Choosing the Right Pond Pump
Author: Terry Newhaven
When it comes to anything mechanical, some people like to get the biggest, baddest product, so certain that it'll be the best for them. Little do they realize that they'll probably end up spending way too much money and end up getting something with features that they don't need and probably won't ever use. In order to avoid being this woeful person, save yourself some worry and money and consider these two factors when choosing a pond pump for your pond. Keep in mind that water in your pond should circulate every hour.
Maximum Head Height
The maximum head height is the maximum height that a pump can push water. This figure is useful if you plan on pumping water through a waterfall or through separate parts of a full filtration system (which is suggested in order to keep your pond as clean as possible). Because head height is important, factors that affect head height become important as well:
- Tubing: One foot of head is needed per 10 feet of tubing that lies between the pump and the waterfall, plus an additional one foot of head for each elbow, or corner in the tubing. For example, if your pump is 30 feet away from your waterfall, you should calculate 3 feet of head. Remember to add an additional foot for each elbow.
- Location of waterfall: Each foot of height of your waterfall equals one foot of heading that you need. For instance, if your waterfall is 6 feet above your pump, you need 6 feet of head.
- Filter and equipment: Filters and UV clarifiers add head height because they make the system use more pressure to push the water through. Calculate 2 feet of head per extra piece of equipment. For example, you have a skimmer and a filter, so you need 4 feet of head.
Altogether (3 feet for tubing, 6 feet for the waterfall height and 4 feet for the extra equipment), you need a pump that can handle push water a total head height of 13 feet.
Gallons Per Hour (GPH)
In order to ensure sufficient and efficient circulation, know how many gallons your pond is. This number is essential to remember because if you get a pump that is not capable of fully circulating the water in your pond, you'll experience problems with stagnation and low oxygen levels, which are both just what algae need to grow. For the sake of example, we'll say we have a 1500-gallon pond.
With these examples, you would need a pump that is capable of circulating 1500 gallons per hour at 13 feet of head. So, having done the math, you now understand that getting the brand new 20,000-gallon pump is a complete waste of money and energy. At that rate, water would be circulated several times per hour, which is way more than what's needed, according to our example. Also be sure to factor in the stock in your pond if you own fish. Koi and goldfish both eat and excrete waste so you'll want a slightly stronger pump and flow rate if you have a lot of fish in your pond.
Pondworld.com has plenty of pumps and pump/filter kits available for any pond size. You're sure to find something there that fits your needs as well as your budget, making owning a water garden or pond one of the smartest and most beautiful investments you've ever made.