How to Specify Any Submersible Pond Pump ...

It is very important to make sure that you select the correct pump for your specific need. This could save you not only money, but a huge amount of frustration!

A point to note is that pumps for fish ponds need to run 24/7. Aeration and circulation are essential for fish ponds. Fountain pumps can be switched on and off whenever the need be.

Hailea Pump with basketThere are generally 2 types of application. One is a fountain pump where the water is generally clean and the pump is not subject to harsh conditions as in a fish pond. Fountain pumps can run 24/7 but are usually switched on and off when required. Please note that by Law, all outdoor pumps need to have a 10 meter cable. Short cables are for indoor use only.

Pond Pumps that are used in fish ponds are required to run 24/7 and need to be able to handle solids as in fish waste, leaves and other debris that end up in the pond. There are 2 types of pond pumps and they are either pressure pumps or volume pumps. An example of a pressure pump is a swimming pool pump (Contact us if you are interested in a swimming pool pump). Pressure pumps are necessary for pressure filtration systems and where you need to pump water to great heights. A low energy pump will consume 50% less energy while still pumping out the same volume of water. These are the Hailea pumps which are extremely good! Low energy should always be your first option!

Once you have established the type of pump you require you can now determine. from the information below, the strength of the pump i.e. the litres per minute or per hour. Should you require any help please phone Judy or Ken on 083 406 1677. The correct size pump for your application is vitally important!

You need to specify 2 items to select the ideal pond pump ...

Waterfall head 1. The vertical height of the waterfall inlet above the water surface of the pond

Refer to this picture. Measure from the pond SURFACE to the waterfall inlet get the height "H" normally referred to as pump head..

Do NOT measure from the bottom of the pond ... measure this in cms and then use the table below.

I suggest you then add 20% of the measured head to allow for what are known as head losses in pipe systems. For example if your pond pump head is 1 metre add 20 cms to get a final pump head of 1.2 metres. You will use this number in your pump selection.

2. Work out the water volume flow rate for a submersible pump when a waterfall is included in pump system ... You need to work out how much water flow is required to give you a nice waterfall which is a function of the width of the waterfall overflow(s).

Overflow lip waterfall This is how you determine the pump flow required  ... If the stream section before the waterfall splits into a series of smaller overflows (see the picture) add all the mini overflows together to get the true width in inches. In the case of the picture shown you would add the width of the first point to the width of the second point. This width is needed to work out the water flow you will need to specify the submersible pond pump. Now you can use the table below.

If you have no waterfall then pond pump choice is easier ... see below for simple pond pump choice.


See table below for summary of all pump types that can be bought online

Waterfall & Pond Pump Selection Table ...

Check where waterfall height meets waterfall width in the table. This is the flow you require to specify your submersible pond and waterfall pump. 

  Waterfall Vertical Height (H) measured from surface of pond as in picture above ... (cms)
Height >>>>>>>>   30 60 90 120 150 180
  Required Flow Litres per Hour
Width >>>> 7.5 1,325 1,900 1,900 1,900 2,650 2,650
Water 15 2,650 2,650 2,650 2,650 4,500 4,500
Overflow cms 22.5 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500
  30 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500

 Example ... you have a pond with a waterfall 90cm above the pond surface and the overflow is 22.5 cms wide. You will then need a pond pump that will deliver 4500 litres per hour of water at a pumping height (head) of 90 cm. See the box coloured yellow above. If you have a waterfall 60 cms wide and 1.2 metres high you would need 2 x 4,500 litre pumps or a single 9,000 litre pump.  TIP: always go for one size larger submersible pump if in any doubt ..

Pond Pump Selection ... No Waterfall

If your pond does not have a waterfall and you only want  to circulate water through the pond filter then the specification is much easier. Refer to this pond pump selection table below ... NO WATERFALL ... you only need to know your pond volume or make estimate of the volume. It does not matter if you are not perfectly correct

Volume of garden pond ... (litres)
Pond volume litres 1,000 2,000 3,000 5,000 10,000
Pump flow rate litres per hour 500 1,000 1,500 2,500 5,000
Example ... you have a pond whose volume is about 3,000 litres. Then a good pump choice would be one that can pump about half of this volume every hour. In this case a pump of 1,500 litres per hour maximum flow would do a good job for you (see box colored pink above).

On the matter of cost do take note of the pond pump's operating cost .... normally the pond pump operating cost is far more important than the original pump cost and if you should take this electricity cost into account. This is discussed in other pump sections of the site.

Swimming pool pond pumps are a great option for larger ponds if you are interested in this option please contact us... 083-406-1677.

You also get Hydro Pumps for Dirty Water Ponds/Duck Ponds. These are great for ponds where water clarity is uncontrollable like such a case where you have waterfowl such as ducks on your pond. Read more here...