If you want your pond fish to not only survive but also thrive in your aquascape, ensuring they have plenty of oxygen is the first area you should address.
As temperatures rise and fall, the biosystem in your aquascape changes, oxygen levels increase and decrease, and your fish feel the effects.
With enclosed systems, such as your pond, you need to keep a close eye on the structure to ensure your water can sustain your school. Stagnant water isn’t good when you’re trying to create a healthy ecosystem.
If you aren’t actively flowing the water, introducing new oxygen to it as you do, you create a breeding ground for harmful insects and algae.
On top of mosquitos and other harmful insects, you also create a system that is ripe for bacteria to grow. Not being able to flush excess fish waste out of the water properly can lead to waterborne illness in your school. That can get incredibly expensive, incredibly fast!
If you have the proper equipment, avoiding these common problems is easy to do. Your pond’s filter is one of the essential pieces of equipment you’ll spend money on, but you need to flow water through the screen for it to work correctly.
That’s where pond aerators, oxygenators, and pumps come in.To help save you time, money, and the frustration of buying equipment that may not be sufficient for your pond, we have found 10 of the best pond aerator pumps available in 2019.
Top 10 Best Pond Aerator Pumps In 2019
Unless you’re trying to build a homemade pond aerator, or you have money to risk on equipment that may not be perfectly suited to your ecosystem, you’ll want to spend time going through our list of 10 recommendations below.
1. Airmax PondAir 2 Aeration Kit - uses minimal energy
Airmax is widely regarded as manufacturing some of the best small pond aerators for a long time. The PondAir 2 aerator kit includes everything you need to help your fish thrive and keep your pond clean.
If your pond is smaller than 1,000 gallons, the AirPond 2 is all you need. It operates at depths of up to 2 feet and is easy to install. The pump requires only 4 watts of power, making it one of the most efficient pumps we’ve seen.
The built-in airflow control valve helps you dial in the level your pond needs and ensures that you can dial in the perfect amount of flow to avoid water stagnation.
- Cost-effective solution for small ponds.
- It is a full kit, ready to assemble and turn on.
- It can be easily hidden to maintain your pond’s aesthetics.
- Won’t raise your pond’s temperature like other pumps.
- The pump may overheat if you place it directly in sunlight.
2. Airmax PondAir 4 Koi Pond Aeration Kit - Extremely quiet
The Airmax PondAir 4 koi pond aeration kit is one of the best winter pond aerator systems we have found. It consumes between 4 to 8 watts, depending on the size of your pond and the oxygenation levels you require.
The pump can handle ponds up to 2,000 gallons in size. Your pond must be -at least- 2 feet deep to fully utilize the system without it overheating and causing issues. It operates nearly silently to avoid disturbing your aquascape and can flow 0.30 CFM of air.
- The unit handles heavy loads efficiently and effectively.
- It contains a built-in airflow regulator you can adjust for your conditions.
- The kit includes an ample amount of power cord and tubing for precise positioning.
- Aerator functions even in sub-zero temperatures.
- The pump requires a waterproof casing.
- Best kept out of direct sunlight, to avoid overheating.
- Requires depths of at least 2 feet to function correctly.
3. Danner 1700CUIN AP-20 Koi Pond Air Diffuser - Very Nice Pump
Danner has built a name as one of the most reputable companies in the pond keeping world.
Their Pondmaster AP-20 koi pond air diffuser is an excellent example of their quality and craftsmanship, too.
It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and can flow water up to 7 feet deep. At a maximum flow rate of 1.0 CFM and a hard-to-hear noise level of 40 decibels, you will find yourself checking to make sure it’s still running.
If your pond is under 2,500 gallons and you want a quiet running pump that has proven to be durable and last for years, the Danner 1700CUIN is an excellent choice.
- The pump is incredibly powerful, even though it’s almost silent.
- It is built for heavy-duty use and works great for ponds under 2,500 gallons.
- The entire diffuser is smaller than other comparable systems.
- The style of oxygenation has proven to make your fish more active.
- Requires you to purchase additional ⅝” tubing.
- It requires slightly more maintenance and care than other aeration systems.
4. Aquascape Pro Air 20 Koi Pond Aerator & Aeration Kit- Pretty Good Pump
The Aquascape Pro Air 20 Koi pond aerator is another excellent example from Aquascape.
For ponds up to 5,000 gallons in size and a depth of 6 feet, you’re going to have a hard time finding a better aeration kit. The pump flows 0.71 CFM, and the kit includes everything you need to oxygenate your pond while requiring only 15 watts of power.
