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5 Best Pond Skimmers in 2021 Reviewed

We all know that a good garden pond should be a source of great joy for owners and observers alike. They should not be too much of a burden or a bother to the hard-working owner, who simply want to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

That’s why falling leaves, dirt and debris can be such an annoyance and a cause of great frustration.

They can also cause further damage, as decaying vegetation can have knock on damaging effects on the ecosystem of the pond.

In the past the only solution to this seasonal annoyance was an old-fashioned skimmer, which you had to use to fish out all the dirt and debris from the surface of the water, especially if it could not be caught in the pump filters under the water.

Thankfully, this labor-intensive manual task is fast becoming a thing of the past as there are new technological solutions on the market.

You should never have to break your back or risk overstretching and falling into the pond again!

That’s why, in this comprehensive article, we have assembled a list of some of the best pond skimmer models that you can now buy anywhere in the world!

Best Budget Pond Skimmer
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
Best Floating Pond Skimmer
OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
Best Skimmer For Large Ponds
Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width
-
Best Budget Pond Skimmer
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
Best Floating Pond Skimmer
OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
-
Best Skimmer For Large Ponds
Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width
Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width

Last update on 2021-11-30 at 00:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Pond Skimmer – Top 5 Review

1. Laguna Skimmer Filter

Laguna Skimmer Filter
94 Reviews
Laguna Skimmer Filter
  • Surface skimmer and filter for ponds
  • Rugged construction
  • Designed for use with 2000 – 4200 U.S. GPH pumps
  • Skimmer size (w x d x h): 17.5 x 24 x 22 inches

Last update on 2021-11-30 at 01:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a quality product which is suitable for small to moderate sized garden ponds, and it is quite versatile, being suitable for use in ponds with or without waterfalls.

One of the major advantages of this product is that it can be configured for use with a huge variety of different pumps. In that respect, this is a very flexible design that you can use to create your own perfect water set up, which is ideally suited to your unique circumstances.

Many of the other water skimmers offer a complete, pre-packaged setup which include all mechanical parts such as seals, intakes and pumps. This route does offer some obvious benefits, being easy to install and ready to go straight out of the box, but there is much to be said for the more flexible build it yourself option as well.

This skimmer filter essentially functions as a water box, rising just above the surface of the pond, with most of the body lying beneath the water. The intake allows surface water to be guided in, while debris such as leaves, and other floating dirt is caught in the skimmer net.

The top of the body can be easily removed to access the skimmer net. It is then a very small job to remove the net, empty the contents, and replace it. This saves a lot of hassle for you as a pond owner.

Suitable for a huge range of pumps

The water is then sucked down into the pump chamber which recirculates it, aerating it at the same time. Note that the pump is not included, but it is suitable for use with a huge range of different pumps, including differences in size, styles and suction power.

For example, it is designed for use with 2000 – 4200 GPH (gallons per hour) pumps.

The rugged design of this skimmer is worthy of praise. It has a high build quality and is made with strong, durable materials. This means it is likely to last you for very long. What’s more, the simple non-ostentatious box design and matt black finish means it can blend into the background of any good aquascape-like pond. It serves its purpose diligently and without show.

PROS:

  • High build quality and durable design
  • Suitable for use with a wide variety of pumps
  • Flexible setup can work in a lot of different configurations
  • Skimmer net easily removed

CONS:

  • Need to purchase pump separately
  • Requires some work to install
  • Only offers basic skimming functions, no filtration

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


Video: “LAGUNA POND SKIMMER REVIEW – Webb’s Online”



2. Oase Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer

OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
237 Reviews
OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
  • The easy-to-use SwimSkim is a powerful surface skimmer that floats along the surface of ponds up to 270 ft2 removing...
  • The compact SwimSkim easily integrates into an existing pond, automatically adapting to any water level (from 16 in....
  • The accumulated debris can be easily removed using the leaf basket.
  • Integrated aerator oxygenates your pond while skimming the surface.
  • The unique skimmer flap, directed to the inside, generates powerful suction and sucks up leaves and other surface...

Last update on 2021-11-30 at 01:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a fancier skimming option which will help to severely reduce the workload of any pond owner. As a result, it is one of the best pond skimmer available, and is a must have if your pond is surrounded by shedding trees. This skimmer, with its unique design and superb features, will make quick work of any fallen foliage.

