DIY Pond Filter Ideas & Tutorials (2022)

This is the era of empowered people. You no longer need to spend hundreds of bucks to buy a simple pond filter.

Especially when you can make a DIY pond pump just as easily, whether its a DIY submersible pond filter or a DIY pond filter with backwash.Not only will you be able to save a lot, but you would have absolute control over the specification that you want including the size that your filter should be, the filter media is used in it, and everything else that you may not get altogether in a ready-to-buy filter.

Are you ready to take complete control over your pond filter?

Great! Here are five different DIY pond filter ideas to get you started.

DIY Aquarium Filter for Fish Pond – Gravel & Sand

It is a barrel filter that uses grains of gravel and sand to filter the water. This is very effective for larger ponds.

Make a note that this is not a bio-filter, however, you can run water from this then a bio-filter before it goes back in the pond.

To extract effective use out of this pond filter, it is best to not go over the pond pump of about 2500 GPH. If you do, it risks fluidizing the sand and gravel grains and hence breaking the mechanism.

Things You Need

(Video) DIY Pond Filter Made EASY From Trash Can!

  • Drum with a capacity of 55 Gallons
  • 2 bulkhead fittings of 3 inches
  • Shower drain of 2 inches
  • 6 ft. ABS pipes with 1.5 inches diameter
  • 90 degree and 3-way fitting (for ABS Pipes)
  • End caps with 1.5 inches diameter
  • 4 bricks
  • Gravel (pea, ½ inches, and ¾ inches)


1. To be able to cut the lid cut a few holes in it so that the blade can easily slice it off. Now cut the lid carefully.

2. With a 3/8 drill bit drill holes into the lid every square inch.

3. Now drill two holes on the opposite side of the drum 8 inches away from the top using a 3 inches hole saw.

4. Clean the holes using the rotatory tool and sand it a bit.

5. Insert the bulkhead keeping the male end towards the inside and female end on the outside.

6. Before screwing the male and females ends to make it waterproof make sure you use silicone caulk on both ends.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the other bulkhead.

(Video) DIY fish pond filter cheap easy.

8. On the bottom of the drum, add the shower drain by drilling a 3-inch hole. Use silicone caulk around the shower drain as well.

9. To stop the water from flowing back to the pond make sure that you use a one-way check valve at the shower drain.

10. Using the 6 ft. ABS pipe with the 90 degrees and 3-way fittings now make an air manifold. At one end attach the 90-degree fitting and then attach the 3-way fitting to the 90-degree fitting.

11. Cut your 6 ft. pipe and attach them on to the 3-way fitting in a way that they reach the edges.

12. Attach end caps to the ends of the pipes. Make sure to glue the joints and the caps firmly.

13. Drill holes in the three pipes with a distance of an inch.

14. With the 3-way fitting towards the end, place the manifold inside the drum and place 4 bricks around the pipe.

15. Now place the lid you holed inside the drum lying flat.

(Video) Homemade Biological Pond Filter

16. In the exact order of ¾”, ½”, and pea gravel, add the layers inside the drum. Add a layer of large sand over it.

17. Place the drum on a block to be able to hook it to the pump.

18. You can send the water directly to the pond or through a bio-filter.

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DIY Pond Filter with 5 Gallon Bucket

If you are looking for a rather quick fix then this DIY pond filter is the one you should try. It is a very easy and quick fix. It is best suited to work with the 300-400 GPH flow rate water pump.

Things You Need:

  • Bucked with a Lid, 5 Gallons
  • 2 x large bulkheads, 1”+
  • PVC pipe
  • Bio balls (or a DIY pond filter media of your choosing)
  • Anti-clog air stone
  • Airline
  • Jhua Water Pump or a similar water pump.


