When shopping for the best pond pump, you should carefully consider the pumping capacity, type, and pond size. With these features in mind, I have summarized my top pond pump picks in the article below. Read on to learn more about why these factors are important.
Setting up a pond is a often a great way to enhance your property. However, it is not an easy as it may sound since you have to consider several parts and pieces to assemble the pond successfully. These include liners, filters, and, most importantly, a pond pump.
With so many options on the market today, it can be tricky to choose the right one for your needs. Fortunately, I made it a point to do some of the hard work for you.
So, sit back, relax, and read my detailed analysis of the best pond pumps on the market today. I will discuss the pros and cons of each product to help you compare them to another.
In this guide, I will also share the factors you need to consider when looking for a pond pump. Make sure to check them out to see what best suits your needs.
If you don’t want to read all the details, the below chart includes my current top recommendations. If you want to know more about what pond pumps do and the factors in my analysis, keep scrolling down for a more detailed explanation.
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What Are the Benefits of Pond Pumps?
Before I get into my top recommendations, I would first like to discuss the advantages of pond pumps in your water system.
The first and perhaps the most important reason to buy a pond pump is to improve the water quality. It keeps the water circulating and the entire ecosystem moving to avoid sediments from accumulating on the bottom of your pond. This increase in sediment can lead to the build-up of metals and gasses in the water, which can ultimately harm fish, plants, and human health.
Another essential benefit of a pond pump is to control the growth of algae in your pond. Algae refer to tiny organisms that often grow in stagnant or slow-moving water. They can reduce the amount of oxygen in the water, which might result in fish kills or plant damage. Fortunately, by circulating water continuously, a pond pump can prevent algae from forming on the surface of the water. Some pumps with a filter screen can even pull the algae into the bottom of the pond to avoid contact with sunlight and dissolved gasses.
Furthermore, a pond pump can prevent bad odors from developing. These usually occur when the water begins to stagnate, which can reduce oxygen levels in your pond. They can range from a fishy-type scent to an unmistakable seaweed smell of algae. With a pump, you can ensure steady oxygen flow into the water column. Hence, it can effectively aerate the water and remove any trace of foul smell.
Plus, a pond pump can ensure a healthy habitat for your pet fish and plants. It can reduce the risk of thermal stratification happening by mixing the water column. This event occurs when the water creates different temperature layers that ultimately reduce the oxygen levels in particular sections. The inconsistent amount of oxygen in the water can kill fish and plants.
The last benefit of a pond pump is to eliminate mosquito larvae. It can prevent mosquitoes from breeding and laying eggs in stagnant water by keeping the water moving. But in any case that eggs do hatch, the built-in pump filter can kill the larvae instantly.
By now, you probably have an idea about the benefits of pond pumps. It is time to learn about the best-selling products on the market today. Read on!
7 Best Pond Pumps for Your Yard
Here are my top recommendations for the best pond pumps for your yard. Each one can keep your pond water circulating to ensure healthy water quality and prevent algae and mosquitoes from invading your fountain.
1. Tetra Pond Debris-Handling Pump – Editor’s Pick
The Tetra Pond Debris-Handling Pump is the first product on this list of the best pond pumps on the market today.
It features a powerful and energy-efficient pump. It can keep large volumes of water circulating in your pond water. Hence, it can prevent the growth of algae and avoid thermal stratification, which can harm fish and plants.
Additionally, this pond pump comes with a pre-filter cage. It can keep branches, dirt, leaves, and other debris up to ¼ inch in diameter from entering the unit to ensure clog-free performance. At the same time, it protects your pet fish from the impeller of the pump.
Moreover, the Tetra Pond Water Pump has a maximum water flow of 3690 gallons per hour (GPH). This figure refers to the volume of water the pump can move without pumping it to any elevation. It can effectively clean the water, which is ideal for medium- to large-sized ponds with fish.
Meanwhile, the maximum pumping height of this best pond pump is 11.4 feet. Hence, it can also suit waterfalls and fountain systems.
Plus, this debris-handling pump offers a standard outlet size of 1 ½ inch or 1 ¼ inch and a hose adapter. These allow you to attach tubings and other pump accessories easily.
There is even a 15-foot electrical cord that makes it easy to plug the pump, even when using it outdoors.
As for the construction, this Tetra Pond Pump uses a ceramic shaft. It can resist corrosion and daily wear and tear to provide longer service life. And an epoxy encapsulation can protect the motor from possible water intrusion, especially since it is a submersible pump.
Finally, most pond pump reviews for this particular product were positive. If there is any critique, it would be the large pump box, which cannot fit smaller ponds or birdbaths. A few users did not receive the hose adapter that was supposedly included in the package.
