Pond Pumps - A Buyers Guide

Pond pumps play a vital role in maintaining a healthy and thriving ecosystem within your pond. These essential devices provide circulation and aeration, ensuring the water remains clean and oxygenated for the well-being of aquatic and fish life. Pond pumps effectively prevent stagnation, algae growth, and foul odors by continuously moving the water, promoting filtration and oxygen exchange. With various types and sizes available, such as submersible and external pumps, they offer flexibility to suit different pond sizes and requirements. Whether you have a small decorative pond or a larger water feature, investing in a reliable pond pump is crucial for creating a beautiful and balanced aquatic environment.

Safety when installing a pond pump

When planning the installation of a pond pump it is of paramount importance to abide by relevant government and local council laws and regulations. Electricity and water can be very dangerous if measures are not taken. To ensure safety is maintained with pond pump installation, an earth leakage device (RCD) must be fitted. All 240V electrical work must be carried out by a recognised licensed electrician. It is illegal in Australia to operate and power a garden or pond pump by the means of an extension cord.

What flow rate is needed for my pond pump?

Please find below suggested flow rates: TIP! Add 20% to required flow rates to allow for friction loss in pipework.

  • Wall and table fountains............................................200 to 300 L/Hr
  • Small statues up to 400mm high .............................400 to 500 L/Hr
  • Medium statues up to 800mm high .........................600 to 750 L/Hr
  • Large and tiered statues up to 1.5m high.................1000 to 1200 L/Hr
  • Statues over 1.5m and pond cascades....................1200 to 2000 L/Hr
  • *Waterfalls and streams up to 0.4m wide.................3000 to 4000 L/Hr
  • *Large waterfalls and streams up to 1.0m wide …...6000 to 12000 L/Hr

a buyers guide to pond pumps


How do I measure the head height when sizing a pond pump?

Head height of a pond pump is measured from the water level to the highest outlet in the pond. Add together the flow rates required, add 20% to allow for friction loss. If more than one function is being performed by the one pond pump, then choose a pond pump that can give the total flow at the highest height.

TIP! Remember it is easier to throttle back an oversized pump, but there is nothing you can do with an under-sized pump!


How long should the power cord on my pond pump be?

  • 2 pin plug – 1.8m cable: Indoor use only, aquariums and table fountains
  • 3 pin plug – 2m or 3m cable: Minimum length for outdoor use (patios, decks, courtyards)
  • 3 pin plug – 10m cable: Recommended length for outdoor installations; Lengths of more than 2m should be covered by conduit or similar. Cable must not be left tightly wound in a coil

What is the recommended turnover rate of water for my pond?

Please find below the suggested turnover rates that correspond and apply to your needs.

  • Ponds up to 1000 Litres - once per hour
  • Ponds 10001 - 5000 Litres - once every 2 hours
  • Ponds 5001 - 15000 Litres - once every 3 hours
  • Ponds over 15000 Litres - once every 4 hours
  • TIP!  Koi ponds and ponds with high stocksge of fish will require higher turnovers.

What size pipe or tubing do I need for my pond?

Undersized tubing severely restricts the performance of your pond pump. Long runs and high waterfalls may require larger tubing diameters, or multiple tubing. Please enquire if you are unsure or give the team at Water Pumps Now a call on 1300 411 366 for further help with pipe sizing.

TIP! Add 20% to required flow rates to allow for friction loss in pipework.


pond pump pipe sizing

What is dry mounting for Pond Pumps?

Pond Pumps are not designed to be self-priming, so when they are installed in a dry mount or in-line situation, they must have “flooded” suction. That is, the pump must be installed below the water level so that the water gravity-feeds into the inlet of the pump. When dry-mounting, it is also necessary to protect the pump from the sun to avoid over-heating and install a prefilter to prevent particles entering the suction line and blocking the pump. Not all pond pumps can be dry-mounted, please check product information to see if a specific pond pump can be dry mounted. If you are unsure whether or not a pond pump can be dry mounted, please give the team at Water Pumps Now a call on 1300 411 366.

How do I calculate the pump flow rate for my pond waterfall?

This calculation provides you with a recommended guide regarding the flow rate for the height and width of your waterfall, for your chosen thickness of water flow.

Step 1: Choose the thickness of water you want flowing over the top of your waterfall. A general rule for waterfalls is the higher the waterfall the thicker the sheet of water should be. Please use this table below as a guide to the most appropriate flow rate for your waterfall.


pond pump waterfall flow rate calculation


TIP! Remember it is easier to throttle back an oversized pump, but there is nothing you can do with an under-sized pump!


Step 2:  Calculate the suggested flow-rate by using the formula below:

Width of Waterfall (in metres) x Thickness (in mm) x 1450 (constant) = Flow in L/HR.

Example: For a waterfall 1.0m high, choose 12.5mm thickness, the waterfall is to be 0.8m wide.

