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In this post, we will take a look at some fish pumps for ponds, for large and small ponds – what they do, how they work, and some of the things you should know before buying one!
Building your own wildlife pond can make are a great addition to any outdoor space. They add an element of tranquillity and calmness that is often lacking in modern life! It also attracts a whole host of aquatic animals and organisms that can and do help the environment besides bolstering our own British wildlife.
A good correctly sized fishpond pump can help maintain the health of your pond by providing oxygen to fish and other aquatic life.
The fish pump is an important component of your fish pond. It’s imperative to choose the right size, type and model for your particular situation before making a purchase!
Fish pumps can help maintain fish health and ensure that fish stay alive in your pond. They ensure a good supply of ‘oxygenated’ water to fish so they don’t suffocate, as well as remove any debris or garbage from the bottom of the water.
Choosing a fish pump is an important decision for anyone with a fishpond setup – but it’s especially true if you want something to last long-term without maintenance issues!
There are many different sizes on offer depending on how much space you have available and other factors. So before buying a pump, make sure you know what size fish pump will be best for your particular situation.
Fish Pumps For Ponds
If you don’t have much time, use the link below to quickly find out my ‘Top Pick’ for the ‘Best Fish Pumps For Ponds’ available for you on Amazon. You can be assured we only recommend products based on our research, product quality, usability, and value for money… ‘Best Overall’- Swell Eco Pond Pump 16000
Last update on 2023-12-04
The fish pump you need will depend on the size of your fish pond, as well as what type of fish and plants are living in it.
Fishpond pumps come in two types generally: submersible and external (centrifugal). Submersible fish pumps are generally for smaller ponds less than 1800 gal (8000 Ltrs) and are located within the deep part of the pond itself.
Powerful water-powered 24-hour rated low noise ‘external’ centrifugal pumps can be used on larger ponds of more than 1800 gal (8000 Ltrs).
Submersible pumps are a practical and economical solution for smaller ponds.
They range in size/flow rate from 50 to 5,000 gallons (230L/23,000L) per hour and are placed and submerged underwater in the deepest part of the water body.
Water is drawn into the ‘submersible’ pump and then pumped through a filter and or piped to a pond fountain or pond water features like a waterfall or similar. Then the process starts all over again with the pond’s water being moved, filtered and oxygenated.
External pond water pumps are one of the best options for a reliable and energy-efficient solution.
These external, centrifugal-type systems can be installed in a dry location near your pond to pump more than 1000 gal (4500L) with ease! Compared to a submersible system.
Centrifugal pumps typically make a little noise and take up more space, but are far easier to maintain.
It’s worth noting when selecting a pond pump, that pumps come with different lengths of cables. Make sure the cable is long enough to reach from the pump all the way through your pond and or water feature so you can ‘connect’ it to the electrical supply, which should be far enough away from any potential water leaks or spills. It is not advised to use extension cables between outlets and pool pumps.
Check the electrical codes for minimum distances required and also requirements for such ‘protection devices’ as earth leakage plugs.
Choosing the right fish pump is an important decision. You’ll need to take a number of factors into account, such as:
For freshwater fish, for example, it’s probably best to choose an external model that doesn’t produce any heat at all (within the pond). This will help reduce the risk of harming your pond’s ecosystem by possibly overheating the water temperature too quickly!
Pond owners must take care to maintain the water’s correct circulation. Choosing an appropriate pump is key, as stagnant or low-oxygenated pond waters can result in algae growth and mosquitoes.
Fish also need a healthy environment with adequate oxygen levels for reproduction; plants also require sufficient amounts of nutrients that are often distributed through the use of pumps.
Choosing a quality fountain/pond pump ensures proper water movement, which prevents stagnation and enables all aquatic life to thrive.
The pump circulating the water of a pond should be able to run several times for a couple of hours (sometimes 24/7 see below)at a time and be able to circulate/move the pond’s total water volume at least once in that 2-hour period, over a height of 1 foot. Pumps are rated in GPH/Litres (Gallons/Litres per Hour) in this respect.
