Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Welcome to our big pond pump test 2021. Welcome to our big pond pump test 2021. Here we present all the pond pumps we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best pond pump for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a pond pump.




Summary

  • Pond pumps allow you to quickly and easily clean and oxygenate the water in your pond.
  • A standard distinction is made between submersible pumps, dry pumps and combination pumps. All types offer a variety of possibilities and variations in pond cleaning.
  • Submersible pumps are the most common pond pump systems and are primarily used to circulate water in the body of water. Dry pumps are mainly used in the multi-purpose area of irrigation and also drainage.

The Best Pond Pump: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a pond pump

A pond in your own garden or on the balcony is a feast for the eyes and relaxation for the soul, if you do it right. Pond pumps are the powerhouses of your pond and regardless of the size of the water body, it is always advisable to install a circulation system.

A pond pump saves you a lot of work in terms of cleaning. In addition, a pump system helps significantly with the circulation of water and thus enriches your pond with oxygen. Something that both fish and plants are always grateful for.

Just as with your pond design, the question of the right pond pump now plays an important role. Different ponds mean different functions and this in turn requires a pump that meets these requirements.

In our guide you will find answers to questions you should have asked yourself before purchasing a pond pump.

  • Why do I need a pond pump?
  • How do pond pumps work?
  • Which pump for which pond?
  • What does a pond pump cost?
  • Maintenance, electricity costs and accessories for filter systems
  • Where can I buy inexpensive pond pumps and filter systems?

Why do I need a pond pump?

You don't necessarily need a pond pump if your pond is small enough and you don't plan to keep anything other than plants. If you value clear water and perhaps even want to keep fish, the purchase of a pond pump is highly recommended.

By constantly circulating the water, the layers near the bottom are also supplied with sufficient oxygen, which reduces algae growth and can prevent eutrophication (silting up). This means that you can completely avoid adding expensive chemicals, which would only have a negative effect on the ecosystem in your pond.

In addition, dirt particles and suspended matter are transported from the pond pump to the filter, which keeps the water clear. So you save a lot of work and don't have to constantly skim off water and clean the pond wall to still be able to see the biodiversity in your pond.

Advantages
  • Facilitate water clarification
  • Easy to install
  • Oxygenate water
  • Easy to maintain
Disadvantages
  • Cost to purchase and maintain
  • Noise from motors can be annoying
  • Need care and maintenance
  • Usually need a suitable location

How do pond pumps work?

The most common pumps in private use are submersible pumps, as they are easy to handle and do not require much maintenance (occasional rinsing of the screen housing and checking the internal housing for cracks or breaks).

A submersible pump usually consists of an electric motor, a pump chamber and a propeller (rotor). The propeller is protected from clogging and wear by a gap in the housing wall. The construction is enclosed by the screen housing, which prevents larger particles from entering and fish, crustaceans and other organisms from being sucked in.

When buying, make sure that the strainer housing encloses the entire pump if possible (i.e. it has a large surface area). If the water passage in the screen is too small, the flow velocity will be too high and large particles such as leaves will be sucked in more quickly; as a result, the screen housing will become clogged and the pump will no longer pump enough water, so you risk overheating and thus a short circuit.

Which pump for which pond?

In order to find the right pump for your water garden, you must first be clear about the function the pump is to perform in your water body and what type of pond you prefer. Familiarise yourself with the site conditions. Because it's not only the size that matters.

A lot of sun or shade influences evaporation and thus the water level and algae formation (which is also not good for a pond pump). Do you have plants or fish in the pond? Possibly even both? Then the circulation of water per hour plays a decisive role in maintaining the balance of your ecosystem.

Submersible pumps, for example, have no place in a swimming pond, as they can hinder your swimming and there is a serious risk of injury in the event of a short circuit.

All these factors play a role when setting up your pond pump.

  • Location
  • Incidence of light
  • Depth
  • Planting
  • Animals
  • Size

Nevertheless, you can divide garden, ornamental or balcony ponds according to their size to get a better overview and thus make it easier for you to decide on the right pond pump.

  • Mini pond
  • Small to medium ponds
  • Medium to large ponds
  • Large garden ponds

Teichpumpe

To decide which pond pump is right for you, it is important that you are aware of a few factors. Which pond pump you need depends on the function you want it to have, how much shade or sun it will be exposed to, and whether there are plants or fish in the pond. Source: Pixabay.com

Mini pond

The mini pond is a very small body of water that you can create both in the garden and on the balcony. Very few very small fish are kept in such gardens, if any at all. A fountain pump is usually quite sufficient to prevent algae formation.

