With the summer in full swing, and gardens across the country bursting into bloom, it’s time to take a seat in the yard and enjoy the open space. Relaxing in your garden is one of life’s greatest pleasures for any homeowner.
Watching the birds and the bees flutter around your flowers as they collect pollen is a satisfying experience. As you sit there in awe of nature’s wonder, you might ask what you can do to further beautify your yard.
Installing a pond in your yard is a great way to add another visual dynamic to your garden. You can build a natural water pool for swimming, or a fishpond filled with koi. Whichever you decide on, you’ll have to think about installing a water filtration system to keep the pond or pool clean.
In this post, we’ll review the best pond pumps available. We’ll also provide a buyer’s guide and FAQ section to help you decide on the pond pump that’s the best choice for your new garden feature.
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 Pond Pump Reviews
- 3 Other Best Selling Options
- 4 Pond Pumps Buyer’s Guide
- 5 What are the Benefits of Pond Pumps?
- 6 What Types of Pond Pumps are Available for My Fishpond?
- 7 Direct Drive Vs. Magnetic Drive – Which Is the Better Choice?
- 8 What Factors Do I Need to Consider when Purchasing a Pond Pump?
- 9 Pond Pump FAQs
- 10 The Best Pond Pumps Reviews – The Verdict
Our Top Picks
If you want to start building your pond right away, why waste time going through this entire review? We picked three models to represent the best pond pumps out of dozens of models available online. We have the best overall, best premium, and best budget choices to meet your needs.
Best Pick: TetraPond Water Garden Pump
The TetraPond pump wins our award for the best overall pond pump in this review. This model has everything you need to filter water and power your ponds waterfall. This pump is a solid choice for your backyard pond, filtering between 1,000 to 1,500 gallons per hour.
Premium Pick: Tetra Pond Debris-Handling Pump
- CONTINUOUS-OPERATION POND PUMP: For powering pond waterfalls and streams with rugged debris-handling impeller that can pass debris up to 1/4 inch in diameter.
- CLOG-FREE PERFORMANCE: Large basket minimizes blockage and maintenance.
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: Unidirectional impeller and motor.
- WEAR-RESISTANT: Motor has anti-corrosive ceramic shaft for longer life.
- SIZED FOR YOUR POND: For ponds up to 4,000 gallons.
If you’re looking for the best premium pond pump, this TetraPond model is the best available. If you have a fishpond with plenty of plants, this model is a must. It filters 4,000-gallons per hour, and it’s an excellent choice for filtering debris out of the water, without affecting the performance of the pump.
Budget Pick: EcoPlus 900
Homeowners searching for the best budget pond pump will love the EcoPlus model. With a magnetic drive and high-performance, this submersible pump filters 900-gallons per hour,This model can power your water features and filter your water without any hassle. It’s a good choice for your pond, and it comes with an affordable price tag.
Pond Pump Reviews
Now that you have an idea of the best pond pumps in this review let’s unpack them in further detail. We’ll also look at some other models we think are worthy of battling for the best pond pump.
TetraPond Water Garden Pump – The Best Overall Pond Pump
If you have a pond of 3,000-gallons, this TetraPond model is your top choice in this review. This pump moves up to 1,500-GPH, featuring a magnetic drive for submersible operation. The pump is quiet, reliable, and comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
While this is a magnetic drive model, it has enough power to drive a pressure head. You can use this pump to power your waterfall or water feature without any hassle. The energy-efficient model is easy to maintain, and we expect you to get a 3-year service life out of the machine.
TetraPond pumps are safe for use with fishponds. The sealed magnetic motor is oil-free, ensuring that there are no toxic leaks into the pondwater, causing a fish kill.
- Suitable for pumping 1,000 to 1,5000-gallons per hour
- Energy-efficient, magnetic-drive motor
- Powers your water features
- 3-year warranty
- Submersible operation
- Not the best choice for fishponds with large amounts of debris
Tetra Pond Debris-Handling Pump – The Best Premium Pond Pump
This model is the best choice for homeowners with large fishponds. If you have a pond of 5,000-gallons, this TetraPond model is the best pump for your pond. This TetraPond offers you debris removal from your pond.