As an example, a pond with a volume of 1000gal (4500L) should have a rated pump of 1000g/per h or 4500L /per h
To determine your ‘approximate’ pond volumes, follow the steps below or simply use our Pond Volume Calculator below
Multiply the length x width x depth (average) of your pond. For every square foot of volume, there are 7.5 gallons of water. So, a pond that has a volume of 50 cubic feet will contain roughly 375 gallons of water. From this figure, you can determine the GPH (Gallon per Hour) of flow rating needed for proper circulation of the water.
Calculating the volume of a pond is reasonably straightforward. First, estimate your surface area in square meters (length x width) and then multiply this by ‘average’ depth for cubic metres. By doing this you will get the pond volume in m3 (cubic meters).
Lastly, you will need to multiply that number by 1000 to give an approximate volume in litres.
If you have water features, filters fountains or other such make sure the flow rates for these features are catered for.
It’s always better to err on the side of caution and get a larger capacity pump than you actually require.
Finally, two of the most important things when sizing any fish pumps for ponds are the ‘maximum head’ height rating and ‘maximum lift’.
The ‘head’ height means the maximum ‘vertical’ height the pump can raise the water above the surface of your pond. This ‘height’ is called “Maximum Head” or “Max Head”. The “Head” is measured straight up from the water level of the pond.
Any horizontal/diagonal flow (in pipes) is then measured by its length and 1’ (30cm) of “Head” added per 10’ (3mtrs) of horizontal/diagonal distance.
To calculate the lift, you need to measure how far the water for a ‘fountain’ for example has to travel from the pump’s outlet location to the top of the ‘fountain’ where the water comes out. So you will need to select a ‘pump’ that lifts higher than that measurement.
In this ‘lift’ example:- if that distance is 24”, (0.6m) then you will need a fountain pump that ‘lifts’ at least 36” (0.9m) high. The “maximum lift” is the maximum height that the pump will lift the water from the source to the outlet.
You will need to operate the pump all the time, 24 hours a day 365 days a year if you have any sort of wildlife in it, For smaller ponds you may get away with running at least 12 hours every day in order to prevent stagnation and bacterial growth.
You can expect a good pump running, 24/7 to last anything from 3-10 years.
This is a difficult question to answer as it has so many variables, which we have explained above. However, we have put together below a few recommendations you may like of some of the best fish pumps for ponds on the UK market.
I hope this buyer’s guide has helped to summarise some of your options in order that you can pick the perfect pump to suit your needs!
Struggling with a stagnant pond? You need the Swell Filter Pump 16000!
Designed in Germany and made for high efficiency, these submersible pumps are perfect for pumping water from your pond into filters, fountains, waterfalls or streams.
With low maintenance requirements and an excellent reputation among their many happy customers, it’s no wonder the Swell 16000 is one of the best-selling submersible fish pumps on the UK market!
These energy-efficient pumps (180w) also rank as one of the best ‘solid handling’ pond pumps out there. These pumps can pass particles up to 1/2in (8 mm) in size through the pump’s large holes in the cage, which in turn allows a more consistent flow of water to your fountain and or waterfall, keeping both the pond and fish healthy.
While these particles may well block and or break some pumps, Swell filter pumps are equipped with a safety ‘thermal cut-off’ switch that temporarily disables the pump to prevent ‘overheating’ and any lasting damage until the ‘blockage’ can be cleared.
With several pump sizes available, Swell pond filter pumps can handle small to medium ponds with maximum flow rates of between 550 – 3700 gal per hr (2500 – 17000 Lph) and maximum heads between 6.2ft – 11.4ft (1.9m-3.5m) depending on the model chosen.
Shipped with a long 10 m cable, (no plug) so joining of cables (waterproof joint) may be required, installers need to connect directly or indirectly (via a plug) into waterproof RCD for a secure safe connection to an electrical outlet.
This connection is in compliance with the UK 16th Edition electrical regulations and such connections should be carried out by a qualified electrician.
The variable 25mm-40 mm ‘stepped’ hose connection provides flexible options as to what size pipe you can and or need to connect for optimal performance to your water garden or koi pool.
The pump’s impeller comes with a 1-year guarantee and replacements are available. However, with a 3-year general guarantee from the manufacturer, customers are safe in the knowledge that they have bought a reliable quality pump.
