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: Skimmers

Pond Skimmers work in conjunction with pond filtration systems to give your pond a crystal clear, beautiful look. In most cases, you will never see the pond skimmer since it can be molded to fit the landscape perfectly so only you will know where it resides. Pond skimmers are a simple variation of mechanical filters that remove floating debris such as excess fish food and leaves which can ruin your water feature.

This ponds skimmer is located on the far left of the photo. The molded lid helps it blend into the landscape.

Pond skimmers are a variation of a mechanical filter.  Skimmers remove floating debris like leaves and excess fish food before the can settle to the bottom of the pond and foul your water feature.

They have a pump installed in them that then powers your waterfall. A skimmer basket and filter media help keep your pond clean. If you have a lot of trees nearby a skimmer is an essential part of your pond.

Video Transcript: Pond skimmers kind of fall into that preventive maintenance area. The skimmers in integral part of any pond kit, and it is a great add on to an existing. If your pond doesn’t have one you might already consider adding a skimmer. The skimmer’s main function is to prevent leaves and debris from settling down to the bottom of your pond and causing you problems. By having your pump setting inside your skimmer, it draws all the surface leaves and stuff floating right into a big net basket before it can sink to the bottom of your pond and before it can get into your pump, and then your pump pushed the water on up to your waterfall or to any extended filters that you have on the way to the waterfall. Now, a lot of companies have started really adding to these skimmers, so you might find filter brushes or even filter media. First, water will go through the skimmer basket and then through the brushes and then maybe even some more media before it gets to your pump and that is a really nice combination.

When you are looking at skimmers, you are mostly looking at skimmers that are going to attach to the side of your pond. Your liner’s going to snub up against it and you are going to cut that liner and fit it up around the opening of the skimmer and then seal it. There are also some skimmers that fit inside an existing pond - they basically hang down in your pond so you don’t have to cut your liner and it is really easy then to add a skimmer to a pond that you have already built. There’s even skimmers that work for external pond pumps. You run it so that the tubing runs through a hole on the side of your pond (bulkhead fitting) where the water flows through, it goes away from the pond and then into the skimmer. It makes it really easy to hide it. So if you are doing a really nice huge landscaping project that is something you can build into the design. Now, there is also skimmers that fit for small ponds. Don’t even try this on a bigger pond, but you see those in pond filters where their pump sits down in the bottom of their pond and draws water from the surface. Well, this is basically instead of having a fountain nozzle that comes up and sprays they have a tube that comes up, a pipe that comes up, and that’s where the water comes into your filter from there. So it is a way to kind of retrofit a small existing pond to the skimmer.

Now, with skimmers there is a lot of add-ons you can do for skimmers. The most common thing you are going to see for them are fake rock tops. Because slate tops are freaking heavy and it is hard for you to lift, and you need to be able to take the lid off and get down into your skimmer to work with it. So these fake rock lips look really good and they are light weight, so you can pull them up and you are not limited with that. On my pond in Boise that I built in my backyard, I just have a deck that kind of overhangs the pond and goes over and it covers my skimmer. Then I just built a hatch right over the skimmer - just lift the hatch and get to my skimmer through the deck. There is a lot of different ways you can work with skimmers and they are really nice addition to your existing pond; and if you are building a pond, please include a skimmer into your design.


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