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Best Pond Vacuum Cleaner in 2021 (Comparisons & Reviews)

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Trying to keep your pond clean can be a lot of work.

Especially if your pond is prone to a lot of outside debris or it’s stocked with large fish like koi.

The good news is, tools like the pond vacuum can make that job a lot easier, requiring less time involved and are a lot more effective than manually cleaning your pond.

The bad news? There are a lot of different pond vacuums out there with more options than you can imagine.

So, to save time and headache, we have reviewed and compared the top 5 pond vacuums below. And we include a handy dandy buyer’s and user guide to make sure you get the best vac for your specific pond and needs.

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5 Best Pond Vacuums

Comparison Chart

Description Power Price
Oase Pondovac Classic Oase Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner 1400 watts SEE PRICE »
Oase Pondovac 4 Oase Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner 1800 watts SEE PRICE »
Matala Power Cyclone Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum 1900 watts SEE PRICE »
Half Off Ponds CleanSweep Pond Vacuum Half Off Ponds CleanSweep Pond Vacuum 1400 watts SEE PRICE »
Oase Pondovac 5 Oase Pondovac 5 Pond Vacuum Cleaner 1700 watts SEE PRICE »

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Oase Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner

The Oase Pondovac Classic pond vacuum cleaner is arguably one of the best pond vac’s on the market today for the money. It’s one of the cheapest available yet will work great for most backyard ponds.

You’ll notice the Oase company holds 3 of the 5 top pond vacuums in our list. That’s because they are one of the top brands making some of the best wet vac’s available.

The “Classic” model is their entry-level model that features a 1400-watt motor and a max suction depth of 6 feet. Not bad at all for an affordable entry-level model.

This pond vacuum has a compact and lightweight design with built-in handle and wheels for easy mobility.

Included with the pond vacuum are 4 nozzle attachments, each with a specific purpose, and a 13-foot suction hose and 6.6-foot discharge hose, making it a great vacuum cleaner for small to medium sized ponds.

Product Specifications

Power: 1400 watts
Max Suction Depth: 6 feet
Flow Rate: 800 GPH
Suction Hose: 13 feet
Discharge Hose: 6.6 feet
Wheels: Yes
Vacuum Weight: 23.5 lbs
Manufacturer Warranty: 2-year

Pros

  • One of the cheapest, yet highest quality pond vac’s available
  • Perfect for small to medium sized ponds
  • Lightweight for easy mobility
  • Comes with 4 different nozzles to help clean those hard to reach areas of your pond
  • Makes cleaning algae, leaves, sludge and other pond debris an easy task

Cons

  • Not ideal for larger ponds
  • Short discharge hose length
  • Low flow rate

Oase Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner

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Oase Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner

Oase Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

The best selling Oase Pondovac 4 pond vacuum cleaner is a few steps up from the “Classic” Pondovac vacuum above.

One of the biggest additions to this model is the patented dual-chamber technology, which essentially allows for non-stop suction. What this means is that you don’t have to stop suction to discharge, as you do in a lot of wet vac’s. With this model, you can continue working away at cleaning your pond while the vacuum discharges. This is a great time-saving feature allowing you to clean your pond in less time.

The Pondovac 4 vacuum features a powerful 1800-watt motor and has a max suction depth of 7 feet.

Like the classic model, this vacuum cleaner also has built-in wheels and a durable handle for easy movement, though it is about 10 lbs heavier.

It includes four different nozzle attachments, 16-foot suction and 8-foot discharge hoses, and a debris collecting filter bag.

