pump and filter

A pond pump for any occasion

Having a good pond pump is essential for any backyard pond. Pond pumps provide water circulation that is essential for maintaining the flow of oxygen in the pond's closed off aquatic environment. If your pond also has a waterfall or fountain, the same pump is often used to function those features as well.

If you have a backyard pond that is primarily decorative in function, with submerged rock and coral garden, then a pond pump is not a necessity. But as long as you have fish and aquatic plants living there, you'll need the water to circulate bringing oxygen into the water. The pump also cleans the water of pollutants, since a pond is a closed environment and the fish will essentially be swimming in their own waste without it. When buying a pond pump, you should pond pumpconsider the following factors to help you select one that will be suitable for your pond.

It should be submersible - while there are open air water pumps, the best kinds of water pumps are submersible ones. Choose ones that are well built. Naturally such pumps have to be water resistant, but also try to find ones with low noise motors. Another set of factors to look for in a good watergarden submersible pump is low energy consumption and endurance. Keep in mind that your pump should be running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Avoid units which may seem decently priced if they're energy hogs. They'll cost you more in the long run.

Pond Size - calculate the volume of water that you'll be running in your pond. A pond pump's water flow rate is measured in gph, or gallons per hour. The basic calculation for an average pond is a 2-hour cycle rate. Meaning, the entire volume of the water in the pond should be displaced through the pump every 2 hours. For example, a small 400 gallon pond requires a pump with a gph of 200. This number changes, however, if you're using a waterfall or fountain in your pond.

Waterfalls and Fountains - decorative waterfalls and fountains are sometimes added to a watergarden to make it more attractive. A pond pump provides the necessary water pressure to operate these features. For waterfalls, the size of the lip of the fall determines the flow rate required from the pump. As a basic rule, every 1 inch of width along the edge of the water fall requires 250 gph. So a 6 inch water fall will require a 1500 gph (250 x 6) pump. This is aside from the calculations for the basic water flow required by the volume of the actual pond.

Multiple Pumps - using two pumps can often have advantages over using a single large pump. If you're operating an especially large pond, the electrical cost of two smaller pumps can sometimes be less than employing a single large unit with similar displacement volume. Also, as mentioned earlier, waterfall requirements for pump strength differ vastly from the requirement for an aquatic pump that's primarily used for water and oxygen circulation. Thus it's advantageous to use a small pump to operate 24/7 for the main pool, and another larger pump for the waterfall that you don't necessarily need to keep on all the time.

Another advantage of a multiple pump system is that in the event of a failure, it might be easier to temporarily re-plump the waterfall pump to provide circulation and filtering until proper repairs can be made.

Warranty and Life Expectancy - for the sake of emergencies, it's best to buy a pump that comes with a 2 to 3 year warranty. Aside from parts replacement and repair service clauses in the warranty, also look for warranties that offer temporary replacement pumps for your use during the repair or replacement periods. Even just a day or two without an operating pump can be hazardous to the inhabitants of your outdoor aquarium.

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