How to Choose a Pond Pump

How to Choose a Pond Pump

A pond is a beautiful attribute of any yard or garden and therefore requires proper care. 

The need for a pond pump is particularly relevant for ponds with plants or fish living in them. The best way to care for a pond and its inhabitants is the pond pump. 

There are several different types of pond pumps, and choosing one is a challenge. Read on to find out how to pick the perfect pond pump for any yard or garden. 

The highly efficient high-flow submersible pump provides high torque trouble-free performance at head heights up to 20′

Table of Contents

What Is a Pond Pump?

Simply put, a pond pump circulates oxygen through the pond water. It prevents the water from becoming stagnant or standing water—a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests.

The pond pump is essential for keeping plants and fish alive and healthy. The pump can also assist with keeping excess dirt out of the pond. 

Below are the different types of pond pumps. 


A submersible pump is a terrific option for those with a smaller pond. In sizeable ponds, this pump can run up energy costs. 

A submersible pump is entirely hidden underwater and does not make much noise. 

They come in a variety of pump sizes, from 50 gallons to 50,000 gallons per hour. A submersible pond pump can also drain ponds if desired.

Some submersible pumps use oil, which can harm or kill fish. Make sure to choose a pump that does not use oil if this is a concern.


The opposite of the submersible pump, the external pond pump is above ground. External pumps are louder than submersible pumps and trickier to install. 

Cleaning the external pond pump is much easier than cleaning a submersible pond pump, and they typically last longer than their underwater counterparts. 

An external pump is best for larger ponds as they reduce energy costs and do not use as much water.

Magnetic Drive

A magnetic drive pond pump is ideal for low-maintenance pond owners. 

It works by creating a magnetic field around the impeller and motor, leading the impeller to spin and create water flow. 

They are the safest option for ponds with fish but are not suited for ponds with a lot of debris. 

The magnetic drive pump is also not ideal for ponds with fountains, as they cannot push water out vertically.

Direct Drive

This pump is best for ponds with fountains, as it pushes water vertically. 

The direct-drive pump has an internal motor that produces water flow. These pumps are expensive to operate, though, and are difficult to get fixed. 

Like the submersible pump, sometimes they can run on oil. Be sure to choose a direct drive pump that runs on another lubricant if fish are in the pond.

How to Choose the Best Pump

The following 4 steps will allow you to quickly decide the best option for your pond.

Step 1: Examination

First, measure the pond in question. The larger the pond, the bigger the pump will need to be. 

Check the depth of the pond, as well – these factors can impact which pump is the most practical to purchase.

Examine the amount of fish and plant life. If there are a lot of fish present, a pump with more power is needed. Fish need plenty of oxygen. 

Step 2: Decide on a Pump Type

Decide whether a submersible pond pump or an external pump is best for the pond. The type of pump will impact the amount of work it takes to install the pump and the amount of electricity needed. 

Magnetic drive-pumps and direct drive pumps are both submersibles but are more resilient than the standard pump available. 

Step 3: Finding the Right Size Pond Pump

Simple math can help figure out the needed size of the pond pump. 

First, calculate the volume of water in the pond. Length multiplied by width, multiplied by average height, multiplied by 7.5 will equal the number of gallons in the pond.

Then, calculate lift height. Measure the distance between where the pump is (or will be) and where the pond begins. A correctly sized pond pump needs to be higher than that measurement.

Step 4: Determining the Level of Power Needed

Determine whether the pond has a pressurized filter or not. If yes, a pond pump that circulates at least once every two hours is necessary. 

If there is no pressurized filter, a pump that circulates once every hour is needed.

Note that substantially sized ponds will use a pump that measures circulated water in horsepower, not gallons. 

Following these steps and ensuring the measurements are correct will make purchasing a pond pump much less stressful. 

Exploring Pond Pump Features

Not all pond pumps are created equal. Many on the market offer unique features and benefits to keep ponds looking healthy and running smoothly.

Solar Pumps

As the name suggests, these pond pumps rely on sunlight to work. A solar pump thrives best in areas with plenty of natural light.

The downside is that solar pumps are not as powerful as electric pumps. However, they do cut down energy costs. 

Heavy-Duty Pumps

These pumps are made of stainless steel and work well in large ponds. Heavy-duty pumps are more expensive than their counterparts but last longer and are more durable.

Solids Pumps

Ideal for environments riddled with debris, a solid pump can sift through detritus without a pre-filter. Solids pumps prevent clogging to ensure circulation is occurring.

These pumps should never be in any pond with fish, frogs, or other aquatic animals.

Utility Pumps

The utility pump is similar to the solids pump but is not as extreme. These pumps use a screen to filter out debris. 

If a pond owner chooses a utility pump, purchase a pump sock before installation.

The highly efficient high-flow submersible pump provides high torque trouble-free performance at head heights up to 20′


Finding the perfect pond pump is not as intimidating as it might seem. 

As long as pond owners are aware of the size of their pond and how much water needs circulating, a pond pump is an easy purchase. 

Remember to check how much energy a pump will use, if a pump is safe for fish, and if a pump utilizes oil.

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