With that said, the pros outweigh the cons.
As such, I chose the Tetra Pond Debris-Handling Pump as the best pond pump available today.
- A unique debris-handling technology can ensure a healthy habitat for your pet fish and plants
- The large basket or pre-filter cage can block leaves and other large debris
- Powerful 3690 GPH with a maximum lift height of 11.4 feet can suit large
- Anti-corrosive and wear-resistant ceramic shaft to ensure a long service life
- A standard outlet size allows you to fit tubing and other pump accessories
- The pump box might be too large for small ponds
- A few users said that they did not receive the hose adapter that was supposedly included in the package
2. VIVOSUN 1600 GPH Submersible Water Pump Pond – Best Submersible Pump
If you are looking for another high-quality water pump, consider checking out the VIVOSUN 1600 GPH Submersible Water Pump Pond.
It features an energy-saving motor that operates quietly at around 30 to 40 dB. This pump uses less power at only 100W without affecting the output. It is rated at 1982 gallons per hour (GPH), which is suitable for a 264-gallon pond.
Additionally, the VIVOSUN Pond Pump has a high lift of up to 14.8 feet. It can fit water features, such as a detachable filter or a portable handle.
Furthermore, this water pump for your pond uses heavy-duty silicon carbide material. It can withstand harsh weather and other outdoor elements. Together with a heat-overload sensor, this particular model can survive extremely high temperatures and prevent burnout.
Plus, this water pump allows you to use it either as a submersible or inline unit. It is versatile enough to use on water fountains, fish tanks, ponds, and other water features.
There is even a 20-foot long power cord that makes it easier to position the pump where it is needed without worrying about the outlet location.
The VIVOSUN Submersible Pump comes with four suction cups. These enable you to attach the pump anywhere, either vertically or horizontally, to meet different requirements.
Finally, the VIVOSUN 1600 GPH Pump Pond has a detachable and easy-to-clean cover. It effectively prevents debris from entering the interior of the pump.
Despite these benefits, there are still a few downsides to consider before buying this best pond pump. Some users commented that it was difficult to take off the plastic cover to clean the inside of the pump. Second, a few customers said that the pump clogged too easily.
Overall, though, the VIVOSUN 1600 GPH Submersible Water Pump Pond is among the best products on the market today. It is my top recommendation if you are looking for a reliable submersible pump.
- A powerful and energy-efficient pump that produces super low noise at around 30 to 40 dB
- A maximum flow rate of 1982 GPH and a maximum lift height of 14.8 feet
- The durable carbide construction is built for 24-hour continuous use in various weather conditions
- The pump can easily attach to most surfaces, either vertically or horizontally
- A relatively long power cord allows you to position the pump where it is needed
- Some users had trouble taking off the plastic cover to clean the inside of the pump
- A few customers said that the pump clogged too easily
3. HIBLOW HP-80 Pond Aerator Septic Linear Air Pump – Best External Pump
Do you have a larger pond or water feature? If so, consider investing in external pond pumps like the HIBLOW HP-80 Pond Aerator Septic Linear Air Pump instead of choosing submersible pumps.
As its name suggests, this model sits on the dry ground outside the pond. It can handle flow rates from 5,000 up to 10,000 gallons per hour.
As such, the HIBLOW Air Pump features a robust construction. It can withstand harsh weather conditions and daily use.
Additionally, this best pond pump is energy-efficient and oil-free. It eliminates the risk of any lubricant leaking into the water, which can potentially harm pet fish and plants.
What’s more, this external pump can effectively circulate water and distribute oxygen as well as water temperature. It further promotes a healthy habitat for aquatic creatures that you plan on taking care of.
Plus, it can provide aeration to large ponds up to ½ acre in size and 10 feet deep or less. Hence, it ensures clean and clear water.
Finally, this best external pond pump is compatible with other pond accessories, such as a diffuser or a hose. Simply see the recommendations of HIBLOW for a successful pond aeration system setup.
However, before buying this pond pump, it is best to check its downsides. First, some users complained about the loud sound of the water pump. A few customers said that they did not receive the alarm that was supposedly included in the package, according to the instructions manual.
But considering all its other benefits, I am not surprised to learn that this model is among the best-selling septic aerators in the USA. For this reason, I included the HIBLOW HP-80 Pond Aerator Septic Linear Air Pump in this list of the best water pumps for your pond. It is among the best external pond pumps available today.
