Well, that’s kinda personal, isn’t it? ;-) LOL!
This is a good question for a swimming pool contractor, or someone digging a well on your property. It is not, however, of utmost importance for a living water feature.
A backyard pond pump is an essential component of a circulation system. It helps the pond skim off debris that fall into it, as well as adds necessary aeration for your fish. And then there’s the all-important waterfall element that simply won’t exist without a pump. And we all love our waterfalls, don’t we?
When talking pond pumps, there are a few things to consider:
Appropriate Water Flow for your Phoenix Pond
Without getting too technical here, let’s just say that you want to turn over the water in your pond completely between 1 and 2 times per hour. If you’re buying a pump for a DIY project, be sure to check the specs for this information, together with head pressure, length of pipe run, etc. A backyard pond pump is properly rated in gallons per hour. For example, a Tsurumi 3PL is rated at 3,000 gph at 5’ of head pressure, and this is plenty of water flow for the average backyard pond and waterfall, most of which hold 2-5,000 gallons of water. Save the horsepower question for the next car you plan to buy!
Energy Efficiency for Phoenix Pond Pumps
Any pump being marketing based on their rating in horsepower is likely going to cost a fortune to run 24/7. Not to mention, it will probably be too noisy and you’ll end up hearing it rather than your waterfall or babbling brook. Not the desired outcome for a backyard pond. For a backyard pond pump, you’re looking for a product that’s basically an aquarium pump on steroids, and should cost you between $15 and $30 per month to run. Much more sustainable than your average pool pump running around the clock!
Handling Heavy Solids in Phoenix Ponds
Another MUST feature of a backyard pond pump is that it must be DESIGNED to be used in a backyard pond. This means that it will pass heavy solids, or a small stone, through its mechanisms without plugging up or jamming up on you. A swimming pool pump is absolutely NOT designed to do this, as they assume the water to be a sterile environment. A living backyard pond is not, and should not be, a sterile environment.
So, the simplest answer to the question of “how big is your pond pump” is that the pump is only as big as it needs to be. Clear as mud?
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Barbi Holdeman, co-owner of The Pond Gnome, enjoys sharing their 20+ years of education & experience with you! She writes about Phoenix Ecosystem Pond Installation, Pond Maintenance, Wildlife around the Pond, Koi and Goldfish in the Pond, and the Pond Lifestyle. If you enjoy what she writes, please share it!