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9 Best Pond Skimmer of 2020 Reviewed

Water dispenser in pool

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Fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris contribute to an unhealthy ecosystem for the aquatic life of your pond.

What’s more? It creates a mess, compromising the beautiful landscape of your outdoor water garden. For these reasons and more, installing a pond skimmer is crucial to keep the value and appeal of your garden pond intact.

However, finding a unit that best meets your requirements isn’t as simple as it seems at first. Plus, the wide availability of options in the market makes this task all the more time-consuming and hectic. This is why we’ve gone ahead and shortlisted 9 top picks for you to consider in 2020.

Through this guide, we’ve provided detailed reviews for each of our recommendations. Furthermore, the buyer’s guide at the end of the article will help your decision-making.

So, without further ado, let’s dive straight into the reviews.

Top Pond Skimmers 

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IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Our Top Pick Our Top Pick hstcstbl-table__imageTetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer
  • Compatible with 500, 1000, and 1900 GPH water pumps
  • Includes a 2-year limited warranty
  • Suitable for large ponds ranging from 500-1000 gallons
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hstcstbl-table__imageAquascape 43020 Signature Series 200 Skimmer
  • Suitable for ponds up to 200 sq.ft
  • Compatible with pumps up to 3000 GPH
  • Weir size: 6 inches
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hstcstbl-table__imageOASE Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
  • Ideal for ponds up to 270 sq.ft
  • Strainer basket size: 55 cubic inches
  • Flow rate: 580 GPH
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hstcstbl-table__imageWaterscapes International BF1250 Pond Filter
  • Compatible with 2000 to 3000 GPH pumps
  • Includes 17-inch spillway and 1 1/2-inch bulkhead
  • Pond volume: 1250 gallons
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hstcstbl-table__imageAtlantic Water Gardens PS3900 Pond Skimmer
  • Weir door width: 6 inches
  • Ideal for ponds up to 200 sq.ft
  • Maximum pump flow: 3900 GPH
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
hstcstbl-table__imageAquascape Signature Series Skimmer Filter 43021
  • Ideal for ponds up to 400 sq.ft
  • Pump flow rate: 4000 GPH
  • Includes rigid debris basket and filter mat
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
hstcstbl-table__imageWaterscapes International PS4500 Pond Skimmer
  • Includes a 9-inch weir door opening
  • Perfect for ponds up to 600 sq.ft
  • Water flow of pump: 2000 to 4000 GPH
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
hstcstbl-table__imageLittle Giant 14940172 Skimmer
  • Pump water flow: 10,000 GPH or 5000 GPH
  • Comes with a 9-inch weir door opening
  • Includes inlet screen
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hstcstbl-table__imageEasyPro PS4E Eco-Series Prelude Pond Skimmer
  • Maximum water flow: 1800 GPH
  • Ideal for mag drive pumps
  • Suitable for preformed ponds
VIEW LATEST PRICE →

Pool cleaner during his work. Cleaning robot for cleaning the botton of swimming pools. Automatic pool cleaners.

  1. Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer

Keep your flexible or preformed pond clean by skimming off debris before it sinks using this in-pond skimmer from Tetra Pond, a leading producer of innovative equipment and fish food for over 50 years. It acts as a pre-filter for your water pump, making the cleaning process hassle-free.

Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer, Skims Pond Debris Before It...
  • POND SKIMMER Removes debris from the water’s surface...
  • PRE-FILTER Helps protect your pond pump from clogging
  • EASY TO INSTALL AND CLEAN Draws in water and collects debris...
  • SIZE For use in large flexible or pre-formed ponds 500 to 1...

Why Did We Like It?

You’ll have one less thing to worry about with the Tetra Pond Skimmer as it makes cleaning the pond convenient. It acts as a pre-filter when used with water garden pumps, skimming off debris from the water surface in the nick of time to prevent clogging.

The skimmer is also compatible with the Tetra Pond water filter, which, in turn, helps make your pond the focal point of any outdoor space. That’s not all; you’ll be pleased to know that the unit is relatively easy to install.

