Choosing a good water pump for your aquarium is important for giving your fish an exceptional environment to live in.
Because your fish spend every day in the same tank and are exposed to the same water daily.
You need the best aquarium water pump you can find to keep the water moving throughout their tank and reduce the chance of bacteria growth and build-up of harmful residues along with the tank.
These hazards need to be taken care of to ensure that your fish get the most natural and clean environment that they can thrive in.
Table of Contents
- How to Choose an Aquarium Water Pump?
- The 10 Best Water Pumps for Your Aquariums
- Best Aquarium Water Pump Reviews
- 1. KEDSUM Submersible Ultra Quiet Water Pump
- 2. Jhua Ultra Quiet Fountain Submersible Water Pump
- 3. PULACO Submersible Water Pump
- 4. Tiger Pumps Submersible Water Pump
- 5. FREESEA Submersible Water Pump
- 6. VIVOSUN Submersible Ultra Quiet Water Pump
- 7. Simple Deluxe LGPUMP400G Submersible Water Pump
- 8. CWKJ Submersible Water Pump
- 9. Aquastation Silent Swirl Controllable DC Aquarium Pump
- 10. Uniclife Submersible/Inline Water Pump
- My Pick
- How Does an Aquarium Water Pump Work?
- Where Do I Put the Water Pump in My Aquarium?
- How Do I Install the Aquarium Water Pump?
How to Choose an Aquarium Water Pump?
When choosing an aquarium water pump, you need to think about what functions your fish need in your tank.
Water pumps are used for different reasons, like draining and filling your tank, moving water through the tank’s filtering system, and can even be used to make waves in your tank to keep everything moving nicely for the fish.
Once you decide which features you need in your aquarium, you can move onto other details of the pump.
Flow Rate GPH
You need to factor the size of your tank and amount of water you need pumped before choosing a water pump.
Generally speaking, your water pump should be able to rotate the water in your tank about five times in an hour.
This means that if you have 10 gallons of water in your tank, your water pump should ideally perform at a minimum rate of 50 GPH to ensure efficiency and thoroughness cleaning.
Inline or Submersible Pump
You can also decide if you prefer an inline or submersible pump for your water tank.
Inline pumps are external pumps outside of the water, while submersible pumps function underwater in the sump of your filter. Thinking of these qualities beforehand is essential to finding a good water pump.
The 10 Best Water Pumps for Your Aquariums
Finding a water pump that meets all of your needs can be tricky, especially if you’re new to the aquarium world. Luckily, the table below has taken a lot of the guesswork and research out of finding the best & quietest water pumps on the market today.
|Pictures||Water Pumps||Flow Rates||Links|
|KEDSUM Submersible Ultra Quiet Water Pump||320, 550, 660 GPH|
|Jhua Ultra Quiet Fountain Submersible Water Pump||400 GPH|
|PULACO Submersible Water Pump||95 GPH|
|Tiger Pumps Submersible Water Pump||120 GPH|
|FREESEA Submersible Water Pump||160, 330, 660, 840, 1100 GPH|
|VIVOSUN Submersible Ultra Quiet Water Pump||800 GPH|
|Simple Deluxe LGPUMP400G Submersible Water Pump||400 GPH|
|CWKJ Submersible Water Pump||400 GPH|
|Aquastation Silent Swirl Controllable DC Aquarium Pump||1056, 1320, 2377, 3100 GPH|
|Uniclife Submersible Water Pump||400, 800 GPH|
Best Aquarium Water Pump Reviews
1. KEDSUM Submersible Ultra Quiet Water Pump
First, we’ll take a look at the KEDSUM submersible water pump. This pump is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks and can be installed with suction cups vertically or horizontally on the sides of the tank or walls of the pond.
This pump definitely packs a punch despite its small size, as it functions at a powerful rate of 660 GPH or 3,000 liters an hour. The KEDSUM water pump is also very energy-efficient and is ideal for tanks and ponds because it can be easily hidden or placed out of sight due to its small size.
The only thing going against the KEDSUM water pump is the fact that it may not be suitable for the sensitive fish in your tank or pond because it requires a little lubrication to function properly.
If your fish are still very young or are just more sensitive naturally, you may want to keep an eye on them during the first couple of days of using this water pump.
- Quiet operation
- Can be installed quickly both vertically and horizontally
- Inner shaft of pump needs lubrication; not suitable for sensitive fish
- Needs maintenance from time to time
2. Jhua Ultra Quiet Fountain Submersible Water Pump
Next, we have the Jhua submersible water pump. This pump is also very powerful and runs at a great rate of 300 GPH or 650 GPH.
It’s suitable for use in tanks, fountains, spouts, and hydroponic systems. It also comes with a warranty of 12 months in case you find something out of order.
The Jhua water pump is a good choice if you’re looking for a pump that works well, even in low water amounts.