If you want to keep your sediment to a minimum and remove algae and leaves from the pond, this TetraPond is the best option.
This model offers easy maintenance, unplug it, pull it out of the pond, and clean. The housing snaps open for easy access to the filter, and a quick blast with the hose are all you need to keep it working optimally.
This model suits 24/7 operation, with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty on the motor and parts. The anti-corrosive ceramic shaft ensures you get a long service life, and the clog-free performance on this model is outstanding.
The unidirectional impeller featured on this debris-catching model works on an asynchronous motor, using less energy to circulate the water in your pond, costing you less for a crystal-clear pond. While this model features a magnetic drive, it’s suitable for driving pressure heads. Connect it to your water feature for effortless operation.
The prefilter cage on this model stops leaves and sticks from entering the 2nd-stage filter. You get easy removal of the debris with simple maintenance.
- A great choice for fishponds
- Energy-efficient, magnetic-drive motor
- Pumps up to 4,000-gallons per hour
- 3-year warranty
- Submersible operation
EcoPlus 900 – The Best Budget Pond Pump
Homeowner’s with ponds up to 2,000-gallons can benefit from the EcoPlus 900 model. This pond pump wins our top honors for the best budget model in this review. The EcoPlus 900 offers the best balance of performance and affordability from any pond pump in this review.
The powerful magnetic induction motor is strong enough to move pressure heads. Connect it to water features like fountains and waterfalls for easy pumping. The 900-GPH motor on this pump is suitable for submersible operation and comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
You get lower power consumption than direct-drive or fixed flow models, multi-use functionality, and a 15-foot power cord for the deepest ponds. The EcoPlus runs quiet and comes with a foam pre-sediment filter to ensure the motor’s long life.
The two-stage filter system is ideal for removing sediment and tougher debris like sticks and leaves. This model is easy to maintain and cleans up in seconds with the rugged, snap-together plastic housing that’s easily removable to access the filter screens.
- Affordable price tag
- Pumps up to 900-gallons per hour
- Submersible operation
- Magnetic drive motor
- High performance for debris removal
- Not suitable for koi ponds and ponds with large amounts of debris
Laguna PowerJet 600
The Laguna Powerjet high-performance fountain and waterfall pump kit contain everything you need to set up your water feature. This powerful pump circulates water around your pond, and it’s suitable for ponds up to 1,200-gallons in size.
The PowerJet water circulating pump comes with a riser and two display fountainheads. The Laguna PowerJet features the company’s patented “Smart Pump Technology,” improving the pump performance and energy efficiency.
The user-friendly operation of the pump offers you an internal, self-regulating system. The pump tracks hydraulics, power consumption, and the impeller direction to ensure you get the best performance and energy efficiency from this model.
The magnetic motor on this model is ideal for driving pressure heads, and it’s a great balance between efficiency and power. We like the external cage design that prevents large debris from entering the pump housing, causing a blockage.
- Ergonomic design
- Magnetic drive motor
- Pumps up to 600-gallons per hour
- Suits ponds up to 1,200-gallons in size
- 3-year warranty
- Underpowered compared to top picks
Little Giant 566409
This model is ideal for use in ponds that require a pump to run water features. The powerful direct-drive motor produces 1,900-GPH, making it a good choice for ponds up to 4,000-gallons in size. The motor of this unit features an intelligent design. You get a unique dual-discharge port design for better starting torque and sustained power while in operation.
The corrosion-resistant design of this model makes it a great choice for submersible use. However, it’s important to note that this pump is not suitable for fish, and the motor may leak oil, contaminating the water.
This pump can move pressure heads up to 20-feet in height and a three-year manufacturer’s warranty. The 16-foot cord on this model makes it suitable for operation in the deepest ponds.
There’s little maintenance needed on this model, and we expect it to be a solid choice for homeowners looking for multiple water features in their pond. The dual design of the pump makes it suitable for running two water displays at once.
