21-day lockdown – Day 20 – Wetland filter


21-day lockdown – Day 20 – Wetland filter

Today we thought we’d briefly discuss a relatively simple filter system we created to keep our water feature clean.

When we first installed our garden, we added an artificial water feature, not only for the soothing sound of water, but also to give our birds a place to drink and bath. But as many water feature owners can attest to, the water soon became dirty, and constantly necessitated a change of the water to keep it clean. We also had two goldfish in our pond (whom we call Goldie and Flash) and we always felt sorry for them, not only because of the dirty water, but also because of the time they had to spend in a bucket whilst we cleaned the pond!

Eventually one day we decided to solve the problem by building a wetland filter to catch the debris. We now have a consistently crystal clear pond, happier fish, and also new water plants to appreciate on our patio.

Here’s how our filter works:

– Water from the pond is redirected to the wetland filter, as opposed to circulating directly through the waterfall
– The wetland is essentially a plastic planter that we have filled with water-loving plant species and gravel.

– Water is directed through PVC over the lip of the planter, and then down into perforated pipes that run along the bottom of the planter.


– A siphon hole is drilled in the PVC near the top of the planter. This is vital to ensure that if there is a power cut, the wetland isn’t siphoned of it’s water.
– A flushing valve is situated at the bottom on the outside, to flush the pipes of debris if they become too clogged.
– Once the plants have become established, water filters up through the rootzone, which filters out any debris, and then out through the outlet at the top.
– The wetland must be situated above the pond, so that the water can gravity feed back to the pond.

Another, less complicated option, is to simply direct water into the top of the planter, and not through perforated pipes at the bottom. Although you are then not filtering water through the rootzone of the plants, you also have less maintenance, as the roots of the plants can clog up the PVC pipes.

And there you have it, your own personal wetland – aesthetically pleasing and keeping your pond crystal clear!

A year’s growth

still crystal clear water (and happy fish)