The problem with the Jhua water pump is that it can easily get clogged or blocked by large debris, which why it’s necessary to detach and clean the shafts and filter once every month. The pump also uses less power to push the water, making for weaker flow and currents.
- Easy to install and minimal noise
- Small in size but very powerful
- Warranty included
- Requires maintenance every month
- Weaker power in pumping
3. PULACO Submersible Water Pump
The PULACO submersible water pump is also a good contender for an aquarium pump. This pump offers more customization to how much pressure you want to have in your water flow through the filter. There’s an easy-to-use turning knob that lets you control the water flow.
The PULACO water pump is also very small and easy to conceal in your aquarium, and operates very quietly, adding to the easy-to-hide nature of the water pump. It’s a good pump to start off with if you have a small tank because it’s simple to install and understand its functions.
It’s important to mention that the PULACO water pump has a low rate of 95 GPH, so if you have a larger fish tank, this may not be the right pump for you.
It also requires maintenance every month, so that’s an important thing to consider if you’re busy and don’t have extra time to clean the pump.
- Very small design, easy to conceal
- Simple design makes it ideal for new fish owners
- Controllable water flow function
- Low GPH rate
- Monthly maintenance
4. Tiger Pumps Submersible Water Pump
Next up is the Tiger Pumps submersible water pump. This pump is designed to work well underwater and can be placed vertically or horizontally on your tank.
It’s got a pretty good pumping rate at around 120 GPH and is easy to install and detach when it comes time to clean the filter and shafts.
A big plus for the Tiger Pumps water pump is that it comes with a money-back guarantee, so if it doesn’t work out for you, you can get a full refund for your money.
The Tiger Pumps water pump makes a good addition to any pond or aquarium, but as with a lot of the pumps mentioned, it requires monthly maintenance. That can be a drag if you don’t have the time to clean the pump every month but is otherwise expected.
- Money-back guarantee
- Good flow rate
- Monthly maintenance
- No dry burning function despite good flow rate
5. FREESEA Submersible Water Pump
Coming in with an extremely powerful flow rate of 660 GPH is the FREESEA submersible water pump. This pump may be small, but it definitely has the power and functionality of any larger pump with its GPH rate.
It’s perfect for use in all types of settings, whether that’s a tank or a pond.
Because it has bottom suction training, the FREESEA submersible water pump is very easily submersible and can attach to nearly any surface. On top of that, it’s backed by a reliable 12-month warranty, so you can always fall back on that if you find a defect or problem of some sort.
While the FREESEA submersible water pump has a lot of offer, it’s still important to consider that it won’t function well at all if it’s running dry.
You really have to be careful to include enough water for this pump, or else it doesn’t function nearly as well as it’s supposed to. It’s important to have enough water to run with any pump, but more so for this one.
- Very strong GPH rate
- Comes with warranty
- Bottom suction
- Running dry or with too little water highly not recommended
6. VIVOSUN Submersible Ultra Quiet Water Pump
There are a lot of great things about this water pump from Vivosun but one of the most convenient is that it’s so easy to clean. You don’t have to disassemble it and no tools are required. It’s perfect for a pond, waterfall, fountain, or water feature.
This water pump is also easy to hide. Submerse it, disguise it among your aquascaping, and no one will ever know it’s there. The outlet has multiple positions and adjusts manually so it’s easy to get your setup just the way you want it. Plus, it’s covered by a two-year warranty.
- Installation is easy. Simple suction cups are used to mount the pump and the 5-foot long power cord makes for easy placement.
- Control the flow rate and water pressure using a simple knob.
- A pre-filter screen keeps out large pieces of debris.
- The wet-rotor and bearing keep the motor running cool, extending the life of the pump.
- The adjustable flow rate knob is not very precise.
7. Simple Deluxe LGPUMP400G Submersible Water Pump
The Simple Deluxe submersible water pump features an aluminum oxide ceramic impeller shaft that’s three times harder than stainless steel and resistant to corrosion.
Plus, the key internal parts of the motor are encased in epoxy resin, making this one of the most durable pumps around.
You don’t need any tools to take the pump apart for cleaning and the pre-filter does a good job of preventing large pieces of debris from getting inside. Plus, the reliable motor is both submersible and suitable for dry use.
- This pump can be easily installed horizontally or vertically using the included suction cups.
- The power cord is 15-feet long so it’s easy to get the pump positioned correctly and you don’t have to worry about reaching an outlet.
- You can use this pump in saltwater or freshwater.
- This pump can lose power over time.
8. CWKJ Submersible Water Pump
This submersible pump from CWKJ is perfect for medium-sized aquariums and is made to create currents and increase the circulation in your tank. The compact design is easy to hide and the long power cord makes it easy to install right where you need it.
Its adjustable settings make it easy to adjust so you can get just the setup you need. Just use the simple adjusting knob to change the water pressure and choose from one of three nozzles to create your own look.
- You can install this pump horizontally or vertically using the four suction cups on the bottom. Two extra suction cups are included in case you need them.