Each kit includes the braided tubing you need to reach up to 30 feet. The pump contains a self-cleaning rubber membrane to help you avoid malfunctions due to debris clogs.
The Pro Air 20 is incredibly heavy duty. The design is manufactured with an all-metal housing and strong internals provides minimal vibrations and noise.
- The energy-efficient pump requires only 15 watts of power.
- The included 30-feet of braided tubing reaches your entire pond.
- Powerful enough to oxygenate ponds up to 5,000 gallons in size.
- The pump is heavy duty with a steel housing and metal internals.
- The built-in membrane prevents clogs due to debris and waste.
- The kit is more expensive than others featured in our list.
- The included tubing can be stiff and needs to be heated before you uncoil it.
5. Airmax KoiAir Miniature Water Garden Aeration Kit - energy efficient
Airmax is another manufacturer that has built its name around helping pond keepers, and Koi enthusiasts keep their fish happy and healthy. The Koi Air Miniature kit from Airmax is an excellent example of their product line.
The Mini pump is capable of flowing up to 0.80 CFM and handling ponds ranging from 1,000 gallons to 4,000 gallons in size. If your pond is shallower than 4 feet deep, the KoiAir Mini has the power to cover it for you.
The pump requires 17 watts of power to provide efficient circulation and features a near-silent operation. The included diffuser sticks help improve oxygenation while avoiding clogging due to debris and waste buildup.
- The pump provides near-silent operation.
- The kit works amazingly well for removing algae and waste.
- It’s sized perfectly for medium ponds between 1,000 to 4,000 gallons.
- Each kit includes 50 feet of tubing to cover more substantial, deeper ponds.
- A 3-year parts guarantee backs the pump.
- The kit may require you to weigh it down to the bottom of your pond
6. Airmax KoiAir 1 Koi Pond & Water Garden Aeration Pump - Simple and Quiet
We would be remiss if we didn’t include the original Airmax KoiAir 1 pond aeration kit.
The KoiAir 1 is an upgrade to the Miniature Koi Air featured in our #5 spot. If you have a larger pond or need more volume in your smaller pond, the KoiAir 1 is a better choice. However, that choice does come at a higher price tag.
The KoiAir 1 is capable of handling ponds between 2,000 gallons and 8,000 gallons at a maximum depth of 4 feet. The pump can flow 0.80 CFM while consuming a small 17 watts of power.
Each kit includes 25 feet of “Easy Set” air hose to help keep the unit submerged. Like the Miniature version, it operates at a near-silent decibel level with minimal vibrations or noise.
- The kit comes with everything you need for medium to large-sized ponds.
- A heavy-duty diffuser and plate make the kit easy to install.
- The tubing included with the kit is high-quality and durable.
- The maintenance-free design operates with minimal vibrations and noise.
- The included diffuser sticks provide excellent oxygenation and reach.
- More expensive than other models we have featured.
7. Airmax KoiAir2 Koi Pond & Water Garden Aerator - Excellent pond Aeration
For large ponds, the Airmax KoiAir 2 Koi Pond & Water Garden Aerator is the best we’ve found.
It is capable of handling up to 16,000 gallons and a maximum depth of 4 feet. The pump flows a massive 1.70 CFM of air with dual plates. The dual-diaphragm design helps provide excellent oxygenation through both included diffuser sticks.
The pump is heavier duty than any other we have featured up to this point, requiring 115 volts DC to provide 35 watts of pumping power. These power levels mean it can run 24 hours a day, seven days per week with minimal maintenance.
If you are trying to oxygenate a large pond, there are no better kits than the Airmax KoiAir 2 water garden aeration system.
- The pump doesn’t require a heater during winter months.
- The kit operates incredibly efficiently in up to 16,000 gallons of water.
- The pump doesn’t overheat even when you run it 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
- Will not function correctly under solar power; it requires constant DC power.
- Buying the kit can be a costly upfront investment, but pays off over time.
- The kit can be challenging to submerge provided a tremendous amount of airflow.
- It is only recommended for ponds less than 4 feet deep, at max depth.
8. Living Water AirPro Pond Aerator Kit - Completely Safe
The Living Water Airpro Pond Aerator Kit is massive. Hands down, there are very few pumps and diffuser kits that can compare to this system. If you have an incredibly large pond or water garden and need the best of the best, only the AirPro pond aerator will do.