  1. Drill a hole the size of your bulkhead at the bottom of the bucket. This hole needs to be slightly off-center and more towards one of the sides.
  2. Now attach the bulkhead to this hole.
  3. Drill the hole the same size in the center of the lid and install the bulkhead into it keep the flat side upwards.
  4. Now cut the PVC pipe just an inch shorter than the height of the bucket and attach it to the bulkhead placed in the lid.
  5. Cut another piece of the PVC pipe making it 3” shorter than the other one and attach it to the bottom bulkhead.
  6. Connect the pump to the lid of the bucket.
  7. Now fill the bucket with the filter media of your choice.
  8. Drill a hole in the lid big enough to let the airline pass through. This will help create a current in the filter.
  9. Attach the air stones to the end inside the bucket and place it over the pond.

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(Video) How To Make DIY Fish Pond Filter very easy and cheap/Crystal Clear Water

DIY Biological Pond Filter – Using a Planter

There are people that use fountain sprays of different patterns to add beauty to their ponds, and then there are people who appreciate a more authentic sense of beauty like a planter.

This DIY pond pump not only adds beauty to your pond but is extremely cost-effective and only takes about one hour to be put together. It uses both mechanical and biological media to assure effective filtering of water.

Things You Need:

  • A decorative planter (a plain one will also do just fine)
  • 2 x bulkheads
  • PVC pipe – longer than the planter
  • 3 x PVC Elbow Fittings
  • PVC T Fittings
  • SCH 40 adapter
  • Hose
  • 2 x Hose Clamps
  • Basket – one that can fit into the planter
  • Loofa
  • Scrubbers
  • Filter media
  • Pebbles or lava rocks


  1. Cut a hole in the side of the planter the size of your bulkheads, close to the top. Make sure that the bulkhead fits in fine.
  2. Install the bulkhead into the hole you cut. Install a bulkhead on the opposite side should the filter starts overflowing.
  3. Install the other bulkhead where the water will enter the planter at the top using the same steps as the first one.
  4. Cut the PVC pipes into the following parts: 1 x 3” shorter than planter height, 1x size of the radius of the planter, and 2 x half the length of the radius.
  5. Connect the elbow connector to the larger PVC block and the one the size of the radius.
  6. Now connect the SCH 40 adapter to the radius-sized pipe.
  7. Use the T connector to attach the equal-sized parts of the pipe. And at the open ends connect an elbow that points in the opposite direction.
  8. Connect the open side of the T to the larger PVC pipe.
  9. Attach the PVC pipe with SCH 40 to the planter through the bulkhead and tighten the other side.
  10. Slit the basket around the edges so it can slide down easily.
  11. Insert the basket into the planter facing upside-down way to the bottom.
  12. Add layers of loofa, then scrubbers, and then the filter media you chose, ideally bio balls.
  13. Add some layers of sponges.
  14. And then add the rocks on the top.
  15. Connect the hose to the SCH 40 adapter and screw it in the bulkhead. Tighten it with the hose clamp.
  16. Connect the hose to your pump and place it near the pond.
  17. Watch the water drop like a waterfall.

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DIY Pond Skimmer Filter – Garbage Can

This DIY pond pump is the way a more cost-effective alternative to the more expensive skimmer filter that you get on the market. The only catch here is that you need to install it before you fill the pond with water.

Things You Need:

  • Garbage Can – 32 Gallons capacity
  • 2 x closet flange – 4”
  • 4-way fitting
  • PVC pipe – 6’, 1.5”/2’, 4”
  • 3 x PVC end caps – 1.5”
  • Electrical conduit fitting male and female – 1.5”
  • Rubber gasket
  • Stainless bolts
  • Silicone caulk
  • Small and large mesh trap – nylon


