Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Just as you keep your home clean, you should also make sure that your pond does not get too dirty. Pollution of your pond happens naturally, plant remains die and seep to the surface. To keep your pond clean, however, you should consider buying a pond vacuum cleaner. With this device, you can simply vacuum up the sludge in a similar way to a hoover. This keeps the ecosystem of your pond in balance.

If you are looking for a pond vacuum cleaner, you should read through our pond vacuum cleaner test 2023. Here we explain everything about the product pond vacuum cleaner itself, introduce you to different models and explain all the advantages and disadvantages.


  • A pond vacuum cleaner (also called a mud hoover) is more or less a hoover for the pond bottom. It uses a pump to suck mud out of the water through a long pipe or hose.
  • Basically, there are vacuum cleaners without a collection tank for the sludge, with a collection tank or with a 2-chamber system.
  • The device can also be rented and should be used once or several times per season, depending on how dirty it is.

The Best Pond Vacuum Cleaner: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a pond vacuum cleaner

How does a pond vacuum work?

The principle of a pond vacuum cleaner, also calleda mud hoover, is quite similar to that of a hoover or pool hoover. The aim of its use is to remove the muddy sediment that settles at the bottom of the pond. This helps to keep the water cleaner.

A pond vacuum cleaner ensures a healthy and clean pond by sucking out the accumulated mud. After the annual basic cleaning in spring, you should clean again regularly, depending on the size and condition of the pond.

Basically, there are the following types of mud vacuum cleaners:

  • without a tank
  • with a collecting tank
  • with two-chamber system

In terms of construction, the pond hoover is similar to a hoover. Different suction heads can be attached to a long tube or hose, the length of which can usually be changed. There are narrow attachments for inaccessible places, for example between plants, and wider attachments.

Depending on the suction nozzle, the device can also be used as a pool vacuum cleaner. At the other end of the suction tube there is usually a collection container for the extracted sludge.

In contrast to hoovers, a pond hoover naturally has more power. A sludge suction pump in the housing sucks the muddy sediment out via the hose. The special thing about this is that (unlike conventional pond pumps) it is often a vacuum pump that also works when there is air in the hose.

Where to put the extracted sludge?

The sludge removed in this way is discharged via a drain hose directly into the canal or onto a green area. It is also a good idea to direct the sludge as fertiliser into a flower bed or vegetable garden.

With some devices, the sludge is collected in a collection container. The pond sludge vacuum cleaner switches off when the container is full. Depending on the model, the container must be emptied manually or empties automatically via an outlet. In both cases, the necessary emptying creates a break in the work.

Higher-quality models work with the so-called two-chamber system. Here, the unit first pumps one container full and then automatically switches to the second while the first is emptied. This allows you to work without interruption.

Why does mud have to be sucked out of the pond?

In all artificially created ponds, even if the system is well thought out and permanently filtered, mud accumulates at the bottom over time. This is not only a visual impairment, but also endangers the ecological balance in the water.

Sludge is caused by all organic input into the pond, which sinks to the bottom and rots there. This includes, for example, leaves, water plants, fish excrement. Over time, this sludge layer grows and reduces the water depth.

Did you know that about 90% of all pond problems are caused by mud and sediment on the bottom?

This is where leaves, food remains, pollen and fish excrement accumulate day after day, making the layer thicker and thicker.

The fish rummage through this compost layer in their constant search for food and so these deposits permanently release nutrients into the water, through which algae can multiply magnificently.

This deprives the water of oxygen and increases the nitrogen content. All of this can lead to algae growth being encouraged and to the pond water possibly overturning. So extracting silt from the pond improves its appearance as well as the quality of life of the fish and plants.

The “tipping” of water means that life and growth in the pond is no longer possible due to low oxygen levels.

How often should you use the pond vacuum cleaner?

How often you should vacuum the mud out of your pond depends on several factors. Most important are the size and location of the pond. After the basic cleaning in spring, ponds become dirty at different rates. Daily input of leaves or needles accelerates the process.

Did you know that clear water does not necessarily mean healthy water?

The mere appearance provides very few clues about the actual condition of the water.

You can only get precise information with a water test. The easiest way is to use so-called strip tests, which are held in the water and then show the water quality by discolouration at certain points.

