One of the keys to running a garden pond successfully is by installing a good power pump.  Pond water pumps play an important role in the filtration system as well as the overall water circulation of the pond.  They also make it possible to add stunning features such as fountains, water falls, and streams to your pond.

A good pond pump is one that can run for 24 hours a day and seven days a week without stopping.  A good pump is also energy-efficient and able to keep operating costs at a minimum.  But what happens when you choose the wrong pump?  You might end up with a device that is either too big or too small for your pond.  Or worse, you might make the mistake of buying an inefficient pump that uses too much energy.  Either way, the cost of choosing the wrong kind of pump would be very high, indeed.

Purpose and Size of the Pump

Before you buy any pond water pumps, you should identify the intended purpose first.  Do you need it for running a filtration system?  Are you planning to use it just for water circulation or for running a fountain and a waterfall?  Once you are able to answer these questions, you can decide on the size of the pump that you need.

If you are planning to use the pump for water circulation only, then you need one that can circulate the volume of your pond at least once for every hour.  You can calculate the volume of the pond in gallons by multiplying the length, width, and depth with 7.5.

Waterfall Pumps

On the other hand, if the purpose of your pump will be for running a waterfall, then you need to take some more measurements.  How wide and how high will the waterfall be?  Furthermore, what is the length of the tubes between the pump and the waterfall?

The general rule is that for every inch of the waterfall’s width, you need a pump that can move 100 gallons an hour.  Of course, this will also depend on how fast you want the waterfall to be.  For faster flow, you need a powerful pump; for a gentler flow, you need one that is less powerful

Let’s say for example that you have a waterfall that is 18 inches in width.  For a moderate flow, you should use a pump that can move 1800 gallons per hour.  If you want it to go faster, then you need a pump that can move 2400-3600 gallons per hour.  In contrast, it you want a gentler flow, then you should go with a pump that can move 900-1800 gallons per hour.

Aside from controlling the speed of your waterfall, the pump should also be able to deliver in terms of height.  The height of your waterfall will dictate how much tubing you need as well as the kind of pump that you should use.

If your pond has a fountain or a waterfall, then your pump should be strong enough to run these mechanisms and keep the water circulating at the same time.  Moreover, the water should be circulating in such as way that it keeps the whole pond clean.  If the pump is strong enough for running the waterfall but not the whole pond, then you may need to install a second pump for running the pond’s filtration system.

Different Types of Pond Water Pumps

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of pumps, depending on their purpose and the size of the pond.  The major types of pond pumps are as follows:

  • Submersible Pond Pumps —  Pond owners usually refer to the pond pump as “the heart” of the entire pond.  This is because the pond pump, which is often submerged under the water, keeps the pond running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Without a pond pump, the water will not circulate and oxygenate properly, making it hard for the fish to survive.  There are different kinds of submersible pond pumps available.  There is the magnetic drive pump which is compact, strong, and energy-efficient.  The only drawback is that it is usually not good in lifting water to heights of four or five feet.  The direct drive pump, on the other hand, is good in lifting water but is lower in terms of energy efficiency.  Fortunately, there are “hybrid” pumps today that is good in both lifting water and saving energy.  You can also set these hybrids to pump water at low, medium, and high elevations.
  • External Pond Pumps —  External pond pumps works best with large-sized ponds that need bigger pumps.  These pumps are highly efficient and may be placed at a certain distance from the pond.  You can actually use these pumps in drawing water along with skimmer filters.  You can also connect these to waterfall filters as well as spillways.  The latest models of external pond pumps can work quietly and last for a long time.
  • Fountain and Waterfall Pumps —  Fountains and waterfalls are additional features that can make your pond look even more natural and amazing.  If you plan to add such features to your pond, then you also need to consider buying a fountain pump or a waterfall pump.  Similar to the submersible and external pond pumps, they should also be able to work continuously and efficiently.

A Final Note on Pumps

Regardless of the size, purpose, and features of your pond water pumps, the important thing is that these can run your pond for a long time.  In other words, these should be durable and efficient in using energy, too.  If you are planning to build a koi pond, then most likely you will be working your pumps all year round.  If you would like to add a fountain or a waterfall, then you need a pump that can run these features effectively.  In both cases, you need a pond that can keep the water circulation, aeration, and oxygenation going.  And so, you should invest in a pump that is strong, energy-efficient, and able to run throughout the year at minimal costs.