The Best Pond Vacs For Water Gardens And Ponds

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Written By Mark Washburn

Mark has 20 years of experience as a professional pond management consultant.

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The latest offerings of pond vacs and vacuums in 2019 encompass a pretty wide range of prices and capabilities. When evaluating the various models, one thing can be certain…they are not all created equal.

Ultimately choosing the proper vac for your needs comes down to the size of your pond, the depth you’re dealing with, and the particular substances you’re trying to remove from the pond itself.

If the work is fairly light duty, with some minor leaves, a bit of muck or debris, or uneaten fish food, then all of the vacuums listed below should handle that job alright. This is assuming the pond is fairly small…say 1000 gallons or smaller, with a moderate depth of 2 to 3 feet at the most.

As the debris load gets heavier or larger, and the pond size increases in both depth and surface area, the demands on the pond vacuum will go up. And so that all needs to be taken into consideration.

What’s Your Time Worth?

Several vacs are considered continuous duty…meaning they never shut off…they will suck and discharge at the same time. As you might expect, this greatly speeds up the time spent on cleaning. Others will pull and discharge in cycles…so while discharging, the vac will not be able to clean the pond. This is not a huge inconvenience for smaller ponds, but for a larger one, it could take quite a while to work through these cycles. The top three models listed below are all continuous duty vacs, and in this respect, they are the most expensive of the lot, but you do get what you pay for.

Consider Your Depth

The other big issue with pond vacuums is their capability to handle various depths. There is a certain amount of horse power needed to pull debris from the bottom of the pond. If your depth is only a few feet or so, then most any powered vac should handle this. Even some light duty muck vacs can work, but they likely won’t manage any kind of heavy debris like wet leaves or algae.

As a pond get’s to three feet or deeper, down to six or seven feet, the more expensive powered vacuums have to be considered. The Matala Cyclone and Oase Pond-o-Vac 5 are the two top contenders here. The Matala is said to be able to pump from as deep as 18′, however realistically, with debris the depth will probably be lower. The POV5 is rated for 7.5 feet and should work fairly well at that depth.

Of all the pond vacuums represented in our listing, our top rating actually goes to the Pond-o-Vac 4. It’s an older model to be sure, but represents the best balance between all the offerings. It isn’t as powerful as the two top models, but will work in depths down to about 6′ which is more than enough for most pond owners. It is continuous duty so it offers the same type of time savings, but has a much more affordable price. All in all, its probably the best fit for many pond owners.

And should you demand a bit less in capability, the POV Classic is a good choice. Need more? Check out the Matala Cyclone or the POV5…which are some of the best consumer oriented pond vacs that money can buy.

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