A pond skimmer is a type of mechanical filter that grabs leaves and other debris off the surface of your pond.
Pond skimmers are designed to work with other types of filters, as a sort of pre-filter that removes the larger elements such as floating leaves. This prevents the large debris from clogging up any other filters that you have, as well as the pond pump.
A popular pond skimmer is the MicroSkim™ made by Aquascape (pictured at left). It automatically sweeps the pond surface clean, depositing leaves and debris into an easy-to-clean debris net.
The debris net and filter brushes act as a pre-filter for the pump, preventing leaves and debris from clogging it, thus reducing maintenance normally associated with placing a pump on the bottom of a pond.
How does a pond skimmer work?
If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, the video below will help you understand how a pond skimmer works. This installation is particularly good for a retrofit (i.e. when you have an existing pond that you want to put a pond skimmer into).
Why bother with a pond skimmer?
Is all this trouble worth it? Of course! Your pond skimmer is meant to make your backyard pond a clean and healthy place for your fish and aquatic plants. The skimmer does its job by removing leaves and other vegetative debris. Otherwise, that debris would rot in the water, releasing harmful chemicals. And those harmful chemicals aren’t fish friendly!
Your pond skimmer can even double as a pond vacuum before you completely submerge it in the water. After you’ve got the skimmer set up properly, you can use it to suck up leaves and other debris that are floating on the surface of the water. That’ll save the effort of having to do so when the leaves sink.
Then when done, gently release your pond skimmer to sink and do its job underwater, and never fear, your pond will then be clean, as your skimmer works in tandem with your filter and vacuum.
Below is an excellent video that shows in detail how to install a pond skimmer during the construction phase of your pond.