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DIY Pond Filter

31 DIY Pond Filters That Are Inexpensive and Easy to Build

When one is in love with fishes, they keep hoarding more and more. Who can blame them; fishes are one of the finest creations and every time make people go in awe. People include them in outdoor-scape which makes the space come bubbling with life. Making a diy outdoor pond is easy and simple. You just have to do so planning, dig a hole, cement here and there, hardscaping and its done but there is something far more challenging than comes with the perks of an outdoor pond, keeping the water crystal clean.

Fish are very specific about their thriving conditions and die on you if not provided with them. There is nothing sadder than seeing your fishes floating upside down dead. Those who have kept them know. One of the utmost important requirements the fishes have is, clean water.

Keeping the water crystal clear in an outdoor fish pond can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. A DIY pond filter system is inexpensive and easy to build and will work as well, if not better, than those expensive filters sold at home improvement centers. Check out our round up of 31 DIY homemade pond filter ideas that are complete with pictures and instructions to find the one that is right for your outdoor water feature needs.

Make these 31 DIY pond filter system with tutorials:

 1- Barrel DIY Pond Filter

The first one in our list is a pond filter that has a detailed shopping list and pictorial guide that makes this diy barrel filter system by diyready so easy to build that even a novice DIYer can accomplish. Every step of the build is detailed and leaves nothing to chance.

DIY Pond Filter
DIY Pond Filter, Image via: diyready

2- Cheap And Easy DIY Fish Pond Filter

The creator of this video is an old sturdy man who clearly knows what he is doing. He is definitely skilled and gives the instructions quite clearly. This one is also a barrel-made one. The design of this homemade pond filter can be tailored to your own requirements and the available material.

There are lots of good tips in this video on how you can make a Cheap inexpensive DIY filter like this one on Youtube that is perfect for a small pond and quarantine system. Anyone who likes to make things themselves will find this video very interesting.

Design is great too! and you can make one for just about $100. This DIY filter is built for koi fishes but you can use it for any type of fishes.

3- Cheap DIY Pond Filter Under $50

Here we have another video featuring the low-cost pond filter building process on youtube and it’s not only informative but also very positive. The DIYer is determined to show you how to make a DIY koi pond filter easily. Most of the materials that are needed are available in home depot.

Even if you are a beginner and have no experience, this project can be something that will give you inspiration. At the beginning of the video, DIYer shows the pond design and its waterfalls. The filtration system is hidden behind the hardscape.

Instead of building the system from the scratch, the DIY-er shows already done and running a filtering system. He removes and replaces the sponges and In this guide, you will see how he removes the sponges, SBG, floovile bio, and polyfill. This system has been working for 3 months, so all those things require either cleaning or replacement.

Even though the DIYer does not show the process from the beginning, he explains what was done pretty well. Therefore, this can be useful if you still do not know yet what you need.

4- DIY Koi Pond Filter Project

As we know Koi Fish is a bottom feeder and having a Koi pond can be fun and entertaining. If you own one and want to create the filter for it on your own this DIY project by drought-smart-plants will provide great help.

The pond filter has several benefits. It will take the organic matter that may disturb the fish, and also adds the essential oxygen molecules.

This easy-to-do project is made of a 20-liter buck that has no chemical paint or other harmful materials on it. To make sure that it is safe for the fish, you can spray them or get special crystals.

To make this diy filter you need a list of supplies for this project and their amazon links as shown. The simple pond pump, lava rocks, and bucket are quite enough to make this DIY pond filter.

DIY Koi Pond Filter Project
DIY Koi Pond Filter Project, Image via: drought-smart-plants

5- DIY Bio Filter For The Garden

To construct a simple, yet highly functional, diy pond filter for your garden pond such as this one by mvwgs, all you need is a small plastic crate, some lava rocks and biodegradable air conditioner filters. Easy to assemble and cheap to use.

bio filter for your garden pond
bio filter for your pond, Image via: mvwgs

6- Gravel DIY Pond Filter

This design from our entire list is so simple and practically free since it focuses on using what you have on hand to build. This gravel pond filter system by wikihow using recycled objects makes for a better environment, for fish, plants and humans. Free (or almost free) is a good price too.

gravel filter system
Gravel DIY Pond Filter, Image via: wikihow

7- Koi Fish Pond Bio-Filter

Koi are beautiful fishes whether they are kept indoors or outdoors. They have vibrant colors and are hardy but they dirty the water in no mean time. That’s not a problem though because they can live in it, still, but to keep the aesthetic and attractiveness of the pond alive, the water needs to be transparent as it comes.

