How To Choose A Fountain Pond Pump

Choosing a pond pump can be very confusing. You'll find a large range of different makes and specifications, and here we'll explain how to decide which fountain pump is best for you and makes the process a whole lot easier!

Fountain Pumps are ideal for adding extra aeration to a pond especially when we have hot weather. Also known as dirty water pumps, they aren't designed to handle solids but, depending on the brand, may have an internal sponge or mesh filter, to protect the pump from damage or blockage. 

All Fountain Pumps will have several attachments and can be used to run filters, waterfalls and pond side ornaments. If you are running a filter, bear in mind it will not be as efficient as a standalone Filter Pump, and a pond vac may be required to remove sludge build up over a period of time.

Also in larger ponds, with fish and in full light, fountain pumps can be hard work to maintain. I would therefore recommend a Filter Pump if you want low maintenance.

What Size Pump Do You Need?

It is important to calculate the capacity of your pond, however, as a guide, for small ponds solely to run a fountain, a 700 - 1000 litre per hour pump is recommended. Refer to the product packaging or instruction manual to see what fountain height the pump will deliver (the 'head' is the maximum height above water level that the pump will lift water), although most fountain pumps can be controlled so you can always adjust the power.

For a medium to large pond to run a fountain and small waterfall, a 1500 litre per hour pump is required as a minimum. Refer to the product packaging or product details to see what head the pump can handle, and bear in mind that the greater the lift to a filter or waterfall, the slower the flow rate, and a bigger pump will be required.

As a guide to maintain a good flow rate, for every 0.5m lift, a 500 litre pump would be required (1m lift will require a 1500 litre pump), you are always better to go bigger though. For larger ponds to run a fountain and a large waterfall, a 4000 litre per hour pump is required as a minimum.


There's no doubt that many people find the calculations and considerations confusing. That's why GardenSite has a dedicated aquatics helpline so that you can speak to one of our experts. See our range of fountain pumps at or call now on 0121 355 7701.