Product Specifications

Power: 1800 watts
Max Suction Depth: 7 feet
Flow Rate: 1300 GPH
Suction Hose: 16 feet
Discharge Hose: 8 feet
Wheels: Yes
Vacuum Weight: 33.5 lbs
Manufacturer Warranty: 2-year

Pros

  • Dual chambers for continuous suction
  • Lighter weight model with wheels for easy mobility
  • Comes with 4 different nozzles to help clean those hard to reach areas of your pond
  • Makes cleaning algae, leaves (from trees and dead plants), sludge and other pond debris an easy task

Cons

  • Requires a lot of power for the GPH
  • While slightly longer for hoses than the “Classic” model, the hose lengths are still short (but, may be just fine for small to medium-sized ponds)
  • The filter bag is small, so if you use the bag while discharging the dirty water, you may want to purchase a larger mesh laundry bag to fit on the discharge hose which captures and filters debris. A larger bag will save you lots of time cleaning it out

Oase Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

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Oase Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum

The Matala Power Cyclone pond vacuum is a contractor grade pond vac with two built-in motors – a suction motor rated at 1500 GPH and a 1HP discharge motor that can discharge dirty water up to 18 feet in elevation! Both motors can run in simultaneous operation so you can clean your pond without interruption.

The Matala pond vacuum cleaner includes one of the longest suction hoses I’ve seen at 26 feet as well as a 32-foot-long discharge hose. It also comes with 4 nozzle attachments.

Moving the Matala pond vacuum is easy with its heavy-duty wheels and durable handle, but it does weigh around 70 lbs!

Product Specifications

Power: 1200 watts for suction/700 watts for discharge
Max Suction Depth: 6 feet
Flow Rate: 1500 GPH
Suction Hose: 26 feet
Discharge Hose: 32 feet
Wheels: Yes
Vacuum Weight: 70.5 lbs
Manufacturer Warranty: 1-year

Pros

  • Two motors for continuous operation
  • Extra long suction and discharge hoses that come in handy for larger ponds
  • Can discharge dirty water up to 18 feet in elevation
  • Good flow rate
  • Included is a mesh filter collection bag to catch any debris before releasing the dirty water into your garden or drain
  • Makes cleaning algae, leaves, sludge, small pebbles and rocks, and other pond debris an easy task

Cons

  • Very heavy, which could make it hard to move around your pond, especially when the tanks full
  • Only a 1-year limited warranty

Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum

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Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum

Half Off Ponds CleanSweep Pond Vacuum

The Half Off Ponds CleanSweep Pond Vacuum is an entry-level vac that is fairly cheap as far as pond vac’s go.

This vacuum features a 1400-watt motor with a 6 foot max suction depth. The continuous intermittent cycle system alternates between suction and discharging automatically eliminating the need to manually switch between the two.

It includes 3 suction nozzles, 4 extension tubes, debris colelction bag, and has a suction hose length of 13 feet and a discharge hose length of 6 feet.

This pond vacuum would be great for easy cleanup in small backyard ponds and even around the shop as it can be used as a dry vac, as well.

Product Specifications

Power: 1400 watts
Max Suction Depth: 6 feet
Flow Rate:
Suction Hose: 13 feet
Discharge Hose: 6 feet
Wheels: Yes
Vacuum Weight:25 lbs
Manufacturer Warranty: 2-year

Pros

  • Can be used as a wet or dry vacuum cleaner
  • One of the most affordable models on the market
  • Good entry-level vacuum cleaner for small ponds
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Makes cleaning algae, leaves, sludge, small pebbles and rocks, and other pond debris an easy task

Cons

  • Short hose length
  • Not ideal for a large pond
  • Could have better suction power

Half Off Ponds CleanSweep Pond Vacuum

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Half Off Ponds CleanSweep Pond Vacuum

Oase Pondovac 5 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

We saved the best for last! The Oase Pondovac 5 pond vacuum cleaner is the top of the line products when it comes to pond vac’s!

We already learned that Oase is one of the leader’s in vacuum technology, and they really went above and beyond when creating the Pondovac 5 model.

This powerful vacuum cleaner comes with a high performance 1800-watt motor with an optimized blade design that can cycle 2100 gallons per hour! This pump runs simultaneously with the integrated discharge pump, so the container is continuously emptied.

While this pond vacuum is the heaviest of the Pondovac products, it does have larger 6” wheels to help it maneuver around in the potentially rough terrain around your pond.

The vacuum includes 4 nozzles, 5 extension tubes, and long 16-foot suction and 32-foot discharge hoses.

