Pumping water keeps your fish and plants healthy
Much like swimming pools, garden ponds require pumps to keep the water circulating. Standing water promotes the growth of algae and creates the perfect breeding ground for insect pests, including mosquitoes, which can spread disease.
More importantly, however, pond pumps aerate the water; that is, they help supply the water with much-needed oxygen. Without oxygen, the plants and animals in your pond will die. In larger bodies of water, oxygen enters through the surface, as well as through natural disturbances like waves, rapids and waterfalls. In a pond, however, the surface area is extremely limited, as are these disturbances.
Additions like waterfalls or pond fountains increase the opportunity for oxygen to enter the water, but these are generally not large enough to provide the level of aeration required to keep pond plants and animals thriving. Pond pumps are a necessary component of any healthy backyard pond.
Types of Pond Pumps
There are several types of pond pumps to chose from, including:
- Solar pond pumps. Environmentally conscious homeowners will appreciate a pond pump that generates much of its own power from the sun. However, most solar pond pumps cannot generate enough energy to aerate an entire pond, so they are best used to create aerating water features, such as waterfalls and pond fountains, or as a secondary pond pump. Of course, if you have a particularly small pond, a solar powered pond pump may be sufficient.
- Submersible pond pumps. As their name suggests, submersible pond pumps are designed to be placed underwater. Because of this, they cannot be seen or heard, so they are ideal for ponds in small backyards or near decks or patios. Submersible pumps can also be used to drain the pond when necessary, and this added function tends to make them worth the higher cost.
- Low voltage pond pumps. Low voltage pond pumps come in two basic voltages: 12V and 24V. Their limited power confines their use to small ponds or a single small feature like a short waterfall. The main reason people choose a low voltage pond pump is if it will be in an area that can be accessed by young children. Of course, some people also choose low voltage pumps to keep their electricity costs down, but these days, a solar pump is a much better option for this.
In general, it doesn't really matter which type of pump you chose, as long as it's powerful enough to aerate all the water in your pond. Just remember that fish pond pumps need to run constantly to keep the oxygen flowing and your fish healthy and thriving, so pick one that is relatively quiet, especially if your pond is near your outdoor living area.
Top Pond Pump Brands
Some of the most popular pond pump brands are:
- WunderFlo pond pumps. WunderFlo pumps have been called "the best in the business" for closed systems. These powerful pumps are great for larger garden ponds and higher waterfalls and fountains.
- Oase pond pumps. Called by some the "market leader for pond technology," Oase makes high efficiency pumps designed to filter heavily polluted water or run larger waterfalls, fountains and watercourses, all while keeping running costs as low as possible.
- Beckett pond pumps. Beckett pond pumps run on wet-rotor technology, meaning they are oil-less and seal-less and don't need a noisy fan to cool them down; the pump is cooled by the water it pumps. Beckett pumps have the efficiency to handle larger particles and can be positioned horizontally or vertically.
- Little Giant pond pumps. Little Giant offers two main types of pond pumps: direct drive and magnetic drive. Both are submersible and energy efficient. Direct drive pumps produce greater flow pressure than comparable pumps and are great for larger ponds or for running two water features simultaneously. Mag drive pumps are compact and energy efficient, but their lower capacity makes them best for use with statuary or smaller water features.