Small to medium ponds

For small to medium-sized ponds (up to ten cubic metres), you can assume a circulation rate (the time it takes for the water to be completely replaced) of once every two hours. Again, you do not need a large pump (5,000 litres per hour).

If you want to keep fish such as koi in the pond, you will have to increase the circulation rate accordingly, which will require more power from your pump. So if you already have fish or are thinking of changing. Make sure your pond pump can handle the extra load.

Medium to large ponds

You are talking about a larger garden pond if the tank has a volume of up to 20 cubic metres. Above this size, the diameter and length of the pipes installed in the device play an important role, especially for submersible pumps.

Curves or bends can also influence the flow rate of the water. The deeper the pump is installed in the pond, the more it loses output. When buying, make sure that the pump's output is appropriate for the depth of the pond.

Large garden ponds

The term large garden pond is a little misleading at this point. Normally you speak of a large garden pond from 20 to 50 cubic metres.

However, given the right factors, small and medium-sized ponds can also be classified as such if, for example, they have a high fish population of koi or goldfish. For such ponds, a pond pump that can circulate up to 20,000 litres is recommended.

Type Cubic metres (without fish stock) Pond pump flow rate Power consumption of the pond pump
Mini pond under 5 cubic metres none or fountains 25 watts (low)
Small to medium-sized pond up to 10 cubic metres 5.000 litres per hour 60 watts (medium)
Medium to larger pond 10 to 20 cubic metres from 5,000 litres per hour 60 watts to 150 watts
Large garden pond 20 to 50 cubic metres from 20,000 litres per hour 150 watts

TIP: If you are not sure how much water your pond needs or has, you can use a filter pump calculator to determine the average flow rate of your pond pump.

What does a pond pump cost?

The price range of pond pumps varies with their intended use. From the simple hobby garden filter system, which you can get for as little as thirty euros, to the professional circulation system, which starts in the three-digit range and can easily cost a thousand euros.

Once you have decided on a type and a specific model, the price is mainly a question of the materials used and the desired/required flow rate of water. Simple submersible pumps, fountain pumps and small stream pumps with a maximum flow rate of 720 litres per hour can be purchased for as little as 22 euros

Combination systems of dry and submersible pumps with delivery rates of 1,000 litres per hour or more, on the other hand, can cost up to 500 euros, depending on the delivery rate. In general, you can assume the following: The higher the hourly flow rate of the pump, the more expensive the device usually is

Maintenance, electricity costs and accessories of filter systems?

The pond pump is only the start of your automated pond cleaning. In addition to the pump itself, you can increase, extend or customise the performance of your pump with other accessories. Recommended accessories for your water circulation filter system are:

  • The filter
  • Care products
  • Solar drive
  • Speed controllers and timers

Teichpumpe

Environmentally friendly solar-powered pumps run automatically without battery or electricity.

The pond filter

The most important accessory of the pond pump is the pond filter. You can choose between separate and built-in filters. However, it is important that the filter is the heart of the entire circulation system.

The pond filter filters and collects dirt and suspended particles from the water, so depending on the size and lifespan of the pond filter, it must be cleaned regularly (at least once a year) or replaced. Tip: You can also build your own filter.

Care and maintenance products

When it comes to the proper care and maintenance of your filter system, no extra care products are necessary. It is sufficient to clean the pump and the filter housing regularly from mud and leaves. In regions with extremely chalky water, however, it is advisable to use a descaler designed for pumps.

Please do not use vinegar or citric acid, as these will make the housing brittle and cause leaks in the long term. To clean the pump, place it in a bucket filled with water and add the descaler according to the manufacturer's cleaning instructions

Cleaning the pond filter is equally important. At least once a year (more often would be better) you should rinse your filter system thoroughly under running water. If you have a filter that is equipped with activated carbon, you should replace it at regular intervals so as not to impair the filter performance.

In addition to descaling and changing the activated carbon, you can inoculate your biofilter (the part of the pond filter that works with bacteria) with new bacteria from time to time to increase its performance; this is especially advisable for pumps that do not run around the clock or are stored in winter.

