Top 4 Most Efficient Aquarium Water Pumps

If you have pet fish, then you know for sure how important it is to have a good aquarium pump. It doesn’t not have to be expensive as most people assume. It only has to work.  You must however, take time to find that special aquarium pump that works as it should.

Remember there are several brands in the market that guarantee value for money. Remember too there are different pumps with different features. Some are designed to work while fully immersed in the water. They then use the water to cool down. Some are designed to work while outside the water. It all depends with your preferences and of course, the size and design of your aquarium.

Read on to learn more the most reliable aquarium pumps in the market.

1. Maxpect Gyre XF-150

Maxpect Gyre XF-150 Aquarium Pump Review

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Maxpect Gyre XF-150 is my favorite aquarium water pump, it hardly disappoints. It is a sizeable 50 watt pump, powerful enough to pump water into your 75 gallon aquarium. That means it can also be used in a 29 gallon aquarium.


It has been described in most pump reviews as one of the most energy efficient pumps in the market today. That is of course true, given that it consumes half the energy consumed by multiple MP40s.

It gets better with the fact that you can set it at 20% and it will go on to pump water in 200g reef tank without any problems. You can therefore imagine the kind of tank size it can handle once set at 100%. Other pros include:

  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • User friendly functionalities.
  • An aesthetically appealing design.


There are of course, a few downsides that come along with Maxpect Gyre XF-150.

  • Safety – The pump may not be safe for some specific fish. Designed to work inside the water, its blades are not located far away from the fish’s reach. If therefore you have fish species like the rabbit fish which can easily stretch the mouth into the pump blade area, the pump may not be for you.
  • Price – There is the price factor which many consider as quite high.

2. ATO

AutoAqua Smart Automatic Top Off System for Aquariums Review

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From the brand name alone, it is easy to tell that one is talking about a simple pump. Its full name is the AutoAqua Smart Automatic Top Off System.  Like the aforementioned brand, it hardly disappoints. Much of its credit is simply due to the fact that it is a top off system.


Easy to set up – you can finish the set up within an hour or even less. This can be much quicker if you have a sizeable 29 gallon aquarium.

  • Easy to understand manual – This seems to be one factor that has been ignored by most brands for a long time. They simply don’t have time to come up with comprehensive user manuals. ATO stands out though. It comes packed with an easy to understand manual, which explains why it is easy to set it up.
  • Auto Feedback Security – ATO features an AFS technology which guarantees safety while handling the pump. You don’t have to worry about safety features such as non-fill alert or overfill shut off.
  • Easy resetting – Most aquarium water pumps are hard to reset. Not so with ATO. You only have to unplug the power cable for a few minutes or seconds then plug it in back again. It will resume pumping like it’s supposed to.

Price – this is by far the greatest pro that the pump boasts of.


There aren’t many. As already hinted, the pump is one of the best in the market selling for less than $200.

  • Delicate – Handle the pump with care or it will break down in less than a year. This is not a con per se as it applies to nearly all pumps in the market.
  • Can’t work for bigger aquariums – It works well on my 29 gallon aquarium and other small aquarium sizes. It is simply not strong or rather powerful enough for bigger aquariums.

3. Rio 20HF HyperFlow Water Pump

Rio 20HF HyperFlow Water Pump Review

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Go for Rio HyperFlow if you need an aquarium pump that can be easily used for water circulation while operating as the main filtration pump at the same time. There is much more into the pump than just that feature.


  • Efficient – This is the only way one can describe the pumps energy saving capabilities and pump power in one sentence. It can pump more than 1290 gallons per hour. Keep in mind that it is a 60 watt aquarium pump.
  • Multipurpose – Can be used for water circulation and filtration at the same time.
  • Quiet – The fact that it is fully submersible explains why it is quiet. Your fish can thrive where the pump is without noise or any form of distraction coming from the pump.
  • Low heat emission – This too has much to do with the fact that it is fully submersible.


There is no con!

4. Eheim AEH1262310 Universal Aquarium Air Pump

Eheim AEH1262310 Universal Aquarium Air Pump Review

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Eheim as a brand is known world over for quality pumps that guarantee efficiency. You therefore already know what to expect with this pump – Nothing short of value for your money.


  • Versatile – You can run it internally or externally. It does not end there. The pump can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquarium.
  • Quality features – There is for instance, the removable integrated pre-filter designed to make installation easy. There is also a built in twist clamp for easy water circulation.
  • Quiet – Used inside or outside the aquarium, the pump is exceptionally quiet.
  • Low energy consumption.


Can be tough to install and operate for anyone who hasn’t used an Eheim water pump before.

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