(Video) A Quick and Easy Pond Filter for a small pond - 5 Minute DIY Project

  1. Drill a hole in the garbage can a few inches away from the top.
  2. Cut a 1.5” hole a few inches away from the bottom of the garbage can.
  3. Place the male conduit in the outlet hole with the rubber gasket inside the can.
  4. On the outside add the female conduit to the male conduit.
  5. Cut the PVC pipes as follows: 3 x 5 inches pieces, and 1 x 8 inches piece. This will aid in the making of the strainer at the bottom of the can.
  6. Connect all 4 pieces using the 4-way fitting.
  7. Now attach the end caps to the shorter three pipes and use silicone caulk to seal.
  8. Drill holes in the PVC pipes.
  9. Cut the 4” PVC pipe into equal parts to set the strainer.
  10. Place the longer PVC pipe of the strainer on the outlet conduit and set the strainer in the bottom so that the rubber gasket falls in between them.
  11. Since it is to be installed before the pond is filled with water we will assume that the hole for the pond is already dug. Place the can inside it.
  12. Attach a discharge pipe to it
  13. Install the pond liner so that it runs in front of the can and fold on the top and inside.
  14. Drill four holes over the inlet.
  15. Connect the holes using bolts and washers and silicone caulk it.
  16. Cut the 4” pipes at a 45-degree angle.
  17. Connect them to the closet flanges
  18. Place the mesh trap inside the can right below the inlet acting as a trap for fine debris.
  19. The larger mesh trap will go over the end of the PVC inlet pipe to filter the larger particles.
  20. Add rocks and pebbles on the top to add aesthetic to your can.

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To Conclude…

These are just a few of many ideas for a DIY pond pump filters that you can use. This way you can get exactly what you want at almost half the price. Best of luck!

Learn how to make a pond filter with our simple step-by-step instructions and materials list! Choose from 5 DIY pond filter ideas with how-to videos!

55-gallon drum 3” bulkhead fitting x 2 2” shower drain 6’ ABS pipe (1.5” diameter) 90 degree fitting for ABS pipe 3 way fitting for ABS pipe End caps for 1.5” ABS pipe Bricks x 4 Gravel (3/4”, ½” and pea). Cut the PVC pipe to about the length (height) of the bucket (just an inch or two short) and attach to the bulkhead in the lid of the bucket Cut another piece of PVC pipe about 3” shorter than the one you just cut and attach to the bulkhead in the bottom of the bucket.. If you don’t want the bucket to be visible, you can hide it and connect hose or pipe from the bulkhead on the bottom and run it to the pond, as long as gravity will drain the water from the bucket, through the pipe, and into the pond.. It just needs to be longer than your planter) PVC elbow fittings x 3 PVC “T” fitting PVC SCH 40 adapter Hose Hose clamps x 2 (one to connect the filter to the hose and the hose to the pump) Basket (For example, a small clothes basket or a plastic fruit basket that will fit inside your planter) Loofa’s Pot scrubbers Bio balls Pebbles/rocks or lava rocks Optional: Oxygenating pond plants. 32 Gallon garbage can (If you can find a square that may work better) Closet flange 4” x 2 4 way 1.5” PVC pipe fitting 1.5” PVC pipe – 6’ long 4” PVC pipe - 2’ long 1.5” PVC end caps x 3 1.5” electrical conduit fittings (1 male and 1 female) Rubber toilet gasket Stainless bolts with matching nuts and washers Outdoor silicone caulk Small nylon mesh tarp Large mesh nylon bag. Drill small holes in all the PVC pipe pieces Measure and cut a small piece of your 4” PVC pipe and set on the bottom of the garbage can.. Take a piece of 2” PVC pipe and drill holes in a straight line around the pipe, about 1/2 an inch from the end of the pipe.. You can optionally drill a hole in the top of the overflow pipe and use a zip tie to secure it to the PVC pipe attached to the inlet bulkhead to keep the pipes secure and from moving around.

When one is in love with fishes, they keep hoarding more and more. Who can blame them; fishes are on

There are lots of good tips in this video on how you can make a Cheap inexpensive DIY filter that is perfect for a small pond and quarantine system.. As with anything, there are positive features and negative, this unique plan not only details how to build a shower filter for a pond , but also lists the positives and negatives of this type of pond filter.. Gravitational diy pond filter For under $50 you can build this effective bioball filter system that can easily filter and clean up to 300 gallons of water in a typical garden pond.. Bioball DIY Pond Filter This unique ideas starts with a large flower pot and ends with clean water for your fish or garden pond.. Plastic Tub DIY Pond Filter Buy a garbage can and follow these step by step instructions for transforming a garbage can into a highly function garden pond filtration system .