The heavy-duty pump is capable of handling ponds up to 1 acre in size with a maximum depth of 50 feet. It requires a hefty 1.7 amps of power to flow 2.3 CFM. When you compare the amount of air to the size of your pond, it’s incredibly energy efficient.
The design of the pump reduces rust and corrosion, helping keep maintenance to a minimum.
- The pump operates without having electricity running directly into your pond.
- The unit is constructed from hardened aluminium, preventing rust and corrosion.
- Capable of handling incredibly large ponds; up to 1 acre and 50,000 gallons in size
- One of the most expensive pumps we have featured.
- The kit can be time-intensive to set up but operates relative hands-off once completed.
10. Scott Aerator Display Koi Pond Water Fountain - Easy to install
The Scott Aerator Display Koi Pond Water Fountain is one of the only fountains you will see us recommend. Scott has built its name on high-quality manufacturing processes and, for large ponds, the kit is an excellent addition to a standard aeration kit.
The pump is built from durable stainless steel and HDPE materials to provide minimal maintenance through its entire lifespan. It is capable of flowing 400 gallons of water per minute and can reach heights of up to 10 feet.
While you may not see us recommend fountains very often, the Scott Aerator Display Fountain is one of the few times we will tell you that it is a good deal. If you want to add some flare to your aquascape while supplementing another system, we can’t recommend it enough.
- The kit can operate in saltwater and brackish water environments.
- The heavy-duty pump consumes only 36 kWh every 24 hours.
- The pump operates with minimal noise and vibrations.
- The kit adds a unique decorative flair to your Koi pond.
- The pump is built to tight specifications, requiring minimal maintenance.
- This fountain kit is one of the more expensive available.
- Operating the kit 24 hours a day, seven days per week can create high electric bills.
How To Buy A Koi Pond Pump
A high-quality Koi pond pump is going to offset the oxygen used by your plants and fish while increasing oxygen levels during warmer months that tend to reduce the available oxygen in your pond.
Before you purchase a new pump, though, there are specific criteria you will need to think about to make sure you are getting the specifications you need. Being able to support a healthy ecosystem without taxing the pump is critical to saving you money in the long run.
Size Of Your Pond
Depth Of Your Pond
Shape Of Your Pond
When it comes to maintaining proper oxygen levels in your pond, too little is bad, but too much oxygen can also cause problems for your school. To avoid both ends of the spectrum, you want to purchase a pond aerator that is correctly sized to the size of your pond.
Knowing how many gallons your pond holds, or your pond’s square footage is essential to buying a pump that isn’t going to work too hard to deliver the right amount of oxygen.
The depth of your pond plays a significant role in determining the type, style, and size of aerator you need to purchase.Deeper ponds require diffusers and extra hoses to function correctly. Shallow ponds can utilize fountains, where they are not recommended for deeper ponds.
The critical aspect of using an aerator in your pond is to keep water flowing from end to end. If your pond is oddly shaped, you may need to consider purchasing two pumps to keep the water moving. Ensuring you have no stagnant water is critical to the health of your fish.
The power source you’re going to use for your pump matters, too. Solar pond aerators and pumps can reduce some of the guesswork, but you still have to consider where the panels are going to go. This means you need to ensure they are getting ample amounts of sunlight.
Directly-powered pond pumps generally draw more power but can handle larger ponds with ease. Make sure that the pump is powerful enough to handle your pond.
Solar-powered pond aerators work great in small ponds, but directly-powered pumps are recommended for larger or more irregular-shaped ponds.
Types Of Koi Pond Aerators & Pumps
There are, primarily, four different types of koi pond aerators, with three being more popular than others. Depending on your specific needs, the descriptions below can help you figure out which style works best in your aquascape.
Fountain Aeration Systems
Submersible Aeration Systems
Solar Powered Pond Aeration SystemsIf you are unable to route power to your pond, solar-powered pond aerators are a great option.
Windmill Aeration Systems
A pond aerator fountain, while beautiful to look at, are primarily used as decorative pieces in the bigger picture of your pond’s structure. The pump moves water through a series of pipes and out of the nozzle at the top. Some drip water, others spray it into the air, and some have random spray patterns.
If your pond is on the shallow side, a fountain aerator may be suitable. However, you do not want to rely on it to keep your water oxygenated entirely. They move water from the bottom of your pond to the top, but the oxygenated water doesn’t flow back to the bottom very well.
Submersible aerators or diffused aeration systems are among the most common type you’re going to find. They rely on an air compressor, a series of bubblers, and tubing located at the bottom of your pond.
