This seems to be a big topic for debate, although there is what you might call a standard way to clean our pond filters, there also seems many varied methods adopted by different people. So what is the right way?
To start with, the standard method is to take a couple of buckets of water from your pond and use one bucket to give your filters a good clean through and then do a second or final wash through in the second bucket; this should get your filter back working efficiently. The filters shouldn’t be washed in tap water as this will remove all the good bacteria that combat pollutants like nitrate and ammonia.
Now having said that, this is the ideal way to clean your filters, and cleaning them around once per month should keep them working well. But this all depends on the type of filter you have and other factors like the size of your fish stock, etc.. With this in mind, it turns filter cleaning into an individual process rather than a standard process.
There are some people who can’t get the right results with cleaning their filters in pond water and have to result in getting a hose out to clean them properly, and they have no problems doing it this way.
If you ask 20 pond owners the question, How do you clean your pond filters? And How often do you clean them? Then you will probably get 20 different answers. They all find a method that they find works for them and their situation.
The best thing to do is to start with the standard method of cleaning your filters, and if you get the right results, then keep it that way. If you don’t seem to get the right results, then you need to try different ways to get the filters clean. I have never had a problem with the standard way it always seemed to work for me.
How often should you be filter cleaning is also down to individual circumstances, I have always stuck to around once per month, sometimes twice a month during the hottest months of the summer and less during the winter. But it all depends on the individual pond and the different filter systems.
So start with the standard way of cleaning around once per month and tweak your filter cleaning process as needed. You will soon get it how your pond needs it.