In general a
pump should pump the total volume of the pond every 2 hours. This means all the
water in the pond is circulated 12 times a day. This is a good balance between the needs of plants, fish
and the biofilter in a pond system. A pond of volume 6,000 litres would
need about 3,000 to 4,000 litres per hour. A flow rate between 700
and 1,600 litres per hour would be fine for a 2,000 litre pond.
If you want an impressive
waterfall you need to work out the
volume using a simple formula. Consider between 250 and 350 litres per hour
of flow per inch (2.5 cm) of overflow lip). Use a hose pipe to estimate
water flow for a waterfall. Waterfall pumps are preferred for the following
reasons ... the sound of
running water, to add character to your water feature, to add oxygen to the water
for fish and the biofilter and to
make use of the soil excavated when you built the pond. A
waterfall with a wide lip will need more water than one with a narrow
An ideal height for a waterfall is between 40 cm and
90 m (3 feet).
Pond pumps are designed to operate in harsh outdoor environments
so buy one with at least 2 years guarantee. Do not use a small water feature
pump for a pond environment.
A fish pond pump
MUST run 24 hours a day
365 days a year without fail.
Sump pumps are powerful and large
and best avoided for most ponds - they stand upright and are thus easily recognised. Sump pumps are designed
for non-continuous running and if used continuously have a short life span.
If you need to run a
fountain in your pond then choose a
make that includes the attachments and a 2 way valve in the box. Fountain
attachments bought later can be expensive.
If you want to run both a waterfall and a fountain make sure your pump is
powerful enough and that the 2 way flow splitter is adequately sized. In general
it is better to run 2 separate pumps.
You must run the pump with the sponge in the suction to prevent the holes in
the fountain blocking with debris and this can be a hassle in warm summer months
when algae might block the sponge and the holes in the fountain.
Avoid the use of
fittings wherever possible.
Always try to use ribbed hose that can be bent
without restricting flow.
Do not use small diameter pipe or tubing.
Minimise the length of pipe attached to your
Use 2 pumps in most
ponds to save money and have a back up for the sake of your fish.
Before you buy a
pond pump compare the total cost between alternative models using a
In 99% of cases you will only want to use a
submersible pump. Avoid external swimming pool type pumps if possible and if
you have a large koi pond system use low pressure high volume pumps like the
Sequence series of external pond pumps.
Do take some trouble to understand
maximum flow and
maximum head to make sure you know how to specify a pump correctly.
Know the basics of how a submersible pump
behaves and how to troubleshoot pump problems.
Always measure the height you want to pump to
from the pond surface and NOT the bottom of the garden fish pond
The running cost of a pump is generally far
more important the purchase price of a pump. Calculate power cost easily as
Amps x Volts = Watts so if your pump uses .2 Amps and the voltage is 220
volts then the Wattage for the pump is approximately 44 Watts. This also means
the pump will consume 44 divided by 1000 units of electricity per hour (1 kWhr =