How to Choose the Right Water Pump for Aquarium

How to Choose the Right Water Pump for Your Aquarium

Whether you are an amateur, a novice aquarist or a seasoned one, you will have one primary objective as far as maintaining your aquarium is concerned.

The primary objective should at all times be centered on making sure that you maintain a healthy, vibrant and thriving aquatic environment for your fish as well as underwater plants.

To achieve this objective, you have to ensure that you first get right one of the most essential aquarium basics – the water pump.

You will have to consider and take into account several factors. This may be very hard at first. With time however, you will find it easy.

Start by considering the following:

Filtration type

There are several aquarium water pumps with different filtration systems. Choosing the ideal system can be confusing, even for seasoned hobbyists.

To make the whole process easier, always note that the type of filter one chooses will always dictate the type of water pump needed.

Flow rate

Your fish have to feel as good as they would in their natural habitat. Your water pump should therefore be one that can maintain a reasonable water flow rate.

Find out if your fish require high water flow rates or low water flow rates.

The thumb rule here: Salt water fish always need high water flow rates compared to fresh water fish which thrive in low water flow rates.

Find out what your fish needs then go for a water pump that can guarantee you the idea water flow rate for your fish.


Find out the kind of plumbing that will be needed for your aquarium water pump.

Find out too the head height and such salient plumbing factors that often accompany aquarium water pumps.

Will you have to use a lot of sharp turns and elbows? Where will the pump’s filtration system be located? Will it be in the basement if you have a big aquarium? Will it be in another room? Will it be right next to the aquarium if the aquarium is a small one?

In a nutshell, take your time to find out the total distance the pump will need so as to work on the aquarium.

Additional devices

It so happens that fish, both fresh and salt water fish are extremely sensitive. They can be sensitive to light, noise and of course, temperature changes. With that in mind, be sure to go for a pump that is not too noisy.

But over and beyond that, go for a pump that allows integration of other aquarium devices such as temperature control gadgets as well as protein skimmers, chillers and UV sterilizers.

Types of water pumps

After considering all the aforementioned factors, the next big consideration should be choosing the ideal type of water pump for your aquarium.

This should be easy if you already have all the explained factors on your fingertips.  You will have to choose from the following types of aquarium water pumps.

a. Submersible water pumps

As the name suggests, you deep the water pump into the aquarium. They are run while underwater in a sump of a dry or wet filtration system. The pumps draw water from filter systems. They then push water again into the aquarium. This can be through sterilization units or chillers.

There are of course, upsides as well as downsides that come along with submersible water pumps.

The first upside is the fact that they are silent. They just don’t make noise at all. Then they are easy to install because they do not call for drilling.

There are downsides as well. First off, they are water cooled. That means they can change the water temperature which can then interfere with aquatic life.

b. Inline water pumps

Unlike submersible water pumps, inline water pumps are used outside the water. That means one will need an outlet as well as an inlet hose so as to filter aquarium water. This is the same concept used for cleaning swimming pools.

One of the main advantages of this pumping system is the fact that it is air cooled. With the system, your aquarium will not in any way heat up.

Another advantage is the fact that the inline water pumps feature extremely strong pumping systems.  In other words, they can handle more gallons per hour.

There is of course, a downside. Inline water pumps may be noisy. Fortunately, there is always a solution to this setback. Put the pump in a separate room. If you have a basement, that is the right place for the pump.

Point to note

There are other new aquarium water pumps in the market. With the ever changing technological changes, one can only expect new designs and systems. It should however be noted that as far as aquarium water pumps are concerned, one should as much as possible, stick to reputable water pump brands.

How to Choose the Right Water Pump for Your Aquarium
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How to Choose the Right Water Pump for Your Aquarium
Choosing a right water pump for your aquarium is definitely an important task that needs to be done with utmost care. Here are a few tips that might help you with your aquarium.

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