The main purpose of aquarium water pumps (powerheads) is to operate the filtration systems of home aquariums, aquaponics, and hydroponic systems. This helpful equipment is commonly chosen by creative aquarists who want to DIY their own aquarium filters.
In Wet/Dry filtration systems, a water pump is placed in the sump tank to return the water back to the main tank after it is filtered. Aquarium pumps are also used to operate undergravel filters instead of using air pumps. Moreover, you can easily find water pumps as the main components of UV sterilizers, protein skimmers…
No matter what you use a water pump for, you will need a durable one with an appropriate flow rate. Following are some of the best aquarium water pumps recommended for you.
Best Aquarium Water Pump Reviews
The KEDSUM submersible water pump is designed for use in both freshwater or saltwater aquariums, water gardens, small ponds, water fountains, and hydroponic systems. It is small in size and operates quietly making it easy to disguise or hide if such need arises. Its maximum flow rate is 550 gallons per hour (2500 L/H) with a maximum lift height of up to 5 feet.
This submersible water pump is designed for reliability and efficiency. It consumes very low power thereby saving energy. The design features suction cup mounting feet for either horizontal or vertical mounting. Unlike other models of aquarium water pumps, this unit does not contain seals or messy oils. Since the pump is submersible, you need to put it into the water fully before powering on to save the pump from burning out.
Active Aqua submersible water pump, 1000 GPH - Solid Pond Pump
Recommended for both outdoor and indoor use, the Active Aqua submersible pump is one of the most versatile aquarium water pumps currently in the market. It features a high flow rate of maximum 1000 gallons per hour and is suitable for reservoirs with over 100 gallons of water. The pump’s powerful mag drive construction includes impellers, removable filters, 10-ft heavy-duty power cord and rubber mounting feet to minimize vibration.
To increase versatility, this pump includes multiple hose settings for you to get precise fit each time. You can also adjust the pump’s flow rate to your desired rate. All Active Aqua water pumps are oil-free in an effort to make their contributions to the environmental conservation. It comes with a 1-year warranty in case of manufacturing flaws.
Homasy 80 GPH (300L/H) Submersible Water pump - Quiet Pump
This multifunction pump is ideal for use in tabletop fountains, small-to-medium size aquarium, hydroponic systems and water gardens. It comes with two nozzles (one with 13 mm and the other with 8.5 mm diameter) to use with various tubing sizes. It provides a maximum flow rate of 80 gallons per hour (300 L/H). The flow rate can be easily adjustable with a adjusting knob on the pump.
To make cleaning and maintenance easy, the pump is detachable without tools or any expertise. Its small and sturdy design it easy to disguise and hide the pump anywhere in the water. The design features suction cups to allow for mounting onto a glass surface. It is fitted with a perfect motor that is powerful yet performs quietly.
VicTsing 80 GPH (300L/H) Submersible water pump - Small, quiet and great pressure
The VicTsing 80GPH submersible water pump can create good strong flow to prevent dirt from accumulating in any single spots in the your aquarium. The compact and powerful design makes it ideal for aquarium, fountains, hydroponic systems, and spouts.
The pump’s maximum flow rate is 80 gallons per hour (300 L/H) and is adjustable. However, this flow rate reduces if the pump is connected with a water pipe. The flow rate is also reduced if water sprays outside the reservoir. The design incorporates suction cup mounting feet for either horizontal or vertical mounting. The pump contains so messy oil or seals. It is very easy to clean and comes with two nozzles for flexible use.
Taam rio plus 1100 aqua pump/powerhead - 382 GPH - efficient little pump
This versatile water-pumping system is designed with optimal efficiency and reliability shown by the expensive brands but still, costs much less. It features unique, innovative next generation magnetic-rotor technology. This gives it a superior pumping power capable of achieving a flow rate of up to 382 gallons per hour.
The Rio Plus Aqua Powerhead offers excellent performance within wet/dry filters and in venturi protein skimmers when high flow rates and pressure are desired. This pump does not use oil as the fuel source or in its construction and therefore no contamination of the water environment. Other great features include low heat emission, energy sufficient design, full submersion and quiet operation.
Esky EAP-03 2500L/H Water pump with adjustable flow rate - very sturdy
Although very small is size, the Esky EAP-03 submersible water pump is a great performer. Its adjustable flow rate peaks at 2500 liters per hour (or 550 gallons per hour) but operates so quietly that it is difficult to know whether it is working or not. Its powerful motors ensure good water circulation to keep water clear and fresh. You can adjust the flow rate with by simply switching between the knobs provided.
It has a single nozzle of 19mm diameter. The maximum lift height of the water pump is 2.5 meters. The pump can achieve this height without reducing the flow rate or pressure. Being small and quiet in operation, you can use the pump to augment your interior or exterior décor. It comes with an interesting 30-day money back guarantee, which is unique for such a product.
Aqueon quietflow submersible aquarium utility pump 600 - Great quality pump
These submersible utility pumps are designed to be multipurpose. They are silent, versatile and require minimal maintenance. You can use them for a multiplicity of things including household fountains to aquarium sumps. You can even use it to power extra filtration. It features adjustable flow rate of 84 to 159 GPH. This flow rate may somehow be inferior to the other pumps but still good enough to deliver a good performance. You can use it for both freshwater and saltwater applications without worrying about negative impacts.
Uniclife UL80 Submersible water pump - little pump with plenty of power
The Uniclife UL80 Submersible Water Pump is worth owning if you have an aquarium, a fountain, a pond or a hydroponics system. The designers of this pump had reliability, convenience, and performance in their minds. It features an adjustable flow rate of up to 80 gallons per hour with a maximum lift height of 0.8 meters. The pump is environmentally conscious and that is why this submersible water pump features no seals or messy oil. Its powerful motors are powered purely by electricity via a power cord measuring 5.9 ft (1.8 m.)
How To Choose The Right Fish Tank Pump?
Size of the tankPeople usually consider the largest and most powerful fish tank pump before getting a smaller sized pump and not considering what their actual aquarium needs. Remember, large pumps produce much more heat and noise. However, too small pump may lack the power needed requiring you to purchase additional accessories. In general, it is always best to carefully consider the volume of your fish tank and the overall purpose of having a water pump rather than just buying the first pump found online!
Flow rateYou can find the correct type of fish tank pump by matching the size of the aquarium with the recommended size of the aquarium pump. The thumb rule is to choose a pump that can circulate two to four times of the total volume of your aquarium in an hour. For example, if you have a 50 gallon fish tank, you will need a water pump that features a flow rate in the range from 100-200 gallons per hour. If choosing a pond pump, the rate is 1:1 for the pump flow rate and the pond capacity.
ResistanceIt is important to know what type of resistance is offered. Knowing this will help increase your water pump efficiency. The more resistance there is, the more back pressure is present requiring you to have a more powerful pump.
Number of returnsConsider using a powerful pump if you plan to have water return from a filter back to your aquarium through the use of return lines. Water flow may decrease with more returns. This is another reason why it is important to purchase a powerful fish tank pump.
Noise levelToo much noise can be a distraction as well as stressful for your fish as well as your family. There are many brands of aquarium pumps that produce too much noise. With some pumps, you can reduce the noise by placing an object underneath it to reduce the amount of vibration.
Heat generationLook to see how much heat is generated with a particular system and find out if there are any accessories to reduce the amount of heat so that your aquarium temperature levels will not be affected. The larger the pump, the more heat it can produce.