Regardless if you are a novice aquarist or just a beginner, maintaining an ideal aquatic environment is crucial for your fishes and marine plants to survive.
Hence, choosing the right water pump for your aquarium is essential. The perfect pump is reliable, heavy-duty, and can work non-stop without breaking down.
We have gathered the best of aquarium water pumps in the market. Whether it’s your first time to buy or you’re looking for a replacement, check out the following top 10 best water pumps for your aquarium.
Top Best Sellers of Aquarium Water Pumps
Last update on 2020-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
From submersible, external, to the heavily-constructed pumps, every aquarist would love to own one of the following:
1EcoPlus 6657 GPH (550W) Submersible Water Pump
First on the list is the EcoPlus aquarium water pump. Its fixed flow rate submersible or inline pumps are suitable for hydroponics, aquariums, ponds, and other uses.
Thanks to this magnetic-drive pump constructed with high-quality materials, the rare earth rotor magnet allows you to deliver a powerful and constant water flow to your tank.
All pumps include a ceramic shaft impeller, and it’s oil-free. In that way, you can use it in either fresh or saltwater aquarium. You can rid of the guesswork because of its fixed flow and inside threaded fittings.
Trouble-free one moving part can last for a long time with proper use and maintenance. The strainer protects the impeller from getting damage. Its 120-volt cord, inlet, and outlet fittings are all included in the package.
- Can be used for garden irrigation
- Quiet operation
- The powerful unit provides adequate pressure in pushing water
- Affordable price
- An issue with the incorrect sizing chart
- Poor filtration apparatuses
- Strainer attachment is not the right size
2ReeFlo Dart/Snapper Hybrid Pump (3600/2600 gph)
Next is the hybrid pump from Reeflo. It has a maximum capacity of 3600 GPH and a maximum wattage of 155. This low-heat transfer unit operates without generating unnecessary noise.
Thanks to its heavy-duty silicon carbide saltwater seal, you can use it in a variety of aquaponics usage. It’s ideal for smaller aquariums because of its slow flow rate that does not affect the pumps service life. The package includes the Dart and Snapper impellers.
If you have a 500-gallon closed loop system that requires low watt draw and low heat transfer, this is the ideal unit for you. Changing the impeller is easy and hassle-free.
Having two size impellers allows you to switch to the dart impeller at the start and you can add some reactors or chillers if needed.
- Easy to install and use
- An ergonomic choice for customers on a budget
- Quiet and smooth operation
- For external use only, not submersible
3Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max Aquarium Chiller
Check out this aquarium chiller from Hamilton Technology. It can help you to maintain an optimum water temperature of your fish tank by lowering the temperature inside.
Featuring a digital LED temperature display control allows you to keep the desired temperature accurately. It also features an anti-freezing system that can prevent the heat exchanger from freezing.
The thermostat of this device will automatically return to the last set temperature in case of power outage. It provides 25% BTY per watt compared to other chillers in the market.
This unit is also resistant to corrosion and rust, serving you for years to come with proper use and maintenance.
The powerful and reliable compressor uses DuPont ozone friendly cooling agent automatic power surge shut off and memory temperature recall helps in saving energy consumption.
- Helps to save energy consumption
- Requires little to no maintenance
- Allows you to leave AC off by day
- Quick and easy installation
- Noisy operation
- You need to set it 2 degrees lower than the desired temperature
- Gaps in casing panels
4Pan World 150PS Magnetic Water Pump
The Pan World 150PS compact magnetic drive water pump allows you to maintain the cleanliness of your fish tank and provide the ideal aquatic environment for your pets.
Its maximum capacity is 1100 GPH at 0 head feet. It also provides a maximum of 27 feet head pressure.
The motor input is 170 watts. Same specifications can be seen in this product such as flow curves, high head pressure, and impressive reliability.
The seal-free bearings and magnetic drive allow you to use the product in ease. Compared to other pumps, it’s surprisingly affordable and a good alternative if you are on a tight budget. The package includes a power cord for your maximum comfort.
- Solid quality, built to last
- Easy to use
- Heavy-duty components can run non-stop
- Affordable price
- Not suitable for large aquariums
5Iwaki MD55RLT Water Pump (Japanese Motor)
This Japanese water pump motor from Iwaki can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. This seamless pump works quietly and efficiently.
