Pond Water Pumps: Complete Buying Guide + 5 Reliable Units Compared

No matter what kind of pond you have you’ll need a water pump. There are many benefits for having water movement in your pond. These include:

  • Water movement prevents stagnation and low oxygen conditions. If the oxygen level drops too low pond fish, snails and other pond life can suffer.
  • Splashing water attracts wildlife. Birds are especially fond of water falls and fountains. The sight and sound of trickling water calls the birds to the pond for a drink or bath. You’ll notice a greater variety of birds in your yard when you have moving water in your pond.
  • Splashing water breaks up the water surface. Still water tends to collect a natural surface film made up of algae, natural oils from algae and fish food, fish slime and other organic compounds. This can inhibit the exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide, harmful hydrogen sulfide and other gases between the pond and atmosphere.
  • Koi and goldfish like to swim around splashing water. They especially like water falls and splashing fountains.
  • The bacteria that make up the biological filter tend to function best when the water contains adequate oxygen. This is especially important in koi ponds filled with large koi that are being fed several times each day.

Water pumps are necessary when using a pond filter. To help you determine what kind of pond pump you need, we’ve created a list of the most common questions pond-keepers ask about pond pumps.

My recommended pumps are the Tetra and the Sequence, keep reading for more!

Are there different types of pond pumps?

How do pond pumps work?

How do I choose a pond pump?

Selecting a water pump for a waterfall

What about pond filters?

How do I connect my water pump to a filter, fountain or waterfall?

Where do I position the pump?

How do I get electricity to my pump?

Do I need to run my water pump continuously?

What about winter?


Recommended pumps for ponds and water gardens listed:

1. Jebao Pond and Waterfall Pump

The Jebao APP-2000 is a submersible magnetic drive water pump.

It is designed for continuous use in ponds and water gardens.

The APP-2000 has a maximum flow rate of 2000 gallons per hour (GPH).

But as we discussed this is at zero head.

Jebao does not provide information on the actual flow rate at different head heights.

The pump inlet and outlet has 1 ½” NPT threads but comes with stepped, barbed hose adapters.

Pros

  • Inexpensive.
  • Plastic construction does not corrode.
  • Barbed hose adapters accept ¾” to 1 ½” tubing.
  • Compact size - 10 x 8 x 6 inches.

Cons

  • No specs on flow rates.
  • Input screen has no foam insert to prevent clogging.
  • Poor reliability.

2. Alpine PAL3100 Cyclone Pump

The Alpine Cyclone water pump can be used submerged or in-line, outside of the pond.

The pump is not self-priming but it can be used outside of the water, below the water level.

The pump comes with a very helpful manual that fully describes how to use the pump and how to take it apart for cleaning and parts replacement.

It comes with a barbed hose adapter for hose from ¾” to 1 ½” I.D.

The pump kit includes adapters for attaching PVC and fountain heads directly to the pump. The pump has a grounded 33-foot power cord.

The actual flow rate at 5, 10 and 15 feet is 2251, 1390 and 479 gallons per hour. Dimensions are 13"L x 9"W x 8"H.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty.
  • Extensive manual.
  • Long power cord.
  • Company provides actual flow rates.

Cons

  • Intake screen does not have a foam insert to protect against clogging.

3. TetraPond Debris-Handling Pump 3600

The TetraPond DHP pond pump has a unique design compared to most other pond pumps.

The outer pump case is part of the intake screen.

The multiple water intake areas This lets the pump run for long periods of time without clogging.

The pre-filter cage prevents leaves, sticks, and other large debris from entering the pump. It also protects the fish from being pulled into the pump.

The impeller is designed to pass debris up to ¼” in size without clogging.

The pump is designed to be submerged in the pond. Outlet size fits tubing 1 ½” or 1 ¼” inches in internal diameter. Flow rates for 5 and 7 feet of head are 2500 and 1800 GPH.

Pros

  • UL-listed.
  • 3-year warranty.
  • Clog-free design.
  • Solid construction.
  • High reliability.
  • Reduced maintenance.
  • German-designed.
  • 15-foot power cord.

Cons

  • Expensive.

4. Aquascape AquaForce Asynchronous Pump with Protective Cage

The AquaForce submersible water pump features a special pre-filter case that surrounds the water pump intake. The benefit is less clogging and reduced maintenance.

The protective pre-filter cage allows the pump to be placed directly onto the bottom of the pond, without getting clogged with debris.

Easy to use cage clips make it easy to open for maintenance without tools.

The AquaForce uses a hybrid asynchronous motor design that uses less energy to run.

The rotational ball output fitting lets you change the pump discharge position to just about any angle. It also comes with 1.5” and 2” multi-hose fittings.

The flow rate at 5 and 10 feet is 2425 and 1840 GPH. The dimensions are 14”L x 14”W x 6.5”H.

Using the same asynchronous motor, the AquaSurge series of submersible pump is designed for use in overflow skimmer boxes. It can sit upright inside the overflow box, taking up less room.

The pump comes with a basic pre-filter screen because large debris stays in the pond and won’t be pulled into a skimmer box. Several flow rates are available in this configuration.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty.
  • Anti-clog design.
  • Energy-saving motor.
  • Adjustable discharge outlet.
  • Easy to take apart for cleaning.
  • Reliable.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Hard water can speed wear on the motor.

5. Sequence 750

The Sequence 750 pond pump is an in-line water pump. It is not self-priming and must be positioned below the water line, outside of the pond.

The Sequence 750 uses a centrifugal-style impeller to pump the water.

Centrifugal pumps are energy-efficient and quiet-running. This is especially important when running the pump near the pond.

The 750 comes with an 8-foot power cord. The electric pump motor is an industrial-grade 1/8 horsepower unit.

The pump inlet has 2” FNPT threads. The outlet uses 1 ½” FNPT threads.

The water pump housing has a drain plug. This is helpful when draining the water inside the pump to prevent freezing damage.

The flow rate at 4’, 8’ and 10’ is 2820, 1860 and 1200 GPH. The pump comes with a 3-year warranty.

Pros

  • Ideal for ponds up to 3,000 gallons.
  • Made in USA.
  • Energy efficient.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Reliable.

Cons

  • Short power cord.

Final pump recommendations

Pond pump quality and reliability varies from brand to brand.

The tiny fountain pumps used for spitting frogs and bird baths are so inexpensive that they are considers “throw-away” items if they break. You may consider a solar-powered pump for small water features like barrels and bird baths that don’t contain fish.

However, if you have a larger pond or water garden you’ll want a reliable water pump that will last for years. A broken pump can result in dead fish, especially during hot weather.

For most water gardens and goldfish ponds under 5,000 gallons the TetraPond Debris-Handling Pump is a winner. The pump has solid construction and won’t easily clog.

If you’ve got a skimmer box the AquaSurge pump is recommended. The slim, upright configuration works well inside most skimmer boxes and provides good flow rates for koi ponds.

If your pond filtration system uses an external in-line pump, the Sequence series of external water pumps is highly recommended. Made in the U.S., the Sequence pumps are a favorite with professional pond and fountain builders. They are durable, rebuildable and have a 3-year warranty.


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