- Pumps up to 1,900-gallons per hour
- Suitable for large ponds up to 4,000-gallons in size
- Excellent start torque and powerful operation
- Dual-discharge design for operating two water features
- Max pumping height of 20-feet
- Too large for small ponds
- Not suitable for fish ponds
This professional model features an ergonomic design. The pump housing features a vented system preventing large debris from entering the pump, causing a blockage. The exterior handle on the top of the pump housing makes it easy to install and remove this model from the pond.
You get a magnetic-drive motor, featuring back spitting to prevent the pump from overheating if it starts to clog. Fortunately, clogging is not something you have to worry about, thanks to the mesh barrier preventing debris from entering the motor.
This pump moves 1,250-gallons per hour, making it suitable for ponds up to 2,500-gallons in size. The motor is powerful enough to operate a 5-foot pressure head, allowing a secure and easy connection to your water feature.
The energy-efficient motor is a great choice, with submersible action that allows for quiet operation.
- Pumps up to 1,250-gallons per hour
- Back spitting to keep motor cool and improve the service life
- Suitable for moving debris out of the pond
- Mesh barrier prevents clogging of the pump
- Easy maintenance
This Vivosun model is a top contender for the best overall pump in this review. It has a powerful magnetic-drive motor pushing 3,567-gallons per hour.
You get durable construction with a silicon carbide drive shaft and ring, as well as energy efficiency and silent operation. This submersible model features a mesh filter on the pump housing, preventing large debris from entering the pump where it can cause a blockage.
This pump is an excellent choice for the largest ponds and has enough power to move a 20-foot pressure head. Use this model to drive up to two water features with ease in a 3,000-gallon pond.
- Pumps up to 3,567-gallons per hour
- Suits the largest fishponds
- Filters out debris from the water
- Energy-saving design
- Low-noise operation
- Not suitable for smaller fishponds
Active Aqua Submersible Water Pump
Rounding off our review of the best pond pumps, we have the Active Aqua submersible water pump. This model features powerful mag-drive construction with an oil-free motor for fish-friendly use. The pump housing features a mesh filter to prevent large debris from entering the motor where it causes a blockage.
The Active Aqua comes with a bottom draw adaptor, and it’s the ideal choice for use in hydroponic aquaculture applications. This model is suitable for use in 100-gallon reservoir systems, featuring a capacity of 1,110-gallons per hour.
- Pumps up to 1,110-gallons per hour
- Oil-free motor
- Affordable pricing
- A powerful magnetic drive motor
- Not suitable for ponds over 500-gallons
Other Best Selling Options
- PROFESSIONAL PUMP – VIVOHOME high-pressure water pump equipped with hefty impellers could bring great powerful water flow with a low power consumption; It is designed for multiple applications including koi/fish ponds, water gardens, fountains, aquariums, waterfalls, statuary hydroponic, irrigation systems and water features; It can function properly when submerged underwater and also can be used terrestrially, but long-time terrestrial use is NOT recommended
- PREMIUM MATERIAL – The outer shell is made from epoxy resin with IPX8 waterproof rating, while the shaft and drive ring piece are made of ceramics material (1600GPH/2700GPH) or silicon carbide material (4500GPH/5300GPH/9000GPH); The superior quality and durability of this pump ensure its longevity
- LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION – High-performance magnetic drive motor technology leads this pump energy efficient and simple to maintain; Featured with oil-free and quiet operation, the noise will be controlled between 30-40db
- DIRECTION ADJUSTABLE – Direction of water can be adjusted to 5 different positions to meet different water spraying needs; Output valves fit 2 adaptors that fit 1” and 1-1/4” Inner Diameter tubing and lift height can reach up to 14.8 feet
- THOUGHTFUL DESIGN – A protective mesh shield encloses the pump and keeps out large debris, which reduces the needs for maintenance; The portable handle makes it easy to move for your pumping needs; A pre-wired 20.3 feet power cord makes the pump easy to use; Significantly, using this pump along with VIVOHOME Bio Pressure Pond Filter can make your pond full of crystal clear water
- SOLID CONSTRUCTION: The shaft and drive ring piece are made from silicon carbide material, reduce the attrition and increase the service life.IPX-8degree
- ENERGY SAVING WITH LOW NOISE: Ultra-quiet operation design(30-40db).Less power (100W)consumption with high output(1600GPH/6200LPH) which compared to other pumps. Fits for 264 Gallon Pond
- HIGH LIFT WITH DETACHABLE FILTER: Lift height can be up to 13.7FT/4.2M.This pump can more than accommodate your water features with portable handle and detachable filter
- EASY INSTALLATION: Adjustable outlet direction and 20.3FT power cord, to meet different requirements.Flexible Tube Size: 3/4” or 1” ID. It can be worked with filters (filter system) together
- MULTIPLE USAGE: VIVOSUN Fixed Flow Rate pump can be used as submersible or inline.It’s great for a variety of application in pond, fish tank, fountains, waterfalls, hydroponic systems, irrigation systems. We provide a 1-year warranty for this water pump. If you are not completely satisfied with our water pump or receive a defective product, we are happy to find an acceptable solution. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns
- UL Certified & WATER FLOW CONTROL — Our water pump meet UL 1081standard. An Adjustable Knob to control the water flow rate, so you can get just the amount of water pressure you want. Maximum flow rate: 550GPH (2000L/H).