This is a DIY koi pond filter tutorial by instructables in the form of a listicle. Everything for the project is jotted down in simple lines that makes the reader get it all. The things you need can be bought from any hardware store around you and also it uses a plastic barrel as a container, that is a brilliant idea for a DIY pond filter.

Koi Fish Pond Bio-Filter
Koi Fish Pond Bio-Filter, Image via: instructables

8- Two Tub System

Here’s a system that can handle cleaning the water of a large garden or fish pond. This two tub system by pond-life.me.uk can easily be built by following these step by step pictorial instructions. Check out the before and after pictures to see how large of a pond this two tub system can actually keep clean.

Two Tub System
Two Tub System for cleaning the water of a large garden or fish pond, Image via: pond-life.me.uk

9- Biological Homemade Pond Filter

It is a homemade biological pond filter on youtube based on a standard filter design using off the shelf products. He made this filter for only 60$. This man knows how to save some bucks.

The results were shown in the start of the video and they were quite fruitful. In one month, the water was much cleaner than it was before.

In this video, the creator also used paper and marker to draw and demonstrate how the thing will be made, work and a superb explanation of what is actually going within the filter system!
The design is quite unique by using a simple tub and the bacterial culture which will break down pond wastes into less harmful compounds, later used as aquatic plant fertilizers.

A very straight forward and direct tutorial that cuts to the chase.

10- DIY Mega Pond Filter

This video of a homemade mega pond filter on youtube, has more than a million views already. The content creator speaks Tagalog language which standardized form is officially Filipino but there is no language barrier. You can clearly understand what he is doing and what materials to use. There is more doing than speech.

This tutorial was so simple and well done that it would be a shame if it wasn’t included in this list even if the man was speaking Filipino.

A cheap big bucket and two to three simple tools were used and the result turned out great. This one is definitely for those who have less tools. He used a bucket, stones, charcoal, saw, scissor, a bottle and some epoxy and yes that’s it.

11- Homemade Natural Pond Filter

This natural homemade pond filter by medium is truly a natural one. They used a plastic tarp to contain the water and large logs to withhold it all. Brilliant!

A thick mat is placed underneath the tarp so it doesn’t get damaged.

In this DIY pond filter, water plants and small fishes are the cornerstone. Water plants helps breakdown the organic matter coming from the pond and fishes/tadpoles eat down the mosquito larvae.

The submersible pump is also powered by a solar panel which cuts out the electricity costs saving you large bucks.

This idea is innovative and unusual and you’ll definitely like it!

Homemade Natural Pond Filter
DIY Natural pond filter , Image via: medium

12- Gravitational DIY Koi Pond Filter

You’ll be able to instantly see your beautiful koi swimming around in the crystal clear water after you build and install this easy to operate gravitational fish pond filter by interall. Gravity does all the work for you and less than $20 buys all the needed parts to assemble this water filtration system for a diy koi pond.

Gravitational Koi Pond Filter
Gravitational Water filtration system, Image via: interall

13- Bioball DIY Pond Filter

For under $50 you can build this effective bioball filter system by fishchannel that can easily filter and clean up to 300 gallons of water in a typical garden pond.

bioball filter system
Bioball DIY Pond Filter, Image via: fishchannel

14- Garden Pond Forum DIY Pond Filter

This garden pond forum by gardenpondforum is a great way to explore the experiences of various people regarding DIY pond filters. If you are just starting the project and want to learn more about it to avoid mistakes, this is the best option you can start with.

Personal experiences and advice will help you to decide what type you need and how to make a pond filter.

The author of the comment has a filter that has a 1900 GPH pump and is made out of Kougy’s weir. However, it is not working and doing its job well. Therefore, he is asking for advice and tips from experienced people.

In the comments, you will come across some very valuable information that will be a great help to do homemade pond filters.

Garden Pond Forum DIY Pond Filter
Homemade Pond Forum DIY Filter, Image via: gardenpondforum

15- Low-cost DIY Fish Pond Filter

If you have a pond where the fish is grown, then this project will help you to provide an essential environment for your fish. The system is made from cheap materials and the results are almost the same as if it was done with expensive ones. According to the DIYer, it can make the fish grow three times larger than usual.

This 12 minutes long guide shows how to make a pond filter system in a youtube video and is very easy even if you have no experience. The process is shown well, and on the way, DIYer also provides all the essential information that you may need.