The aquarium-tested design of this product makes it highly durable and can last for a long time. This is the ideal choice for pet lovers who are looking for pumps for circulation and wet or dry return.
The Iwaki America Incorporation had made a reputation for manufacturing quality aquarium pumps, and this model is not an exception.
Thanks to its intricate manufacturing process and quality components, you can keep it running without worrying that the machine will break down.
This pump can also be used in garden irrigation and a wide variety of aquarium purposes.
- Quiet yet powerful operation
- Provides impressive high head pressure ability
- Easy to use and install
- Not suitable for customers on a budget
6Sea Horse 3/4 HP Pump
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Check out this unique diffuser and impeller from Sea Horse Pump. Thanks to its quality design, it can provide excellent pressure performance across a wide range of desired GPM flow rates.
The user-friendly drain plugs make it easier for you to manage the product. It features a 1 ½-inch suction and discharge pots for your convenience.
This unit is manufactured with reinforced fiberglass for added strength and durability. With proper use and maintenance, it can last for a long time.
This product also includes a large capacity basket with see-through lid. Self-priming design for easy use and longevity of the pump.
- Strong horsepower for the best head performance
- Ideal to use in tall fountains and waterfalls
- Affordable price
- The unit is prone to overheating
- Self-priming is slow to start
- Housing is plastic and not metal
7Maxspect Gyre XF-230 Kit – Aquarium Pump & Controller
The Maxspect Gyre aquarium pump and controller is suitable for aquariums for up to 100 gallons. Compared to its previous versions, there are lots of cool features and controls that make pumping easier for your fish tank.
It includes a magnetic mount, controller, spare parts, and other components such as battery backup and multiple pumps.
The advanced controller allows you to gain full control and limit the number of power cords and cables as you desire.
Thanks to the advanced gyre water-moving technology, this powerful pump can run non-stop and moves a lot of water continuously. It is suitable for pet lovers who own larger aquariums.
This pump sits at the edge of your tank, and you won’t even notice it. It will not ruin the décor of your aquarium in the house while operating smoothly.
- Moves a lot of water with no dead spots
- Easy to use with pre-programmed options
- Can accommodate a second unit
- Easy pause button for feeding, no need to unplug
- Offers great circulation of water
- The FAT 32 will not work without SD card
- Noisy operation
- Not budget friendly
8Icecap 1K Gyre Aquarium Flow Pump
This aquarium flow pump from IceCap is applicable for both glass and acrylic aquariums for up to ½-inch thick. Its maximum flow is 1000 GPH and suitable for fish tanks containing over 50 gallons.
The package includes a 1k gyre pump, power supply, single side cap, and controller. It’s easy to install thanks to its single magnetic mount. The single side cap makes it a more compact single propeller operation, suitable for small nano tanks.
There are five controllable flow modes and programmable 24-hour flow period that you can choose from. Its unique gyre flow can virtually eliminate all dead spots. With proper use and maintenance, it can last for a long time with its discrete design.
The twin directional flow cages plus the cap for single side operation is perfect for pet lovers who own small fish tanks. The magnet mount is durable and waterproof. Alternating gyre mode allows you to make the most out of this product once installed.
- Moves a lot of water
- Small but mighty
- The controller is heavily-constructed and well readout
- Quiet and smooth operation
- Outside magnet is powerful with a sticky coating
- Issues with reverse gyre not moving water
- Inside magnet is not sturdy enough
- Small screen with confusing symbols
9Current USA eFlux DC Flow Pump
This DC flow pump from the Current USA offers an adjustable flow, unlike traditional AC water pumps. It is DC-powered allowing you to have full control of the device. In adjusting the flow of the water, you can turn the dial until you can reach the desired optimal flow.
This device is submersible or external. It can be used for both saltwater and freshwater systems. You can install it inline. A quick couple hose barb fittings are included in the package to make installation a breeze.
You don’t need to be an expert to control this device. It’s easy to install and have a minimal footprint, allowing you to place it in small sumps and tight spaces. The high flow combined with high pressure makes this device the perfect choice for return pump application.
