More specifically......(and there is even more below)

  1. Skimmer - This is usually found across form the waterfalls. It generally has a fake rock for a lid and inside you will find:
    • A basket or net that catches debris being sucked in. It literally skims off the top of the water (catching floating things like leaves)
    • A filter pad. A type of mesh that catches finer debris. It needs to be hosed out about once a week. Make sure it fills the space completely. If there is a gap, the water will take the path of least resistance and by pass it completely.
    • The pump. The pump sits below the basket and the filter pad.
Here is a basic skimmer. You can see the skimmer basket.
Here is a cross section of a skimmer. The filter pad here is green but yours might be blue, white, black or grey.

2. The Biofalls - this is at the top of the waterfall. It may have a variety of filter material in it including bioballs, lava rocks, or filter pad. This is where the water is piped to and then cascades down to the pond.

This cross section of a biofalls shows bioballs in bags and 2 filter mats.

3. Pump. Different brand pumps have different looks. Some are vertical and some are horizontal.

4. Piping. Piping us usually kink free piping or some sort of flexible PVC. we most often see 1 1/2" pipe, 2 pipe, 2 1/2 inch pipe or 3 inch pipe. It is important to have the pipe size that goes with your pump. For instance, if you had an 8000 gallon per hour (gph) pump, but only a 1 " pipe, the pipe could not keep up with the pump.

5. Rocks and gravel. Rocks do a great job of hiding and protecting the liner from harsh weather. 1 /34" gravel (or close to) creates a natural looking pond bottom in which beneficial bacteria can colonize.

6. Pond liner and underlayment. We use liner, rather than concrete as it is easier to repair. Underlayment is a fabric that lays beneath the liner that gives and extra protection from punctures.

7. Plants and fish - some people think that plants and fish are too much work. While keeping plants trimmed back can take some time now and then, they are that added color that make ponds really beautiful. They also use up nutrients in the pond. Without plants, keeping the water clear is very difficult. Plants grow best when there are fish in the water!

Other parts that you might have in your pond may be:


Bioballs - found in the biofalls. They provide more surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize on .
Iongen is a piece of equipment that has two prongs of copper that are usually found hanging in the skimmer. It is plugged in and the electricity causes small amounts of copper to be released into the water. Why? Because string algae hates copper!
Aerators are used to bring more oxygen to parts of the pond that have little movement.
Pressure filters are additional filtration that its outside of the pond and in line with the pipe. They often have a UV light inside of them that kills off microbial algae (green cloudy algae)
An Autodose goess right next to the pond and automatically adds beneficial bacteria to the water on a regular basis.