This is the first part video, where the first steps of the building process are shown. The second part of the video features the testing of the powered system project.

16- Modification Of Giant Pond Filter System

This giant pond filter system project on youtube is great for your large pond because it can hold more bio media. This youtube video guide starts with the process of disconnection of the previous filter. In addition to the modification, here you will also see how to uninstall previous ones.

DIYer has provided all essential information regarding where to buy the materials and tools and how much they cost. As the video goes on, he explains the process step-by-step and shows the project building and end result.

DIYer used cinderblock platforms to level two brute trash cans. However, the trash can filter system that is originally built is shown in another video recorded by the same DIYer.

17- Super Easy Cleaning Out A Koi Pond Filter

This is not a tutorial about how to create a filter like we will see in this youtube video but rather about cleaning one. You need to watch this video even if you don’t make it. His setup is so cool and unlike any setup seen before. There is a super large pond with so many colorful Koi and there are fruit trees and vegetable planted around it.

The nutrient rich waste water is being used to fertilize and grow these fruit trees and vegetables. The herbs are green and trees have bear fruit.

This DIY filtration system as large barrels set upped and uses a plastic broom to clean all of them out in 10 to 15 minute every two weeks.

The video is super satisfying and like an ASMR. You should watch this one definitely for the sake of just watching.

18- Best DIY Bio Swirl Filter

He has got an energetic voice and used things that you can easily find at dollar stores.

This tutorial is of a 5-gallon bucket, dollar store sponges and scrubbers as media to make a pond filter like we will see in this youtube video. It costed him only 20$. He also used flower foam which is very cheap. The bio bacteria love the foam and instantly start multiplying in it, cleaning the water.

He used all the tools skillfully and the best thing about this filter is that it creates water swirls. The swirling makes the water extra filtered and cleaner.

You can also find the supplies listed in the description of the video.

19- DIY Solar Powered Pond Filter With Skimmer

This one is both, written down and a YouTube video is also included for your ease. Why is his pond so beautiful though?

This DIY pond filter tutorial by instructables is so easily done and way cheaper. If you want to make a DIY pond filters in an hour, this is the one to watch. Neat and clean.

This one also used a readymade small solar system to power the pump. A bucket, lava stones and some PVC pipes were used and it was ready in no time. The supplies and steps needed to be followed are also listed for making this Quick DIY filter.

Gosh that pink cosmos plant is everything.

DIY Solar Powered Pond Filter With Skimmer
DIY Solar Powered Pond Filter With Skimmer, Image via: instructables

20- DIY Mega Filter For Outdoor Pond

This man is now close to having 1 million subs. In this video tutorial, he used simple and broken things to make this filter come happen.

He doesn’t use more than 2 tools and a bucket and your filter is ready.

This is a great  tutorial for building an outdoor DIY pond filter on youtube with cheap recycling materials like we will see in this youtube video. As not all of us can afford to buy expensive filters. A superb video for those who are passionate about keeping pond fish and now they can build their own filtration system using hand tools.

21- Backyard DIY Pond Filter

A proper listed guide to make a homemade backyard pond filter by diyprojects.

This a listicle with a detailed shopping list. The article is so down to earth that it even tells what PVC is. It uses a barrel, egg-crate, soda holder grate etc.

There is also a YouTube video tutorial that is very helpful and uses a square bucket and scrub pads. That’s NEW!

Backyard DIY Pond Filter
Backyard DIY Pond Filteration System, Image via: diyprojects

22- Easy DIY Pond Filter From Trash Can

This man definitely knows what he is doing. This is a trash can DIY pond filter on youtube.

Okay, so you are not being pressing into watching it but if you went through all of the article without reading or watching one, please do this one because we saved the best for the last.

This tutorial is for those; whose DIY filter break every time. This man tells how to avoid disasters and make a durable one. He tells every single thing to the rock bottom and also adds cheeky parts so you do not get bored. He definitely deserves more subscribers.

At the end, the resulting water was super freakishly clean. 

23- Aquatic Biofilter under $40

One of the most important parts of the aquaponics system is the biofilter. This DIY pond filter by hydroponicsbloghealthierfood will provide the environment with helpful bacteria in order to help the fish and aquatic organisms. The best thing about this project is that the cost of it is under $40.

This particular filter has a half-inch intake and one-inch output. However, during the building process, you can modify the size according to your needs.