For most ponds, cleaning once or twice a month should be sufficient. However, the pond vacuum should definitely be used at least once or twice a season.

How much does a pond vacuum cleaner cost?

Pond vacuum cleaners are available in all price ranges. The purchase price varies depending on the model, manufacturer and design. Multi-purpose vacuum cleaners (which usually have a wet and dry suction function and often a blowing function) are available for less than 100 euros.

Simple pond vacuum cleaners with a collection container are available from around 100 euros upwards. For a two-chamber vacuum cleaner you have to reckon with three times the cost.

Can you rent or hire a pond vacuum cleaner?

It is also possible to rent a sludge vacuum cleaner for a short period of time. This is a cost-saving alternative if the device is only rarely used. Most DIY stores , for example Obi, Hornbach or Konrath, have a large selection of pond vacuum cleaners for rent.

If your pond is not that dirty and you only need to vacuum the mud once or twice a year, you should consider whether renting is the better alternative for you.


A cost-saving alternative to buying a pond vacuum cleaner is to rent one from a DIY store.

Decision: What types of pond vacuum cleaner are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two types of pond vacuum cleaners:

  • Pond vacuum cleaner with collection container
  • Pond vacuum cleaner with a 2-chamber system

Due to the different areas of application and your own preference, a certain pond vacuum cleaner is best suited for you and your pond. This, and the fact that not every type of pond vacuum cleaner is the same, results in different advantages and disadvantages in use.

We would therefore like to introduce you to the different types in the following section and help you find out which pond vacuum cleaner is the right one for you. For this purpose, we will introduce you to the above-mentioned types in more detail and clearly present exactly what their advantages and disadvantages are.

What exactly is a pond vacuum with a hopper and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The first type of pond vacuum cleaner we would like to introduce to you in this comparison is the so-called pond vacuum cleaner with hopper. As with a lawn mower, with this type of pond vacuum cleaner the sludge must be emptied from the collection container before further sludge can be vacuumed up.

The suction is carried out via the hose attached to the device. This type of pond vacuum cleaner is particularly suitable for you if you like to keep your pond clean and the area to be vacuumed is not too large. However, if you have a large pond to maintain, this type of pond vacuum cleaner is not suitable for your needs.

  • Perfect for cleaning your own pond
  • Ideal for small to medium-sized ponds
  • Usually very good suction power
  • Robustly built
  • Not particularly suitable for larger ponds
  • Not much choice of additional functions

Pond vacuum cleaners of this type usually have very good suction power and are also very robustly built. However, they do not usually have additional functions such as a fully automatic float switch. A pond vacuum cleaner with a 2-chamber system would be the better choice for you if you attach great importance to such functions.

What exactly is a pond vacuum cleaner with a 2-chamber system and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The second type of pond vacuum cleaner we would like to introduce to you in this comparison is the so-called pond vacuum cleaner with a 2-chamber system. This sucks up the sludge via a drain hose and the sludge is drained from a full container. Meanwhile, the second container is filled with dirt.

An absolute plus point here is that you can clean your pond without interruption, unlike with a pond vacuum cleaner with a collection container. Here, too, the device usually has a very good suction power and the additional functions mentioned, which the competitor does not have.

  • Cleaning the pond without interruption
  • Very good suction power
  • Mostly integrated additional functions
  • Quieter in use
  • More expensive than the competitor
  • Not quite as robust as a pond vacuum cleaner with a holding tank

In addition, cleaning is usually quieter and therefore does not disturb you or the neighbours. However, such a device is usually more expensive than a pond vacuum cleaner with a holding tank. In addition, pond vacuum cleaners with a hopper are usually a little more robust than this type of pond vacuum cleaner.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate pond vacuum cleaner

In this section we will show you some factors that will help you compare and evaluate different pond vacuum cleaners. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular device is suitable for you or not.

These are the following aspects:

  • Type of collection container / volume
  • Capacity / Maximum suction depth
  • Length of hoses
  • Pond size

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Type of collection container / volume

The biggest difference between different pond vacuum cleaners is certainly the type of collection container for the collected sludge. This aspect mainly influences the working comfort and the time required.

There are two types of sludge containers:

  • those with one tank and
  • those with a 2-chamber system consisting of two tanks.

