Probably one of the most important pieces of equipment in your pond is your pond pump. A pond pump provides several essential functions to promote pond health and can power your waterfalls, fountains, and other water features. Pond pumps cycle water through your filter and UV sterilizer. They also aerate your water, a very important factor for the ecology of your pond.
All of the aquatic life in your pond is highly dependent on the dissolved oxygen available in the pond water. Anything less than 5ppm (parts per million), can start to negatively affect your pond. The most critical result of low oxygen levels is a fish kill. Ponds with low oxygen will also start to develop a bad odor. This is caused when the breakdown of organic waste shifts from an aerobic process to a slow anaerobic process. Hydrogen sulfide is produced as a result.
Buying Pond Pumps
When buying a pond pump you are looking for two things.
- The first is the volume of water (circulating volume) the pump can handle per hour. This is called the pump volume. Pump volume is typically measured in gph (gallons per hour). A healthy pond needs to circulate all its water once an hour. So, for a 1000 gallon pond, you’ll need a 1000 gph pump.
- The second thing you are looking for is reliability. Pond pumps have to run 365 days a year 24/7. For this reason it’s important to get one with a good warranty. Something above a one year warranty generally indicates a commitment to quality. Also, some manufacturers will provide a replacement pump while yours is being fixed. This can be huge and can save you the cost of purchasing a back-up pump. Back-up pond pumps are always a good idea though. Any time your pump is not running puts stress on your pond environment and especially on any aquatic life.
Pumps also provide power to any additional water features, such as waterfalls and ornaments. If you are planning on building a waterfall feature into your pond it is important to understand pump head. Maximum head is a term used by manufacturers to determine the height at which the pump cannot create enough pressure for water to flow. At this height, your pump is working but no water will flow out. As you decrease pump head the volume of water flowing will increase. It is important to remember that by incorporating a waterfall, you effectively limit the gph that your pond pump can circulate through pump head loss.
Pump Head Loss
- The greater the distance your pond water has to travel, and the more bends and fittings it passes through, the harder a pond pump has to work. A few tips to make friction loss negligible:
use pipe no more than 1inch thick
- Use pipe no longer than 10 feet in length.
- Ribbed piping is also good to use because it doesn’t restrict flow when you bend or curve it.
Always go for a slightly more powerful pump than required. It will save you worrying over getting your measurements exact and leave room if you want to add new waterfalls or other features later.
Category: Pond Equipment