0.8m (width) x 12.5mm (thickness) x 1450 (constant) = 0.8 x 12.5 x 1450 = 14,500 litres/hour

Step 3: Choose your desired pond/waterfall pump. This pump needs to be capable of providing the desired flow rate from the previous calculation. It is important to remember that the flow is at the height of the waterfall, so you need to look at the flow-charts to find a pump that can give this flow or preferably more. To allow for friction losses etc, in pipework, it is always best to over-specify. Remember if you are finding difficulty with the calculations or cannot find a large enough pump, please get in contact with our team for additional assistance.

Pond waterfall

Pump and tubing sizes required for Waterfalls

Follow the below chart to help you choose the best pump and tubing required for the width and height of your waterfall.


pond waterfall pump and tubing sizing chart

Important to consider:

  1. Pumps specified use typical paramters to give generally acceptable waterfall flow rates. Please check these flow rates suit your application.
  2. Tubing sizes suggested are suitable for up to 5 metres of tubing length for 5 - 10, go up a size. For over 10 metres, please contact us.
  3. Regulating valves should alway bve included in the pipe work setup.

More information about our pond pump ranges

Pond Water Feature Pumps

240v pond and water feature pumps

Upgrade your garden pond with our reliable and robust 240 volt Reefe pond pumps designed to ensure optimal water circulation and aeration for a thriving aquatic ecosystem. With their robust performance, world class technology and quiet, energy efficient operation, these 240 volt pond pumps are economical, quiet running, centrifugal pumps with generous cable lengths, suitable for most pond applications, providing flow rates from 260 to 4000 litres per hour. Suitable for both small backyard ponds and larger decorative water features and will help you to maintain the beauty and serenity of a well-maintained pond.

Low voltage 12v and 24v pond pumps

Enhance your garden pond with our range of efficient and versatile 12V and 24V pond pumps. Reliable operation and energy-efficient designs ensure our 12V pond pumps provide optimal water circulation and aeration for a healthy aquatic and fish pond environment. Whether you have a small backyard pond or a decorative water feature, our low voltage pond pumps are engineered to deliver exceptional performance. Our low voltage centrifugal pond pumps come with a generous 10m cable length and an outdoor transformer for use in fresh and saltwater and are fitted with flow control and prefilter foam (except RP550LV).

240v filter and waterfall pumps

Creating a great visual effect together with providing optimal water circulation and aeration our high performing 240v pond pumps for filter systems and spectacular waterfalls include a prefilter cage, to handle soft solids for filtration with both inline and dry-mounting possible, with flooded suction.

240v fountain kit pumps

Our great selection of fountain pump kit sizes offers everything you need to transform your water feature into a captivating centerpiece. Designed specifically for ponds and water features, these economical and quiet pond fountain kits include a salt water compatible high quality fountain pump with fountain nozzle, including a flow control valve, foam pre-filter and 10m cable.

Solar fountain pumps

Transform your pond into an eco-friendly oasis with our efficient and sustainable solar pond pumps. At Water Pumps Now we offer a wide range of solar powered pond pumps that harness the power of the sun to provide reliable water circulation and aeration. Our solar pond pumps are easy to install, low maintenance, and cost-effective, making them perfect for environmentally conscious pond owners. Enjoy the beauty of nature while reducing your carbon footprint with our solar pond pumps.

World class technology combined with high quality brushless pumps and quality batteries in weatherproof cases, has produced this great solar fountain pump range. Absolute quality with solar panels of superior technology for a great pond fountain.

solar fountain pond pump range Water Pumps Now 2

Reefe RSF solar fountain pond pump range water flow chart

Solar fountain pump with battery back-up

Complete with battery back-up for night time operation and overcast conditions, these solar fountain pumps with battery back-up are designed with superior technology to produce a fabulous solar fountain pump range.

Reefe RSFB solar fountain pump Water Pumps Now Australia

Reefe solar pumps w fountain and battery back up specifications

Solar DC pond pumps

Quality solar DC pond pumps can be purcahsed separately by consumers who want to operate a pump from a DC battery or similar. The performance of the solar pond pump will vary according to the voltage supplied.

In conclusion, selecting the right pond pump is crucial for maintaining a thriving and balanced pond ecosystem. By understanding the importance of circulation, aeration, and proper installation, you can ensure the well-being of your aquatic life and prevent issues like stagnation and algae growth. With the information provided in this buyer's guide, you're equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions and create a beautiful, healthy pond that you can enjoy for years to come.

Floating dam aeration pump

Creating a fabulous water feature, floating dam aeration pumps are ideal for maintaining water quality to larger ponds, lakes and dams. The extra splashing helps to break up the water surface reducing the growth of both algae and mosquitoes whilst the diffuser creates excellent oxygenation.

Reefe RFA240 floating dam aeration pump Water Pumps Now

Shop Water Pumps Now for our comprehensive pond pump range, check out our air pumps and floating dam aeration pumps or contact us for assistance. 


Paul Girdler

Paul Girdler, Managing Director/ Sales
Water Pumps Now Your Online Pump Shop

We welcome your enquiry. Check out Water Pumps Now full range of pump products.