Ponds are known for being beautiful and relaxing, but keeping your pond water moving and filtering is not always easy. If you are someone that has difficulty finding the right pond filter for sale, find it’s too expensive, looks unsightly, or just doesn’t do the job you want it to, then why not make it yourself?

Making your pond filter can be relatively inexpensive and fun, especially if you have the necessary skills to do it. With the right tools and materials, you can DIY your very own pond. You get to customize the pond to your liking and create a design that will work best for your pond.

Ready to DIY your pond filter? Here is a list of great designs to choose from.

The 7 DIY Pond Filters

1. Plastic Storage Container Filter

DIY Pond Filter
Image Credit: Interall
Materials:Storage container, connectors, PVC pipe
Skill Level:Beginner

This is a fairly easy and simple DIY pond filter you can make. All you need to get started is a large plastic storage container (around 17 gallons in size), along with gardening connectors, PVC pipe, and filter media. The container can either be clear or colored, depending on your preference.

You will need to use careful measurements to ensure that each pipe and connecter fit properly into this DIY filter to ensure that it will work. Once it has been completed, you can choose from various filter media like bio balls, sponges, charcoal, and filter wool to use for filtration.

2. DIY Koi Pond Filter

DIY Filter
Image Credit: Wonderfulkoi
Materials:Large tub, pump, tubing
Skill Level:Beginner

This is a customizable pond filter that can be made large enough for koi ponds. The main material you need to get started is a large tub or container that can hold around 5% to 10% of the total water in your pond. The container does not need to be plastic, and large metal tubs will work too.

You will then need a pump and the necessary tubing to help the water pump from the pond and into the filter, then out again. This filter should ideally be placed on the side of the pond so that the filter is above the pond’s water level to ensure it works efficiently.

This is a great filter to make if you want to add your filter media to offer all three types of filtration—biological, chemical, and mechanical.

3. Bog Filter Build

Bog Filter Build
Image Credit: Aquariumadvice
Materials:Big tub, PVC pipe, two concrete blocks, outlet elbows, silicone pipes, reducer
Skill Level:Intermediate

If you are looking to build a large filter for deep ponds that is slightly more challenging to build, then this bog filter is worth checking out. A large black tub will work for this DIY filter, along with 1-inch PVC piping, silicone pipe tubes, and outlet elbows are the main materials you need to get started.

The tub should be elevated on concrete blocks to ensure that it is above the pond’s waterline. The pipes will have a waterfall effect when flowing back into the pond. The silicone pipes can be slightly difficult to install, as petroleum-based lubes should not be used.

A hose attached to a pump can be used to run the filter. You have the option of choosing different filter media to place inside.

4. DIY Duck, Goose, & Dog Pond Filter System

Pond Filter
Image Credit: Farm Natters
Materials:Pump, 55-gallon drums, lawn hose, adapter, plastic screen
Skill Level:Intermediate

This is a large filter run by two 55-gallon drums and a pump that processes 500 gallons of water per hour (gph). This filter is connected to a 1/8 lawn hose by ½ an inch adaptor. The lawn hose is lead-free which makes it safer for the pond fish and prevents lead from leaching into the water.

This filter aims to keep farm ponds clear and filtered through the three stages of filtration. Pond water will enter the clarifier at the top of the drums, then flow into the media tank.

The media tank will have a plastic screen 4 inches from the bottom of the drum with lava rock inside. The drums are connected with PVC piping, and the 3-inch outlet leads back into the pond.

It can be slightly challenging to make, but with the right materials and great DIY skills, it can be done.

5. Small DIY Pond Filter

Small DIY Pond Filter
Image Credit: Ozponds
Materials:PVC piping, small tub, cap, water dispersal pipes, pump
Skill Level:Beginner

This pond filter is suitable for smaller ponds housing fewer fish. To get started with this particular DIY, you will need a water dispersal pipe, a small plastic tub (no lid necessary), a pump, and PVC piping. Scoria or lava rocks can be placed inside the filter tub to weigh it down and provide a place for beneficial bacteria to colonize.

For smaller tubs, you have the option of using aquaponics clay balls because they are lighter and easier to work with. The pump will help the water flow through the dispersal pipe, pass the filter media, and back into the pond.

You also have the option of adding plants to the top of this filter, but it is not necessary. Plants can be beneficial for this setup as it helps to remove small traces of ammonia and nitrates in the water.

6. Barrel Bio System Filter

Barrel bio system
Image Credit: pondsguide
Materials:Plastic storage barrels, PVC pipe, tank connectors, bulkhead connectors, washer
Skill Level:Advanced

A more challenging DIY filter suitable for very large ponds is the barrel bio-system filter. This is a slightly more difficult filter to make, but it is quite good at preventing the water from becoming stagnant while offering excellent filtration.

The main materials you need are three large storage barrels in a color of your choice. Then you need several PVC pipes of various lengths and sizes. The pipework and fittings for this filter are particularly tricky, but they will work well once everything has been fitted correctly. The pipes should be around 1.5–2 inches thick.

Handy tools you may need for this DIY project are a screwdriver, drill, and sandpaper. Each of the three barrels has its steps and functions as a filter, and they should be elevated on steps.

You can elevate the barrels by creating a wooden stand with the same design as stairs, or stack and cement a layer of concrete blocks.

7. Pond Canister Filter

Pond Canister Filter
Image Credit: ninjahobbyist
Materials:Plastic container, silicone, or plastic tubing, two ball valves, inline water pump
Skill Level:Beginner

A beginner-friendly filter you can DIY would be this pond canister filter. The materials you need are fairly simple, and they can be created in a plastic container, barrel, or bucket of your choice. The main thing is to ensure that the container can hold the amount of water that will flow inside.

The piping can either be plastic or silicone, with plastic piping being the better option for outdoor ponds and silicone for inside ponds. You can use a shouldering iron to burn holes into the container where the tubing will be attached to the ball valves. This should not require silicone sealant if the piping is secured.

A submersible water pump will help with the water flowing through the filter to pump it back out. Once the main setup is completed, you can add filter media such as bio balls and charcoal inside depending on the type of filtration you want to provide your pond with.


Creating your very own pond filter will be a rewarding experience, and it is a great way to ensure that your pond is kept clean at all times. Since you made the filter yourself, you will be able to take it apart and put it back with ease rather than having to figure out store-built pond filters, which can be tricky.

Furthermore, making your pond filter allows you to customize every aspect, from the types of filtration you can use, to the size, color, and overall appearance of the filter.

Featured Image Credit: smltd, Pixabay