Product Specifications

Power: 1700 watts
Max Suction Depth: 7.5 feet
Flow Rate: 2100 GPH
Suction Hose: 16 feet
Discharge Hose: 32 feet
Wheels: Yes, large wheels
Vacuum Weight: 53.6 lbs
Manufacturer Warranty: 2-year

Pros

  • Extremely powerful suction motor that can cycle 2100 GPH
  • Long vacuum hose lengths perfect for large ponds
  • Large durable wheels for rough terrain
  • Dual pumps for simultaneous suction and discharge
  • Includes a pre-filter bag for larger debris
  • Makes cleaning algae, leaves, sludge and other pond material and debris an easy task

Cons

  • Heavier than the other Pondovac pond vacuum models due to its added options and bigger motor

Oase Pondovac 5 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

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Oase Pondovac 5

What Is A Pond Vacuum Cleaner?

Keeping your pond free from debris and sludge can be a chore if you do it by hand.

That’s where a pond vacuum comes in!

A pond vacuum cleaner is a tool similar to a wet/dry shop vac in that it typically has a large canister base with a long hose attachment and can suck up water.

While a shop vac is designed to pull in air, a pond vacuum’s main purpose is to pull in water and filter out the debris and sludge that inevitably builds up in outdoor ponds.

They are powered by an electrical pump (there are manual versions too) and typically have long suction hoses that are designed to reach the bottom and sides of ponds. As the pond water is pulled in, the filter separates the debris and muck from the water, which is then sent back into the pond or used as fertilizer in your yard or garden.

A pond vacuum can also be used to easily drain a pond, as well, if needed.

Do I Need A Pond Vacuum Cleaner?

While a pond vacuum can certainly make your pond maintenance easier, many people are still unsure if they absolutely need one.

Like most things in life, you probably don’t need one…

But, let me explain why you might want to consider getting one.

First of all, a few leaves in your pond and maybe a little sludge on your ponds floor isn’t the end of the world. But, as they start to build-up, it can affect your pond’s habitat, consuming oxygen, increasing algae and making your pond appear murky.

And if you have pond fish, the excess fish food and fish excrement can multiply this problem.

Pond nets, pond skimmers, filtration systems, and beneficial bacteria can all help reduce pond scum, debris and grime, but it’s still inevitable that it will eventually start to build up.

Pond vacuums make it super easy to quickly and effectively clean a pond without draining it (draining should always be a last resort when it comes to cleaning). Plus, you don’t have to wait for a bacteria-based remover to work. You get immediate results. And you can do it any time of the year. In fact, these are all reasons why pond vacuums are our pond sludge remover of choice!

If you’re a stickler for crystal-clear pond water and a clean pond floor, then a pond vacuum cleaner really comes in handy. Especially if you have fish. If you’re a fish pond owner, I’m sure you’re aware that certain fish, like koi, can easily stir up the muck on your pond floor resulting in cloudy pond water. A pond vacuum makes it easy to ensure you always have a clean pond bottom.

Oh, and as I mentioned before, this tool can make draining a pond (if you absolutely must) quick and easy.

Types of Pond Vacuums

Pond vacuum’s actually come in two different types – manual and electric.

Manual Vacuums

Manual pond vacuums are powered by a hand pump. They are useful if you have a small pond and/or don’t have access to an electrical outlet.

They also are a zero-running cost solution to cleaning up the muck on your pond’s floor.

With that said, they are not ideal to clean up a normal sized pond and I typically wouldn’t recommend them.

Python Ulti-Vac Pond Aquarium Maintenance System

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Python Ulti-Vac Maintenance System Pond Vacuum

Electric Vacuums

This type is most likely what comes to mind when you think of a pond vacuum, and they are the most popular, and powerful, type.

With electric pond vacuums, you get a lot more suction power allowing it to pick up much larger and heavier debris than a manual pump. And you can do it much faster.

Plus, the range of add-ons and cleaning attachments that come with electric pond vac’s make them the ideal choice for anyone serious about cleaning up their pond or water garden.

