Pond Water Filters: Charcoal and White Sand

Pond water filters come in a variety of styles and different features. Although you can buy a filter to place in your pond, there are two alternatives you should consider which perform the same duties as a filter and are less expensive. These options are charcoal and white sand, both of which will be fully explained below.


Activated charcoal in the pond filter system provides a natural deterrent to algae. The charcoal keeps the decomposing materials down, as well as helps to reduce the nutrients in the water. Adding charcoal to a pond is an easy way to help keep the algae from overpopulating and taking over your pond. Keep in mind that this is not the kind of charcoal you use for a grill. You can buy charcoal for the pond at the same place you purchase your other pond supplies. Some filters may have a charcoal piece within it, however, it’s more effective to add granular or powdered charcoal to the pond water to control the algae.

White Sand

White sand can provide some filtration for your pond system. It’s not as effective as other methods, but if you use it in conjunction with bio-filtration methods you will see good results. If you have a koi pond, you should steer clear of white sand though. Koi enjoy playing in the materials used on the pond floor and the sand can get in to their gills. If you plan on having a garden pond with no fish, then sand is a good option. Should you decide to use sand, remember to employ other filtration methods to get the best results for your pond.