If you do not want to leave your pump in the pond during the winter, this is not a problem. Clean the unit after you have taken it out of the pond and then immerse it in a bucket of cold clear water. You should put the bucket in the cellar (or where it won't bother you) until spring.

Before you start the pump again, check the filter and replace individual elements if necessary.

Solar drive

A pond pump is a cost factor. In addition to the purchase of the pump and the filter system, there are also the maintenance costs for electricity. How expensive a pond pump is depends entirely on its wattage and active running time. The annual costs of a pond pump can range from 55 to 135 euros.

If you want to avoid or at least reduce such costs, you should consider a solar-powered pump. It is also possible to convert an existing pump to solar. The advantage is that you can do without cables, sockets and other power connections. It is best to ask the manufacturer about the options available to you.

When buying a solar pump, make sure that it fits the size of your pond. It is also advisable to buy one or more batteries (if necessary). This way you can be sure that your solar pump will not stop working even on cloudy days.

Speed controllers and timers

A timer can be a useful accessory for your pond equipment. Especially if your pump does not have to run 24 hours a day. The same applies to the speed regulator with which you can regulate the wattage of your pond pump. This changes the flow rate in the pump, which can have a positive effect on windy days.

Before you manually influence the pump output, make sure that you do not negatively change the balance in your pond. In a fish pond, switching off the pump or reducing the number of watts can lead to a sensitive disturbance of the water chemistry.

Decision: What types of pond pumps are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, pond pumps are divided into three categories:

  • External pumps
  • Submersible pumps
  • Combination pumps

Which is the right pond pump for you depends on your needs and wishes, as there are both advantages and disadvantages for each type and, of course, for each model.

External pumps

External or dry pumps are, as the name suggests, pumps that are installed outside the pond. The advantage is that you can save yourself the hassle of sinking and hiding connections and you won't get into trouble with blockages.

The disadvantage of a dry pump is, as the name suggests, that it has to stand really dry. Most dry pumps do not tolerate moisture, be it from spray or rainwater. You should therefore make sure that your pump is well protected or get a combination pump with a splash water certificate.

Advantages
  • No problems with underwater connections
  • Power cables are easy to conceal
  • No clogging with mud
  • Pond pump is easy to maintain
Disadvantages
  • Must not get wet
  • The noise from the running motor
  • Must stand securely
  • Needs a suitable location

Submersible pumps / Submersible pumps

Submersible pumps have a watertight housing and are designed to be placed in a pond. You should therefore avoid opening the housing, as otherwise the seal will be damaged and the unit will short-circuit on contact with water. There are two ways to hide the cables and connections:

  1. You decide on a combination of floor drain and pump shaft. Dirt particles in the pond are collected via the floor drain and transported out of the pond via the pump. In combination with a skimmer (which is almost always a good idea anyway), coarser particles such as leaves are also sucked off the water surface.
  2. Another possibility is to install a gravity system in which the pump is already installed in the pond filter or behind it.

Tip: If your skimmer is mounted in the pond wall, you can easily hide the connections behind the pond wall.

Advantages
  • The pond pump is not visible
  • Less noise due to running motor
  • Closed circuit in the water
  • Easy to maintain
Disadvantages
  • Can become clogged if there is a lot of mud
  • Defects are difficult to detect when in use
  • Visible cables and connections
  • Can become a safety hazard if the housing is damaged

Combination pumps

Combination pumps are designed for both dry and submersible use. In fact, most submersible pumps also qualify as dry pumps if you remove the strainer housing (please pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions).

The advantage over other dry pumps is that the pump can get wet without you having to fear an electric shock. Nevertheless, you should avoid opening the housing in order not to shorten the life of the device or, even worse, to endanger your own safety.

Advantages
  • Can be used as needed
  • Combine advantages of external and submersible pumps
  • Versatile
Disadvantages
  • The noise from the running motor
  • More expensive to buy
  • Unsuitable for beginners

Pump models

Within the three major categories of dry, water and combination pumps, there are a large number of different pump models such as tube pumps (mostly filter pumps), fountain pumps or stream pumps. Each model is closely linked to its function in the water cycle of your pond.

Fountain pumps, for example, are particularly suitable for water features in the pond, whereby they contribute at least partially to the aeration of the surface water. However, they are not suitable for large-scale circulation in the pond or as dirt particle filters for clear water.

