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Best Pond Pump – Get the ultimate garden pond

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Why you need the best pond pump

If you are just thinking of creating your first pond or are a seasoned pond expert the best pond pump can literally make or break your pond. Our handy guide to the best pond pumps is perfect for anyone looking to build or maintain a pond. If you are looking to plant up your pond why not have a look at my favourite pond plants.

Pumps for garden ponds, fountains or any other water feature in your home serve one clear purpose. They help the water move and circulate. You want the best pond pump you can get to have your pond looking its absolute best.

If you need help building or maintaining a pond then pond academy has a great guide.

Static Water Displays

For a static water display, the best pond pumps need to create an oxygen-rich environment to prevent the apparition of algae and dirt that can deplete the oxygen from the water. If you’re keeping fish in the pond, you can’t afford to not buy a pond pump; otherwise, any fish living in your wonderful new pond will unfortunately die. It’s worth mentioning, though, that for amateur gardeners who just want to create a bog-like environment, not all pond pumps will be suitable for the job. 

Moving Water Displays

For water displays that need to incorporate movements, such as a fountain or a waterfall, the best pond pumps for this task will have to propel the water up and maintain the motion cycle over time. The motion itself will generate oxygen and keep the water fresh, but you need a pump that can push the water upwards. 

So let’s get on with it! Here are the best pond pumps depending on your water display and needs. 

Fountain Pond Pumps

Fountain Pond Pumps

By definition, a fountain pond pump creates a decorative display using a spray of water. You can find fountain pond pumps in a variety of shapes, 3 tier, 2 tier, and bell type fountain jet. A fountain pond pump is a favourite display in a small pond, where it can circulate the water and help keep the water clean. Bear in mind, however, that a fountain pond pump only will not keep your pond water fresh and clear. You also want to combine it with a pond filter with a UV clarifier for best results. 

In large ponds, your fountain pump will require regular maintenance as this type of pump can clog up with silt and sludge. Ideally, you want to keep the pump off the bottom of the pond to prevent clogging as much as possible. Regular maintenance to clear the strainer cage of your fountain pump is necessary, which means you should install the pump in an area that is easy to access without having to pull the electric cable to drag the pump outside the pond. 

Pump Capacity

For a small pond, pick a pump with 700 to 1000 litre per hour (lph) capacity. Large ponds will need a fountain pump with a minimum of 1500 lph. 

You can use a fountain pond pump in a fish pond. But it’s best to avoid water sprays in a bog-type habitat as it will not be suitable for wildlife. Besides the mud and algae are likely to clog up the pump.

Our Fountain Pump Pick
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Waterfall Pumps

A waterfall pump is sometimes referred to as a solids handling pump because it can handle solids without damage and clogging. As such, waterfall pumps are more robust than basic pond pumps. If you’re trying to set up a waterfall, make sure to pick the best pond pumps that can handle solids AND have a high lph performance. 

The most challenging part of choosing the right waterfall pump for your garden is to understand how much water flow is needed. Thankfully, there’s an easy calculation for this: 

Width of the waterfall in cm x 1.5 x 60 minutes

The calculation is suitable for waterfalls of one metre in height or below. If your garden waterfall is higher than 1 metre, you will have to modify the calculations to reflect on the added dimension. 

Working out the flow for your pond

As an example, a waterfall with a width of 70 cm and a height of 1 metre or under needs the following water flow: 

70 x 1.5 x 60 = 6300  lph flow 

Anything lower will get you a trickle rather than a waterfall. Anything too high is likely to cause a torrential water loss into the garden. 

Best For Waterfalls
Oase Aquamax Eco Classic

The Aquamax Eco Classic is the latest ultra-reliable pond filter pump from Oase. Comes with a 5 Year Guarantee.

We recommend a high powered model for the best waterfall features.

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Best Pond Pumps (High Pressure)

High-pressure pumps can serve multiple purposes. They are typically submersible pumps, which you can use for waterfall or fountain features, where an increase in pressure is required for the water display. For waterfalls and fountain displays of 1 metre or more, high pressure pumps are the best option. 

But you can also use a high-pressure pump for home maintenance needs. If you have an artificial pond that needs cleaning, a high-pressure water pump can do the trick and help drain the water. In flooded areas, homeowners use high pressure pumps to drain the water out of cellars and basements. 

Cleaning with a high-pressure pond pump

Similarly, you can also use the high-pressure water to clean the outside of the pond, your patios and other garden paths. Don’t use it directly on pond liners, though, as it will tear through!

Finally, you can also use a high-pressure pump to create an irrigation system in summer or use it with a sprinkler system for your lawn. 

Best High Pressure Pump
Draper SWP IFS

Draper's IFS submersible pumps have been designed for general usage around the home and garden. Ideal for irrigating gardens, draining cellars/basements, pumping wells and powering waterfalls/fountains. They have a ceramic shaft for long life, thermal overload protection and an integral float switch which automatically cuts the pump off when the water level has dropped.

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Water Feature Pumps

Water Feature Pump

Water feature pumps can be submerged or not, depending on the type of water display you want. You can use them to create manageable and self-contained indoors water features, such as a small fountain, for instance. But you can also use them to create an appealing water display in your garden pond. 

It’s important to check the lph performance before making your choice. High-end water feature pumps, for instance, are more suitable for large pond displays. 

Some water feature pumps come with additional accents, such as LED lights or programmable displays, which you can use to set the mood

The Ultimate Display
Oase PondJet Eco Floating Fountain

The Pond Jet Eco Floating Fountain is ideal for larger ponds and bodies of water, lakes etc. These premium Floating Fountains from top German brand Oase make for easy installation and no maximum installation depth. Perfect for creating an eye-catching permanent water feature, or for stunning temporary displays for special occasions such as events, parties or weddings. 

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Solar Pumps

Solar pumps can come with batteries to store up the energy for later use, or without batteries. Typically, you will find solar pumps for small water pond displays or as an oxygenator pump. 

Due to their average water flow capacity of 100 lph to 1600 lph, solar ponds are not suitable for use in large ponds or significant water features. However, they can be utilised alongside other pond pumps, such as additional solar oxygenators for fish ponds when the sun is shining. 

Best Solar Pump
PondKraft Solar Fountain Pump 800

This is a very powerful solar pump. The pump goes in the pond and a 5 metre cable attaches to the solar panel. The battery is built into the back of the solar panel. A ring of LED lights can be attached to the fountain stem, the 4 LED lights illuminate the fountain after dark.

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Finishing up

In conclusion, finding the best pond pumps for your garden will need a good understanding of what you want to achieve. Hopefully, this brief overview helps you to understand the main differences between fountain pond pumps, waterfall pumps, high-pressure pumps, water feature pumps, and solar pumps. 

As a rule of thumb, the choice of your pond pump will depend on the level of water flow you need, the size of the pond, the size of the water display, and the type of environment you are creating. Remember, as well, that even the best pond pumps need regular maintenance to keep the water circulating. So make sure to clean your pump and filter system at least once a year.

Looking for some of the best gardening gear available? Make sure you check out my other reviews.

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  1. It’s exhausting to search out knowledgeable people on this matter, but you sound like you recognize what you’re talking about! Thanks

  2. Please can you tell me where I can buy the water feature you show beneath “water feature pumps” and just above “oase pumpjet fountain”.
    It’s exactly what I’m looking for.
    Thank you.

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