All you need to do is position the skimmer on your preformed or flexible pond shelf or block after connecting it to a suitable water pump. It draws water from the surface in order to clean it; later, it collects the debris, algae, and leaves in the basket and replaceable filter pad.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Truth be told, the Tetra Pond Skimmer is a reliable option that helps improve the life cycle of your water pump. However, we noticed that it lacked stability, making it prone to tipping over. To tackle this issue, Tetra Pond should focus on making its base a bit wider.

Pros
  • Protects the pump from clogging
  • Easy to install
  • Ensures efficient cleaning of the pond
  • Reliable option
Cons
  • Its base needs to be wider
  1. Aquascape 43020 Signature Series 200 Skimmer

Aquascape, a leading manufacturer of water features, pondless fountains, and pond products comes forth with an excellent product. The 43020 Signature Series 200 Skimmer from the brand ensures efficient mechanical filtration of your pond to maintain optimal water conditions, thanks to its rounded patented design.

Aquascape 43020 Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer, Black
  • Provides efficient biological filtration for ponds up to 200...
  • Removes unwanted debris from the surface of the pond,...
  • 6 inch weir (opening) and included removable leaf and debris...
  • Rounded shape maximizes the structural design while the...

Why Did We Like It?

Constructed using professional-grade, UV-protected, high-density polyethylene, the rounded Aquasure 43020 Skimmer ensures maximum strength. So, rest assured that it won’t warp over time, unlike other, low-quality plastic filters. This is backed by a lifetime warranty, giving you peace of mind at the time of purchase.

We loved Aquascape’s patented and innovative skimmer design as it provides effective mechanical filtration that improves water quality, in turn, reducing the need for maintenance. You can easily install the skimmer, even in freeze-thaw conditions, in order to provide a protected location for the pump.

Furthermore, it includes all the required fittings and installation components for the purpose, including an optional filter brush cartridge. The leaf and debris net collects the unwanted debris and algae from the surface of the pond. On the other hand, you can utilize the filter brush cartridge in case additional filtration is needed.

What Could’ve Been Better?

First-timers may find the installation procedure a tad time-consuming, but it’s relatively simple once you start following the directions. That said, setting up the skimmer as per the given instructions is critical to avoid leakage issues, like the ones we, unfortunately, came across.

Pros
  • UV-protected and durable
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty
  • Includes necessary fittings and components
  • Efficient mechanical filtration
Cons
  • Leakage issues
  1. OASE Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer

Since its foundation in 1949, OASE has managed to take inspiration from nature to develop innovative home water gardening tools and equipment like the Swimskim Floating Skimmer. It floats on the water surface of your pond, generating powerful suction in order to remove unwanted leaves and debris.

OASE 706759500401 Swimskim Floating Pond Skimmer
  • The easy-to-use SwimSkim is a powerful surface skimmer that...
  • The compact SwimSkim easily integrates into an existing...
  • The accumulated debris can be easily removed using the leaf...
  • Integrated aerator oxygenates your pond while skimming the...

Why Did We Like It?

The best part about setting up the OASE Swimskim on your pond’s surface is that it offers a strong suction without the need for a seperate pump. Simply plug it in and drop it in your existing pond for it to float along the surface. You don’t even have to bother about making modifications or cutting into the pond liner for its installation.

What’s more, the powerful skimmer is capable of removing large amounts of debris, pollen, dust, and leaves from the pond within no time using its leaf basket. In addition to that, it increases water circulation and air injection to improve water quality.

The unique combination of cleaning and aeration is what impressed us from the get-go. It oxygenates the water of your pond, which, in turn, allows its marine life to flourish in a healthy ecosystem.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only downside to using the OASE Swimskim Skimmer is that it requires regular cleaning because it gets clogged pretty easily. This can be a bit of a hassle owing to hectic schedules and busy lifestyles. Nonetheless, it helps keep your pond clean and aerated by adapting to different water levels.

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Perfect for retrofitting applications
  • Easy to install
  • Integrated aerator for oxygenation
  • Adapts to different water levels and conditions
Cons
  • Requires frequent cleaning due to clogging
  1. Waterscapes International BF1250 Pond Filter

Next up on our list, we have the BF1250 pond filter and waterfall spillway from Waterscapes International, a brand dedicated to creating a wide variety of beautiful ponds and waterfalls. Available in three different size options, the two-in-one unit is perfect for small ponds and water gardens.

