||Professional quality pond skimmer loaded with innovative features
||Convenient and flexible skimmer installation options for custom setup
||Large skimmer vault houses pond pump and keeps water surface free of floating debris
Professional-grade pond skimmer filter lets you create the water garden of your dreams. Heavy-duty, pond skimmer with large leaf net keeps pond surface free of grass, leaves, and other floating debris. Loaded with smart design features for installation flexibility - simplifies custom installation and maintenance. Corrugated high-density polyethylene skimmer body reinforces structural integrity and large pump chamber provides easy-access to your pump. Removable inlet screen protects fish, frogs, and other aquatic life from entering the skimmer chamber.
Includes: Skimmer vault, lid, fish inlet screen, weir plate, gate, foam float, seal, screws, net, biological brushes, 2" bulkhead fitting, and PVC support bar(s).
- Large, aluminum-frame Leaf Net.
- Biological Brushes - Eliminates clogging problems and provides supplementary biological filtration.
- Latching Gate - For temporary maintenance and servicing.
- Removable Inlet Screen - Protects fish, frogs, and other aquatic life from entering skimmer.
- Discharge Ports - Located on both sides of the skimmer for installation flexibility.
- Optional Bottom Drain Ports - Located on both sides of the skimmer for installation flexibility.
- Built-in power cord routing slot in lid - Organizes pump cord and keeps lid closed.
- PVC Supports - Provides additional support to skimmer walls during backfilling.
||For Koi Ponds/
Water Gardens (up to)
||25-1/2" x 20" x 24" H
||31" x 23-1/2" x 24" H
WaterMark Series Skimmer Instructions PDF.
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get it here for free)
You are now the owner of the finest fish-safe pond skimmer designed specifically for water gardens and koi ponds. Please follow the instructions to ensure a successful installation. The pond skimmer is an important element of your water garden pond. It establishes the water level, houses the pump and plumbing, and removes floating debris (and submerged debris when using the optional bottom drain). It serves as a small biological filter and circulates oxygenated water to additional filters and back to the pond. It also serves as a pump pre-filter to prevent the pump from clogging.
Note: Before beginning, read all instructions to become familiar with the product.
Locating the Skimmer
The Pond Skimmer can be easily hidden under cover stones, tall grasses, decks, etc. When possible, it is best to position the Skimmer on the pond edge opposite the waterfall. This allows the waterfall and the Skimmer to interact together in cleaning the pond surface debris. Consider the general layout of the pond before any excavation occurs. Also consider the proximity of the power source to operate the pumps, lights, additional water features, etc. For very large ponds or irregular pond shapes, multiple skimmers should be used for a more efficient pond cleaning.
Excavating for the Skimmer
Refer to the dimensional diagrams in the Instruction Booklet for rough-sizing the hole for the Skimmer. The depth of the hole should be about 16-17". This will allow the side Discharge Hole to be slightly above ground level, be sure the bottom of the hole is heavily compacted to prevent settling. It is important to have the general pond layout finalized at this time with a general idea of the final "desired" water level. The pond water level can be determined by using a string level at various locations in the excavated pond. The "desired" water level should be located 4" below the top edge of the protruding surface on the Skimmer. The Weir Cover Plate has two "Water Level" marks on the front to indicate the proper pond water levels for optimum skimming.
It would be recommended to cut the hole in the side of the skimmer for the plumbing of the Pump Discharge.
Note: If using a Bottom Drain, it is important to address the layout during this phase of the installation.
Optional Bottom Drain
Installation of the Bottom Drain Kit transforms the Skimmer into a true, dual-flow type pre-filter. The Skimmer will now automatically draw dirty water from the bottom of the pond in addition to its surface skimming abilities. Follow the instructions supplied separately with the Bottom Drain Kit. Locate the Bottom Drain in the deepest portion of your pond.
Before pond excavation is finished, dig a trench for the Bottom Drain Tubing, especially through the outer shelves of the pond. When the liner is in place, it will fit in the trench and the pipe will sit on top of the liner. Rocks and River Stones will now fit flush over the top of the pipe to help hide it. It also helps to support the pipe with some additional rocks so that it does not put strain on the bulkhead fitting passing through the liner wall.
Installing and Backfilling the Skimmer
Place the empty Skimmer Vault in the excavated hole and check for clearance around the Skimmer on all sides before backfilling.
- Install the upper and lower PVC pipe Support Rods. The short Rod is the lower support and the longer Rod is the upper support. These are designed to permanently fit on the protrusions inside the skimmer.
- Check to make sure the Skimmer Vault is level from side to side and front to back.
- Check to make sure the Discharge Port is accessible on the side being used. The opposite side (the side not being used) can be covered with soil. Do not backfill so high that the Lid does not fit on top of the Skimmer.
- Check to make sure the "Desired" water level of the pond matches up with the mark on the front Weir of the Weir Cover Plate.
- Backfill soil so that it is nearly flush with the front face of he Skimmer. This should be done to provide a solid surface for the pond liner so that it isn't forced into the excavated space.
- Backfill with soil around all surfaces on the Skimmer.
Installing Seal into Weir Cover Plate
To install the Seal Cord, simply press into Gland on the backside of the Weir Cover Plate. Take one end of the Seal and start it in the Gland. Press the seal into the Gland and continue to do so following the Gland around the part until reaching the end of the Cord. No lubricant or adhesives are required to install the seal.
Note: The Weir Gate should only be latched shut for temporary skimmer maintenance. It is not recommended to leave the Weir Gate latched for longer periods of time.
Attaching Liner and Weir
By this time, the Skimmer should be backfilled and the liner can be attached.