- STRONG POWER & HIGH LIFT — Max Lift Height: 7.2ft. Model number is SML-630. 30W high efficiency motor for energy saving. Lift height is a max height the water goes up, after connecting the water pipe to the nozzle (Make sure the joint sealed securely and tightly).
- 3 NOZZLES — Each water pump has 3 nozzles for option: 0.51″/0.62″/0.75″. Provide a different water flow as you desired. Threaded fittings make it more stable. Detachable and cleanable.
- SUCTION CUP & 5.9FT POWER CORD — Long enough cord for easy installation. 4 individual powerful suction cups help keep it in place, so you can stick it on the right side of the aquarium, either vertically or horizontally.
- WIDELY APPLIED — Circulate and aerate the water, making it more attractive to your fish or turtles. This submersible pump is perfect for aquarium, fountains, spout and hydroponic systems, etc.
- Waterfall pump; Anti-Clog Technology
- Energy Efficient
- Quiet Operation
- Easy Assembly
- Flow rate of 2300 GPH at Zero foot lift
Pond Pumps Buyer’s Guide
After reading through the reviews of all the pumps, you might find it hard to settle on the right model. In this section, we’ll give you more information you need to know when selecting the best pond pumps.
What are Pond Pumps and Why Do I Need One?
Installing a pond pump has plenty of benefits for the water, the local wildlife, and your yard’s aesthetics. These devices provide circulation in your pond, removing debris and algae while aerating the water.
Without a pump operating in your pond, the water starts to turn stagnant in a few days. Moving the water around and filtering it increases the quantity of dissolved CO2 and oxygen in the water, necessary for sustaining plant and fish life.
After enriching the water with oxygen, you must maintain those levels, or your fish and plants will die off due to changes in the environment. The pump keeps the oxygen-rich environment, providing balance to your pond.
The pond pump filters the water in your pond, removing algae and debris, keeping the water crystal clear. A pond pump keeps the water clean, ensuring you have a hospitable environment for fish and plants.
Pumps also power water fountains or waterfalls in the pond, creating another visual aspect of the pond’s design. You can use dozens of ideas to increase the visual aspect of your pond with a pump.
What are the Benefits of Pond Pumps?
Let’s unpack the benefits of installing a pond pump in further detail.
Improve and Maintain Water Quality
As mentioned, the pond pump cleans the water, ensuring you have a viable habitat for fish and plants. The water quality in your pond needs constant attention, and the pond pumps ensure the entire ecosystem keeps moving.
Without a pump, the sediment accumulates on the bottom of your pond, building a thick layer that’s challenging to remove. Increases in sediment lead to the accumulation of harmful heavy metals and gasses in the water, which are dangerous for fish and plants – and human health.
Control the Growth of Algae in Your Pond
Algae is a tiny organism that enjoys growing in slow-moving or stagnant water. It thrives on sunlight and the right pH balance in the water to spread. Algae can take over your pond fast, resulting in a reduction in oxygen levels that causes a fish-kill or damages your water plants.
