Fish pond pumps recirculate water in ponds and pools and enable filters to keep the water clear and clean.
They can also be used to make streams run in a natural way, make fountains spray, and allow waterfalls to be created over homemade and existing natural rockeries.
Types of Fish Pond Pumps
There are two basic types of pond pumps for garden ponds, both of which you will find with all the other fish pond supplies you need. These are:
- submersible pumps
- external pumps
Whichever sort you choose, the most important aspect is to make sure that the pump is the right size.
Manufacturers of pump equipment rate electrical power in terms of amps or watts, but the critical measure of pump power is how many gallons of water it can pump per hour to a specific height. We call this height, the water head.
What Size Fish Pond Pump Do You Need?
To determine the size pump you are going to need, first work out the volume of the water in the pond.
The easiest and most reliable way to do this is when you fill is to first fill the pond with water. See what your water meter reading is before you start the filling process, then take a new reading when you’ve finished.
Most meters give you the amount of water you have used in cubic feet. To convert this figure to gallons, use a calculator and simply multiply by 7.48.
Usually a pump that can move at least half the total volume of water in the pond in an hour will reasonably adequate. So, for example, if your pond holds 600 gallons of water, buy a pump that can cope with at least 300 gallons per hour.
If you have incorporated a stream or waterfall in your pond design, you will need a more powerful pump because the pump will have to be able to move the water up the slope or to the head of the stream. If you are going to use a filter as well, you may need a separate pump for the filter.
As a general rule of thumb, buy the best pump you can afford.
Remember that pumps with plastic housings are the least expensive, but they are also the least durable. Pumps with brass, bronze, stainless steel, or cast iron housings will last a lot longer.
Another important consideration is the length of the cord. You need to be sure that this will be long enough to go from the point where you will plug it into to the pond. Generally the longer the better, if only to make sure the plug point is a good distance away from the water.
And be sure to check what the pump is intended for. Not all pumps are suitable for use as fish pond pumps.
Submersible Fish Pond Pumps
Submersible pumps are best for small to medium-sized ponds that have a volume of water up to 800 gallons. They are ideal for all but the largest water features, and both easy to install, start, and run.
You will find submersible pumps for smaller ponds and waterfalls that are made with cast iron, stainless steel and bronze casings.
If you have a really large pond, rather buy an external pump.
External Fish Pond Pumps
External pumps are suitable for ponds that contain 1,000 gallons of water or more. They are more expensive but can handle much larger water flows than submersible pumps can handle.
They are also usually energy efficient and many are designed to work with biological filters.