How to Install & Maintain a 200 Pond Skimmer

Instruction Manual, Warranty and Replacement Parts for the Aquascape Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer (#43020)

The Aquascape Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer provides efficient mechanical filtration by removing unwanted debris from the surface of the pond, significantly reducing maintenance and improving water quality. The filter also provides a protected location for the pump, extending pump life.

Splash Tip: We only recommend the Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer for ponds smaller than 10′ x 10′.

The Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer is easy to install. The filter includes a leaf and debris net that makes debris removal quick and simple. The extremely durable, UV protected, high-density polyethylene construction and the rounded shape maximize the strength of the filter, enabling installation in freeze-thaw conditions.

The Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, ensuring year after year of trouble-free use.

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Aquascape Signature Series 200 Instruction Manual

Aquascape Signature Series 200 Skimmer Warranty

Lifetime Warranty

Aquascape warrants that the Signature Series 200 will be free of manufacturing defects for the lifetime of the product if properly installed and maintained. Proof of purchase required. Warranty does not cover damage resulting from negligent handling, misuse or lack of reasonable maintenance or care. If upon Aquascape’s inspection, the skimmer shows evidence of a manufacturing defect, Aquascape’s liability is limited, at Aquascape’s option, to the repair of the defect, replacement of the defective product, or refund of the original purchase price.

The warranty excludes costs of labor, removal of product, shipping and expenses related to the installation and re-installation of the product. All products that include plumbing (tubing, pumps, check valves) need to be properly drained and winterized otherwise warranty is null and void. No liability for loss or damage of any nature or kind, whether arising out of or from the use of the product, whether defective or not defective, is assumed by Aquascape, Inc. or its affiliates. Aquascape shall not be liable for any incidental, consequential or other damages arising under any theory of law whatsoever

One Year Warranty

Aquascape warrants that the plastic internal parts of the skimmer will be free of manufacturing defects for one year from the date of purchase of the product if properly installed and maintained. Proof of purchase required. Filter pads and media are consumable items and are not covered under any warranty.

If upon Aquascape’s inspection, the plastic internal parts shows evidence of a manufacturing defect, Aquascape’s liability is limited, at Aquascape’s option, to the repair of the defect, replacement of the defective product, or refund of the original purchase price. The warranty excludes costs of labor, removal of product, shipping and expenses related to the installation and re-installation of the product. No liability for loss or damage of any nature or kind, whether arising out of or from the use of the product, whether defective or not defective, is assumed by Aquascape, Inc. or its affiliates. Aquascape shall not be liable for any incidental, consequential or other damages arising under any theory of law whatsoever.

Aquascape Signature Series 200 Skimmer Contents

  1. Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer Lid
  2. Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer
  3. Weir Door
  4. Debris Net
  5. (12) Screws
  6. Skimmer Face Plate

Aquascape Pond Skimmer Comparison Guide

 
 Signature Series 200 Pond SkimmerSignature Series 400 Pond SkimmerSignature Series 1000 Pond Skimmer
Model Number430204302143022
Pump Flow RateUp to 3,000 GPHUp to 4,000 GPHUp to 10,000 GPH
Weir Size6 inches6 inches8 inches
Adjustable Height Face Plate--
Locking Weir Door-
Leaf & Debris Net--
Leaf & Debris Rigid Basket-
Filter Brush CartridgeOptional--
Filter Mat-
Faux-Rock Lid-
Dimensions (LxWxH)20" x 17.5" x 17.5"21.5" x 18" x 21"21" x 22" x 26.5"
WarrantyLimited LifetimeLimited LifetimeLimited Lifetime
 View ProductView ProductView Product

Aquascape Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer Installation

Recommended Tools

  1. Wheelbarrow
  2. Brightly-Colored Spray Paint
  3. Screwdriver
  4. Soil Tamper
  5. Shovel
  6. Carpenter’s Level
  7. Channel Lock
  8. Scissors

Step 1: Placement of the Skimmer

  • In order to maximize circulation, the skimmer should be placed directly across from a waterfall. If you do not have a waterfall, use your area’s prevailing winds to determine where you should place your skimmer along the longest axis. Use the wind to help push the debris toward the skimmer (Ex. 1).

Step 2: Excavating Your Pond Basin

  • If you are installing the skimmer on an existing pond, skip
    this step and proceed to step three.
  • We suggest excavating the pond no more than 18-24″ deep. This depth provides the proper water levels required for aquatic plants and is deep enough to keep fish alive during winter.
  • The excavation should be dug with a series of shelves. The shelves will add stability to the walls of the pond and will also create planting beds for different types of aquatic plants.
  • The first shelf should be about 8-10″ deep, or the height of a standard shovel blade (Ex. 2).

