We get a lot of questions on pond vacuums, and trying to find one that will suit your needs to a tee is not always an easy task. This is our latest summary of pond vacuum comparisons as found on Amazon.
Over the years the selection of vacs has certainly changed and evolved for the small pond owner. There is a wider selection these days, but a few of the best vacuums in the class were dropped by distributors and made getting them in hand a bit more difficult.
As of this writing in May of 2018, here are a few of the best pond vacuums (in my opinion) that are available for retail purchase.
For true pond cleaning vacuums, we will generally work with two types. One is a continuous duty vac that will not shut off at all, while it discharges it’s contents. This speeds up the cleaning time greatly. A less expensive version is an intermittent vac that will suck up muck and debris, and once full, will stop sucking and discharge the contents. This on and off again routine is fine for smaller ponds and light duty jobs, but it will slow the cleaning process down quite a bit so the cost savings may be offset by increased cleaning times. In other words, you pay, one way or the other. As for me, I like the continuous duty vacs unless the job is very small…say a pond of a few hundred gallons, and one that’s cleaned routinely so the debris never gets to be too much to handle.
Speaking of debris…all of the vacs mentioned should handle most of the primary things you’ll find building up in a pond. Muck or sludge, small to medium sized leaf debris, light algae growth, can usually be manage nicely. In some cases very large leaves that have yet to break down much may get clogged from time to time, so as fall comes around it’s not ever a bad idea to get some pond netting up to catch the bigger leaves before they go into the pond.
All powered vacs these days come with a variety of attachment heads. The selection will vary a bit depending on the brand or model, but for the most part, there should be a head design that will allow you to work with the variables you’ll find in most pond settings.
Oase Pond-O-Vac Series
Oase is a brand that has had a long tradition in the pond vacuum market, and it’s a well earned one. Their Pond-O-Vac series evolved into a line of good performing vacs at fairly reasonable prices. As noted above, they have two, continuous duty vacs (the Pond-O-Vac 4 & 5) as well as an intermittent one (the Pond-O-Vac Classic)…all are well made and provide good performance. For instance the POV 5 will work in ponds up to 7.5′ deep, and this is one of the most important specs to check with any pond vacuum. You will want to make sure it’s depth rating meets, or better yet, exceeds the depth of your pond.
Matala is another brand of pond equipment that has evolved into the vacuum market. Like Oase they have a couple of different designs. The Muck Vac II would be their budget vac, using intermittent suction and discharge, and the Cyclone represents their continuous duty vac.
In my mind there is little to differentiate the Oase Classic and the Muck Vac II from Matala. Both are priced at $199…however the Oase appears to rank a bit better in customer reviews.
The Matala Cyclone is one of the newer models out on the market. It does have a year or two now under it’s belt so feedback and reviews are accumulating and overall the opinion of the vac has been pretty positive. In fact as far as ratings go, it comes out high on the list, perhaps only bested by the Pond-O-Vac 5. Comparatively it’s certainly not cheap, but in some ways you get what you pay for with these vacs. Bigger, more powerful models equate to more robust performance and you’ll end up paying more for that.
As you shop around, you’ll see a number of other vacuums available for the small pond owner. To be honest, I have generally always stayed with the main brands I’ve discussed here…although they aren’t necessarily perfect for everyone’s needs, they represent the best performers by reputable companies that have been around awhile.
For this kind of dirty work, you want something that’s reliable, relatively easy to use, and can do an adequate job in a reasonable about of time…fortunately we have some good choices to work with here, regardless of our budget, our pond’s size, and cleaning demands.
Have you had experience with any of these vacs or found one that you’ve enjoyed using? I use the term “enjoy” loosely because it’s pond cleaning after all! Let me know in the comments!