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21 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 an 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 these 21 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.

Other similar articles you may like to check out: Diy aquarium stand, diy koi fish pond ,floating pond plants and diy fish tank ideas.

21 DIY pond filter ideas and tutorials:

 1- Barrel DIY Pond Filter

The detailed shopping list and pictorial guide makes this diy barrel filter system an easy build that even a novice DIYer can accomplish. Every step of the build is detailed and leaves nothing to chance.

barrel diy pond filter

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 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- 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, but also lists the positives and negatives of this type of pond filter. Read about the good and bad side of this DIY pond filter system before you undertake building it.

Shower Filter

4- Gravel DIY Pond Filter

This design is simple and practically free since it focuses on using what you have on hand to build. This gravel pond filter system 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

5- 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 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

6- Two Tub System

Here’s a system that can handle cleaning the water of a large garden or fish pond. This two tub system 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

7- Biological Homemade Pond Filter

This is also a YouTube video. It is a homemade biological pond filter 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.

8- DIY Mega Pond Filter

The video of a homemade mega pond filter, 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.

9- Homemade Natural Pond Filter

This natural homemade pond filter 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

10- 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. 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 diy pond filter

11- Bioball 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 filter system
Bioball DIY Pond Filter

12- 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 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

13- 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 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

14- 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.

garden pond filtration system


15- Super Easy Cleaning Out A Koi Pond Filter

This video is not a tutorial about how to create a filter 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.

16- Best DIY Bio Swirl Filter

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

This video tutorial was of a 5-gallon bucket, dollar store sponges and scrubbers as media. 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.

17- 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?

The tutorial 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

18- DIY Bio Filter For The Garden

To construct a simple, yet highly functional, diy bio filter for your garden pond, 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

19- 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.

It is a great step by step tutorial on building an outdoor DIY pond filter with cheap recycling materials. 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.

20- Backyard DIY Pond Filter

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

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

21- Easy DIY Pond Filter From Trash Can

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

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. 

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 this article helped and offered of some kind of benefit in any way.

Here is useful information about pond filteration systems:



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,,,

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