Stream pumps are powerful and, depending on their size, they can pump up to 1,000 litres per hour to the source (the stream), which means they play a major role in aerating your pond. However, even these pumps are susceptible to clogging when heavily polluted.

The tube pumps, usually filter pumps, are available in different versions, depending on your needs. They are mainly used if you value clear water in your pond. However, they only have a low flow rate or delivery head, so although they are ecologically very effective, they offer little in the way of entertainment.

Type Delivery rate Delivery head Filter effect
Fountain pump low to high medium to high limited
Stream pump high to very high high to very high not at all to limited
Tube / filter pump low to medium low high to very high

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate pond pumps

Many factors play a role when buying a pond pump. To make your decision easier, we have summarised the most important points for you when buying a pond pump.

  • Flow rate per hour
  • Maximum head
  • Power consumption and input voltage
  • Pumping of coarse debris
  • Filter
  • Water features
  • Watercourse
  • Stepless inflow/flow control
  • Diameter for hose connection
  • Protective features
  • Cable length
  • Dimension (LxWxH)
  • Weight
  • Noise

Flow rate per hour

By now you know what your pump has to be able to do and what you want to use it for. Therefore, it is important that you first look at the flow rate of litres per hour before buying. The more water your pump pumps per hour, the higher your circulation rate in the pond. Oxygenation and dirt pick-up depend mainly on this criterion.

Maximum head

The maximum delivery height of a pond pump tells you how low your pump must be so that the pump water reaches the filter or, in the case of fountains, the fountain. At this point it is also advisable to look at the delivery pressure of the pump.

In a small pond, too high a pressure at a low head can do more harm than good. Conversely, a low pressure at a high head has no effect on the water circuit.

Solar Teichpumpe

There are various nozzle attachments for a beautiful water feature in the garden pond. Connecting riser pipes to a hose for a fountain is also possible.

Power consumption and input voltage

The rated power consumption of your pump is usually given in watts and indirectly reflects the electricity costs you incur when the pump is in operation. As always, the higher the wattage, the higher the maintenance costs.

Nevertheless, you should not be put off by higher wattage figures. They are also an indicator of the performance of your pump. If, for example, you are thinking of expanding your pond at a later date, you do not necessarily have to buy a new pump.

The input voltage is the volt rating of your pump. Just as with the power consumption, it is necessary for the pump to start operating at all. With solar pond pumps, the power consumption and input voltage are generally lower than with mechanical pumps. However, make sure that the solar panel is large enough to generate the required current.

It is also a good idea to buy an additional battery, as the values given by the manufacturers usually only refer to the maximum output on sunny days. So it can happen that your pump does not reach the required amount of current/intensity when the sun is not shining.

Pumping coarse dirt

The pumping of coarse dirt says something about the suction power of the pond pump. In the case of pond pumps with low pressure or a weak motor, it can happen that larger dirt particles in the water are not sucked in at all and thus not filtered. This reduces the effectiveness of your pump and jeopardises the benefits of the device for your pond.

Filter

If you plan to integrate a filter system into your pond, make sure that the pond pump is designed for it. There are pond pumps with integrated flow filters, which can or must be combined with other filter elements in a circulation system.

Other pond pumps are primarily designed for their visual appearance or flow rate. Here you should look very carefully at the manufacturer's specifications, not all of these pumps have a connection for a separate filter system.

Water features

If, in addition to water treatment in the pond, you also want to install fountains etc. as a water feature, it is advisable to look for sets with various attachable nozzles, especially in the case of underwater pumps.

Of course, you can also buy these pond accessories separately later. Check beforehand whether your pond pump can produce a fountain at all or whether the pump is designed for water features (connections, for example).

Springbrunnenpumpe

A fountain pump with telescopic extension makes for unique water features.

Stream

For a watercourse, you need a filter pump with the appropriate head. The pressure also plays a role. If you don't want to buy a pond pump that is only designed for streams, pay attention to the flow rate and head.

Powerful pumps are almost always suitable for small to medium-sized streams. Most manufacturers specify the possible functions of their pond pumps before purchase.

Stageless inflow/flow control

The inflow or flow control is not a standard feature of pond pumps, but it is a useful addition that you should not ignore. With an integrated flow control, you can manually determine how much or little water should flow through your pump and thus actively influence the circulation rate in your pond.