- Energy-efficient water pump to help you save money on electricity bills
- An external pump can offer aeration to large and deep ponds
- A high-quality construction can last you a long time
- It keeps the pond water circulating to ensure a healthy habitat for your pet fish and plants
- It is compatible with other pond accessories
- The water pump motor produced a loud sound
- A few users did not receive the alarm that was supposedly included in the package
4. VIVOSUN 800 GPH Submersible Pump – Best Budget
If you have a tight budget, then the VIVOSUN 800 GPH Submersible Pump might be the best product for your needs.
It features a small and compact size that allows you to hide it easily inside. Despite its tiny size, this water pump offers a maximum flow rate of 800 gallons per hour (GPH). It also lets you control the flow rate easily through the water control valve or knob.
Meanwhile, the maximum lift height is 10 feet. It is ideal for use in fountains, hydroponic systems, waterfalls, and other water features.
Additionally, this waterfall pump includes different sizes of water outlet inserts and suction cups. These allow you to position the pump flat on its base or attach it to the wall at an angle.
Moreover, the VIVOSUN 800 GPH Submersible Pump boasts a wet rotor and wet bearing technology. These prevent overheating, which usually happens during long-term use. Plus, they can ensure a working temperature range from 33.8°F to 96.8°F.
The package even comes with a pre-filter. It can keep gravel, leaves, and other debris from getting stuck in the motor.
Finally, this submersible pond pump offers a 5-foot-long power cord that allows convenient installation in your garden.
There are still a few downsides to this water pump, though. First, some customers noticed oil leaking coming from the impeller, which can harm your pet fish and plants. Second, a few users said that the plug outlet was not ground, making it unsafe for outdoor pumping applications.
With that said, the VIVOSUN 800 GPH Submersible Pump is still worth considering for your indoor pumping needs. It is hard to beat, especially for its low price.
- A small and compact yet powerful 800 GPH submersible pump is ideal for aquariums, fountains, and other water features
- A water control valve makes it easy to control the flow rate
- The wet bearing technology can prevent overheating
- The package includes four suction cups that allow you to attach it to the wall either vertically or horizontally
- It comes with three nozzles in multiple sizes to provide different water flow options
- Some customers noticed oil/grease leakage from the impeller magnet and inside the pump, which can harm fish
- A few users said that the plug outlet was not grounded, which made it unsafe for aquaponics systems and outdoor pumping purposes
5. Little Giant PE-1 Small Submersible Pump
The Little Giant PE-1 Small Submersible Pump is another high-quality compact water pump to consider.
It features a small submersible pump with a sealed Nitrile shaft and polyester housing. It is suitable for fountains, water displays, and other applications that require the liquid to be transferred or re-circulated.
Meanwhile, the direct-drive motor offers a maximum flow rate of 170 GPH. It also has a maximum lift of up to seven feet. It can work continuously to keep the water circulating and ensure a healthy water habitat.
Additionally, this new pond pump has impedance protection. It can prevent the fan from burning if ever the motor locks.
Moreover, the Little Giant Submersible Pump comes with a ¼-inch MNPT discharge and a 7-foot head that automatically shuts off.
Plus, the bottom inlet with a snap-off screen makes it easier to clean the pump. At the same time, it keeps debris from entering the pump to extend its service life.
Finally, this compact water pump is UL-listed. That simply means this product meets specific safety and operational standards.
Despite these benefits, it is still best to consider the downsides of this product. First, the maximum flow rate might be too weak for aquariums, swimming pools, and for fuel oil transfer. Second, some users said that the filter over the intake was too small, which required them to clean the pump more often.
Overall, though, the Little Giant PE-1 Small Submersible Pump is one of the best submersible pond pumps on the market right now.
- A submersible and epoxy encapsulated direct-drive motor
- A maximum water flow of 170 GPH with a maximum lift of seven feet is suitable for fountains and other water displays
- The pump is impedance protected to prevent burning when the motor suddenly locks
- It is designed for continuous operation
- A snap-off screen keeps debris out of the pump to extend its service life
- The maximum flow might be too weak for your pond needs
- Some users said that the filter over the intake might be too small, which requires you to clean the pump more often
6. Aquascape AquaSurge Pump
Those looking for an energy-efficient pond pump can consider getting the Aquascape AquaSurge Pump.
It boasts asynchronous motor technology that provides high torque and a maximum flow rate of up to 2,000 gallons per hour (GPH). With that said, it offers excellent energy efficiency compared to traditional magnetically driven pond pumps. It is built for continuous use in ponds and waterfalls.
Additionally, this waterfall pump features a ceramic shaft with a cooling port. It can prevent the motor from overheating. At the same time, it can effectively resist corrosion and rust to last you for a long time.
Furthermore, the AquaSurge Pump comes with rubber feet. They can reduce the noise and vibration when operating the pump.
