What pump do I need for my pond?

What pump do I need for my pond

For a garden pond, the right technology is crucial to ensure good water quality. A pond pump circulates the water and contributes to oxygenation. It also transports water to the desired location. Not every pump has a cleaning effect and improves water quality. You can also combine the pond pump with a pond filter. When buying and installing a pond pump, make sure it contributes to water purification.

Key factors for choosing a pond pump

Several factors are relevant when buying a pond pump:

  • Size of your garden pond
    Select a pump capacity that can circulate the entire pond volume in one hour. If your pond has a volume of 20 cubic meters, the pump should have a minimum capacity of 20 cubic meters per hour. If you have additional features like a pond filter, fountain, or waterfall, your pump should be larger. The height of the fountain or waterfall is another factor to consider in pump size.
  • Water volume
    Another essential aspect when buying a water pump is the volume that can be moved within a specific time. This capacity is related to a specific height and the volume moved by the pump within a certain time. As the delivery height increases, the flow rate decreases. If there is no delivery height, the maximum flow rate is achieved. To ensure enough water flows at the required delivery height, check the pump’s flow chart. For very powerful pumps needed for large ponds and a corresponding flow rate, the power is indicated in horsepower (PS). Solar pumps have low power and are only suitable for operating a pond fountain pump.
  • Safety
    Safety plays a crucial role when purchasing a pond pump to avoid accidents. The pond pump should be operated through an outdoor socket. The outdoor socket should be located at a reasonable distance from your garden pond, with a minimum recommended distance of 1.5 meters. This prevents the outlet from coming into contact with water when using a pump and filter.
  • Price
    Price should not be the top priority when choosing a pond pump, but it’s still essential to consider. Cheaper pond pumps often do not deliver the desired performance, lack safety features, and consume a lot of energy. Only when two pumps have high quality and the same features can price be a deciding factor.

What to consider when buying a pond pump

When buying a pond pump, you should consider some important factors:

  • Consider whether you want to use the pump for a pond, fountain, or waterfall.
  • The pump should be designed for continuous operation if you are using a pond filter.
  • If your garden pond has a waterfall, you need to consider the height of the head above the main pond and the amount of water that needs to be pumped.
  • Consider the width and the water flow rate within a specified time unit for a waterfall.
  • Think about the diameter of the pond tubing.
  • Take into account the distance from the pump to the socket.

Main types of pond pumps

Pond pumps are mainly classified into submersible pond pumps and external pond pumps, known as surface pumps.

Submersible pond pumps are popular because they are easy to use and safe. They come in various sizes and capacities. These pumps are becoming more energy-efficient.
If you need a direct connection to an electrical outlet, a submersible pump is suitable, as it doesn’t require fixed wiring. When buying, make sure the cable is long enough to reach the socket.
The power cable of the pond pump can be installed above the ground or underground. There should be a cover above the socket for safety. The power cable should be protected by a fuse or switch from the main power supply in a robust conduit. Ensure that it is above a fuse or switch.

External pond pumps, also known as surface pumps, are known for their high water flow rates, which can often lead to energy savings. However, they are more challenging to install than submersible pond pumps. An externally ventilated housing chamber is required for the installation, which must be located above the water level and outside your garden pond.

Pond pumps for different purposes

The choice of pond pump depends on its intended use:

  • Aeration pump: Unlike a regular pond pump, it transports air instead of water, enriching the water with oxygen. It actively aerates the pond, which is crucial for ponds with a large fish population. To prevent water from entering the pump’s hoses, it should be placed in a dry area above the water level.
  • Filter pump or circulation pump: A filter pump circulates pond water and enriches it with oxygen. A filter removes dirt and suspended particles from the water.
  • Water feature pump: Water feature pumps are usually combined with a filter and are used not only for operating water features but also for filtration. You should select the pump’s capacity based on the desired fountain’s height and width. The higher and wider the spray effect, the more water the pump must transport within an hour.
  • Stream pump or waterfall pump: You use these pumps when you need to pump water from the pond to the source of a stream or waterfall. Such a pump often has a filter system. Depending on the height and width of the waterfall, select the pump’s capacity.

The right location for the pond pump

Unless it is an external pond pump, it is usually placed inside the garden pond. However, avoid placing the pump directly on the pond’s bottom, as the pump’s operation may be affected by the mud. To prevent the pump from sucking up mud, place bricks in the pond and position the pump on top of them.
If you intend to place the pump outside the pond, consider building a pump chamber. If it’s not an external pump placed above the water level, position the pump below the water level. Connect a suction or pressure hose to the pump and lead it into the pond. You can use stones to conceal the hose connection to the water.


A pond pump is essential, but it should also contribute to water purification and oxygenation. There are different types of pumps to choose from based on your pond’s water volume, equipment, and size. You can combine the pump with a pond filter. In addition to pumps that move water, there are also aeration pumps that transport air and enrich the water with oxygen.

Florian Egert

I am Florian Egert, the owner of pondlovers.com. I live with my wife and two children in Germany in a small village in the countryside.

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