Oase Pondovac 5 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

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Oase Pondovac 5

Which Vacuum Cleaner Do We Recommend?

The choice is pretty clear – an electric pond vacuum!

Unless you have an extremely small pond (we’re talking aquarium sized) or you just can’t power an electrical vacuum for whatever reason, we definitely recommend the electric version as it will make cleaning your pond much easier.

How To Choose The Best Pond Vacuum Cleaner

With all the different brands, models and options on the market, how do you know which pond vacuum is right for you?

Well, I’m glad you asked!

Here are the 5 main features to look for in a pond vacuum to help ensure you’re making the right purchase for your unique pond and needs. Pond vacuums aren’t the cheapest accessory, so let’s ensure we get this right the first time around.

Suction Depth & Hose Length

Pond vacuums all have a maximum suction depth, meaning the height to which the pump can lift water. So, if you have a pond that is 3 feet deep, you’ll want to make sure your vacuum has a suction depth rating that is more than 3 feet. This is also a good measurement to look at to potentially save some money. If your pond is 3 feet deep, there’s no need to spend extra money on a vacuum with a suction depth of 10 feet. You might be able to save some money and get a vacuum rated at 6 feet, for example.

Along with suction depth, you’ll want to make sure you are getting a vacuum cleaner with enough hose to reach around your pond comfortably.

The Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum has an astonishing 26-foot suction and 32-foot discharge hose!

Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum

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Matala Power Cyclone

Power & Flow rate

Power consumption and flow rate are two specs you’ll want to pay close attention to, as well.

A pond vaccuum pump is rated in gallons per hour (GPH). This tells you how many gallons it can cycle water in an hour. For a large pond, you may want to purchase a higher GPH model for faster cleaning and draining.

Power consumption is another metric you should take into account if you’re looking for an energy efficient model. A lot of pond vac's are rated at 1000 watts or higher, so they can consume a lot of energy if ran for long periods of time.

Vacuum Mobility

Pond vacuums can be heavy. And then add in a full canister and trying to move it around an uneven surface, and it can be downright uncomfortable to move at all.

Because of this, it’s important to look at movability and weight of the pond vac. Make sure the model has wheels and a good rigid handle. And you’ll want to take weight into account. Even if it is a lighter model, if it has a large canister, you’ll want to take into account how much it could potentially weigh if it was full.

With that said, sometimes you can’t get around the unit weight. Most high-end powerful pond vacuums are just going to weigh more by nature. You probably won’t want to sacrifice performance to save a few pounds.

The Oase Pondovac 5 pond vacuum has large, durable wheels made for rough terrain. And despite being one of the most powerful vac's on the market, it only weighs in at around 50 lbs.

Oase Pondovac 5 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

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Oase Pondovac 5

Discharge Method

Look for a pond vacuum that includes a discharge hose, instead of just having to empty the canister out. This will come in handy if you want to redirect the pond water back into the pond or to somewhere in your yard.

Also, look for models that can run continuously, meaning they can suck in and discharge at the same time. This feature will save you time and make using the machine much more enjoyable. Pond vac’s without this feature require you to pump in water until the chamber is full, then you have to flip a switch and reverse the output to discharge, taking twice as long to complete the job.

The Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum has two built-in pumps so it can simultaneously suck in water with one pump and discharge dirty water with the other.

Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum

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Matala Power Cyclone

Accessories & Attachments

Pond vacuum cleaners can come with a myriad of different add-ons and attachments. And depending on your unique pond, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to these to see which ones will make your cleaning job easier and more effective.

For example, if you have a lot of larger debris, you’ll want to make sure it comes with a large cleaning head and filter bag. And if your pond has a lot of nooks and crannies, you’ll want a smaller nozzle attachment to be able to get into the tight corners.

Generally, the more nozzle attachments the better, but you don’t want to pay for attachments that you know you will never use.

How Do I Vacuum My Pond

Before even attempting to vacuum your pond, you’ll want to check your specific model's user manual for use and care instructions.

With my disclaimer out of the way, here are the typical steps taken when vacuuming your pond or water garden.