The inflow control allows you to determine how much water your pump should take in. With special adapters it is possible with professional pumps to divide the water flow and to connect a UVC clarifier in addition to a fountain (example)

Diameter for hose connection

Connection and waste water hoses are not automatically included with the pond pump. When buying your circulation system, you should therefore take a close look at the connection diameters to avoid a rude awakening. Pay attention to the unit of measurement. Many pond pump manufacturers do not state the diameter in millimetres, but in inches (standard). Make sure you convert correctly.

Protective features

The manufacturer uses protective properties to indicate the load capacity of the pond pump. Almost all pond pumps have overvoltage protection or dry-running protection (for submersible pumps) as standard. Thermal protection can also be added.

Check these points carefully. It can happen that a manufacturer speaks of thermal protection, but means the legal overvoltage protection. The thermal protection prevents the motor from overheating.

In addition, some pond pumps offer frost protection. This makes sense if your pond pump should or must also run in winter. Nevertheless, you should clarify beforehand how cold and deep the pond pump will be; even integrated frost protection cannot fundamentally prevent seals from bursting due to ice.

Cable length

When it comes to cable length, make sure you know which cable you are talking about. With solar pumps, for example, it is obvious that a connection cable is meant. With mechanical pond pumps, the cable length should refer to the power cable and not a separate connecting cable. It is also useful to know whether cables can be shortened. However, never do this alone unless you are an electrician.

Dimensions (LxWxH)

The dimensions, length times width times height, are an important factor, especially when buying online. Your fountain pump for the water bowl on the balcony can quickly turn out to be an oversized technical monster that barely fits through the door.

Fortunately, the dimensions are included on most sites or can be quickly researched using the model number. To be on the safe side, measure your pond again to estimate the size of your pond pump.

Weight

The weight of your pond pump also plays a decisive role. If you have a small pond, you should not use equipment that is too heavy so as not to damage the pond shell. Light devices, on the other hand, often have to be attached separately to ensure a secure stand.

Volume

Every device, whether electronic or solar, makes noise (running motors, rotor movement, etc.). When background noise becomes noise is a purely subjective perception, which is why few facts can be found on the loudness of pond pumps.

The size and performance of a pond pump, as well as the depth and size of the water body, have a significant influence on the potential noise pollution. It is best to inform yourself about the noise level of a pond pump in forums or through testimonials before you buy it.

Facts worth knowing about pond pumps

In our trivia section you will find facts worth knowing about pond care and pond pumps and one or two ideas for pond design and the use of your pond pump. The most important thing is that you enjoy your water garden.

  • Pond pumps as creative garden design?
  • Build your own pond filter

Pond pumps as creative garden design

A pond pump is not only a helper when it comes to pond cleaning, but it can also turn your pond into a real eye-catcher in your garden or on your balcony.

Of course, fountain pumps are at the top of the list. Fountains, volcanoes or just a lighter swirl of water just below the surface. Fountains offer every possible variation of water features. Depending on the pump capacity and delivery height, you can regulate the fountain by simply changing the attachment for the pump's ascending pipe.

Another way to show off your pond is to use lighting. You can use anything from underwater to solar spots at the water's edge. Plants or decorative elements on or in the pond can be shown off to their best advantage.

If this is too clumsy for you, you can also combine water features and pond lighting with each other. In this way, you can create your own water feature and light show.

Build your own pond filter

Many pond pumps come with a special filter system, which is either included in the price or has to be bought separately. Either way, the pond needs a filter in addition to the pump, and that costs money.

However, you can also build a filter yourself. There are two methods that work well.

  • The rain barrel pond filter
  • The plant filter

The rain barrel pond filter

The rain barrel filter is made of five barrels (they do not have to be rain barrels). If you don't want to prepare your barrels, you can find prefabricated containers in almost any hardware store from which you can construct your pond filter.

The plant filter

If the rain barrel filter system is too bulky for you or you simply don't have the space for such a large pond filter, you can also opt for the plant filter.

With a plant filter you create a natural balance in your pond instead of just copying it. The advantage of this is that you have almost no more work to do with your water. A disadvantage is that the water is not necessarily as clear as it is with a mechanical filter system.

This filter system is one hundred percent ecological and almost invisible. However, you should already be familiar with pond design and pond plants. If this is not the case, it is best to seek help from a professional. The plant filter is often used for swimming ponds. However, it is suitable for any type of standing water.

Picture credits: Pixabay.com / Skitterphoto

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