The pictures of the equipment that has been used are shown in the guide. Additionally, you will also come across a list of materials that are essential to make a DIY pond filter system. As the process is shown step-by-step, the cost of each material is also mentioned.

In the comments section, people who did the project according to those instructions tell how the setup works and share their experiences. You may also like to check out DIY fish tank ideas to shape and decorate it as you wish.

Aquatic Biofilter under $40
Aquatic Biofilter under $40, Image via: hydroponicsbloghealthierfood

24- Biofilter For Koi Fish Pond

This particular project will teach you how to do a DIY Koi pond filter in 8 steps like this one by instructables. This Pond filter is larger in comparison to others and is designed for a pond that has 10 000 liters of water.

Since the pond is typically located under direct sunlight, the threat of gunk, blanket weed, and bacteria is increased. That is why the DIY KOI bio filter is beneficial. Additionally, the expenses to make this filter is much low than to buy the new one.

Even though this DIY project is not done by an expert, the DIYer has made thorough research. Step one of the project talks about the tools and instruments that you will need to do this project. After that, the second step shows how to drill, cut, and fit the barrel.

The internal vortex pipe-building process is described. Additionally, cleaner, flusher, stone holder, and vortex shield photos and the designing process are explored. After that, the filter media is added and all parts are connected to each other.

The interesting thing about this project is that the DIY-er talks about the mistakes that he made in the end and what to consider when you decide to build it.

Biofilter For Koi Fish Pond
Biofilter For Koi Fish Pond, Image via: instructables

25- DIY Pond Filter From Brute Trash Cans

This DIY pond filter system on youtube is made from two 32-gallon brute trash cans. The benefit of this project is that it will be able to hold more filter media in comparison to the filter made with one container. This is a great way to do a better filtration system.

Altogether, the pond environment will be cleaner, free of unwanted organisms, and great for fish.

At the beginning of the video, the DIYer talks about the tools and materials that would be needed for this project. Additionally, he shared information about where each material was ordered from and how much was paid.

The fast-forwarded video shows how DIYers built filters from the trash can step by step. Additionally, what to pay attention to is discussed. In the end, the project is tested and it seems to work perfectly fine.

Overall video guide is very useful especially if you are a beginner since the whole process is shown in detail.

26- Easy Mega Fish Pond System

These homemade pond filters on Youtube are very easy to build, low-cost, and will provide your pond with essential filtration. It can be used both indoors and outdoors and does not require much equipment.

For this project, Stackable industrial containers are used. The filter media that is used is a Japanese Filter mat, Ceramic filter rings, Filter brushes, Filter foam sponged, and Bio media blocks.

The filter system can be applied to the aquaponic system and ponds. At the beginning of the guide, the shopping for containers is shown and the subtitles note important information. Tools and materials that will be needed are also displayed and explained.

These small pond filters are useful solutions if you are looking for a low-cost project. You may also like to check out DIY aquarium stand to keep fish tank on it.

27- Low-cost effective Biofilter DIY Project

This project guide shows how to make a pond filter like this this one by redforkhippie instead of paying over $100 dollar for a new one. This biofilter has a capacity of 50 gallons. However, if you have a bigger pond, you can adjust the size accordingly.

The materials that you will need include a one-gallon tub with a lid, PVC pipes with threaded ends, a pond pump, scotch-Brite pads, plastic pot scratchers, and Teflon tape. As for the tools, the project will require a drill, a utility knife of sharp scissors, a drill bit that is at least ¼ inch, and a hole-saw that has the same diameter as drill PVC pipes.

The pictures of the process are shown and each of them is described well so you understand what needs to be done. The overall guide is quite helpful and interesting.

Low-cost effective Biofilter DIY Project
Low-cost effective Biofilter DIY Project, Image via: redforkhippie

28- Flower Pot DIY Filter

This unique ideas starts with a large flower pot and ends with clean water for your fish or garden pond. The mechanics of the diy pond filter system by leisure.prior-it.co.uk are housed inside of a large flower pot so it blends in with the surroundings. If you have a large plastic flower pot on hand, the cost for this DIY filter is close to zero.

Flower Pot Filter
Flower Pot Filter, Image via: leisure.prior-it.co.uk

29- Plastic Tub DIY Pond Filter

If you don’t have a flower pot on hand to use as a filter, how about a plastic tub or tote? They make perfect housing units for the mechanics of a gravity bioball diy filtration system. This unique set of DIY building plans by frankhagan shows you how to bury the plastic tub so the entire water filtration system will be out of sight.

