Choosing A Pond Pump

Photo of author
Written By Mark Washburn

Mark has 20 years of experience as a professional pond management consultant.

Pond Talk is an Amazon Associate. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

An artificial, man-made, backyard pond simply can’t operate without a good pump. But what constitutes a good pond pump?

In simple terms, when choosing the correct pond pump one needs to know how much water will be flowing through their watergarden system. If you have a waterfall, a more powerful pump may be needed. If your waterfalls are up hill from the pump, it should be stronger. Pumps are made to pump a certain amount of water at a certain amount of feet with a certain amount of pressure. The volume of water that you want coming out of your fountain and waterfall will help you decide on the size of the pump you need. To small of a pump and you will only get a trickle of water. To large of a pump and you will have water shooting out everywhere.

Pumps work hand in hand with pond filters. Pumps drive water through the filter for proper cleaning. There are number of filter types available and while we won’t go into detail on those here you can find more information on our site, but suffice it to say that good filtration is essential and particularly if you have fish.

The pump will need to be able to circulate the entire water volume of the pond in a reasonable amount of time each day. One example would be that a proper pump in a 1,000 gallon pond should circulate about 1,000 gallons per hour to allow multiple passes through the filter. These recommendations will vary on the filter style and type but it’s a good rule to follow when selecting a pump.

Pumps can be powered by both solar or electrical energy. Solar power is a great option if you live where there is plenty of sun. Generally only very small ponds have benefited from solar power but as the technology improves larger waters can be managed too. For now, electric powered pumps tend to be the best option for most ponds as they provide consistent power to keep the water circulating.

Other options to consider in pond pumps is whether you want or need to use an external model or a submersible style. Submersibles work well in small ponds and you will often find the pump and filter combined together to set at the bottom. Many of these have a small fountain attachment as well. External pumps sit outside the pond and are generally considered a better option for larger ponds. They are easier to access should repairs be needed and they eliminate the possibility of any unwanted substances, such as oil, from leaking into the water.

There are many online stores to pick from when one decides to start searching for what they want in a pond pump. Most vendors have details and specifications available to help and many of them also offer expert advice via email or phone. When it doubt they can help answer questions to get the right fit for your pond.

The primary consideration for the pond owner is to have all of the important information at hand when looking to buy or order a pump. Be sure to calculate out your gallon volume along with details about your waterfall, if you have one or intend to build one. Confirm the type of filter you are using and the flow rate requirements as outlined by the manufacturer. With that information you’ll be able to find the perfect pond pump for your backyard water garden.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.