Not to mention that it can help you save money in the long run because of its strong water flow. The seal DC motor and magnetic drive design allow you to save up to 65% of energy savings compared to traditional pumps in the market.
- Easy to use and control
- Sealed DC motor is an energy saver
- Can be used external or submersible
- Quiet operation
- IC electronic detection protects the pump if there’s no present water
- The issue with the pump losing power
- Slight leak with the discharge nozzle
10Cal Pump PW5500 5,500 GPH 3/4 HP Waterfall Pump
This unit from Cal Pump provides a direct drive of 5500GPH. The maximum flow is 5750 GPH with 33-feet maximum height.
This pump is submersible only. The heavily-constructed pump is non-corrosive and rust-free. It is suitable for larger aquariums.
Now you can enjoy the sound of a waterfall cascading down rocks into a pond with this unit. It also benefits the marine plants and fishes. The ceramic mechanical seal and brass inserted in the discharge are built to last.
Also, their heavy-duty motor shaft ball-bearings can last for a long time with proper use and maintenance. The 16-gauge cord provides extreme convenience when installing or transferring the unit.
- No-oil design is safe and efficient
- Energy-efficient capacitor-start motor
- Clogging issues
- Poor customer service
- Issues with a short service life
- Issues with burnt electric parts
Selecting the Best Aquarium Water Pump
Every fish tank must have an aquarium water pump. However, with the wide range of available water pumps online, it can be challenging to choose the right model for you. Below is a buying guide along with a list of the best-selling aquarium water pumps in the market that you can choose from.
What is an Aquarium Water Pump?
An aquarium water pump is a device that works by driving the water inside and outside of the filtration system. It is commonly used in fish tanks to ensure that the water is clean and uncontaminated for the fishes. These pumps also work by producing pressure between outgoing and intake valves.
Types of Aquarium Water Pumps
The following are the most common types of aquarium water pumps that you’re going to see in the market:
- Submersible water pumps
This is the most common water pump available in the market. It works by pumping water into the aquarium while completely submerged. It pumps the water from the filter system before pushing it back to the aquarium. Submersible water pumps are ideal because of its noiseless operation. It’s also very easy to install, in case your mechanical knowledge is limited.
However, the only downside is that they are water cooled. These water pumps can drastically change the temperature underwater and might affect some of your aquatic pets.
2. Inline water pumps
We also have inline water pumps. It is the complete opposite of the submersible water pump because it is placed outside the aquarium. Therefore, when installing this kind of pump, you will need an outlet and an inlet hose for the filtered aquarium water. The same design is used when cleaning water in swimming pools. Inline water pumps are ideal to use because it is air cooled. Rest assured that it will never heat up the water inside the aquarium.
However, its downside is that inline water pump generates unnecessary noise. If you have a basement, you might want to place your pump there. In that way, you will never be disturbed with its indistinct noise when operating.
How to Choose the Best Aquarium Water Pump
Here are the following tips to keep in mind when shopping for the best aquarium water pump for your fish tank.
- Flow rate
It is best that you choose a water pump that can maintain a good water flow rate. In that way, you can trick your fishes into thinking that they are swimming in their natural habitat. Make sure that you know first is the species of fishes that you have in your tank require low water flow rates or high water flow rates.
If you have no idea, remember that fishes from salt water may require a high water flow rate while fishes from the fresh water can survive more in low water flow rates. Making sure that you give your fishes a reasonable flow rate will allow you to increase their survival in the tank and increase their lifespan.
- Filtration type
With the rise of numerous filtration types available in the market, it can be confusing to choose the right kind. Just keep in mind that when choosing a filtration type, you must also consider the kind of water pump that your tank will need to suit your needs. Some buyers already have their filtration system and are just looking for a compatible aquarium water pump to complete the setup. However, if you don’t have both, you can always look into the market of the aquarium pump and filtration system bundles to save money and ensure the compatibility of both products.
- Plumbing required
You should also consider the type of pipe needed for the aquarium water pump that you’ve chosen. When installing an aquarium water pump, you should also consider the salient plumbing factors and head height.
You might want to opt for an aquarium water pump that does not require complex plumbing installment. Consider where you plan to place the pump’s filtration system. It is vital that you calculate the amount of plumbing work that is needed to be done before you consider buying an aquarium water pump.