Robotic Cleaners for Swimming Ponds

Robotic Cleaners for Swimming Ponds

A swimming pond differs from a natural pool in that it is a large garden pond that is naturally designed and offers enough space for swimming. It is different from a natural pool, which is essentially a swimming pool harmoniously integrated into nature. Like any other garden pond, a swimming pond also consists of a shore zone, a shallow water zone, and a deep-water zone. However, the deep-water area is typically larger than in a regular garden pond. There are differences in the cleaning of swimming ponds and natural pools. The cleaning effort for a swimming pond is significantly less than that for a natural pool, where the water must always be perfectly clean. In a swimming pond, you still need a filtration system, but the numerous plants in the vegetation zone help clarify the water.

Cleaning your swimming pond or natural pool can be made easier by using a cleaning robot. It’s important to note that a cleaning robot is different from our pond sludge vacuums. This article provides information on how cleaning robots work, their pros and cons, and the factors to consider when buying one.

What is a Cleaning Robot for Swimming Ponds?

A cleaning robot can take a significant amount of work off your hands when it comes to cleaning your natural pool or swimming pond, and it doesn’t require any chemical cleaning agents. A swimming pond robot is designed to handle the challenging conditions in biologically active ponds. Unlike most inexpensive pool robots, a swimming pond robot can handle the biofilm present on the bottom and walls of swimming ponds. For added safety, make sure to purchase a cleaning robot explicitly approved for use in swimming ponds. This provides additional security in case of damage.

When cleaning your swimming pond or natural pool, a cleaning robot can save you a lot of time and effort. The cleaning robot operates automatically. When making a purchase, consider the size of your pond to ensure effective cleaning. Swimming pond robots are available in various models and with different accessories, and there are several manufacturers of swimming pond robots these days.

Features and Operation of Swimming Pond Robots

Cleaning robots for swimming ponds come with various accessories and often have multiple programs. While control is generally possible with a remote, many tasks are performed automatically. Even with a well-equipped and powerful cleaning robot, it’s essential to have a brush for corners and edges, as the robot’s design may not allow it to reach these areas. Corners and edges may need manual cleaning from time to time.

Many pool robots clean only the bottom of your pond or pool, and you must manually clean the walls. However, there are models that can clean walls as well. Since swimming ponds often accumulate contaminants like insects and algae on the walls, choosing such a model is advisable. Many cleaning robots are not suitable for very smooth pools. If the cleaning robot has special brushes, it will have better traction. Simple cleaning robots are only suitable for pools with rectangular shapes. They can be used for a rectangular natural pool, but they quickly reach their limits in a swimming pond.

How Cleaning Robots Work

In simple terms, the operation of a cleaning robot is reminiscent of a vacuum or mop robot for your home. The cleaning robot moves somewhat randomly across the bottom of your pond. Depending on the size of the pond, it typically takes two to three hours to complete the cleaning. The cleaning robot is equipped with a filter bag for collecting dirt, algae, and other impurities. Once the cleaning robot has finished its work, you need to remove and clean the filter elements, similar to how you would with a vacuum or lawn mower.

For larger swimming ponds, cleaning robots with filter bags are more suitable than those with filter cartridges. Filter bags have a larger surface area, allowing for longer cleaning cycles. To prevent damage to the device, cleaning robots have an automatic shutdown feature. It stops the device when the filter bag or cartridge is full.

Varieties and Programs of Pond Robots

If you want to buy a cleaning robot for your natural pond, you can choose from models made by various manufacturers, often differing slightly in their features and functions. Depending on the model, you may find features such as:

  • Filter cartridges
  • Suction port
  • Transport cart (caddy)
    included in the package.

More expensive models come with self-selecting and adjustable programs that you can customize to your liking. High-quality devices may allow you to precisely limit the robot’s ascent on the pond walls, ensuring it works only in the deep-water area and avoids the shallow-water zone. Some models can even climb stairs and steps, making them suitable for natural pools with stairs. With certain models, you can use a remote control to instruct the robot to perform touch-up work if it misses some areas in your pond. With the remote control of some robots, you can also set the direction in which they should move.

Additionally, various models come with a timer that you can set using the remote or a smartphone app. This allows you to specify the time of day or which days of the week the robot should clean your pond.

Different Features and Equipment of Pond Robots

The most comprehensively equipped pond robots include the Tosstec Naturpoolroboter, Dolphin Supreme Bio S, NaturaGart Teich-Roboter, and the Zodiac Alpha swimming pond robot. These devices often have only slight differences in their features. Key features may include:

  • Cleaning the pool bottom
  • Cleaning walls up to the waterline
  • Cleaning stairs
  • Additional rotating brush in the center for a thorough cleaning
  • Different filter fineness levels
  • Suction port connected to a pump
  • Remote control
  • Control via a smartphone app

If an outlet is connected to a pump, it makes the task easier, as you don’t have to empty and clean the filter container repeatedly. The contaminants are transported directly through the pump. The dirty water goes to the external filter system, the filtration system, the skimmer, or the regeneration zone of your pond. Some models may not include built-in filter elements. However, for some robots, you can choose whether the cleaning is performed using filter cartridges or via the suction port and pump. Cleaning with the pump is useful when the cleaning effort is more intensive, such as during thorough cleaning in spring and autumn.