Unlike the previous solution, this is a ready to use product which can be used in a variety of pond environments and is ready to use within minutes. It has some very unique selling points.

For example, this is a floating skimmer, which means you can simply place it in any body of water, and it will rise to the surface. The pond must have a minimum depth of 16 inches for it to operate efficiently, however.

Ready to use

To install this, you simply plug it in and drop it in your pond, meaning you don’t have to hook up any existing pumps or make any intrusive cuts in the pond liner. This is a great plus for the weary pond owner.

This comes with its own integrated pump, which produces powerful suction to draw in fallen foliage and other floating debris. This waste is then caught in the carry tray at the top, which can be easily removed and emptied.

What’s more the additional benefit of this device is that it increases the circulation in any body of water, which increases the aeration in your pond. This helps to increase the level of dissolved oxygen in the water, and as everyone knows, fish and other aquatic creatures require high levels of dissolved oxygen to survive and thrive.

Thus, not only does this skimmer clean your pond and make it more aesthetically pleasing, it also improves the health of your ecosystem. This is what makes it the best pond skimmer you can buy.

PROS:

  • No Installation required, just place in the water and go!
  • Provides extra aeration to the water
  • Suitable for ponds up to 270 sq. feet in size
  • Cleaning tray easily removed

CONS:

  • Not suitable for the largest ponds
  • Provides no filtration

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


Video: “OASE | Surface skimmers – SwimSkim | English”



3. Oase Aquaskim 40” Pond Skimmer

OASE 57395 Aquaskim 40' Pond Skimmer, Black
81 Reviews
OASE 57395 Aquaskim 40" Pond Skimmer, Black
  • Effective pond surface: 270 sq. Ft
  • Installation depth: 8 - 22 in
  • Max. Water level variation: up to 6 in
  • Recommended pump capacity: 1600 to 3500 GPH
  • Tubing connector: 1 in., 1 1/4 in., 1 1/2 in

Last update on 2021-11-30 at 01:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is an equally clever alternative design to the floating pond skimmer described above. However, it is made by the same brand, so it comes with the same reputable guarantees of quality build and design.

Indeed, this is a very efficient design at trapping fallen leaves and other macroscopic debris that manages to find its way into the water. There are some notable differences between this design and the floating pond skimmer mentioned above, although the basic working principle behind them is the same.

In this device, there is an intake at the bottom which you should connect to the suction end of a pump. The water then flows in through the opening at the top of the device and down the central stalk, drawn on by the suction power of the attached pump.

Meanwhile, all the foliage and debris are collected in the small basket at the top of the pipe. Fortunately, this basket is easily removed and should be emptied regularly to keep flows high and get rid of any unwanted debris.

The clever feature of this device is that the pipe extends to adjust to the water level, so that the intake always stays at the surface level of the pond. This is a very handy feature which means it can take account of any changes in water level without the need for manual intervention, much like the floating skimmer model. At all times the base stays anchored at the bottom of the pond.

Advantages and limitations

This type of device has some advantages and some accompanying limitations. First of all, it is better suited to shallow ponds, because the minimum depth of the pond is only 6″. There is a good deal of range in this piece of apparatus, because it can extend to be used in ponds of depths up to 40″.

If you’re pond is deeper than this then this device will not be suitable, because it will not reach the surface. In these rare cases you would be better with the floating skimmer model.

This device does not come with an integrated pump, but it can be connected to a wide variety of pump models.

It is suitable for use with pumps from 1600 – 3500 GPH. Thankfully it also comes with a range of tube connectors, so it should not be too difficult to connect a pump and get your system up and running.

Also, as long as the circulation is not too strong, you should not have much issue with fish (even smaller fish) being pulled into the basket. If they do enter the skimming basket, they can be easily removed unharmed.

PROS:

  • No Installation required, just place in the water and go!
  • Adjusts to match the water level
  • Suitable for ponds up to 270 sq. feet in size
  • Cleaning basket easily removed
  • Can be used with a wide variety of pumps

CONS:

  • Not suitable for the largest ponds
  • Not suitable for ponds deeper than 40″
  • Does not come with an integrated pump

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


Video: “AquaSkim – What’s in the Box?”