• Dig the second shelf another 8-10″ deeper (Ex. 3).

  • The third shelf (if desired) will be excavated down another 6″ reaching a final excavation of 24″ (Ex. 4).

Step 3: Excavating Your Skimmer Location

  • When installing the skimmer onto an existing pond you will need to drain the water from the pond. If you have fish, save some water from the pond and place in a large bucket, kiddie pool, or cooler. Net your fish and place them in your container. Be sure to add an aerator and keep the fish in a shaded area.
  • Remove any rock that is within 3 feet on either side and in front of where you will place the skimmer. Pull your existing liner and underlayment back into the pond 3-4 feet from edge so you expose the area that needs to be excavated for the skimmer.
  • We recommend placing the skimmer lid in the position you have chosen. Overhang the lid about 6″ towards the inside of the pond to allow some slack in the liner and make attaching the skimmer face plate easier.
  • Mark the outside edge of the lid with spray paint or score the ground around the lid with a shovel.
  • Excavate the hole for the skimmer, roughly 18″ wide by 21″ long (the outline for the skimmer).
  • The skimmer should be excavated down to a depth so that the proposed water level in the pond is approximately 3/4″ below the top of the opening of the skimmer (Ex. 5). If installing on an existing pond use the known water level as your guideline on how deep to excavate the skimmer.
  • Make sure the excavated area under the skimmer is compacted and level.
  • Set the skimmer in place and use a 2-foot bubble level in order to make sure your skimmer is properly set into position (Ex. 6). Your skimmer should be level from side to side and front to back.

Step 4: Installing the Skimmer

Optional Overflow Fitting Orientation

  • If installing the optional overflow you will need to drill a hole for a 2″ bulkhead fitting using a 3″ hole saw in the back of the skimmer. Information on the fittings required to install the optional overflow can be found in the replacement parts section located of this manual.
  • There is a drill point in the plastic approximately 3 1/2″ below the top edge for reference. Install the bulkhead into the hole following the orientation (Ex. 7).
  • A barb fitting or PVC fitting can then be threaded into the bulkhead. Use silicone sealant (#22010) or (#29186) or Teflon tape (not included) on the threads of the pipe fittings, in order to help provide a watertight seal.
  • The pipe for the overflow can be connected later in the project, during step 7.

Attaching the Skimmer Face Plate

NOTE: Power tools are not recommended for installing the screws and may strip the nut inserts.

  • Position the liner against the skimmer opening, making sure there is slack below the opening. This will help reduce tension on the skimmer face plate when placing boulders in front of the unit. Use your finger or a screwdriver to mark the outer perimeter of the skimmer opening on the liner (Ex. 8).
  • Mark a second box 1.5″ inside of it. This insures that you don’t cut too much of the liner, which would result in a possible leak (Ex. 9).
  • Cut the inner box using a pair of scissors, and insert the skimmer face plate into the hole (Ex. 10).
  • Make sure skimmer face plate is in the upright position. The hinge should be at the bottom (Ex. 11).
  • Temporarily install the skimmer face plate and liner to the skimmer using two screws in the upper corners. Using an awl or nail, poke the first hole in the liner all the way through to the inside of the filter box. Be careful not to damage the threads on the nut inserts when punching the holes with the awl. Remove the awl or nail while holding the skimmer face plate and liner in place and begin threading one of the screws into filter. Repeat this process for the other screw (Ex. 12). 
  • Now remove the skimmer face plate from the skimmer, keeping the screws installed through the skimmer face plate and liner (Ex. 13).
  • Apply a bead of fish-safe silicone sealant (#22010) or (#29186) around the skimmer opening, over the nut inserts. Pre-installing the two screws in the earlier steps will make it easy to line up the skimmer face plate after the silicone is applied and will keep the silicone in as thick of a bead as possible (Ex. 14).
  • Replace the skimmer face plate and the two corner screws and then proceed with the bottom two corners. Make sure the holes in the skimmer face plate that the weir flap clicks into are on the bottom (Ex. 15).
  • With the 4 corners secured, you may now punch the remaining holes with your awl and thread in all the screws. Again, be careful not to damage the threads on the nut inserts.
  • Let dry for at least one hour before introducing water.
  • Insert the debris net and optional filter brush cartridge in the skimmer (Ex. 16). See image below for placement.