  • Place the vacuum typically within six feet of your pond or water garden.
  • Make sure to route the drain to hose to the location you want the waste water discharged to. And you’ll want to make sure there’s at least a slight downgrade for gravity to naturally flush any water out.
  • Remove any kinks or tight bends in the suction hose and discharge hose.
  • When vacuuming your pond, work from the top down. So, if you have large debris floating on top of the water, attach the proper sized cleaning head and remove the debris from the surface of the pond.
  • Once the surface is clean, move to the sides then the bottom, sucking as much sludge up as you can. You may have to switch out the nozzle attachments as you reach uneven surfaces and tight corners.
  • Don’t worry about fish unless you have really small fry. Even then, fish are good at getting out of the way. You could try to remove the small fish if it is still a concern.
  • After use, unplug the vacuum, remove all hoses and flush the inner collection tank, as well as, wash out the filter with clean water.
  • Reassemble and store the vacuum until next use.

Where To Buy A Pond Vacuum Cleaner

Pond vacuum cleaners are somewhat of a specialized piece of equipment and can’t always be found at every local goods store. But, good places to check are any stores with a garden and outdoor department, such as home improvement stores, and so on.

An easier option might be to just order online and have it shipped to you, often for free and within just a few days. Here is one of our most recommended pond vacuums you can have shipped right to your front door.

Oase Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner

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Oase Pondovac Classic

Which Pond Vacuum Is The Best?

The best pond vacuum is really going to depend on how much you can spend, what you’re looking for in a vacuum and the size and layout of your pond or water garden.

If money is no matter, then the Oase Pondovac 5 vacuum is arguably one of the best pond vacuum cleaners on the market at the time of this writing. It will do everything you can realistically want a vacuum to do.

Oase Pondovac 5 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

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Oase Pondovac 5

But you may not want or need to spend that much on a vacuum as all of the extra features and power may be overkill. Plus, the operating cost of running such a powerful vacuum will certainly be higher than lower end models. So, in some cases, it may not be the best vacuum.

If you have a small to medium sized pond and are on a budget, the Oase Pondovac Classic may be the best pond vac for you. It’s an extremely durable and reliable pond vacuum for a fraction of the up-front and running cost of a higher end model.

Oase Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner

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Oase Pondovac Classic

Either way, don’t let somebody sell you on the idea that they know the best vacuum for you without knowing the specifics of your pond and situation. And that goes beyond pond vacuums, but for anything in life. But I digress…

Can I Use A Shop Vac To Clean My Pond?

The short answer is yes, you certainly can use a shop vac for this purpose. If it’s all you have available, then it can work.

But (and there’s always a but), it’s not going to be the optimal way to clean your pond or water garden.

Shop Vac’s were not designed to suck up sludge in a pond and discharge the dirty pond water in a potentially far away location like your garden. And I’m talking about your general, run of the mill, Shop Vac. I see they have something like 100 different models and I’m not an expert on every single feature for every model. But pond vacuums are specifically designed with water pumps that can suck up water from the bottom of a pond, which is what they refer to as maximum suction depth. If you’re going to use a Shop-Vac you will need to make sure it can suck the sludge up and out of the bottom of your pond. If you have a deep pond, your shop vac might not be able to perform this task.

Pond vacuums feature discharge hoses that are typically long in length. This can really come in handy if you need to discharge the water to a far away spot like your garden or drain (check with local laws).

They also feature nozzle attachments specifically designed to suck up sludge and get in the nooks and crannies of ponds. Some even come with a clear extension tube so you can see if you’re effectively sucking up sludge and debris.

If you have a pond you want to clean, but also want a vacuum that can pick up dry debris, then perhaps the CleanSweep Pond Vacuum will be a good option for you. It’s an affordable pond vacuum but is a wet/dry vacuum similar to a Shop Vac, so it can be used to vacuum up debris on land as well as in your pond.

Half Off Ponds CleanSweep Pond Vacuum

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Half Off Ponds CleanSweep Pond Vacuum