A pond pump keeps the water circulating, preventing the algae from forming on the surface where it accesses sunlight. The pump pulls the algae into deeper water through a filter screen, giving it no opportunity to settle or come in contact with dissolved gasses.
Remove Bad Odors from the Water
When water starts to stagnate, it develops an unmistakable foul, fishy-type smell. You’ll also notice the pungent aroma of algae that has a seaweed scent. The water starts to produce this smell due to reduced oxygen levels combined with rising hydrogen sulfide gas levels.
A pond pump keeps the water moving, ensuring oxygen flows readily into the water column. As a result, the pump aerates the water while removing any trace of hydrogen sulfide or seaweed-smell.
Enhance the Habitat for Your Fish
Fish kills due to stratification of the water column are among the more significant problems affecting fish owners. Thermal stratification occurs when the water builds temperature layers, reducing the amount of oxygen in the water at particular layers.
Thermal stratification reduces oxygen, weakening the efficiency of your pond ecosystem. With a pond pump, you mix the water column, preventing thermal stratification and fish kills.
Eliminate Mosquito Larvae
When the summer comes around, mosquitoes are looking to breed and lay eggs. The favorite location for mosquitos to lay eggs is in stagnant water. Wait a few weeks into summer and look in a pond without a pump – you’ll see thousands of small mosquito larvae swimming around, waiting to develop into mosquitos that fly around your property.
With a pond pump, the water keeps moving, preventing the mosquitos from laying eggs. Any eggs that do hatch will have the larvae go through the pump filter, killing them instantly.
What Types of Pond Pumps are Available for My Fishpond?
When choosing your pump, you can go with external or submersible pumps to suit your environmental needs around the pond. What are the differences between the two, and which pump do your need for your pond?
Submersible Pond Pump
If you have a pond that’s less than 5,000-gallons in size, and you want a flow rate lower than 4,000-gallons per hour, a submersible pump is the best choice. You need to install these pumps in the pond’s deepest part, helping you clean the water from the bottom up.
Submersible pumps don’t make any noise, and they are out of sight, making them the more attractive option. We recommend installing them around a rockery at the bottom of the pond to make them invisible from the surface.
This pump comes with a long extension cord connecting to a power supply. The cable connects to the motor, with waterproof sealing to prevent any electrical damage.
Submersible pumps are more affordable when compared to external pumps, but they require maintenance. You’ll need to clean the filter from time to time when the water quality starts dropping. In most cases, the submersible pump will offer a lower service life than external models.
External Pond Pump
The external model is the better choice for large outdoor ponds greater than 5,000-gallons in volume. These pumps sit out of the water, typically in a pumphouse enclosure. These pumps can handle flow rates up to 10,000-gallons per hour, with economical operation.
However, they are noisy, and require more maintenance than submersibles, depending on the volume of water you’re moving through the pump. Since they operate out of the water, external models feature longer service life, and they use less energy than submersibles.
Direct Drive Vs. Magnetic Drive – Which Is the Better Choice?
Pond pumps come with two drive options.
Magnetic Drive Motors
These oil-free motors are suitable for submersible pumps. Magnetic motors won’t harm your fish or plants because they don’t ever leak any oil. These motors use electromagnetic fields to drive the impeller powering the pump.
Magnetic-drive pumps are energy efficient, but they come with a higher price tag than direct-drive models. Still, if you want to avoid fish kills, the magnetic drive is the best choice.
Magnetic drives also provide quiet operation, with easy repair and maintenance. However, these pumps can’t generate vertical force, so they don’t suit fountain applications.
Direct Drive Motors
These pumps are the best choice for ponds with water features. The direct-drive motor can pump against a pressure head, powering your fountain or waterfall.
Direct drive models are cheaper to run than magnetic drive models, but they contain oil. The direct-drive motor features a sealed construction, making it harder to maintain and clean.
What Factors Do I Need to Consider when Purchasing a Pond Pump?