Complete instructions are provided with every pump purchased. This will provide information on how to connect the pump to your system.
The Oase Aquarius Universal 6000 is a powerful filter pump that’s good for medium to larger installations.
The Aquarius comes with a variety of features to make it more convenient for the end-user, including integrated thermostat protection, 10-meter cable length, stainless steel filter basket and electronic flow rate adjustment.
The Aquarius Universal 6000 also runs almost silently which makes it perfect for nighttime use in households and or in areas that may be sensitive to noise.
Facing a cold UK winter? No need to worry, the Aquarius can be left in situ and is able to withstand temperatures that drop to -20° C without damage to the pump. No need to remove your pump over the winter.
Another great benefit to this universal pump is the fact that it can be installed and set up as a submersible (wet) and or an ‘on land’ centrifugal pump (dry), known as an ‘underwater or dry installed’ pump. A great option if you’re not 100% sure of your needs.
The power consumption (110w) is quite low for a pump of this size, thus making the Aquarius both eco-friendly and cost-effective.
Combine its power consumption with the universal 6000 having a maximum head of 16ft (5m) and flow rate of 1320 imp gall per hour (6000l per hour) and you have a powerful cost-effective fish pump that packs a lot of punch for the money.
If that was not enough the manufacturer Oase provides a 5-year guarantee of 3y + 2y by simply registering your pump. Purchasing this pump would seem a perfect combination of both performance and reliability for keen fish keepers.
There are a lot of different small submersible fish pumps for ponds on the market, but when you need to buy one, there’s one choice you will not be sorry to make, the BAITAI 400GPH Submersible Water Pump. That’s because it has all the features that make it perfect for your pond and your fish.
For example, its hexagon design allows 360° water intake, which is great for catching as much fresh oxygenated water as possible.
The adjustable flow rate means you can control how fast or slow the pump operates so that it won’t disturb any other life in the pond like frogs, while still giving enough oxygenation to keep your fish and plants healthy and happy.
With a maximum head of 7ft (2.1m) and a maximum flow rate of 400 Imp gal/hour (1500 litres/hour), the BAITAI is perfect for smaller garden ponds and fountains. You can further personalise the adjusting knob, to be able to regulate the flow to get just the amount of water pressure you want. However, some users found the pump maximum head was not reached.
Coming with the pump to assist in the water distribution are 3 threaded nozzles, sized 0.5in,06in,0.7in (12mm, 15mm and 18mm). A distribution pipe can be attached to the one that suits your needs.
The pump is economical in its power consumption, only using 30w of electrical energy, making it easy on the pocket.
The BAITAI runs almost silently, due by and large to the 4 x large sucker feet on the bottom of the pump which absorb any vibration through the ground, additionally, the impellor has a ‘ceramic core’ that reduces noise further.
This great little pump is compact, lightweight, and easy to install and maintain while taking up no room at all at the bottom of your pond.
One slight issue many purchasers found is the length of the electrical cord at only 3ft (1m) despite the manufacturer saying it is 7ft (2.1m). This may cause problems with the length of cable required from the location of the pump to the RDC socket outlet. If this needs to be extended ensure this is carried out by a qualified electrician.
All Pond Solutions – 10,000 external pond pump is a great option for those of you looking to improve the health and appearance of a large pond.
The removable strainer basket makes this nicely crafted external pump easier than ever to clean, no matter how large your pond may be!
The 10000 model (there are 2 other models in the range 8000 and 5000) includes high-quality rustproof pump shaft ceramics, that will never corrode over time, unlike some cheaper models on the market that use inferior materials which can leave them destined for failure.
The pump housing has been made using highly durable and good quality ABS materials that provide a non-corrosive and strong pump casing.
This external ‘All Pond Solutions’ pond pump delivers a maximum flow rate of 10000L/h (2200 Imp gal/h) and a staggering 36ft (11mtrs) maximum head, which is phenomenal.
As one would expect from such a beast, it’s a little noisy, and the wattage is quite high at 450w. This means it can be expensive to run compared perhaps to other more expensive equally rated pumps using less wattage. The pump’s electrical connection is via a 10m cable (fitted to the pump). This should be wired into a waterproof/RCD-protected socket outlet.