Step 5

Add Rock & Gravel

NOTE: You can expect to use several tons of stone and gravel for your water feature. Below are some helpful formulas for choosing the stone and gravel:

Stone Calculation for the Pond
Length x Width / 65 = Tons of boulders

Gravel Used in the Pond
Pond Gravel = 30% total tons of pond boulders

  • Start from the bottom and set the largest character boulders first against the vertical walls, then stack the smaller boulders on top (Ex. 17).
  • Be careful when placing any large boulders so you don’t damage the liner.
  • The opening on the front of the skimmer can be hidden by placing boulders on either side and bridging a stone or piece of driftwood across, creating a cave effect.

NOTE: Make sure the boulders do not block the water flow into the skimmer.

  • Cover all remaining flat surfaces inside the pond with a couple inches of decorative gravel (Ex. 18). This will help lock the boulders in place, as well as cover the remaining liner, protecting it from ultraviolet rays, and giving bacteria a place to colonize.

Wash Rocks & Gravel

  • Using a garden hose, wash the rock and gravel down in order to remove the dust and dirt. Use the pump provided with the kit attached to a scrap section of kink-free pipe. The pump can temporarily be placed in the lowest point of the pond and the dirty water discharged to a drainage area in the yard.

Step 6: Complete the Skimmer Installation

  • The skimmer has two holes on either side of the unit for the plumbing to travel to the BioFalls® 1000. Choose the plumbing hole that is most convenient. The pipe simply passes through the opening on either side of the skimmer (Ex. 19).
  • The pump’s electrical cord can be run through either hole provided in the side of the skimmer (Ex. 20).
  • Insert the barbed multi-hose adapter included with the pump onto the end of the pipe and tighten down hose clamp. Thread the end of the pipe onto the rotational ball fitting attached to the pump and lower into the skimmer (Ex. 21).

Step 7: Optional Overflow Installation

  • Attach and trench a section of kink-free pipe into place (3′ minimum). Create a drainage area at the end of the pipe by excavating a small pit, roughly 16″ in diameter and at least 12″ deep. Fill the pit with excess gravel. This will allow water in an overflow situation to flow through the pipe and drain away from the pond (Ex. 22).
  • Cover the gravel pit with a small section of underlayment and top with soil.

Step 8: Water Pump Plumbing

  • Run your tubing from the pond pump in the skimmer to your desired location or point of entry.

Step 9: Add Water

  • Fill up the pond basin with water (Ex. 23). The pond should be filled 3/4″ below the top of the front opening of the skimmer (refer to Ex. 5 on page 4).

NOTE: We recommend adding Aquascape Pond Detoxifier to dechlorinate and properly condition water prior to introducing fish to your new pond. See your Aquascape dealer for water treatment products.

Aquascape Signature Series 200 Skimmer Maintenance

Debris Net

  • The skimmer is designed to sweep the surface of the water so this it is free from debris. The Debris Net inside the skimmer is the first filter stage of the skimmer. The net will collect leaves, twigs, seeds, and other pond debris. It takes approximately two to three minutes every other week to empty the Debris Net. More frequent changes will be required during the fall and spring because of the quantity of leaves falling off the surrounding trees.
  • It is a good habit during your first season with the pond to periodically lift the skimmer lid and check the quantity of debris in the net. This is especially true in the fall. Keep a mental note as to how often your net has to be emptied. It’s important that the debris net is not allowed to become too full. Too much debris can reduce the water flow to the pump.

Optional Brush Cartridge

  • The optional Filter Brush Cartridge (#99772) behind the debris basket is the second stage of the skimmer. The Brush Cartridge is designed to handle any debris that finds its way past the Debris Net. The brush cartridge will not need maintenance as frequently as the basket, since the basket will remove the majority of debris from the water. Remove and rinse the mat when you notice excessive debris build up on the mat or reduced flow over the waterfall.

Aquascape Signature Series 200 Skimmer Replacement Parts

  1.  Optional Brush Cartridge (#99772)
    > Available at our Online Store
  2.  Debris Net (#99775)
    > Available at our Online Store
  3. Skimmer Face Plate (#29254)
    > Available at our Online Store
  4. Weir (#29257)
    > Available at our Online Store
  5. Brass Screws (8 pk) (#30078)
    > Available at our Online Store
  6. Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer Overflow Kit (#88036) – Includes 2″ Bulkhead Fitting, 2″ MPT x 1.5″ Barb Fitting, 2″ MPT x 1.5″ Slip Fitting, and Stainless Steel Hose Clamp
    > Available at our Online Store