Garden Pond Pumps FAQ

There are different types of pond pumps available and the choice for someone who's new to pond keeping can cause confusion, hopefully my FAQs guide will clear things up for you.

Created by David Coton on Friday, 28th of March, 2014.
Updated on Thursday, 7th of December, 2017.


A garden pond creating a fountain spray.

First Choice of Pond Equipment

A pond pump is usually the first piece of equipment you'd add to a garden pond, it allows water to be moved to a filter and helps keep the pond healthy and fresh. 

There are different variants of pond pumps including fountain pumps and solids handling pumps which have different purposes.

Do I Need a Pond Pump?

Ideally I would say yes, if it's a fish pond then I'd always suggest you have one, whether it's to circulate the water or to feed a filter, it's going to be beneficial. If it's a wildlife pond then you do not need a pump as wildlife such as frogs prefer a bog pond type habitat.

Hozelock Aquaforce 15000 Solids Handling Pond PumpWhat is a Solids Handling Pump?

A solids handling pump is also known as a filter pump or waterfall pump, this is because it can feed either of those usually without a problem.

You'll find that it can accept a larger hose size diameter because it can pump larger volumes of water.

They are able to handle solids, which is where they get their name from, because they are much more robust than a standard pond pump.

What is a Fountain Pump?

Oase Aquarius Pond Fountain Pump.

A fountain pump is a pump which will give you a decorative spray 

of water, normally a 3 tier, 2 tier and bell type fountain jet. Sometimes fountain pumps will come with a secondary outlet which allows you to pump water through a pipe as well as running your fountain spray.

These are great for small ponds with common goldfish but, if you have koi or a large pond, the silt and sludge can clog these fountain pumps up quickly requiring frequent maintenance.

Will a Fountain Pump Run a Waterfall or Feed a Filter?

You can, however they will have a strainer cage which has very small holes, this is to protect the pump and because the fountain head will block if the holes are larger.

This can cause problems with the pump cage clogging in larger, dirtier ponds which is why I always suggest customers keep it off the very bottom of the pond to protect it and prevent frequent maintenance demands.

Will a Fountain Pump Keep my Pond Clean?

A fountain pump alone will not keep your pond clean but it will help to a certain degree. The increased oxygen in the pond water due to surface movement, whether that's from a spray, ripples or a waterfall will increase good bacteria, this bacteria will in turn eat away pond silt. I would always suggest a pond filter with a UV clarifier to keep a pond crystal clear though.

Should I Have Two Pumps?

In an ideal pond set up yes, I understand that cost can be a big factor in equipment choice but the best option in my opinion would be to purchase a solids handling pump to feed your filter, or buy a filter kit which includes a solids handling pump. If you want to, you can always add the fountain pump at a later date if you want more life in the pond.

This means you've got a healthy pond set up and that decoration can be added when you feel like it. Another plus point about this is that you have the flexibility to turn off your fountain wihtout detrimental effects to your filter and the bacteria which is housed in it.

What Size Pump Should I Buy?

I would never suggest buying an underpowered pump or one that's only just powerful enough for the job. A pump which is not powerful enough could be a useless waste of money for you and only cause more cost in the future. If you buy one that only just does the job, clogging due to lots of debris or other issues could cause problems.

For waterfalls I have a guide to Calculating Waterfall Flow Rates.

Oase 1 1/2 Inch Hosetail.My Instructions Mention a 'Hosetail' What is This?

The hosetail is a fitting which is connected to the pump and the hose will push onto, the water is then pumped through the hose. Many pumps come with stepped hosetails, these hosetails allow for different sizes of pipe to be added, when using larger hose the smaller parts can be cut off using a hacksaw.

Where Should my Pump be in the Pond?

With a solids handling pump I'd suggest locating it the furthest distance away from the filter or waterfall, this allows for maximum circulation. Fountain pumps are slightly different because they can't be near the edge or your water will not drop back into the pond. Just remember to allow for easy maintenance access and never use the electrical cable to get the pump out of the pond.

Further Information

Garden Pond Filters FAQs.

Related Articles

How Can I Prevent A Pond From Freezing?

How Can I Prevent A Pond From Freezing?

An iced over pond will have a detrimental effect on animal and plant pond life, although fish and amphibians will survive under a frozen surface for some time, ice traps gases escaping from decaying material and prevents oxygen from entering the water.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Wednesday, 22nd of August, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden In August

What To Do In The Garden In August

After the recent record breaking spell of hot weather, David Coton was glad to see recent rain freshening up the Garden Centre, but the sweltering heat is set to continue and he has these suggestions for some of the jobs that need to be done in the garden during August.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 27th of July, 2018.

Reasons To Choose An Intalogs or Blagdon Raised Pond

Reasons To Choose An Intalogs or Blagdon Raised Pond

There's no doubt that building a pre-formed or liner pond involves a certain amount of hard work, so Nathan James Dodd thinks that a raised version from Intalogs or a Blagdon is well worth considering.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 12th of May, 2016.

How To Transform Your Pond With Plants

How To Transform Your Pond With Plants

A pond is an essential part of the garden landscape, and plants transform their appearance as well as ensuring a healthy aquatic environment. Dan Everton, our Aquatics Supervisor, shares his thoughts on the best plants to use.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Wednesday, 11th of May, 2016.

comments powered by Disqus

Author

David Coton

Partner at GardenSite

View Profile

RSS

View RSS Feed

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

What To Do In The Garden In November

What To Do In The Garden In November

David Coton suggests that there are plenty of gardening jobs that need to be done in November, from why you shouldn't throw away your fallen leaves to how to take care of your vegetable patch.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 27th of October, 2017.

Plants To Introduce Colour Into Your Home This Christmas

Plants To Introduce Colour Into Your Home This Christmas

As winter draws in and Christmas beckons, indoor plants, floral and foliage decorations assume greater significance. David Coton suggests how you can transform your home with the colourful interest of seasonal plants.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 23rd of October, 2018.

How Easy Is It To Keep Chickens?

How Easy Is It To Keep Chickens?

Chickens aren't difficult to look after, all they require is a constant supply of water and regular food. As Martyn Loach explains, you should keep an eye open for any ailments, and they'll need to be cleaned out once a week.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Monday, 15th of October, 2018.

How Do I Construct And Maintain Timber Garden Decking?

How Do I Construct And Maintain Timber Garden Decking?

Timber garden decking never seems to lose its popularity, and why should it, when it's such a useful way of extending your living and entertaining space. Andy Taylor explains why decking is so easy to install and how best to look after it.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Thursday, 11th of October, 2018.