Plastic Tub Filter
Plastic Tub DIY Pond Filter, Image via: frankhagan 

30- Garbage Can 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 by instructables.

garden pond filtration system
Garbage Can DIY Pond Filter System, Image via: instructables

31- DIY Shower Pond Filter

As with anything, there are positive features and negative, this unique plan not only details how to build a shower filter for a pond like this by ukaps, but also lists the positives and negatives of this type of pond filter and it’s what we like about this filter  . Read about the good and bad side of this DIY pond filter system before you undertake building it.

DIY Shower Filter
DIY Shower Filter, Image via: ukaps

End note

Ponder before choosing and building your DIY pond filter. Make the one that is perfect for your setting and compatible too. Do consider the size of your pond. If you are making for smaller pond, alter the tutorial into making a smaller one and vice versa.

Here is a tip: never forget to camouflage or hide your DIY pond filter with something. You can make a rockery around it using rocks or grow plants around it. Keep it movable though.

Hope our article has helped you and offered some kind of benefit in any way.

Here is useful information about pond filteration systems:

How you can build a bio logical filter to clean fish waste and toxic ammonia by encouraging nitrifying bacteria to grow within an aquatic environment by Animals.mom.com.

Here is detailed guide to learn more about filteration system by Aquascapeinc.com

To Answer some of the common questions asked when building a pond we have prepared a questionnaire. 


How do I keep my pond clear without a filter?

To keep your pond water clean all you need to do is; don’t overstock your pond as more fish mean a lot of food they need to eat which means producing a lot of fish waste that releases ammonia into the water. Avoid overfeeding your fish as uneaten food releases nitrates and ammonia as well. Remove uneaten food, fish waste, algae, dead fish, rotting plants and regularly change your water.

How do you naturally filter a pond?

Adding submerged and floating plants in your pond help to reduce sunlight, provide shade which then minimize the growth of algae. Plants remove the nitrates and phosphate from the water which algae need for their growth.

Does rain add oxygen to a pond?

Rain water provides a consistent source of water for an adequate level of oxygen in the water and it does not have chemicals like chlorine or chloramine. Winds, rains and waterfalls work as natural sources of aeration in a lake or pond.

How often do I need to change pond water?

Change 15 to 20% of your pond water once per week. Regularly test pond water to check for pollutants in the water.

5/5 - (2 votes)

About FarhanAhsan

I am web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2007 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating people, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. I always enjoy to write about gardening, diy projects, home decor and interior design.

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  1. Scott P. Dalrymple

    Didn’t see a page for cost. Could be me. I’m an info nut. Thanks

  2. You can see complete cost of each diy pond filter at the respective sites.

  3. Any suggestions for a easy to build bio filter, for a 1/8th acre pond that is 50 ft round and 6ft deep in the center . The water is greenish right now and I have 50 catfish in it about 6 inchs longs. I dont need the water to be crystal clear, but want to make sure the water is clean enough to keep the catfish healthy. I already own several solar panels and brushless water pumps. Just need advice on building a bio filter that would work well with this sized pond , and would not need to be cleaning filters every week. Also need to know what type of beneficial bacteria I need to purchase, to put in the pond/ bio filter . TY

  4. Thanks for synthesising so many types of filtration systems. The filters that come with most ponds are not efficient enough to keep the water clean. I still put one of these in place soon👏

  5. Great ideas, thank you for the information. I have been working with fish tanks for years. Now I am thinking about a water feature outside. These filter ideas will be a great help.

  6. hello, I am a new pond enthusiast. I bought a pound kit with filter/waterfall. it only came with bio balls, and 1 soft filter media. I added some loofa sponges in the middle to beef up filtration but it’s not enough. the water is still murky. help!!! is the sky thing I can add fir purification? also, I live on a fxd income. it has to be something cheap, yet affective

  7. my pond is about 1,300 gallons,, so I have a two barrel filter…with a submergible pump in the bottom of the pond…it will pull the water to the bottom of the first barrel, that up-flows into the bottom of the second barrel , that up-flowers to the outlet to the pond, it feeds to the waterfall and two outlets in the pond. I’ve had my pond now for 28 years, however, my pond was in full sunlight, so I did put a top over the pond.. hopefully it will clear up, been fighting it for years… have way to many fish also,,,

  8. I have a 4ft filter with 3 compartments for my pond. In what order does the medium go in. Please

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