Some slight drawbacks: The pump must be situated both externally and below the pond’s water line to assist in priming as this is not a self-priming pump.
Some purchases have found intermittent on/off issues with the pump itself and the manufacturer has information relating to a 3-speed pump which if correct would help with usage costs (electric). I have requested further clarification on these issues from the manufacturer.
All Pond Solutions also provide a free 12-month warranty (against damage or defects in material or workmanship under normal usage,) with the pump, which should provide a certain amount of comfort to purchasers.
All in all a strong well-constructed pump for large ponds and a great price.
The AquaECO Pond Pump is an innovative submersible pump designed to be more efficient, quieter and much easier to maintain than other pumps on the market.
The AquaECO is an energy-efficient pump that produces less noise than conventional pumps while using only 30 watts of power, which means it will save you money on your electricity bills.
Due to its low noise output, this pump is ideal for use in residential areas or other sensitive noise-related areas.
This makes it perfect for use in fish ponds, water features and other water-based applications in homes and offices.
Providing a maximum flow rate of 990 Imp gall/h (4500l/h) and a maximum head of 13ft (4m) the AquaEco 4500 is a great little pump that certainly delivers.
Should you require alternative flow rates then the manufacturer has you covered, with 8 models in the range, which offers you even more flexibility to suit your own needs.
With a fitted 10m cable length and specially designed to pump 24/7 the AquaECO pump is especially able to tolerate particles of dirt/debris up to 1/4 – 3/8 in (6 – 8mm).
As with all the manufacturer’s pumps the AquaEco has a high-quality impeller and ceramic shaft for problem-free transport of these dirt particles.
This special design prevents clogging, by providing the maximum surface area for ‘drawing’ water in through the pump guard.
The AquaEco has 2 operational modes, one as a conventional submerged pump and outlet, where water is drawn over the pump guard from your pond directly.
The other is an ‘additional pump inlet’ that allows you to ‘attach a hose’ from your pond skimmer or another water source directly into the pump, this can be used as an alternative inlet for the pump.
As mentioned this is one of the easiest pumps to maintain, with little effort or special tools required. As an added bonus the manufacturer offers customers total peace of mind, with a full 2-year warranty that covers you against any electrical defects.
With a 2in (50mm) inlet and outlet and suitable for large ponds, the Varipump 20000 is a high-performance pump that can be used either in or out of the pond (dry or wet).
The pump’s best feature is the means of control. The Varipump has its own ‘control box’ (supplied) enabling the pump to be adjusted to provide variable flow rates in increments of 1%, meaning you can control the volume of water you need to circulate through your filter or fountain, allowing for greater flexibility.
With this flexibility comes greater cost-savings as users are able to control the wattage use up to a maximum of 190w.
This pump’s maximum flow rate is 4,400 Imp gal/h (20,000 l/h) with a maximum head height of 18ft (5.5m), there are however 3 models in the range that allow for customer flexibility when it comes to choosing a pump size that suits your needs.
One small setback is the pump is not self-priming if used as a ‘dry’ pump, therefore it would need to be installed/placed below the pond water line.
Generally, as with any pump installation, the pump cable length is important, especially for pumps that are to be placed underwater (submersible), as the cable should be long enough (WITHOUT JOINTS) to run from the pump to a waterproof RCD which complies with UK pond laws. This is why the pump is NOT supplied with a 3-pin plug.
The cable lengths supplied (fitted) with this pump are 32ft + 6.5ft (10m + 2m) from the pump to the ‘control box’ is 10 metres, and from the control box to the power source is 2m which makes the total length 12 metres.
The Varipump is powerful enough to run the largest of ponds and filters, in the most demanding of situations. Each Varipump comes pre-wired and is backed by Evolution Aqua’s 2-year warranty on parts and labour, which makes this a very attractive pump to purchase for those with large ponds to filter.
You can see a demonstration of the pump’s variable control capabilities in this video.
The submersible Blagdon Minipond 700 pond pump is the perfect choice for those who want to add a beautiful and tranquil touch to their garden with a flowing water feature.
The powerful yet efficient design provides an impressive flow rate for this size of the pump of up to 154 gal p/h – (700l/h), which allows the pump to produce a maximum head of 1.25m (4ft 1in).
