December 14, 2007, Newsletter Issue #42: Filters For Water Features

Tip of the Week

Not all water features need filters. Some ponds and fountains can function without one if there’s a balanced ecosystem that allows the environment to clean mostly on its own. However, some water features do need filters to rid the water of fish waste, decaying organic matter and floating algae. If that’s the case, here are some types you can choose from.

Mechanical filter – The mechanical filter uses some type of screen, foam, or mesh to trap debris. They are affordable, but they do clog easily and require weekly cleaning.

Biological filter – The biological filter is similar to a mechanical filter, but it also uses live bacteria to break down substances that pass through the substrate. They don’t typically require more than a monthly cleaning for maintenance.

Chemical filter – This type of filter uses a chemical to remove water impurities. A chemical filter is typically used in conjunction with a biological filter.

Veggie Filter – Using a separate pond or tub connected to the main one, a veggie filter uses plants to consume nutrients and reduce algae growth. The veggie filter isn’t necessary for water features that already have a lot of existing plant life.

UV Clarifier or Sterilizer – This type of filter is often used in conjunction with a biological filter or mechanical filter. It consists of an enclosed ultraviolet bulb which kills off algae, bacteria, viruses and certain parasites.

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