Introduction: DIY Solar Powered Pond Filter With Skimmer

I have a small pond. Professional filter systems are quite expensive. So I decided to build my own solar powered pond filter with skimmer. I kept the build simple with easily available items.


Filter: 20 liter bucket, 20 liter lava rocks, 32mm/1 1/4" PVC pipe, 2x 90° elbow fitting, aerator

Skimmer: 5 liter bucket, pond plant basket, 1100gph bilge pumpe, 32mm/1 1/4" hose

Solar Power Systems: 2x 20W 12V solar panel, Solar charge controller, 3x 18650 battery,3s BMS,waterproof box

Step 1: Filter

  • First cut the PVC pipe. You need one piece the size of the 20 liter bucket's diameter and one piece the height of the bucket.
  • Connect the pipes with a 90° PVC elbow fitting. Put on one end a plug and on the other end another 90° elbow fitting. It should now look similar to a Z.
  • Drill holes in the PVC pipe with the plug. It will be on the bottom of the basket.
  • Put the assembled pipe in the basket and fill the basket with lava rocks.
  • You can install an optional aerator before the filter. It will help the bacteria to clean the water. Make sure, you install it in the right direction.

Step 2: Skimmer

  • Put the bilge pump into the 5 liter bucket.
  • Drill a hole for the pumps outflow.
  • Put the pump's outflow pipe through the hole. Put a short piece of PVC pipe on and fix it with tape to the bucket.
  • Attach one end of the hose to the PVC pipe and the other end to the filter
  • Use the pond plant basket as a filter screen on top of the bucket.

Step 3: Solar Power System

  • You can power the pump directly via the 12V solar panels. This makes the build even simpler.
  • Or, you can use a simple 3s Li-ion battery back. Use 3 18650 batteries in series, attach a BMS and put it in a watertight box.
  • Connect the battery pack to the solar charge controller.
  • Use the 12V power output of the controller to power the pump.
  • I included a switch to the power output to turn the pump on and off.

Step 4: Finished!

Now you should be finished with your DIY pond filter. Enjoy!