The 9 Best Bead Filters
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in January of 2019. Maintaining a pond you enjoy looking at requires reliable equipment to balance its environment. What's the point of having one if the water is murky or, worse yet, your finned friends and lovely leaves aren't thriving in their home? No one wants to see a sad fish and because we know this we have reviewed bead filters to find those that will keep aquatic life healthy and hands clean in the process. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 21, 2020:
Shopping for one of these bead filters requires the customer to ask a simple question: am I an experienced professional, or do I employ an experienced professional to handle this for me? If the answer to either of those was "Yes," then you can pick whichever filter suits you and pair it with whatever pump you like, having full confidence they will work together because of your expertise.
However, it's for those who answered "No" that the newest additions to the list have been included. Models like the AST Endurance, the PondKeeper 1500, and the AquaBead Plus 9.0 all have the added benefit of easy assembly and additional included components (like pumps). If this is your first try at installing a koi pond or water garden, you should seriously consider one of these models.
Beyond that consideration, the biggest thing to think about is the size of your tank, and whether or not you plan to upgrade to a larger one in the future. There are now options like the AST Bubble Bead that go as small as 300 gallons and some, like the AquaBead Plus 9.0, as large as 25,000 gallons, ensuring you don't have to settle for less than you require.
May 17, 2019:
In looking at reliable bead filters I saw that I would have to broaden the range of filter capacities I reviewed. I also ultimately added a high efficiency product, Aquadyne Model 2.2BHE. Although this is the only HE product on the list, it fits into the grouping as a reliable option.
Most currently available bead filters have ease of backwash clean up in mind with varying system designs in place, such as cyclonic backwash (Aqua Ultraviolet Ultima II 2000), turning a 3 way valve to drain (Bubble Bead filter products), AquaBead Bead Agitator (GC Tek AquaBead 2.5), Dynamax air assisted backwash (Aquadyne Model 2.2BHE) and a patent pending to keep media from clogging (Aqua Ultraviolet Ultima II 6,000). It goes without saying that reliability and continuous operation are at the top of filter users' lists when it comes to keeping a pond clean. However, keeping hands clean and providing an uncomplicated process during backwash is at the top of the convenience list.
AquaForte UltraBead Perhaps you wish to install a really big pond - like, as big as 200 square meters. The AquaForte UltraBead is a compact unit that can accommodate a large volume, while the smaller Beadfilters EB-Series makes sludge removal easy. aqua-forte.com
GC Tek Custom Pond Filter Systems Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to figure out exactly which size of filter you need and which pump to pair it up with, you can get a system designed just for you. GC Tek, one of the top names in the business, works with clients to find the ideal setup for your budget. aquabead.com