Waterscapes International BF1250 Pond Filter & Waterfall...
  • Each unit includes FIPT bulkhead fitting, media bag, filter...
  • Rugged high-density polyethylene shell warranted for life
  • 17" Spillway
  • 1½” Bulkhead

Why Did We Like It?

Featuring a rugged, high-density polyethylene shell, the Waterscapes International BF1250 is a durable option to consider. It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty so you can rest assured of its efficiency and performance for the years to come.

Apart from ensuring reliability, the skimmer offers exceptional functionality. Not only does it filter the water of your pond by removing leaves and debris from its surface, but it also enhances the elegance of your backyard.

The waterfall spillway is available in three different size options for you to choose from. It can be easily installed in a small pond; just make sure the area beneath the overflow lip is sealed. In fact, the unit also comes with a filter pad, liner attachment flange, removable bottom grate, media bag, and bulkhead fittings, further adding to your convenience.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Without a doubt, the WaterscapeBF1250 is a value for money option that keeps your pond beautiful and clean. However, we find it imperative to mention about its water leakage issues. Other than this, it doesn’t come with an adapter to help you connect it with the tubing.

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Sturdy design
  • Features a waterfall spillway
  • Lifetime warranty on the enclosure
  • Perfect for small ponds and water gardens
Cons
  • Water leakage issues
  • Doesn’t include an adapter
  1. Atlantic Water Gardens PS3900 Pond Skimmer

Atlantic Water Gardens, a premium manufacturer of some of the finest water feature products in the United States, is here with just what you need for all your pond projects. On that note, we’re pleased to introduce you to the PS3900 pond skimmer designed to ensure maximized skimming efficiency.

Atlantic Water Gardens PS3900 Pond Skimmer, 6" Weir Width
  • Skimmers house and protect your pump and plumbing while...
  • Atlantic’s Pond Skimmers feature more size and filtration...
  • All Skimmers excluding the PS3000 accept two pumps for...
  • Multiple filtration options including net, mats and brushes...

Why Did We Like It?

Thanks to its black anodized stainless steel construction, the PS3900 skimmer from Atlantic Water Gardens is known for its structural rigidity and incredible strength. Consequently, it eliminates the concerns related to warping and deformation over time for maximum longevity.

But that’s not all; the unit comes with multiple filtering options for versatile use. You can customize its filtration process by choosing between mats, nets, and brushes, depending on your pond’s requirements.

Once the required connections are made, it utilizes its superflow weir door to maximize skimming efficiency. The skimmer not only cleans surface debris from your pond at a lower operational cost but also houses and protects your pump from clogging. That said, we also liked its sturdy lid as it supports foot traffic and natural rock camouflage.

What Could’ve Been Better?

We did come across a significant issue while using the PS3900 skimmer from Atlantic Water Garden. In certain instances, the unit may trap fishes along with the debris while filtering the pond water owing to the absence of an inlet screen. However, this can be avoided, provided you add a grate to block the weir opening.

Pros
  • Efficient skimming function
  • Incredible strength and rigidity
  • Multiple plumbing and filtration options
  • Versatile functionality
Cons
  • Fishes may enter the weir opening
  1. Aquascape Signature Series Skimmer Filter 43021

When it comes to skimmer filters, Aquascape is a brand we rely on, especially because of its sheer excellence and dedication to customer satisfaction. That’s why we had to introduce you to the Signature Series Skimmer Filter from the brand. Equipped with a commercial-grade faux rock lid, it blends perfectly with your outdoor landscape.

Aquascape Signature Series Pond Skimmer Filter, 400, Black |...
  • Provides efficient biological filtration for ponds up to 400...
  • Removes unwanted debris from the surface of the pond,...
  • 6 inch weir (opening) and included removable leaf and debris...
  • Rounded shape maximizes the structural design while the...

Why Did We Like It?

The Aquascape Signature Series 43021 Skimmer features a high-density polyethylene construction teamed with a rounded design to ensure maximum strength and rigidity. Being corrosion-resistant, it serves as a durable option, backed by a lifetime warranty from the brand itself.

