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We highly recommend using a pre-filter in every pond to block or remove solid matter, reducing the frequency of pump maintenance and filter cleaning. Pre-filters include slotted pipe intake systems, vortex pre-filters, external skimmers, internal skimmers, slotted pump vaults, and slotted drain covers.

slotted pipe intake

slotted pipe intake

SLOTTED PIPE INTAKE SYSTEMS: We offer black PVC slotted pipe intake systems in 2", 3", and 4" diameters. In the simplest configuration, one end is closed with a rubber cap and the other is supplied with appropriate fittings to connect with any size tubing or pipe. Standard pipe lengths are 2 feet and 4 feet, but multiple pipes can be connected to create intake systems of any size and shape (see GRAVEL FILTERS). Slotted intakes can only be used with in-line submersible and external pumps: when external pumps are used a check valve is often connected to the suction end of the slotted intake.

vetex vortex

vortex pre-filter

VORTEX PRE-FILTERS: Vortex pre-filters are molded plastic cylindrical tanks designed to separate solids from pond water using centrifugal forces. Since they can handle very high solids loads without clogging, they are ideal for koi ponds. Our vortex pre-filter performs significantly better than traditional designs with tangential inlet pipes because water enters from a side chamber through a tall, narrow slot that forms a thin sheet of water spinning just inside the tank wall. This creates a sharply defined central vortex column that drops solid matter to the conical bottom of the tank. Clear water is drawn out through an outlet near the top of the tank to be conveyed to a pump or filter, and the accumulated solids are occasionally flushed through a 2" drain pipe.

Vortex pre-filters are normally installed underground in a pit and are fed by gravity from a bottom drain, but they can also be installed above ground and pump fed to improve the performance of existing above-ground filters. For optimal performance, flow rates should not exceed 3500 GPH. A base and lid are included (32" x 44" x 41" tall).

EXTERNAL SKIMMERS: External skimmers are watertight molded plastic enclosures buried in the ground at the pond edge, just above the waterline. Typically submersible pumps are installed within skimmers, but skimmers can also be connected to external pumps. When water flows into the skimmer from the surface of the pond, leaf nets or baskets within the skimmer collect leaves and floating debris before they can reach the pump. Often, filter pads or brushes are used to provide additional straining as well as biological filtration. Installing a pump within a skimmer significantly reduces pump and filter maintenance, and when maintenance is required the pump is easy to access. Skimmers also provide a means to hide submersible pumps and make it easy to connect submersible pumps to external filters or waterfalls because there is no need to run a hose over the pond edge. Water leaving the pump flows through a discharge assembly and into a flexible pipe that passes through the side wall of the skimmer and runs underground to the filter or waterfall.

elite skimmer

Elite skimmer

Our Elite Professional Skimmers are made of sturdy polyethylene and feature a projecting weir housing that makes it easy to conceal the skimmer at the pond edge. Features include a large leaf net, a built-in overflow system, and a sturdy lid designed to be covered with gravel and plants. We offer three sizes: the smallest has an 8" weir, making it ideal for pumps from 1200 GPH to 3000 GPH (Elite 8", 23" x 19.5" x 23" tall), the mid-size has a 10" weir and is recommended for pumps from 3000 GPH to 6000 GPH (Elite 10", 25" x 23" x 29" tall), and a 15" weir for pumps from 6000 GPH to 9,000 GPH (Elite 15", 25" x 23" x 29" tall).



We also offer two Skimmerfilters made of injection-molded polyethylene that feature molded plastic leaf basket and provision for internal UV sterilizers. The standard model (25" x 24" x 25" tall) accepts a 6" weir for pumps from 600 GPH to 2000 GPH, an 8.5" weir for pumps from 1200 GPH to 3000 GPH, and a 16" weir for pumps from 3000 GPH to 5000 GPH. The Compact Skimmerfilter (18" x 23" x 20" tall) accepts a 6" weir for pumps from 600 GPH to 2000 GPH and an 8.5" weir for pumps from 1200 GPH to 3000 GPH.

We can supply a discharge assembly for any Elite Professional Skimmer or Skimmerfilter. A discharge assembly include all necessary fittings and check valves to connect the selected pump to the selected hose or pipe, and provides an easy means to disconnect skimmer pumps for maintenance and winterization. Other popular accessories include automatic water fill valves and automatic shutoff switches.

pondless vault

Waterfall Well


pump canyon

Pump Canyon

SLOTTED VAULTS: A slotted vault is a molded plastic enclosure designed to be installed within a pond, typically buried in gravel (see A PONDLESS WATERCOURSE). Typically submersible pumps are installed within slotted vaults, but suction lines from external pumps can also be connected to a port in a slotted vault. In contrast with skimmers that only draw from the water surface, slotted vaults draw water from the middle and lower sections of a pond through their slots. This turns the surrounding gravel bed into a giant gravel filter, providing mechanical and biological filtration. It also makes submersible pumps easily accessible. Discharge lines run through the sidewall of the vault, through the gravel bed and to external filters or waterfalls, completely hidden from view. Autofill valves are frequently installed in slotted vaults since the water level in a pondless watercourse is invisible.

We offer four slotted vaults. The Waterfall Well is supplied in two halves that interlock to form a sturdy enclosure (21" x 21" x 24" high) and is recommended for pumps up to 5000 GPH. An optional extension (18" high) is available for deep burial with pumps up to 10,000 GPH. The Pump Canyon is supplied as a single unit in three different sizes: the smallest is recommended for pumps up to 2500 GPH (14" x 12" x 17" high), the mid-size is recommended for pumps up to 5000 GPH (17" x 16" x 21" high), and the large size for pumps up to 10000 GPH (27" x 24" x 30" high).


Compact Skimmerfilter, 6" - $380.00
Compact Skimmerfilter, 8.5" - $388.00
Skimmerfilter, 8.5" - $512.00
Skimmerfilter, 16" - $516.00
Elite Skimmer, 8" - $308.00
Elite Skimmer, 10" - $408.00
Elite Skimmer, 15" - $556.00
Waterfall Well - $188.00
Waterfall Well Extension - $72.00
Pump Canyon, mini - $104.00
Pump Canyon, small - $204.00
Pump Canyon, large - $316.00
UV Sterilizer for Compact Skimmerfilter, 18 watt - $228.00
UV Sterilizer for Skimmerfilter, 26 watt - $252.00
UV Sterilizer for Skimmerfilter, 50 watt - $360.00
Replacement Lamp for 18 watt UV - $128.00
Replacement Lamp for 26 watt UV - $144.00
Replacement Lamp for 50 watt UV - $160.00


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