Pond Pump Selection Guide


No water garden, from the tiniest barrel garden to the biggest Koi pond, can thrive without water flow. It should go without saying that a pump is required for water movement.

The pump has been dubbed the “heart of the pond” because it circulates the water, which makes the pond healthier than if it were stagnant. Furthermore, the flow of water via a stream or over a waterfall may give many of the most spectacular elements of a pond.

A flowing, bubbling stream adds charm to a garden, whilst a waterfall may be a dramatic focal point. Fountains offer architectural or thematic interest to a landscape while also aerating the water, which is necessary for maintaining a healthy habitat for fish.

Submersible and non-submersible pumps are the two types of pumps around the globe.

Submersible pumps

Submersible pumps vary in size from little fountain pumps to massive industrial pumps capable of moving enormous amounts of water. There are several pumps available for those of us with average-sized ponds.

My selection criteria for a pump are as follows:

  1. Does it have the appropriate capacity?
  2. What kind of intake and outflow ports does it have?

I want them to be normal pipe threads, not some off-brand or proprietary thread that can only be utilized in the manner that the manufacturer intended. In other words, I don’t want to be forced to utilize just the accessories made by that company.

With standard pipe threading, you can do anything you want with the intake and outflow.

Submersible pumps are suitable for small to medium-sized pond systems since they seldom pump water beyond 1500 GPH.

Non-submersible pumps

There are two kinds of non-submersible pumps: self-priming and non-self-priming.

When the pump must be installed above the water line in the pond, self-priming pumps come in handy.

Non-self-priming pumps cannot move water upward, but they work effectively when the pump is situated considerably below the water line.

Both sorts of pumps are often used in swimming pools, but thanks to the industry catching up with the hobby, there are now a variety of fantastic, very efficient pumps on the market. Pumps have gotten more efficient, and quieter, and have a wider variety of capabilities and accessories in recent years, all to our advantage.


Experts suggest that the water in a pond be cycled once every two hours to keep it healthy. At a minimum, the water should be cycled twice or three times every day. That indicates that a 500 GPH pump or greater is required to push at least 500 gallons per hour through a 1000-gallon pond in order to cycle it in two hours. Other considerations include how much water should be cycled through the filter and what is necessary to make your waterfall or fountain seem good; how high the water should be pushed and how much pipe it will have to travel through.

The more force a pump needs to use to move water, the less water is moved. The phrase ‘head height’ refers to the rise, which measures how high the water must be pushed for a certain application. Every 10 feet of the tube that must be pushed through adds resistance equivalent to one foot of rising, decreasing water flow even more.

When shopping for a pump, consider the gallons per hour for each head height as well as the greatest height the machine can pump. The pump will most likely just produce a trickle of water at maximum height’ (max head). Make sure you select a pump that is appropriate for your water garden. Almost all pumps come with information describing their capabilities.

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