Furthermore, the unit comes with a filter mat that helps remove smaller debris and particles from the water surface, which is then collected in its large-volume, rigid basket. Once installed, it removes the unwanted leaves, algae, and residual food particles within no time, reducing the need for regular pond maintenance.

That said, for us, the highlight of this skimmer has to be its commercial-grade natural-looking faux rock lid. It resembles the textured feel and appearance of a real stone, seamlessly blending into the pond design and surrounding landscape. In fact, its lid also includes grooves to provide space for mulch and gravel.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Seeing its price, we expected Aquascape to provide all the necessary fittings required for the installation of the 43021 Signature Series Skimmer. But unfortunately, it didn’t stand out in this aspect, primarily because it didn’t include hose fittings to help make secure connections.

Pros
  • Rigid and high-density construction
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Improves the quality of water
  • Commercial-grade faux rock lid
  • Efficient mechanical filtration
Cons
  • Doesn’t include hose fittings
  1. Waterscapes International PS4500 Pond Skimmer

Waterscapes International is a popular and trustworthy name in the water gardening industry, which deals with the production of credible pond cleaning tools and equipment. And the PS4500 skimmer doesn’t fall behind in terms of performance and functionality. It prevents the loss of water by providing a protective housing to your water pump.

Waterscapes International PS4500 Pond Skimmer, with 9-Inch...
  • Super Flow weir doors for maximum surface cleaning
  • Designed to be easily camouflaged with natural materials and...
  • Rugged high-density polyethylene shell warranted for life
  • Each unit includes removable lid, filter mat, basket, and...

Why Did We Like It?

Constructed using high-density polyethylene, the Waterscapes International PS4500 comes with structural rigidity that’s bound to last over the years. You won’t need to worry about getting it replaced anytime soon, making it a reliable option worth considering.

Apart from that, it’s designed to be easily camouflaged with plants and natural materials like rocks and stones. In other words, the skimmer, when installed, blends perfectly well with the outdoor landscape of your garden, completing its overall aesthetic appearance.

Equipped with a 9-inch weir door, the unit improves water flow in order to draw more debris and leaves from the water. The trapped debris is then collected in its rigid basket, which is relatively easy to use.

What’s more, is that it comes with a filter grate to support biological material and the filter pad. In turn, the skimmer purifies the pond water with beneficial bacteria for aquatic life to thrive.

What Could’ve Been Better?

To be honest, we weren’t entirely impressed by the build of its lid as it lacked sturdiness. It features a flimsy design and tends to lose shape pretty easily, so you won’t be able to place anything on top of it for concealment.

Pros
  • Ensures maximum surface cleaning
  • Camouflages easily with natural materials
  • Rugged, high-density polyethylene shell
  • Basket is easy to use
  • Improves water quality
Cons
  • Flimsy lid
  1. Little Giant 14940172 Skimmer

We’d now like to introduce you to the 14940172 Skimmer from Little Giant, a leading manufacturer of flexible landscape products designed using industry-leading technology. Featuring a circular design, the unit maximizes strength in order to ensure superior performance for the years to come.

Little Giant 14940172 10,000 Gallon Per Hour Ponds Skimmer
  • Pond skimmer
  • 9-inch door opening
  • Capacity up to 10000 gallon per hour
  • From flexible, industry-leading technology to expansive...

Why Did We Like It?

Installing and owning a water garden is now easier than ever, provided you invest in the right landscape products, such as this skimmer from Little Giant. It features a sturdy design, thanks to its support edge and circular design.

The unit can easily handle large pumps, thereby improving water flow to capture leaves, fish food particles, and other debris with ease. For this, it utilizes its heavy-duty leaf net and easy to clean brushes, which, in turn, helps break up debris.

We were quite impressed with the overall design of the lockable skimmer. It restricts the flow of water for convenient cleaning and maintenance. Apart from that, it includes a sturdy lid that’s easily removable when needed while the inlet screen prevents frogs and fishes from entering.

What Could’ve Been Better?

You may find its installation process a tad difficult to understand as it’s quite different from the other options on the list. For this reason, we’d suggest following the directions provided in the manual carefully or seek help from a professional if you wish to save time.

