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A pond skimmer is a small, floating device that you can use to skim the surface of your pond and reфmove debris from it. The water then travels into a tube where it is filtered before being pumped back into the pond. This article will show you how to make a floating pond skimmer with materials that are easy to find online or in stores near you.

How does a pond skimmer work?

Leaves floating around, pollen or a smear film on the surface make life difficult for the pond owner. Relief is provided by a skimmer installed in the pond, standing or floating in the pond, which suctions off a narrow area below the water surface and gives the pond a clean appearance at all times. But it’s not just on the surface that a pond skimmer offers benefits: It removes particles before they sink down, settles, and affect water quality. This reduces nutrient loading. Some skimmers additionally enrich the water with oxygen, which further promotes pond health.

  1. The skimmer basket (skimmer attachment) floats through the floats on the pond water surface.
  2. The skimmer pump lies underwater in the pond.
  3. The pump sucks the water through the skimmer basket.
  4. At the same time, the skimmer pump pumps the water outside into the filter.
  5. Inside the filter, the water slowly rises, allowing the sludge to settle.
  6. So the water rises automatically through the complete filter material (like in our pond filter!).
  7. When the water arrives at the top of the rain barrel, it runs back into the pond via a 75mm tank fitting and a 75mm HT pipe.
  8. By returning the water via a pipe, additional oxygen is generated (depending on how high you place the return pipe above the water surface).

The connection for the skimmer basket

Before buying the skimmer pump, make sure you know how and with what to connect the 32mm hose nozzles to the suction side and pump side. Also, in this case, the suction and pump sides of the pond pumps are equipped with hose fittings. Some pond pumps only include the hose fittings for the pump side. Feel free to ask us before buying, which hose connections are included with the respective pond pump for the skimmer system.

The skimmer basket also has a hole at the bottom next to the hose connection. This is not important for our purpose. It is best to close this hole permanently with a screw, nut, and 2 washers. Thus, no suction train can be lost.

Where is the skimmer connected?

The answer to the question of where to connect the skimmer can be seen in this picture. The skimmer is connected to the pump. It is connected to the suction side of the pond pump or skimmer pump. You can use either the angled or the straight hose nozzle. For this purpose, you use the 32mm pond hose highly flexible, because it is not as rigid and heavy as, for example, the extra strong pond hose with 32mm from Rehau. Thus, you can easily pull the skimmer attachment to you on the shore. How long the hoses are from the skimmer attachment to the pump and from the pump to the skimmer filter, you can measure yourself. It is only important that the pump is lower than the skimmer basket. This ensures that the skimmer pump does not draw “false air”. Namely, no air should get into the hose line.

The hose for the filter is then attached to the pump side of the skimmer pump. The hose then runs outside of the pond, into the rain barrel that we use as a filter for the skimmer. The hose then runs from the top to the bottom of the rain barrel, just like our pond filter.

The skimmer filter

We build the skimmer filter ourselves from a rain barrel. If you want, you can also build the skimmer filter from an IBC container, which is of course even better. There is simply more volume available for the dirt. The skimmer filter is placed outside the pond. Via the pond hose, the water comes from above through the lid of the rain barrel down to the bottom of the barrel. There below the water exits and rises through the filter media to the top, where the water then runs through a 75mm tank fitting and a 75mm HT pipe, back into the pond.

So you take the rectangular 300l rain barrel. Fill it with approx. 200l filter cubes in medium coarse. You pack the filter cubes again as with the pond filter in filter media bags. You can also fill each filter media bag with 50l filter cubes and then have 4 of these small “bioreactors” in the rain barrel. On top of them is a filter mat in fine (PPI30) with 75x60x5 cm. The filter mat weighs down again with a few flat stones. If you have the possibility to build a stainless steel grid as filter media support, you can always do that. Then you only need to weigh down the grid with a large stone in the middle. By the way, this works very well with our pond filter. The pond hose runs down the side of the barrel rim. At the top below the edge of the barrel, attach the 75mm tank fitting. Outside the barrel, you can now glue the 75mm HT pipe into the tank fitting. Depending on how high you place the pipe above the pond water surface, more or less oxygen is generated in the pond.

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