4. Atlantic Water Gardens Pond Skimmer

Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6' Weir Width
63 Reviews
Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width
  • Skimmers house and protect your pump and plumbing while clearing surface debris from the pond
  • Atlantic’s Pond Skimmers feature more size and filtration options and greater strength and versatility
  • All Skimmers excluding the PS3000 accept two pumps for increased flow, lower operating costs and multiple spillway...
  • Multiple filtration options including net, mats and brushes let you customize to fit every water garden
  • Reinforced structures eliminate warping, deformation and callbacks

Last update on 2021-11-30 at 01:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a premium product which goes down as one of the best pond skimmer that you can find anyway in the water. It combines some brilliant features with a high-quality finish, and it can fit snugly into most aquatic set ups.

It fulfils a number of purposes. For example, all models can be easily connected to pumps, and can achieve quite high flow rates of up to 15000 GPH.

There are a number of different models available which have very different mechanisms and capacities so you should research them carefully before purchasing.

Differences between the models

For example, when it comes to skimming and mechanical filtration, some of the models are equipped with nets, others have matala filter or brush panels, and some have all three. This means that this model can also provide a degree of biological action and filtration, as positive bacteria colonies can grow on the mat, thereby helping to make your pond cleaner, clearer and healthier.

There is a similar discrepancy when it comes to the maximum pumping power you can attach. At the smaller end of the scale, the pumping PS3000 model will accommodate a max flow rate of 3000 GPH, whereas the higher end PS4600 GPH skimmer is compatible with a max flow rate of 4000 GPH.

There is a great variability in the pumping configuration with this product, so it can be easily customized to help create your dream pond environment. For instance, all skimmers can accept two pumps instead of just one.

Ideally it should be installed in the pond liner, but it can really be nestled anywhere in your pond, so long as there is adequate water depth. The material is very high-quality black anodised stainless steel, which is durable and corrosion resistant enough to last you for many years without issue. This may well be the best pond skimmer available.

PROS:

  • High-quality stainless-steel finish
  • Can be connected to multiple pipes
  • Can accommodate very large flow rates
  • Can be fitted with a bunch of different filtration options, including nets, mats and brushes

CONS:

  • Doesn’t adjust automatically to the water level
  • Does not come with integrated pumps

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon



5. TetraPond In-Pond Skimmer

Sale
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
513 Reviews
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
  • POND SKIMMER Removes debris from the water’s surface before it sinks
  • PRE-FILTER Helps protect your pond pump from clogging
  • EASY TO INSTALL AND CLEAN Draws in water and collects debris in a basket and replaceable filter pad
  • SIZE For use in large flexible or pre-formed ponds 500 to 1 000 gallons
  • LIMITED 2-year limited —see package for details

Last update on 2021-11-30 at 00:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tetra are one of the most trusted brand names in the entire garden pond industry, so it is really no surprise that they also have a high-quality pond skimming solution in this somewhat crowded market.

By some measures this is a relatively simple offering. It has a very unremarkable appearance, with its angular box-like design and matt black finish.

However, although it is simple, it has a very functional design. It acts as a prefilter for your pump, collecting all the floating debris that is drawn to the suction side of the pump along with the water. In this way it prevents all the larger debris from reaching the fine filter later on, which could clog up and cease to function properly.

What’s more, by collecting this surface strewn debris, like the other skimmers here, it is helping to keep the pond water clear and clean.

This skimmer is most suitable for use with pumps which have a slightly smaller flow rate. For example, it is very suitable for use with garden pumps that pump 550, 1000 or 1950 GPH (gallons per hour).

Better suited to smaller ponds

This means it cannot compete with some of the previous models which can handle up to 4000 GPH. For this reason, it may be better suited to smaller ponds or pools, instead of their larger cousins.

The manufacturer recommends it for use in ponds whose volume is between 500 and 1000 gallons, which is quite a wide range.

One of the advantageous of buying from such a reputable supplier is that they have a wide selection of products. This means that this skimmer can be easily combined with other TetraPond products, without a second thought.

This means you can easily use it in tandem with TetraPond waterfalls or TetraPond pumps. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from connecting this skimmer to other brands or pumps or waterfalls, but you may need adapters for instance.

