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Do Ponds Really Need a Pump? (Two Types to Consider)

Do Ponds Really Need a Pump? (Two Types to Consider)

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To most people, pond pumps are the heart or centerpiece of a backyard pond. However, others don’t see the need to install a pond pump, especially if the pond is well-maintained and follows a natural ecosystem.

Regardless of your take on such a nifty device, there’s no denying how many benefits it can provide. Although, you may have to allot a hefty budget for it since it can be pricey to get and run.

So now we ask, do ponds need a pump? The answer can be yes or no, depending on your setup and preference.

To help you decide, we’ll discuss further how pond pumps work, their benefits, and other pond pump-related facts. Let’s get started!

How Do Pond Pumps Work?

Pond pumps work by absorbing water and pushing it with force throughout the pond’s water body. This push-and-pull motion creates constant movement within the pond to prevent its waters from stagnating.

These water-filtering devices are most helpful during the summer and winter seasons. Since oxygen depletes from water in summer and stagnant waters tend to freeze in winter, the motion created by pond pumps aids in overcoming such extreme conditions.

Are Pond Pumps Safe for Fish?

Most commercial-grade pond pumps are safe and harmless for fish, so there’s no need to worry about your underwater pets. It’s highly unlikely for healthy fish to get caught in the pump, while those that do come out unscathed.

Additionally, if you’re concerned about the electricity powering the pump, there are hardly any hazards to be wary about. Pond pump manufacturers build these devices with an epoxy resin coating to waterproof the electrical components.

What Are the Benefits of Pond Pumps?

It’s best to consider the benefits of pond pumps first if you’re undecided on whether or not they’re worth investing in. While it may not work well with everyone, there are some desirable benefits to think about.

Here’s how pond pumps can help maintain your pond:

  • Keeps the water in your pond flowing
  • Provides sufficient oxygen in the pond
  • Prevents water stagnation
  • Helps spread nutrients in the pond evenly
  • Reduces excess algae buildup or algal bloom
  • Discourages the congregation of unwanted insects like mosquitoes
  • Helps keep the pond clean and healthy

What Are the Two Types of Pond Pumps?

Choosing which type of pond pump to use primarily depends on your preferred setup and pond size. In terms of functionality, there’s hardly any difference to find between the two water pumps.

Both water pumps also follow a similar energy consumption dependent on their wattage. However, it’s worth noting that submersible pond water pumps are a bit more expensive to get than non-submersible or surface-mounted ones.

Let’s discuss further how these two water pumps differ, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Submersible Pond Water Pump

The reason why submersible water pumps are more pricey is because of how they’re manufactured. Since these water pumps are meant to go underwater, the electrical components need waterproofing by adding an epoxy resin coating.

Submersible pond water pumps are also a common pick for pond owners due to their efficiency. Here are some other notable benefits these water pumps have:

  • It doesn’t need manual priming since the water pump is underwater
  • You won’t have a machine popping out, making your pond look more natural and aesthetically pleasing
  • Water will naturally go through the pump without the use of energy

Non-Submersible Pond Water Pump

Non-submersible pond water pumps have been around for a while and are trusted in keeping ponds clean and flowing. However, this type of water pump is noisier and prone to environmental damage since it’s just sitting on a surface.

Let’s take a look at some of the notable benefits of this water pump:

  • Non-submersible pond water pumps are more affordable
  • These water pumps are easier to access since they’re surface-mounted
  • Some non-submersible pond water pumps are petrol-driven

Do Pond Pumps Use a Lot of Electricity?

The amount of electricity pond pumps use hinges on how big the pump is and how much wattage it uses. That’s why it’s necessary to take note of your chosen pump’s wattage so you’ll have an idea of how much you have to spend on electricity.

You can usually find a pond pump’s watts in the instructions manual or the box it came with. The next thing to note once you have the watts done is how many gallons of water it can pump in an hour.

Here’s a table showing the rough estimate of a pond pump’s annual electricity cost per wattage:

Pump WattageAnnual Cost at 10 Cents per Kilowatt-Hour
10 watts$8.76 per year
20 watts$17.52 per year
50 watts$43.80 per year
100 watts$87.60 per year
200 watts$175.20 per year

The annual cost to run pond pumps at 10 cents per kilowatt-hour

Can Fish Live in a Pond Without a Pump?

In most cases, fish can survive in a pond without the intervention of water pumps. In fact, it’s not absolutely necessary to buy and install a water pump for your pond, especially if it has a small area.

As long as the pond is well-maintained and follows a natural ecosystem, there’s no need to get a water pump. However, there are certain fish species that may not do well in such a setup.

For instance, Kois and Orfes may find it hard to survive without the help of pond pumps. This is because both species are highly active and consume a lot of oxygen.

Since pond pumps excel in circulating and oxygenating water, Kois and Orfes can use the extra oxygen source they provide. Otherwise, oxygen will easily deplete in your pond, causing these fishes to die eventually.

Does a Wildlife Pond Need a Pump?

If it’s not deemed necessary to have water pumps in a pond, neither will it in a wildlife pond. It already hosts a natural ecosystem, so there’s not much intervention needed.

As much as we’ve discussed how water pumps are effective in oxygenating water, there are enough aquatic plants in a wildlife pond to do that. It’ll only cost you extra to install and run one, especially if the pond is big.

What you can do is add some oxygenating plants to keep the pond healthy. Not only will it be easier to do, but will also cost less.

Can You Use a Pool Pump for a Pond?

While it’s possible to use a pool pump for a pond, it’s more often a bad idea. Yes, pool pumps work similarly to pond pumps, but the difference is that pool pumps don’t have to deal with certain debris foreign to swimming pools.

These water pumps are labeled and manufactured for a reason, so it’s best to stick with their innate purpose. It may sound like you’ll save money if you reuse pool pumps, but they might just break sooner or later.

If you don’t want to spend on getting a new pond pump, there are many other ways to keep your pond clean and healthy. Regular maintenance, water quality tests, and oxygenating plants are viable options.

Are Solar Pond Pumps Any Good?

As the name implies, a solar pond pump uses the sun’s rays by absorbing them into its panels and using the stored energy to pump water. Right off the bat, they’re definitely effective and cost-efficient.

However, buying a solar pond pump can prove to be quite expensive. Since it’s a much more complex machine built to function the same way electrical-powered water pumps do, it’s no surprise its price tags are worth a second or third look.

Nonetheless, it can save you tons of money in the long run with your electricity bills. What’s more, it has a low impact on the environment since it utilizes renewable energy to function.

Overall, solar pond pumps are worth investing in if you want to cut your energy costs while contributing to the preservation of the environment.

Final Thoughts

Pond pumps are always a welcome addition to pond owners, given their desirable benefits. While it does require you to spend a little extra, the advantages of owning one outweigh the investment.

It’s true that you don’t need one to keep your pond healthy and thriving, but it significantly lessens the load for maintenance. The more you get to see your pond brimming with life, the more you’ll appreciate how much work pond pumps do for you.


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