When you want to turn grass and dirt into a mesmerizing underwater aquascape, you’ll want to begin by dreaming up your perfect koi pond design.
However, before pulling out the shovels and tarp or calling any pond installation professionals, consider your desired pond dimensions and the type of koi pond pump and filter that’ll make maintenance a breeze.
Below, we’ll discuss a few of the most popular combinations of koi pond pumps and filters. But first, we need to answer the following question: What makes a filtration system and a pump ideal for your outdoor oasis in Augusta, Georgia?
*We at Amen Corner Ponds prefer to use non-combination pond filters and pumps. The combination ones listed here are mainly for DIY koi ponds as they tend to be easier to install and maintain when not using a professional pond contractor.
Figuring Out Your Filtration Needs
The Layers of an Acceptable Filtration System
The best koi ponds have at least one biological and one mechanical filtration system.
The biological filter cleans the water of ammonia, which originates from plant and organism waste and too many bad bacteria in the aquatic soil. It works by colonizing beneficial bacteria and developing beneficial microorganisms that transform ammonia into nitrates which the plants then use.
Koi pond pumps and filters with a built-in ultraviolet light can also help get rid of harmful microbes, like parasites, in the process.
Mechanical filtration removes the more obvious debris, including twigs and leaves. It also sifts out extra food and algae, preventing them from turning into gunk at the bottom of your pond. Multiple layers of mechanical filtration allow the filter to collect debris without clogging or overlooking smaller particles.
Filtration System Size
No matter which brand you choose or the one your pond contractor uses, you’ll notice it has a filtration capacity. That filtration capacity explains how many gallons of water that given filter size can manage.
For instance, a pond that’s 5,000 gallons needs at least a 5,000-gallon filter. Always round up when choosing a filter since the higher the filter rate, the better the pond sanitation.
Also, the filtration rate doesn’t consider an organism population, so if you’re keeping koi fish, use a filter capacity two to four times larger, depending on your fish density.
Determining the Appropriate Pump Type for Your Koi
You can get one of the combination koi pond pumps and filters or purchase them separately. Either way, you need to know what sort of pump to buy.
The pump’s primary purpose is to move water to the filter, increasing the flow rate for a healthier system. If you have fish, you need a strong pump that’ll circulate all the water in the pond to the filter hourly since fish food and waste increase nitrate and ammonia levels.
If you don’t plan on keeping fish, you can choose a weaker pump since you won’t have to worry about toxicity to underwater creatures.
Like water filters, a pond pump flow rate needs to match or exceed the total amount of pond water. For instance, a fishless 5,000-gallon pond requires a pump with a 5,000 GPH (gallons per hour) flow rate, while a fish pond requires a higher amount.
Also, be cautious of water lift height as this will affect the flow resistance of your system.
Three Popular Koi Pond Pump and Filter Combos
Now that you know what to look for when choosing koi pond pumps and filters, we can dive into some of the best ones. You also know to stay away from systems with low or unknown GPH and filtration rates.
Below are some of the top picks for pump and filter combos that’ll fit many backyard pond sizes with heavy koi populations.
1. Pondmaster PMK190: 190 GPH Pump and Filter with Bonus Fountain Head
The Pondmaster PMK190 is perfect for smaller accent ponds that don’t take up much space. While they’re suitable for 200-gallon fishless ponds, they’re ideal for koi ponds of 150 gallons or less.
The downside is that it doesn’t emit UV rays to kill harmful bacteria. This is usually okay as this system is for smaller ponds that are easier to clean. They also limit the fish population to one or two koi or twice the number of smaller fish, making them easier to maintain. In turn, this tiny ecosystem doesn’t produce much waste.
It’s also energy-efficient, burning only 15 watts while remaining silent when submerged. It comes with a ten-foot power cord and a 15-year warranty.
2. Aquagarden 5-in-1 Water Pump and Filter for Ponds
If you want koi pond pumps and filters with more variety, the Aquagarden 5-in-1 has four sizes: a smaller 200-gallon system, medium-sized 300 and 600-gallon systems, and a large 900-gallon system. While the 200 model has a pump flow rate of up to 184 GPH, the 900 model ranges up to 820 GPH.
The quality filter has three layers: a coarse foam, a medium foam, and a polymer wood filter pad. This helps to catch many different-sized particles, keeping your pond water cleaner and healthier.
There are also:
- Three different fountain styles, including waterfall, fountain sprinkler, and a setting for both at once
- UV lights for more cleaning and LED lights for aesthetics
- Ceramic biomedia to produce a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria
3. HALF OFF PONDS Sting Ray 1200 All-in-One Submersible Biological and Mechanical Filter
Half Off Ponds makes koi pond pumps and filters for larger ponds ranging between 1,000 and 1,300 gallons.
The Sting Ray 1200 comes in two sizes: a pump with a 525 GPH and 9-watt UV ray light and a 530 GPH pump encompassing a slightly higher 13-watt UV. Alongside the UV rays, bio balls build beneficial bacteria, and zeolite limits ammonia levels.
You also have your choice of fountain patterns with a tier, jet, and bell fountain. The diverter moves water to a preferred spitter as well.
Amen Corner Ponds’ Koi Pond Pumps And Filters
As for filters, you can install a BioFalls filter that also acts as a waterfall, pond skimmers for larger debris like leaves, and other systems that work to keep your pond clean and clear.
Start Creating Your Fantasy Pond With Amen Corner Ponds
Imagining your dream aquatic sanctuary is one thing; making it a reality is another. When you’re ready to take that step, ensure you’re well-versed in what you need to keep your water feature clean, healthy, and happy.
While top-notch koi pond pumps and filters get all the praise, they’ll only work well if put in an appropriately-sized pond. If you have a larger pond with plenty of fish, a system designed for smaller or fishless ponds will have inadequate water turnover and filtration. It’s important to match your water unit accordingly.
When in doubt, you can count on Amen Corner Ponds in Augusta, GA, to suggest the appropriate equipment and install it appropriately. Fill out our contact form today to talk about any of your water feature needs!