Water is moved from the top of your pond through the bubbler at the bottom, and oxygenated bubbles pass through the water column delivering what your fish need to thrive. Submersible aerators are also among the most cost-effective systems you can use.
As long as you can get a direct path to sunlight, keeping the batteries charged throughout the evening and into the night isn’t hard to do. The most critical aspect to consider when you’re thinking about solar is the power of the pump and the size of your batteries.
If you have long periods of cloudy days or are too far away from a solid 8 to 12 hours of sunlight each day, solar-powered systems may not work as well for you as a direct connection pump will.
As a windmill moves it powers batteries, much like a solar-powered system. These batteries then operate the pump and store power created by the windmill. They run the same type of pump as other systems and are great in the right environments.
If you do not have ample sources of wind power or can’t offset the wind power with solar, it’s recommended you directly connect your pump to a power source to avoid inconsistent oxygenation.
Pond Aerator Pump Frequently Asked Questions
We have almost heard them all. Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions we have seen when new (or experienced) pond keepers decide to buy or upgrade their pond pump.
How does my pond naturally build oxygen?
Why do I need a pond aerator?
What happens if the oxygen levels are low?
What does it mean when my fish gasp for air at the surface?
Do fountains work as pond aerators?
How can I make sure my pond has enough oxygen?
How does a pond aerator system work?
Should I, or can I run my pond aerator 24 hours per day?
Oxygen is a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere.
It diffuses into your water as the temperature levels rise and fall, plants give off oxygen at night, or as new water flows into the pond. If you do not have a fresh source of water, though, oxygenating your pond requires a pump.
When you look at the density in your pond, you begin to realize how many actual oxygen-consumers are currently taxing your ecosystem. Plants and fish both use oxygen, while bacteria, algae, insects, and other outside factors also consume it.
As water temperatures rise, your water’s oxygen levels decrease, which can leave your fish gasping for air, starve plants of the oxygen they need to grow, and create situations where the other nutrients are thrown off, and algae get a chance to bloom.
Fish waste and other byproducts begin to build, which can also stifle the oxygen levels in the water. All of these scenarios require manmade aeration systems because the water in your pond does not naturally flow on its own.
If the oxygen levels in your pond drop to an unsuitable level, you will notice your fish beginning to reach the surface for air. You will also see your plants begin to yellow, mosquitos start to breed, and your water starts developing an odor.
The “good” biomes and bacteria that help keep your water’s nutrients in check also need oxygen. If they begin to die off, your water’s pH and other factors will start to suffer, creating a system where your fish get sick and could die.
If the water is hotter than usual, it means that the oxygen levels are too low. Fish will rise to the surface to survive. This usually only occurs during the summer months.
At night, water will begin to absorb oxygen naturally while it depletes oxygen as the sun rises, and the temperature heats up. This natural cycle is why you need to aerate still ponds.
While a fountain is a beautiful sight to see, studies have shown that they aren’t the greatest at keeping a pond oxygenated. Large fountains can move enough water to keep the water around them aerated, but they do not function as well in small ponds.
A high-quality pond aeration pump system will ensure that your water has more than enough oxygen without disturbing the precious ecosystem around it.
If you notice plants aren’t healthy, your fish are gasping, or you are dealing with nutrients out of normal ranges, the chances are high that you have low oxygen problems. These can be addressed by increasing the size of your pump.
There are three types of pond aeration systems. Fountains, diffusers, and waterfalls are the three most common types. Diffusers work the best by moving water from the surface to the bottom and allowing bubbles to form and carry oxygen throughout the system.
Fountains and waterfalls are amazing to look at and create a peaceful environment but are mainly used to supplement the oxygen. Using them as the sole source of oxygenation isn’t recommended because they do not move freshwater through the bottom of the pond or create an even flow.
Yes. It is highly recommended that you run your aeration system the entire day. If your fish do not have ample amounts of oxygen, you are creating an environment where they can develop sickness. By the time you notice these symptoms it is usually too late and vet calls are required.
What Is The Best Pond Aerator Pump In 2019?
This is a personal decision that requires you to weigh out your specific needs.
If you have a smaller pond, the Airmax PondAir 2 Aeration Kit works great.
For medium-sized ponds, the Aquascape Pro Air 20 is our best recommendation.
For large ponds, Airmax KoiAir 1 is a great buy.
If you have a pond over 10,000 gallons, you won’t find a better pond aerator than the Airmax KoiAir 2 water garden aeration system.
If you want to add a unique display and supplement your existing aeration system, the Scott Aerator Display Koi Pond Fountain fountain is a great choice.