When well placed in shallow areas of larger ponds and pools, for instance, the Minipond pump creates an attractive effect and tranquil sounds in your garden.
The pump has an impeller system that consists of only one moving part consisting of a corrosion-resistant shaft, made of a strong and lightweight ceramic material that will not wear.
This durable pump is protected by a ‘debris cage’ which saves the delicate components from getting blocked up with sludge. The pump is easy to maintain, just clear out the (optional) foam pre-filter and impeller once in a while or as needed!
Blagdon have 4 models in this range with varying maximum flow rates between 700 – 2000l/ph and maximum head heights between 1.25m – 2m
The 32ft (10m) electric cable (supplied) is permanently sealed in the motor body, which prevents an unsolicited electrical connection at the pump. This is a precautionary measure that ensures your safety and protection. This connection should NOT be disconnected.
The other end of the cable must be connected to a waterproof RCD device as required by law and fitted by a qualified electrician.
The pump comes not only with a 3-year manufacturers warranty but 3 fountain display heads (Daisy Super, Single Daisy, Water Bell), and 5 fountain extension pipes.
The Laguna Max Flo Pond Pump 11000 is a high-performance, high-head submersible pond pump that offers the end user good value for money.
Using this technology minimises pump energy usage (max 105w) and possibly provides the user with significant energy cost savings.
With a 10m electrical cable fitted (no 3-pin plug), the Laguna Max Flo 11000 is easy to install and can produce a maximum head of 14ft (4.2m) and a maximum flow rate of 2420 Imp gal/h (11000l/h).
With these maximum rates, the Max Flo 11000 is an ideal solution to use for medium to large ponds (up to 5000Imp gal – 22000l) thus ensuring the pump can be used in conjunction with any type of filtration system.
In reading purchaser reviews though some (a very small amount) stated that maybe the pump underperformed a little as far as max flow rates are concerned. If flow rates are crucial to you, it may be better to err on the side of caution and purchase a larger model.
There are 6 models in the Laguna Max Flo range, with maximum flow rates ranging from 960 – 4280 Imp gal/h – (4400 – 19500l/h) so the manufacturer should have you covered whatever size of your pond.
A couple of other great features of this pump include a 2-level suction system, for maximum water flow across the filter cage, which is able to handle and filter solids up to 0.3in (8mm) preventing rapid clogging and possible pump damage.
In addition, a simple but important feature is the patented ‘click-fit’ coupling design, which allows you to make quick and secure attachments by a simple ‘clicking’ action.
For customer peace of mind, each pump is tested before it leaves the factory making this strong durable pump ready to use straight out of the box. Long term, the pump comes with a 3+2 (5 years) warranty, meaning that new users will just need to register their pump with Laguna online to claim the additional 2-year warranty on their purchase.
To maintain your fish pump for your pond, you should clean the pump and filter regularly to prevent clogging and buildup of debris.
Other things you should also check are the pump’s impeller and motor for wear and tear and replace them if necessary. It is also a good idea to store the pump indoors during the winter months to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.
Yes, a fish pump can be too powerful for your pond, which can cause excessive water movement and stress on your fish.
You should choose a pump that is appropriate for the size of your pond and the number of fish you have. If you have a large pond, it may be better to use multiple smaller pumps rather than one large pump.
A UV clarifier is not necessary with a fish pump for a pond, but it can help to keep the water clear and free of algae.
UV clarifiers use ultraviolet light to kill algae and other harmful organisms in the water. If you have a large pond or a lot of fish, a UV clarifier may be beneficial.
We hope that this post has helped you gain a better understanding of fish pump selection and sizing if you are looking for a quick and easy way to find the best fish pump for your pond.
Above, we have covered some of the most common questions that people have when selecting pumps-such as what size should I get? What features do different models offer? And which brands can I trust in my purchase decision?
If this post has helped you in any way then please share it on your Facebook and or amongst your family and garden-loving friends or anybody who might be looking at getting a fish pump for their pond.
Finally, you can always pop over to our FAQ page to find out more about fish pumps and ponds generally, and a whole host of other answers to your gardening questions and queries.