may cost more than the pond vacuum would have cost. The other downfall of a homemade vacuum is that it may not be as efficient as a store-bought model.