Plus, this waterfall pump ensures straightforward installation, owing to the rotational ball output. It allows you to position the water feature easily. There is even an included pump stand that makes vertical orientation possible.
Finally, the package already comes with plumbing adapter fittings. These make it convenient to install the pond pump and other accessories, such as pond filters.
However, it is still important to consider the downsides of this product before finalizing your purchasing decision. First, some users were disappointed with the pump design because it was prone to clogging. Second, a few customers said the unit stopped working after several months of use.
Nevertheless, the Aquascape AquaSurge Pump is one of the best pond pumps on the market today. I highly recommend it for its powerful and energy-efficient capability.
- The unique asynchronous motor technology makes the pump powerful and energy-efficient, ideal for continuous use in various water features
- A maximum flow rate of up to 2,000 gallons per hour (GPH) can fit ponds up to 2,000 gallons in size
- The rubber feet prevent noise and vibration that can possibly upset neighbors
- The rotational ball output allows you to attach the pump in either vertical or horizontal orientation
- The package includes all necessary fittings for convenient installation
- Some customers said that the design of the pump was prone to clogging, which requires them to clean them regularly
- A few users experienced the unit stopped working on them after several months of use
7. Alpine Corporation Alpine PAL3100 Cyclone Pond Pump
The last product on this list of the best pond pumps is the Alpine Corporation Alpine PAL3100 Cyclone Pond Pump.
It boasts an energy-saving design that can reduce your electric bills. At the same time, this water pump offers an eco-friendly and efficient operation. It has a maximum water flow of 3100 GPH, ideal for fountains, filtration systems, ponds, and waterfalls.
Meanwhile, the maximum lift height of around 21 feet can suit large water features up to 33 feet wide.
Additionally, this pond pump has a ceramic impeller shaft. This construction ensures durability that can resist damage, so it can last you for a long time.
Moreover, the Alpine Cyclone Pump comes with a large pre-filter. It allows you to disassemble the pump without the need for tools.
On top of all these benefits, Alpine Corporation offers a three-year warranty. This coverage period shows how much confidence the manufacturer has over its products. It also makes it easier for you to ask for a refund or return if the item did not meet your expectations.
However, there are still a few cons to this particular pond pump. First, the threaded outlet in the shaft uses a cheap plastic material, which can easily break during assembly. Second, a few users noticed calcium build-up on the motor shaft that can affect the pumping power.
Overall, though, the Alpine Corporation Alpine PAL3100 Cyclone Pond Pump is still worth considering for its other reliable features.
- It features a submersible and oil-free design ideal for different water systems
- An eco-friendly pump that offers a maximum water flow of 3100 GPH
- A ceramic impeller shaft can resist damage, so it can last you for a long time
- The pump is easy to install and access, owing to the 33-foot long cord
- Alpine Corporation provides a three-year warranty to ensure the quality of your purchase
- The threaded outlet is made of cheap plastic material, which can break during installation
- A few users noticed calcium build-up on the motor shaft that affected the performance of the pump
How to Choose the Best Pond Pumps for Your Needs
If you are still unsure which pond pump to buy, fret not. Below, I will walk you through the factors you need to consider before finalizing your purchasing decision.
The capacity of the pump is one of the most important considerations before making a purchase. You need to ensure that it is powerful enough to circulate water in your pond.
For instance, if you have a pond that is 4,000 gallons in size, you need to find a pump with a maximum flow rate of at least 900 gallons per hour (GPH).
Besides the maximum GPH, you also have to think about the head height of the pump. It tells you how high it can raise the water vertically.
So if you have a pump that can offer a maximum of 1,900 GPH, but you are using a 3-foot head, you can expect to get only 600 GPH out of the pump.
It can ultimately affect the filtering power of the pump.
You also have to consider the size of your pond when looking for the best water pump on the market.
It is a must that you match the GPH or maximum flow rate of the pump to your pond size. You also have to account for any elevations in head height.
Avoid buying an underpowered model because it would not circulate the water efficiently. You might notice that some areas of your pond are starting to stagnate. You can also increase the risk of thermal stratification, which can lead to possible fish kills or stunted growth of your plants.
As a rule of thumb, get a model that can circulate the entire volume of your pond at least once every two hours. So if you own a 3,000-gallon pond, you must look for a minimum rating of 1,500 GPH.
Pond pumps differ in how they operate, which affects both efficiency and power.
The first type of pond pump is a direct drive. It features an impeller that attaches to the motor directly to move water. It is common as a submersible option in either small or large water features. However, a direct-drive pump is not the most energy-efficient option out there.
