Q: What is the difference between a waterfall filter and a pressurized filter?
Ryan – Houston, TX
A: Your pond or water garden needs some kind of biological filtration system to keep the water crystal clear. In general, you’ll find two basic types: a waterfall filter and a pressurized filter. Both are comparably priced and work well at cleaning the water and removing suspended particles, but there are some distinct differences.
Typically installed during pond construction and connected to the liner, a waterfall filter, like the PondBuilder™ Crystal Falls Waterfall Filter, is buried in the ground at the top of your waterfall. This allows a place for water to pool, which then creates a smooth, even flow as the water pours down into the pond.
The filter box itself houses the biological filtration media, like BioBalls™ and filter media pads, that are covered with nitrogen- and ammonia-eating beneficial bacteria. Overall, it’s a simple, easy-to-maintain system that can handle high volumes of water.
Unlike the waterfall filter, a pressurized filter, like The Pond Guy® AllClear™ Pressurized UV Filter, can be positioned anywhere outside the pond. The unit holds water pressure, so the filtered water can be routed back to the pond or up to a waterfall, creating a flowing waterfall effect without taking up space at the top of the falls.
As with the waterfall filter, the filter box itself holds the biological filtration media, but it can also house an ultraviolet sterilizer and may even be configured to backflush for ultra-easy maintenance. Another benefit: The pressurized filter is an easy addition to an already-existing pond that needs filtration (or an upgrade).
When deciding whether to invest in a waterfall filter or a pressurized filter, ask yourself these questions:
- Given your current pond situation, which one is easier for you to install?
- What type of filter can accommodate the intended water flow? A waterfall filter can generally handle more water flow than the pressurized model.
- Do you wish to also use an ultraviolet sterilizer? If so, consider a pressurized filter, like the AllClear™, that includes a built in UV unit.
Pond Talk: What kind of filter do you have in your pond?