PROS:

  • High-quality matt black finish
  • Wide range of compatible TetraPond products
  • Simple, functional design
  • Accessible basket collector

CONS:

  • Only suitable for low flow rates and ponds between 500 and 1000 gallons in capacity
  • Does not come with integrated pumps

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


Video: “Tetra In-Pond Skimmer Breakdown”



Advantages that a Skimmer can bring to your Pond


Video: “Pond Skimmer Installation – How to”


You might wonder why you actually need a skimmer, since so many natural ponds seem to survive well without them. This is a valid observation, but there are a number of advantages that a skimmer can bring to your pond, and in most cases, it is a very worthwhile long-term investment.

Collect fallen leaves

Leaves falling into a pond can cause far more damage than just a disgruntled pond owner. In fact, although they may seem relatively harmless and innocuous, if you do not address this problem it may lead to far more serious ecosystem damage down the road.

This is only the case if it goes untouched, if you choose to go the manual route of removing debris with an old school pool net, then you may address the issue. But let’s be real, that’s a lot of effort!

Once fallen leaves and other organic matter starts to decompose in your pond, it can quickly throw the stable equilibrium of your ecosystem off balance. What is this equilibrium you might wonder?

Biological equilibrium

Well, in your pond all your fish and other aquatic creatures produce waste as a result of digesting their food. This can lead to many harmful substances such as ammonia building up in your pond. Usually this is dealt with by good bacteria which exist in the water, eating the food waste and reducing them to harmless substances.

This means a natural, balanced level of nutrients exists in your pond. However, dead leaves contain a lot of nutrients, and when they start to rot, they can release these into the water and flood the ecosystem with unwanted nutrients.

Unfortunately, this can cause serious problems. For example, algae are attracted to these nutrients and this can quickly cause an algae bloom, otherwise known as eutrophication. Not only can this ruin the appearance of your pond, but it can also harm other creatures, as the algae compete with the pond inhabitants for precious resources like dissolved oxygen.

This can be a particular issue in the winter, if you have wintering fish in the pond. A flood of dead fallen leaves can upset the balance of the pond, and during the cold winter most fish are in a state of near hibernation, where they are particularly vulnerable to these things.

Topic Related Article

6 Steps On How to Winterize a Pond

That is why pond skimmers or even pond coverings are very important in external ponds in colder climates.

The other problem with fallen leaves, unless you have the best pond skimmer, is that they can clog up the filter in your pond. This can render them very ineffective.

Mechanical and biological filters are very important to remove soluble and insoluble contaminants from the water and keep the pond water clean and clear. Thus, it is very important that their work goes on uninterrupted.

Aerate the Water

Some of the skimmers featured above come with small integrated pumps to provide suction. This has an important and beneficial side effect. Extra agitation of the water increases the aeration of the water.

What this means is that the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water increases, as more air is essentially mixed into the water. This can be a huge benefit for the fauna and flora in your pond, as they all depend on healthy reserves of dissolved oxygen to survive.

Add another layer of filtration

As a pond owner, filtration is one thing you can never have too much of. Some of the best pond skimmer models illustrated above incorporate additional levels of filtration. This means not only do they have some sort of a coarse screen to collect leaves and large-scale debris, but they also may have a fine mesh to pick up dirt.

In some cases, it is even impossible to add biological filtration to your skimmer, which can greatly improve the health of the ecosystem.

Best Budget Pond Skimmer
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
Best Floating Pond Skimmer
OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
Best Skimmer For Large Ponds
Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width
-
Best Budget Pond Skimmer
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It Sinks, BLACK
Best Floating Pond Skimmer
OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
-
Best Skimmer For Large Ponds
Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width
Atlantic Water Gardens PS4600 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width

Last update on 2021-11-30 at 00:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

In most cases having the best pond skimmer is a necessity if you want your pond to stay consistently clean and tidy.

But as we have shown in this article, there are far more benefits to a good pond skimmer than simply the visible act of clearing floating debris. For example, they can help to keep the equilibrium of the ecosystem, improve aeration and increase filtration in the water.

We have highlighted some of the things you should look out for in a good pond skimmer. But really, you need to consider your own personal circumstances to decide whether a given pond skimmer is suitable for you.

Consider the size of your pond, the flow rate of the pumps that you will attach, and what level of filtration or customization you want to achieve. You should also remember that some skimmers are ready to go straight out of the box, while others need a bit of work to install.

Either way, the possibilities are endless!

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