When choosing a pond pump, there are a few factors you need to consider other than drive type and whether you need a submersible or external model. In this section, we’ll look at the essential considerations for your new pond pump.
The capacity of your pump is an important consideration. For most ponds up to 4,000-gallons in size, you’ll need anywhere from 900 to 1,900-gallons per hour (GPH) of filtering power. Another important consideration is the pump’s head height, which tells you how high it can pump water vertically.
Maximum GPH of your pump will require you not to use any additional head height. Therefore, if you have a pump capable of 1,900-GPH, but you’re pumping a 3-foot head, you might only get 600-GPH out of the pump. You’ll need to consider that when purchasing and installing your pump.
The pumping capacity has a direct link to your pond size. You need to match the GPH to the size of your pond and account for any elevations in head height. If you choose an underpowered model, it won’t pump efficiently.
As a result of the underpowered pump, you might find that some regions of the pond develop stagnate pockets or thermal stratification. Low-powered models reduce oxygen levels in the water, leading to possible fish kills or stunted growth of your koi.
For a rule of thumb when selecting your pond pump, we recommend you go with a model that circulates the entire volume of the pond at least once every two hours. Therefore, if you have a 2,000-gallon pond, you’ll need a pump with a minimum rating of 1,000-GPH.
Is the Pump Safe for Fish?
It’s important to note that not all pumps are suitable for aquatic life. If you have koi and plants in your pond, you’ll need a specialized pump suited for fishponds. Look for submersible models with oil-free motors.
The average lifespan of a pond pump is between 1 to 3-years, depending on the model’s capacity and brand. Therefore, the warranty is an essential indicator of the lifespan you can expect from the pump. We recommend going for a model that offers a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty on the pump.
However, it’s important to note that the manufacturer only covers defective parts. They won’t issue you with a new pump due to the usual wear-and-tear of the pump components.
When installing your pump, make sure you do it safely and securely. Choose the right pump for your application. You can’t use submersibles and externals interchangeably, so make sure you know what you’re doing when installing your pond pump.
If you’re plugging into an outdoor power supply, ensure you have the Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) connected to prevent electric shock, death of your fish, possible injury to yourself, and destruction of the unit.
Pond Pump FAQs
How long will my pond pump last?
Most submersible pond pumps have a service life of one to two years. However, the TetraPond debris-handling pump might get you an extra year or two of service life, thanks to its low maintenance requirements.
How many hours a day do I need to run my pond pump?
If you want to keep the water in your pond crystal clear, you’re going to have to run the pump 24-hours a day, non-stop for best results.
Does a pond pump use lots of electricity?
Modern pond pumps are efficient, with magnetic motors that utilize minimal amounts of power. Still, you’ll need to run the pump 24/7, which will influence your monthly power consumption. According to research, your pump could cost you anywhere from $0.08 to $0.15 per day to run. The figure will vary depending on the pump’s size and the cost of electricity in your area.
How long will fish survive in a pond with no pump or filter system?
If you want to have a fishpond, you need a pump to introduce oxygen to the water and clean the fish feces. Without a pump, the water quality will decline rapidly. You’ll have to change the water every other day if you want your fish to survive.
The Best Pond Pumps Reviews – The Verdict
By now, you should have a good idea of the best pond pumps for your garden. If you’re having trouble with settling on a model, why not rely on our top picks? We have a model to suit any pond, in any backyard, and at any price point.
The TetraPond Water Garden Pump is our top choice for the best overall pond pump in this review. It has plenty of power to filter water and power your water features, but it might not be the best choice if you have fish and plants in your pond.
Those homeowners with fish and plants in the pond can look at the Tetra Pond Debris-Handling Pump. This model has a powerful motor, and it cleans the debris out of your pond in a few hours, leaving the water crystal clear. It’s an expensive option, but the low maintenance requirements and powerful pumping action make it our best premium choice in this review.
If you’re looking for the most affordable pond pump available, we recommend checking out the EcoPlus 900. This pond pump has powerful pumping action, and it can power your water feature without any hassle. If you’re looking for the best budget model in this review, with outstanding performance, we recommend the EcoPlus 900.