All right. We are choosing a pond pump. The first thing that we are going to try and figure out is based of the size of our pond how bigger the pump we need. Now in my experience of you know, making ponds, redesigning ponds, building ponds, I have always went with all the small ponds let’s double the size. So for example, a 100 gallon pond, a little small 100 gallon pond, we will use a 200 gallon per hour pond. Now that rule of thumb is going to work for something around you know, let’s say 600 gallons. So a 600 gallon pond, I am going to be really happy with a 1200 gallon pond per hour pump. Now from there going forward it is almost a one to one. So you know, a 1000 pond let’s say 1000 gallon per hour pump, 1200 gallon pond 1200 gallon per hour pump, and as we get bigger, now the rule changes.
I have had good success, let’s say a 2400 gallon pond is still using that 1200 gallon per hour pump. So with the smaller ones we will double it, on the bigger pumps we will go back half size. Now as you go bigger let’s say a 4800 gallon pond you probably are going to need a 2400 gallon per hour pump. Now you can do that one or two ways. You could buy a 2400 gallon pump but those are expensive and you know, as you get bigger the pumps get more expensive, and you might find that you are happier with two 1200 gallon per hour pumps instead of one 2400 gallon per hour pump. Now that works for a couple of ways. It is about the same cost and during the winter you might unplug one of them and save money. During winter when you don’t need all that flow, or during the summer let’s say one of your pumps dies, you still have some water flow and your fish don’t die. So that is kind of the rule of thumb you know, doubling for the smaller ponds and going up half size for the bigger ones. But more importantly to a lot of people is their waterfall.
So you are not buying for the gallon size of your pond if you have a really big waterfall and you have a very small you know, trickle of water over it and you are not going to be really happy. Now, there’s a couple ways to solve that. One is to get a bigger pump. Two is maybe not to go quite as big on waterfall. You know, a lot of people think they need Niagara falls in their backyard and that’s just overkill. You know, the closer that pond is to your home, you can get a way with a smaller size pond and the smaller waterfalls for the same sound and same feel. Now, if you are building the pond way back in the corner of the yard you know, the back on your yard, first of all I wouldn’t do that. Most people who do that aren’t very happy because it just kind of disappears back there and you need something really big then to have the same effect. So you know, let’s keep in mind that the water flow through your falls is going to determine a lot as to how big a pump you are going to need.
Now let’s say we’ve got a pump that is a little bit bigger than our filter system and you know, that’s the third thing that we are going to look at. What about filters? Let’s say you are using a gravity filter and you put your pump on it, the one you think that is really going to work for your waterfall everything is great. You don’t cut down the flow to your filter and it is overflowing in your filter because you are pumping too much through it. Well, you are okay there and what we could do is we can divert and we can take the pump that is that is running through your filter and what I have always done in past is just you know, cut in there and put a little t with a balve valve on it, a couple of ball valves work really well. So that way you can shut down the flow accordingly until you can make it, so the flow through your filter is perfect and send the rest directly to your waterfalls.
Now, typically, if you are running a gravity filter at the back of your falls, it is going to be up high right behind your waterfall. So your diversion can take place right there at the filter and you know, just cut it, and T it. This goes to our filter, this goes straight to our falls, and of course going through the filter goes back to the falls also. So that way you can run a bigger pump that you need for your filter. Now there’s three types of pumps, the main three that we look at and I am going to exclude utility pumps. Now utility pumps are really cheap pumps and they are submersible. They cost a quite a bit run per hour and have a tendency to die on you if you are using them 24 hours a day, you know, 365 days a year. They work great though for pumping up your pond if you need to clean it or repair it.
Now, the three types of pumps that I use for continues duty would be a mag-drive pump, an external, or submersible pump. You know, most people use submersible pumps. They are less expensive to get started with but they cost a little bit more to run, and those are the ones that fit down in the water. They could either fit in your skimmer or they fit down on the bottom of your pond usually in a pump sock or some kind of a pump protector to protect them from being clogged with debris. You know, you could also go with an external pump. Those cost more upfront but they are a little bit more economical to run. Those are the kinds of pumps you would see on very large waterfalls especially, if you have a very high head height. Let’s say you are pumping through a really high falls, or your falls, your in a slope yard and you are going to pump from your pond, lower point of the yard way up and have to come all the way down. Well, that head height is going to require such a large submersible that I think you would be happier along with an external pump.
The third type of pump is the mag-drive pump. Now, in a lot of situations mag-drives are perfect. A mag-drive pump can be put in the water or you can plumb it so it is external, and mag-drives are by far the most economical. Whenever we had large holding tanks for our koi, we would plumb those with mag-drive pumps and put the pumps outside the tank, and those would cost us more or less than using any other type of pump. The problem with the mag-drive is even the larger mag-drives would stop at around 2400 gallons per hour, it is filtering them. You know, those tend to clog so you really have to put them either inside of a submersible filter or seriously build a contraction basically or something that’s going to have you know, tight filtration and go more and more filter out and don’t even have a net barrier around it otherwise, your mag-drive is going to clog all the time.
But if you are in a situation or you are using a submersible filter man, a mag-drive is a way to go, so you know, kind of keep in mind those are the things that we are looking at. It is not just by the size of the pond, it is also looking at the flow and we can work around our filter by diverting. And you know, if we can go with the mag and do that because it will save you money, if you are going to go with not a tremendously large head height or a high massive Niagara Falls, you could probably go by with a cheaper submersible. Keep in mind you can buy two smaller ones instead of one big one that will often help you and you know, your last recourse is the external. A lot more money upfront, much more flow, and you can have that one Niagara Falls going and you know, those are the main criteria for your pumps, and good luck with your pond.