Fully Automatic Pool Robots for Comprehensive Cleaning

While some robots move somewhat randomly across the pond floor, there are also pond robots that clean the pond floor systematically, moving it along one path at a time. In this way, the walls can also be cleaned. The robot moves vertically along the walls before cleaning the pool bottom. This approach helps capture any dirt that has fallen during the cleaning. Because the cleaning process is not random, these robots complete the cleaning more quickly. A 10 x 5-meter pool with a depth of 1.60 meters can be cleaned in as little as 45 minutes. If you only want to clean the bottom, the robot can finish the job in 20 minutes.

Modern pond robots often use a self-cleaning filter system to ensure a constant flow for the pump. The pump’s suction diminishes when the filter becomes clogged and dirt no longer passes through properly. Eventually, the pump’s suction collapses, and the wheels lose traction. This results in no further removal of dirt but only stirs it up. This is not the case with modern cleaning robots equipped with self-cleaning filter systems. They maintain a high level of suction throughout the entire cleaning cycle.

What a Swimming Pond Robot Should Be Able to Do

The criteria for buying a robot for a natural pool are not as extensive as those for a swimming pond robot. Any robot can clean

a natural pool with a rectangular footprint. It is also essential that the robot can clean walls and stairs. In the case of a swimming pond, the robot needs to be suitable for irregularly shaped ponds, and it should be less concerned with unevenness, such as different water zones. A swimming pond robot should be suitable for:

  • Freeform pools
  • Slightly sloping shapes
  • Floors with varying slopes

Additionally, make sure the robot has brushes in the middle of the pool floor, as these enable more thorough cleaning and scrubbing of algae and bacteria.

The Technology Behind Pond Robots

Pond robots work with different technologies depending on the manufacturer and model. Modern pond robots often incorporate several innovative technologies, including:

  • Vakuum Disc System for adequate adhesion, which helps remove unwanted deposits and allows the robot to carry itself along the pond walls
  • Torque Vectoring for improved robot control, minimizing self-rotation
  • Self-cleaning filter system for consistently high suction performance
  • Anti-Swirl System to reduce the swirling of dirt
  • Gyroscopic Scanning System for self-guidance
  • Clever Clean Scan system for detecting and avoiding obstacles
  • Swivel joint to prevent the cable from getting tangled during robot use

Buying Criteria for a Pond Robot

A pond robot is a significant investment and should be carefully considered. While it offers advantages, it also has drawbacks. When buying a pond robot, carefully consider your actual needs and which features are important to you. Do not compromise on quality, as cheaper models often only clean the pool bottom and not the walls. Ensure the robot is suitable for ponds with freeform shapes and floors with varying slopes. Other considerations when buying include:

  • Pond size for which the robot is suitable, usually specified as the length of the basin
  • Minimum water depth required for robot operation
  • Maximum pool depth
  • Length of the power cable
  • Remote control or smartphone app
  • Timer for setting when the robot should clean the pond
  • Water temperature at which the robot can operate
  • Rubber brushes as equipment, as they provide more thorough cleaning than synthetic bristles
  • Self-selecting and adjustable programs
  • Anti-tangling protection for the cable

You won’t need to consider all these criteria, so decide what is essential for keeping your swimming pond clean. Some pond robots are suitable for use in saltwater, provided the salt content is not higher than 0.5 percent. A pond robot requires a minimum water depth to function, typically ranging from 40 to 50 centimeters, depending on the device.

Can a Pond Robot Prevent Sludge Formation?

If you have a swimming pond, you may wonder if a pond robot can prevent the formation of pond sludge. When in daily use, it can suck up algae and other impurities, which, in theory, can counteract the formation of sludge and algae. However, a small amount of sludge and sediments can be beneficial for the proper functioning of your pond as a biotope. If you have sand on the bottom of your swimming pond for better footing and a more enjoyable swimming experience, it is advisable to avoid using a pond robot, as it will suck up the sand. This will also require additional filter cleaning if the robot is not connected to the pump.

Advantages of Pond Robots

Pond robots undeniably offer various advantages, including:

  • Time and effort savings in pond cleaning
  • Algae growth prevention
  • Consistently clean water
  • Cleaning of the pond or pool bottom and sometimes the walls
  • Reduced manual cleaning effort

Disadvantages of Pond Robots

Before purchasing a pond robot, be aware that such devices have not only advantages but also disadvantages and are not suitable for all swimming ponds. The drawbacks include:

  • Unsuitability for all ponds
  • Limited suitability for uneven pond floors
  • Manual cleaning required for corners and edges
  • High power consumption
  • Cleaning and replacement of brushes and filter discs, resulting in additional costs
  • Suitability only for ponds up to a specific size
  • High upfront costs

To use a pond robot in a swimming pond, the pond should have a wrinkle-free, armored liner. It’s crucial that the robot doesn’t get stuck in the folds and damage the liner.

Alternatives to Pond Robots

For a swimming pond, a pond robot is not always the best choice. Some pond robots are not designed for swimming ponds but are better suited for natural pools. If you have a swimming pond, consider using a filtration system to keep the water clean. When designing your swimming pond, ensure you include a sufficiently large vegetation zone, which is vital for water clarification. Our pond sludge vacuums can be a good alternative to a pond robot. They are suitable for comprehensive pond cleaning in spring and autumn and can be equipped with various accessories, including different brushes.


A pond robot makes pond or swimming pool cleaning more manageable. However, not all robots are suitable for swimming ponds, as they may not handle uneven pond floors well. Therefore, when purchasing a pond robot, carefully consider its features and suitability for your pond. Our pond sludge vacuums can serve as an alternative to a pond robot and come with a variety of accessories to make cleaning easy.

Florian Egert

I am Florian Egert, the owner of I live with my wife and two children in Germany in a small village in the countryside.

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