The second type of pond pump is called a magnetic drive pump. As its name suggests, it uses a magnet to turn the impeller. It is also submersible, but not as powerful as a direct-drive pump. Hence, it is more suited for smaller fountains and ponds.
Finally, a centrifugal pump is the most powerful type as it can handle large water features. However, it requires special plumbing or separate housing, depending on its placement. It can also produce a loud noise that can distract or disturb neighbors.
Choosing between these three common types of pond pumps will depend on your needs and personal preferences.
The type of pond pump can affect the installation process. Think about how much effort and time you are willing to spend when assembling the pond pump.
Submersible pumps are among the easiest ones to install. In general, it requires the user to choose a strategic area for the pump where rocks or other materials can camouflage the wire and actual pump. These pumps usually do not need additional plumbing or wiring. Some models will simply have an on and off switch on the cord that automatically turns on when you plug it into an outlet.
On the other hand, external pumps are relatively difficult to install. That is because they require additional plumbing or a pump house to hide the pump. Hence, you might require the services of a professional plumber or an electrician, depending on the size and complexity of the plumbing layout you prefer.
You also have to think about the safety features of the pond pump before buying one. Make sure that the pump is safe to install and use for long periods.
Choose a model that passes certain safety standards, such as UL certification.
You might also want to look for a Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) if you intend to plug the pump into an outdoor power supply. It can prevent electric shock, which can possibly kill your fish and cause injury to yourself.
You can also find impedance-protected pumps handy if your area often suffers from power outages or voltage dips. They can prevent the unit from burning, ultimately keeping you safe.
Finally, you have to remember that you cannot use external and submersible pumps interchangeably. Make sure that you know what you are doing before installing a water pump.
The last factor to consider when buying a pond pump is its warranty. Make sure to get one with relatively long coverage. The longer, the better because it shows how much confidence the manufacturer has over its products. It also allows you to ask for a refund or return of the product if it has defective parts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do pond pumps last?
The exact service life of pond pumps is difficult to say. It will depend on the construction and quality of the pump. However, it can also rely on how often you use and maintain them. Obviously, if you do not operate them as often, you can expect them to last you longer.
In general, though, most pond pumps can last you anywhere from two to five years.
Do I need to run my water pump continuously?
It is best to operate your water pump for 24 hours. Doing so can help circulate the water and increase oxygen levels in the pond. Hence, it can ensure a healthy habitat for your pet fish and plants.
If you do not run your water pump continuously, you increase the risk of having thermal stratification. You might also suffer from lower oxygen levels, especially when the water is warm.
With that said, it is still best to check the owner’s manual of the water pump. Some models do not have a problem with continuous operation. However, others can overheat, so it is best to run them for only a few hours.
Does a pond pump use a lot of electricity?
That will depend on the size of the water pump and the amount of wattage it uses per hour. Most pumps with magnetic motors only use a minimal amount of power. With that said, you also have to factor in the time you intend to run the pump. Since you will be operating it 24/7, it can affect your monthly power consumption.
In general, the larger the pump, the more electricity it uses.
Is an external or submersible pond pump better?
When looking for a pump, you might have encountered both external and submersible types. You might also be wondering which of these two is better. The answer depends on your needs and personal preferences.
If you have a 5,000-gallon pond, it is best to get a submersible pump. It offers a maximum flow rate lower than 4,000 gallons per hour, ideal for small to medium ponds. It also produces minimal noise, suitable for outdoor use. Plus, a submersible pump is more affordable compared to the next type of pump.
An external pond pump can handle flow rates of up to 10,000 gallons per hour, which is suitable for large outdoor ponds. It also uses less energy compared to submersibles. However, since it operates out of the water, it can be relatively noisy. It also requires more maintenance than submersible pumps.
Are pond pumps safe for fish?
Not all pond pumps are ideal for aquatic life. You need to get a specialized model with oil-free motors that are suitable for fish ponds. You also have to pay attention to the specs of a particular product to know whether it is safe for fish or not.
There you have it—my top picks for the best pond pumps on the market today! Each can get your pond water moving to prevent algae, mosquitoes, thermal stratification, and other issues that may arise from stagnant water.
But if I can only recommend a single product, I would choose the Tetra Pond Debris-Handling Pump. It features an energy-efficient pump that can handle water flow of up to 3690 gallons per hour. Additionally, the pre-filter cage effectively traps branches, leaves, and other debris to protect the motor. Moreover, it has a ceramic shaft that can resist corrosion and rust, so it can last you for a long time. Finally, this submersible pump includes a standard outlet size and a hose adapter that lets you attach pump accessories easily.