After you spend the time, expense, and hard work of creating your own little water-garden paradise, do not overlook what a good-functioning pond skimmer can do. Although no absolutely necessary, pond skimmers not only help keep your pond from becoming cloudy and obstructed with leaves, grass (and grass clippings!), small branches, feathers from visiting birds, and other debris, but by keeping these things out of the water, they also keep potentially noxious gases from forming, which can sometimes ultimately kill both fish and plants.
How they Work
Most commonly installed at the edge or side of the pond, the pond skimmer operates as a housing unit to hold the pump. The skimmer traps the organic trash from your water garden by the suction action of the pump bringing the debris toward it.
Utilizing a basket made from either plastic or galvanized wire, the debris is caught within it and can then be manually removed. Filter pads or brushes do the job of further filtering the water as it flows to the side of the skimmer where the pump is usually located. A surprising amount – up to 85% according to some sources of assorted debris can be kept from settling to the bottom of a pond by the simple installation of a pond skimmer.
Where to Purchase
What size and type of pond skimmer you purchase for your water garden depends on how large of a pond you have. There are many excellent sources on the Web to buy all types of pond and water garden supplies. For instance, Northland Gardens offers a complete line of excellent quality pond skimmers for a variety of pond and water garden sizes.
For pond areas ranging from a maximum of 350 square feet to those up to 1,100 square feet, you can select from a range of skimmers beginning at $109.99 for their smallest all the way up to $399.99 PS-9000 model. Northland Gardens also offers as skimmer accessories an auto-fill valve for $24.99 and a skimmer discharge kit to add to your skimmer’s productivity. The auto-fill valve senses when the level of water drops too low in your pond and then automatically refills it. The discharge kit prevents backflow into your pond pump in the event of an interruption in the supply of electricity.
MacArthur Water Gardens is another reputable site that offers not only pond skimmers, but just about anything else needed for the water-garden aficionado. This company features pond skimmers for areas that range in size from 500 to 10,000 gallons and in price from $171.99 to $309.99.