Pros
  • Inlet screen prevents entry of aquatic life
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Can handle large pumps with ease
  • Circular design with support edge
  • The lid is sturdy and easy to remove
Cons
  • Not easy to install
  1. EasyPro PS4E Eco-Series Prelude Pond Skimmer

For over 45 years, EasyPro has been dedicated to building quality water features and ponds to elevate the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor water gardens. This is why we decided to introduce you to the PS4E Eco-Series Prelude from the brand, a skimmer that reflects both innovation and quality.

EasyPro PS4E Eco-Series Prelude Pond Skimmer for Pumps up to...
  • Maximum flow 1800-gallons-per-hour
  • Comes complete with molded debris basket, filter pad, and...
  • Ideal for pre-formed ponds and retrofit applications; You...
  • Installs inside of the liner

Why Did We Like It?

In our opinion, EcoPro PS4E is one of the most convenient options on our list. It supports home installation for cleaning and retrofitting applications, so there’s no need to dig or cut the liner using tools for the purpose. Simply place it on your pond’s existing shelf 10 inches deep to lower the need for regular maintenance.

Moreover, the skimmer comes with a complete kit comprising a molded debris basket, lid, and filter pad, thereby adding to your convenience. It utilizes the removable basket to trap leaves and other debris, while the polyethylene filter pad under the basket helps remove fine particles like dust and dirt.

You can easily hide the unit at the perimeter of your pond in order to give it a natural appearance. It blends well with the surroundings of your water garden, enhancing its overall feel and appearance. Furthermore, the skimmer features a strong ribbed design, allowing you to backfill soil to keep it in place.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The EcoPro PS4E is the perfect option to help keep your pond in shape, but we can’t say the same when it comes to protecting the water pump from clogging. This is because its divider fails to deliver in terms of sealing. It’s seemingly inefficient in blocking mud, soil, and debris from getting to the pump.

Pros
  • Easy home installation
  • Efficiently traps dirt, debris, dust, and leaves
  • Gives your pond a natural appearance
  • Strong ribbed design
Cons
  • Doesn’t prevent clogging of pump

Young man hands cleaning pool by net of the dust, maintenance

Pond Skimmer Buyer’s Guide

Now that we’ve come to the end of our list, were you able to shortlist some of the best options if not make a purchase? Well, you need not worry, even if you haven’t.

We understand that choosing the best pond skimmer from a hand-picked list of excellent options is easier said than done. This is because it’s not just about the product; your requirements also need to be taken into consideration.

For this reason, we’ve come forward with this comprehensive buyer’s guide, explaining a few critical points that need attention when buying a skimmer for your pond. Read on to know more…

  1. Size

First things first, you’ll have to consider the size of the skimmer to match the volume of your pond. You can choose a compact option for small ponds, while large ponds will require an option with higher filtration capabilities.

  1. Easy to Clean

Truth be told, hectic schedules lead to lack of time. So, you’d definitely not want to spend the entire afternoon cleaning your pond skimmer, right?

Opting for a model that’s easy to clean will save time and prevent frustration. For this, we’d suggest going for a skimmer that comes with a removable basket and lid to help you remove the collected debris and leaves with ease.

  1. Construction

Always opt for a rugged, high-density polyethylene pond skimmer, which will not rust, deform, warp, or bend over the years. With its increased strength and structural rigidity, you’ll be able to keep your pond clean and pristine at all times. Plus, a durable skimmer will help ensure your peace of mind during its purchase.

Pool cleaner during his work. Cleaning robot for cleaning the botton of swimming pools. Automatic pool cleaners.

Verdict

Ideally, a pond skimmer is part of a filtration system that helps remove leaves and debris from the surface of a pond. It works with mechanical water pumps to improve the quality of water, allowing aquatic life to flourish.

So, if you wish to keep your pond clean and healthy at all times, a skimmer is a must-have. On that note, we come to the end of our comprehensive and informative guide. And here’s hoping we were able to provide the required insight on pond skimmers.

However, before concluding, we’d like to take you through a quick recap of our favorites from the list. Tetra Pond In-Pond Skimmer is the best pre-filter for your water pump. Aquascape 43020 Signature Series ensures efficient mechanical filtration, while OASE Swimskim is the most powerful skimmer on the list.

With this, we’ll now take your leave. Till next time!

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