- The quiet operation won’t disturb you or your fish.
- No tools are required for installation and cleaning.
- It uses a stainless steel impeller shaft that’s corrosion-resistant and made to last.
- This pump can only be used in freshwater tanks.
- It only has on and off settings.
9. Aquastation Silent Swirl Controllable DC Aquarium Pump
This pump has multiple settings, including wave mode, feed mode, and flow mode. It also features ultra-silent operation and variable speed control with 20 different options so you can tweak the settings to get the look and feel of your tank just right.
Making adjustments is simple, too. The smart controller features an LED screen and simple plus and minus buttons in increase and decreases speed accordingly. This same controller is used to cycle between modes. Press the fish button and movement stops for 10 minutes so your fish can eat undisturbed.
- This pump has a lot of modes and speeds to choose from and can be submerged or used externally.
- You can set this pump up in freshwater and saltwater.
- The low-voltage design uses 65 percent less energy than other pumps.
- The impeller shaft is ceramic and made to last a long time.
- The power drops when the pump is used at greater than a six-foot pump height.
10. Uniclife Submersible/Inline Water Pump
Last, but not least, there’s the Uniclife submersible water pump. This water pump functions at a good maximum rate of 400 GPH.
It’s very versatile in its uses and works well in both indoor and outdoor settings, such as tanks, ponds, fountains, and other hydroponic systems.
The Uniclife water pump is very user-friendly, with easy to install and detach headings, as well as easy-to-understand instructions for cleaning and maintenance and controllable water flow.
This pump is another one of those pumps that just can’t function without the right amount of water. Dry running this pump can cause early malfunctioning, and reduce the lifespan of the product.
If you travel often or aren’t home to oversee your water pump much, consider a different product that can still take the brunt of running dry.
- Quiet design
- Controllable water flow
- Not good with dry running
- Needs routine maintenance
From all of these good options for water pumps, there is one that stands out the most among the others for its excellent features and great design. The KEDSUM water pump takes the cake for having the quietest water pump from the bunch.
Not only that, but it also has a very powerful GPH rate, something that’s ideal for bigger tanks and ponds, and can be used for more than just filtering.
The KEDSUM water pump is also great because it’s energy-efficient, and who doesn’t want to save some money from lower energy consumption rates?
All in all, the KEDSUM water pump has a lot to offer and makes for a water pump that delivers good performance with a quiet, seamless design.
How Does an Aquarium Water Pump Work?
Now that you’ve found a good starting point for what to look for in a water pump, it’s a good idea to understand just how your water pump works. Exactly how your water pump functions depend on the type of pump you have.
Generally speaking, all water pumps have the main function of getting water in and out of the tank’s filtration system. This can be done magnetically, with the air force, with propellers, or with the use of rollers.
The components of your water pump work to create pressure that pushes the water through the filter, as well as create a pulling force to extract it back out.
If your pump is working well, it should be able to complete this process with all of the water in your tank several times an hour.
Where Do I Put the Water Pump in My Aquarium?
Where you put your water pump in your aquarium depends on what kind of pump it is.
If you use a submersible water pump, you can attach it anywhere in your water supply, as long as it’s completely underwater. Because these types of pumps utilize suction cups, you can pretty much put it anywhere the suction cup holds and can remain submerged.
For in-line or external pumps, you have to keep your pump dry and out of the water for it to work properly. An in-line pump oftentimes requires extra installation services because it needs to be installed out of the water without the use of suction cups, as is done with submersible water pumps.
In-line pumps can also be installed by drilling a hole into your main filter sump, allowing the systems to connect, yet still function independently. You can utilize the services of an installation technician to get the best idea of where to place your in-line pump if you’re unsure of how to proceed.
How Do I Install the Aquarium Water Pump?
This leads to the topic of how exactly to install your aquarium water pump. Again, this depends on the type of water pump you have.
Submersible water pumps are pretty easy to install because you just have to stick the suction cups to an area capable of holding them. These should keep the water pump submerged and in place, and once your suction cups hold, your water pump has been installed!
As far as external water pumps go, you need to find a place to securely attach your water pump so that it doesn’t come in contact with any water. You can do this by installing a priming pot and a pump box near the water. Alternatively, you can install the pump directly into the filtering system by drilling a hole into the sump filter if you’re experienced.
If all else fails, you can recruit an installation technician, especially for bigger filters that require more groundwork, to perform this service for you. Unless you have a huge body of water you’re trying to filter, your technician can complete this service for you within a day or two.
Keeping the water your fish live in clean is the number one way of keeping them healthy. Now that you know a little bit more about what to look for in a good water filter, as well as a few good contenders and how/where to install them, you’re on track to get your own water pump that meets your needs, and ultimately, give your fish the best environment possible.
If you keep the water clean and provide your fish with a nutritious diet, chances are that your friends have a long and carefree life ahead of them. It all starts with the water pump, and the love and time you put into caring for them.