Note: Allow about 12" of slack in the liner (below the skimmer) to minimize strain. Having extra slack on the liner below the skimmer is recommended for two reasons: 1) It could be advantageous in the event that the liner should require being re-cut, 2) It reduces strain on the liner as the pond is being filled with water.
Before beginning this portion of installation, familiarize yourself with the Weir Cover Plate. The front portion of the Weir is flat. The reverse side of the Weir Cover Plate has a protruding feature that will be used to locate the liner.
- Pull approximately 6"-8" of the liner and lay it over the top of the Skimmer.
- Lay the Weir Cover Plate over the liner 6" down from the edge of the liner. From the front side of the Weir Cover Plate, make two diagonal cuts from corner to corner. Stop the cut approximately 1/4" from the corner.
- Take the liner and lightly stretch it and slide it over the edge of the Weir Cover Plate. Pull the liner up until it is held in place up against the back. Make sure that the liner lays flat against the plate.
- Cut the excess liner away on the backside of the Weir Cover Plate and install the Weir Cover Plate (with installed liner) onto the front of the Skimmer. Check to make sure the Weir Cover Plate fits flush to the Skimmer Weir Opening.
- Apply a suitable aquatic grade RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) silicone onto the Front Face of the Skimmer.
- Install Weir Cover Plate (with installed liner) onto the face of the Skimmer, apply pressure so that the silicone is evenly compressed and distributed on the sealing surface.
- Using a sharp point, pierce through the liner in each of the four corners of the (12) holes in the Weir Cover Plate.
- Install (4) 1/4-20" screws in each of the four corners where the liner was previously pierced through. Hand tighten the four screws.
- Using a sharp point, pierce through the remaining (8) holes and then install the remaining (8) 1/4-20" screws. Hand tighten the remaining screws.
- Once all screws are in place, move around the Weir Face Plate and hand tighten all screws. Alternate sides in a crisscross manner to evenly distribute pressure and reduce strain on the Weir Face Plate.
For a 1,000-gallon pond, use a pump rated at 1,000 gallons per hour. For a 5,000-gallon pond, use a pump rated at 5,000 gallons per hour.
Installing the Pump and Plumbing
The Discharge Pipe can be routed through either side of the Skimmer. The Skimmers are equipped with a template for hole saws to locate the Discharge Hole.
External Pond Pumps (nonsubmersible pumps):
The Skimmer can also be set up for use with external pond pumps that use a suction line or a flooded suction with a check valve. The check valve is needed to maintain water in the suction line. It is recommended to also install a ball valve in-line next to the external pond pumps (on the discharge side of the pump) to shut off the water supply during pump servicing.
Note: If installing a waterfall with the Skimmer, it is always recommended to install a check valve somewhere in-line between the Skimmer and waterfall. This prevents the Waterfall Vault from drying out the filters and killing the beneficial bacteria when the pump is off due to servicing or during a power outage.
The Skimmer is supplied with a net that is used to catch surface debris from the pond. There are two side ledges inside the Skimmer that support the net, in addition to a lower ledge. The Skimmer Net will need to be removed periodically to clean out the debris it has collected.
The Skimmer is supplied with Biological Brushes that hang from a Support Rod. The Brushes offer increased surface area, enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria, as well as breaking up smaller debris. If the brushes become heavily clogged, gently wash them in a 5-gallon bucket of pond water and re-install in the skimmer. Do not use tap water to rinse the Brushes; doing so may harm beneficial bacterial growth on the Brushes.
OPTIONAL - Sand-Fill Plug for Lid:
Sand may be added through the hole on the bottom side of the Lid for added weight. A Plug has been included for sealing the Lid Hole on the bottom of the Lid. When installing sand, it is helpful to tilt the Lid so the sand enters freely. Do not add more than 10 pounds of sand to the Lid.
Cleaning the Skimmer:
In the event that you need to clean out the Skimmer Vault, you may latch the Skimmer Gate closed without having to be concerned with removing water from the pond. Be sure you have proper access to the power supply before proceeding with the following steps:
- If you are using a Bottom Drain, close the Gate Valve.
- Remove the Net and Biological Brushes by lifting the Support Rod.
- Move the Hinged Gate up into the vertical position until the two side Latches lock into place. The water level inside the Skimmer will begin to drop.
- Allow the Pump to run until about 4"-5" of water remains in the Skimmer. If the water is pumped down any lower, it will introduce air bubbles into the plumbing and may cause future air lock (prime loss). To remedy a pump air lock with the skimmer box filled with water, simply raise the pump a little and jiggle the pump until the air bubbles leave the Pump Chamber.
After cleaning, replace the Net and Biological Brushes. The skimmer maintenance should only take a short amount of time every 1-2 weeks. It is recommended to keep the skimmer maintenance time at a minimum to keep the beneficial bacteria from being deprived of water for too long. If longer maintenance time is required, simply put the Biological Brushes in a 5-gallon bucket of pond water for temporary storage.
In cold climates (32°F) and below, the Pump may be shut off for the winter. Remove the Pump and Pump Discharge Kit Assembly (including the Check Valve). Remove the Net and Biological Brushes and leave the Gate open with the pond at its normal water level. In the event that it can be predetermined that the pond will take a hard freeze, it is recommended to remove the Gate. To remove the Gate, simply press the Hinge Pin inwards until the Gate releases. Store the Gate until the winter has passed and then re-install.
If the pump is left running during freezing weather, close the Bottom Drain Gate Valve to prevent mixing warm bottom water with colder surface water. Fish become dormant during the winter and if the Bottom Drain is open, it disrupts their ability to become less active. In the spring, do not open the Bottom Drain Gate Valve until the surface water temperature averages above 40°F for at least one week.