Pond vacuums with one tank are the cheaper option, but the application is more tedious. This is because the fully pumped tank has to be emptied; meanwhile, no further vacuuming can be done, as the device switches off automatically.

This type of vacuum cleaner is therefore best suited for small ponds with a low degree of pollution that do not need to be de-sludged very often. The more comfortable version is the 2-chamber pond vacuum cleaner.

These solve the problem of the “forced break” with a second tank. The two tanks are alternately pumped full and emptied, so suction can be continuous. This shortens the working time, but costs more money and is worthwhile especially for large ponds when used regularly.

The following video shows the 2-chamber principle using the Oase PondoVac 3 as an example.

The volume of the collection tanks actually only plays a role with individual tanks: the larger the tank, the less often you have to pause to empty it. In general, the volume of most pond sludge vacuum cleaners is between 20 and 50 litres.

Power / Maximum suction depth

When you buy a mud vacuum, it pays to invest in good performance. A vacuum cleaner with high power saves time and effort. Most models have between 1000 and 2000 watts and thus require a lot of energy, but only for a relatively short time and only a few times a year.

You should also pay attention to the maximum suction depth. This tells you whether the device can reach the bottom of your pond. Not all devices can suck more than two metres deep. In most cases, the optimal suction power decreases a little earlier, so choose a deep enough suction depth.

Length of the hoses

Finally, you can consider the length of the suction hose and the drain hose. The drain should be long enough to discharge the sludge to a suitable place.

The pump hose should of course be long enough to reach all places from the edge of the pond. In general, the drain hose (from two metres) is usually about half as long as the suction hose (from four metres).

Pond size

The size of your pond should also be taken into account when making your purchase decision. The depth and location of the pond also play an important role.

Influencing factors pond vacuum cleaner recommendation
Small pond inexpensive pond vacuum cleaner with collection container
Large pond pond vacuum cleaner with 2-chamber system
Deep pond pond vacuum cleaner with 2-chamber system
Near forest/trees pond vacuum cleaner with large suction power
Fast cleaning desired pond vacuum cleaner with large suction power

Interesting facts about pond vacuum

Can you also use a pond vacuum cleaner to suck up mud?

There are hoovers that can also be used as wet vacuum cleaners. However, such combination units are not offered as two-chamber systems. If you don’t mind compromising on performance, these combi-solutions are particularly interesting for small ponds that only need to be cleaned infrequently.

What accessories are available?

You can buy the following accessories for your pond cleaner:

Accessories Description
Wall brushes In order to remove slime not only from the water but also from the walls, there are certain attachment brushes that help you to clean your pond.
Bottom brushes Similar to a wall brush, a bottom brush not only cleans the water, but also serves as an attachment to clean the bottom of the pond.
Telescopic arms Especially with larger ponds, it can be a problem if the arm of the pond hoover does not reach further. With telescopic arms you can sometimes extend your hoover by up to 7 metres.
Net You should use a net to clean the pond before using the pond hoover. You can easily remove leaves from the pond.
Pre-filter With the help of a pre-filter, the pond vacuum cleaner can be protected from wear and tear, as the filter catches larger parts such as stones, branches or even bugs.

What alternatives are there to mud vacuum cleaners?

In short: none. There are no alternative devices for the function of a pond vacuum cleaner. If you don’t want to buy a device at all, you can pump out the pond and remove the mud by hand. This is tedious, dirty work that is often accompanied by unpleasant odours.

A good addition to the pond vacuum cleaner can be a pond robot. This then takes over the function of fine cleaning after the vacuum cleaner has been used. However, such robots are very expensive.

You should also install a pond filter to remove impurities from the water. A filter can maintain the water quality of the pond to ensure a healthy habitat for fish and other pond inhabitants.

What do you do if your pond vacuum cleaner is broken?

Most manufacturers give a 12 or 24 month warranty on their products as standard. During this time, it should not be a problem to send the device in for repair. High-quality, expensive models (for example, the Oase PondoVac 3) even include a 24 + 12 month warranty period in some cases.

You should find out about this online or by calling the manufacturer before buying. If your faithful vacuum cleaner has a defect after this period, it is usually possible to replace individual parts. You can get spare parts directly from the manufacturer or sometimes from DIY stores.

Picture source: / Tama66