Selecting The Right Aquarium Water Pump

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Whether you are new to aquarium activities or an experienced one, your main objective is to have a healthy and thriving aquatic environment for your water plants and animals.

To achieve that, one of the most important things that you need to do is to make the right decision when choosing the right aquarium water pumps.

When you want to buy a water pump, there are several things that you need to consider. Apart from the type of water pump and the size, there are also some other important things that you need to look at.

Here are things that you need to look at when choosing an aquarium air pump.

Filtration type

It is crucial for you to know the type of filter system that is best for the type of aquarium that you are planning for.

Actually, the type of filter paper that you choose will determine the type of water pump that you will need.

Desired flow rate

You need to know if the inhabitants of your aquarium, either fish or aquarium plants require a greater flow rate of the water like the saltwater fish or just a little flow rate like the planted aquarium. You, therefore, need to research on the flow rate that is fit for the type of aquarium that you are planning for.

Plumbing and head point

You need to know the type of plumbing that will be installed in your aquarium. Are you going to use a lot of elbows or sharp turns in your aquarium? You also need to know where your filtration system will be located.

Will it be directly under the aquarium? Will it be in the basement or in another room? It is also important to consider the total distance the pump will be required to pump the water.

Height is also an important thing that you need to consider when choosing a water pump. This is because very high heights which are more than 6 feet create high levels of back pressure.

Additional services

You also need to know if your aquarium will need additional filtration services or not. Will it require temperature control devices like the UV sterilizers or not? Protein skimmers or chillers?

You need to know that apart from the water pump powering your filtration system and enabling water movement in your aquarium, water pumps also help to power other devices that are important in the aquarium like the protein skimmers.

They also help to drain or fill the tank. Apart from all those, water pumps also help to mix up salty water in holding tanks for water changes.

If you are looking for a water pump to power your filtration system, there are two different types that you can consider to buy. You can buy the submersible one or the he in-line one.

You can also consider buying water pumps like Mag Drive Pumps and the Eheim hobby pumps that can be used both for submersible and in-line purposes.

Submersible water pumps

Submersible water pumps are operated underwater, in the sump of a wet/dry filtration system. They get draw water from the filter and push it back to the tank or through other systems such as sterilization units or chillers.

Advantages of submersible water pump

  • They are easy to install. They do not require you to bore and install bulkhead in the filter system.
  • They are also quiet compared to others as they operate under the water.

Disadvantages of the submersible water pump

  • There is a big problem with big pumps. This is because this type of pump is water cooled. This means that water around the system will be subjected to heat which cannot be suitable for the fish in your aquarium.
  • For the big pumps also, there will be a little space for the pump in the filter’s sump. So, you need to consider the dimension of the submerged pump before buying it.
  • In the case of the pump getting damaged it will be difficult to note it faster as it is inside the water. It, therefore, should be checked from time to time.

In-line water pumps

These types of pumps are used outside the water. They are connected to an inlet hose and outlet hose used to filter the water in the aquarium.

Advantages of an in-line water pump

  • This type of water pump is air cooled. This means that it does not result in the heating of the water.
  • They are more powerful. They are able to pump more gallons of water per hour.

In-line pumps can be installed in one or two configurations. There is the pressure set up and the free-flow configurations.  One example of such pumps that can be installed in two configurations is the Lifegard Quiet One. Other types of in-line pumps can only be used in one configuration.

In-line pressure setups

Here, the filter is placed before the canister filtration system. The pump pushes water under the pressure into the canister system. Pumps in this set up receive a considerable amount of back pressure from the filtration device. There are some like Little Giant MDQ series that are specifically designed to handle back pressure with much ease.

In-line free-flow setups

In this set up the pump is placed after the filtration has already taken place. The pump moves the filtered water from the sump back into the aquarium or through UV sterilizers or protein skimmers. They are, therefore, able to pump more water with less effort. Some like Little Giant MDQX series are built for maximum efficiency in low-pressure situations.


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