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Of all the pond devices that you’ll see used in a small pond, few have ever been reinvented or replicated as much as a pond filter in the DIY realm.. DIY of course stands for do-it-yourself and the relatively simple design of most biological pond filters easily lend themselves to someone who wants to build one from scratch.. A more powerful, and we think, useful pond filter is the biological filter.. Here’s a video showing a very good, basic design for a gravity-fed pond filter, with an equally good explanation of how it works.. The photograph included here show’s a nicely designed barrel filter in use in a fish holding tank.. Looking to build just a single barrel pond filter?. Nevertheless, this filter has remained quite popular and you may still use some of the widely available components to build your own filter.. Perhaps the most popular DIY pond filter online is called the Skippy filter and this uses a stock tank for the filter body rather than a box or barrel.. Stock tanks also provide some circulatory motion of the water much like barrels and they will also have water enter at the bottom of the tank and this will rise up through the filter media, which is made up of numerous brillo like pads that not only filter the water but they also provide a home to the bacteria as well.. In this way, the Skippy filter can serve somewhat like a waterfall filter and it can be hidden behind rocks or plants.. Up to now, we’ve talked a lot about what these DIY pond filters look like…but in truth, the real workhorse in this operation is the filter media.. They also serve as a natural pond cleaner and balancer, and that work will provide the pond owner with a better-looking, and much healthier pond.. If after viewing some of the videos you come to conclude that building your own filter is more than you want to tackle, you can still find easy to assemble pond filter kits online.. Many are designed to make creating a waterfall or spillway quite easy and they work great as a gravity-fed pond filter .

I want to show you how to make a small pond filter that takes care of both mechanical and biological filtration. Let’s get started on this great pond filter.

This box filter holds about 16 gallons of water so would make the perfect filter for a small pond or water garden.. Measure down 2 inches from the end of the pipe and use a 1-inch hole saw and cut all the way through the pipe.. The last thing you need for this part of the pond filter is a 1 1/4 inch t-piece for the other end of the pipe.. We need to make a way for the water to get into the filter from your pond pump.. come in 1/2 inch from the end and make a mark.. While these are easy to install, submersible filters have to be removed from the pond to clean them.. One issue we see all the time is the pump is either too weak for the filter system and too small for your ponds or it’s too powerful and moves the water too quickly before the filters can do their work.. Adding a UV clarifier to your filtration does nothing to clean the waste out of your water but it does help combat green water.. They are very easy to install and work wonders to clean your pond water.. You are looking for some sort of media with a high surface area that can be used to hold beneficial bacteria, and some course media to filter out the heavy solids from the water as it passes through.. The key things with any pond filter are biological filtration and the ability to mechanically remove fish waste from the water.

If you are thinking of ways to revamp your garden or any other outdoor space, these DIY pond ideas are perfect for you!

I love how this idea transforms a simple plastic container into a lovely DIY pond.. All you need for making a garden pond is a large container that can hold water.. Add some plants and rocks in it and you have an easy and quick DIY pond that costs nothing compared to a professionally designed one!. The pond comes with a deck that not only highlights your pond but also gives you a comfortable space to sit and enjoy the water.. Old claw foot bathtubs are the perfect containers for your container water pond.. If you want to add Koi or goldfish to your garden pond, try this amazing DIY pond.. It is super easy: dig it out, add your pond liner, place some rocks and add your favorite plants.. All you need to recreate this naturally stunning DIY pond is a pond liner—set it in-ground and build your custom pond by adding some beautiful river rocks or slate.. We hope these DIY pond ideas inspire you to add a fresh, soothing touch to your garden, patio, deck, or backyard.


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