Not all pond pumps are created equal, and not all water pumps can be used for ponds. Filtration is key in the performance of your pond’s filtration system and at the heart of every pond filter system is a pump. Knowing what type of pump is appropriate for your pond is a difficult decision to make if you are not familiar with pumps. Often times even for those who are familiar with pond pumps it is still a difficult choice to make when installing a pump for a pond system.
I often encounter pumps being used for ponds that really should not be running a pond. Pump manufacturers hire engineers and designers to create pumps that work for very specific applications and the majority of pumps that are built really are not meant for use in pond keeping.
When you are choosing a pump for your pond the absolute first bit of information you need to know is whether it is a POND pump! Too often the use of sump pumps, swimming pool pumps, aquarium pumps, or dewatering pumps are employed for use in pond installations; and every one of these pumps will be bound to fail for one reason or another and possibly with disastrous results.
Some of the pumps I often see being used to run ponds are:
• Sump pumps – powerful and relatively inexpensive compared to a pond pump, the sump pump is an often used, but incorrect choice on ponds. Sump pumps are designed to run intermittent on and off cycles and even sit for extended periods of time without running. Most sump pumps use oil to cool their running parts which if leaked into a pond can be deadly to your livestock. Since pond pumps are meant to run full time with a magnetic drive, the sump pump is likely to fail for your pond.
• Dewatering pumps – great for removing excess rainfall from your swimming pool cover….because that is what they are designed for! Besides giving weak water flow the dewatering pump has a fine screen mesh that will make your maintenance chores occur way too often for your liking as you will quickly find out when trying to use these pumps to run your pond.
• Aquarium pumps – Seems like a logical choice since both relate to fish keeping, but they are very different. The aquarium pump is not designed to handle the solids and debris that a pond is certainly going to accumulate, so the aquarium pump will be in need of lots of maintenance and repair work if used in pond application.

There are numerous water pumps that are available to consumers, and many offer a lower price tag than the pond pump, but in the long run they will actually cost more through maintenance, breakdown, repair, replacement and pond keeper’s frustration. The best choice is always going to be a true pond pump no matter how attractive that lower price tag may be
When choosing a pond pump make sure that it has the features you want for your pond, like the correct amount of gallons per hour (gph) to allow your filters to do the best job they can; you don’t want to blast water through your filters, or not pass enough through your pond filter. Most ponds should have their total volume passed through the filter system every couple of hours for best results. Make sure your pond pump will create the display you want if you have created a waterfall, it can be very disappointing to build a beautiful waterfall only to have water trickle through it, and conversely waterfalls can be too strong sometimes too! Be sure your pump can handle the size and amounts of solids that you anticipate your pond to encounter. Consider pond location. Is your pond under an oak tree? Will it handle those falling acorns in the fall? Do you want a submersible pump or and external pump? How high and far do you need to pump your water? A good pond pump will typically have a 1.5” or larger discharge port, be careful when you come across pond pumps that have ports 1”or smaller, those pumps will be better suited to little displays like fountains or spitters. Be sure to use the right size pipe or hosing for your pump, if your pump has a 2” output, do not hook up a garden hose for it to pass water through, you’ll quickly burn out your pump.
Pumps are an important investment into the success and enjoyment of your pond, be sure you make your purchase with a clear idea of the results you expect from your pump. If you are not sure which pump will suit your pond best, then contact your local pond professional; or hey, shoot ME an email, advice is always free! So pump it up pond keepers, do it once, do it right!


Pond Pumps

The pumps are important investments for the success and joy in your pond, be sure to make a purchase from a clear understanding of the results expected pump. If you’re not sure which is suitable for a pond pump is best, then contact a local pond in a professional.


Very good point, thanks for the comment. A local pond professional can help out any pond owner quite a bit AND usually save them lots of money too!


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