Best Aquarium Pumps 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

1. Jecod Jebao 2. Simple Deluxe 3. Fluval Hagen

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One of the most versatile yet essential pieces of equipment that you can set up in your fish tank is an aquarium pump. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced hobbyist, your main goal is to ensure a healthy environment for your fish and underwater plants to thrive. To do this, you have to get the best aquarium pump for the type of aquarium you keep.

A lot of fish keepers think that an air pump is optional, but once you see the benefits it offers, you will be convinced otherwise. Just like substrate, heater, and filter are essential in regulating the medium your finned friends live in, so is a pump. Its most important use is that it creates oxygen in your aquarium by agitating water to create surface area.

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Water sump pumps are particularly useful if you have an overcrowded tank, as it helps increase water circulation. It can also be used to power other equipment and ornaments, as well as to fill or drain your aquarium. Besides, it serves as a decoration piece, as it creates bubbles with a soothing sound that your fish or guests might enjoy.

When you’re out to buy, you might find that there are a lot of options to choose from and quite frankly, it can get a little overwhelming. That’s where this guide steps in which will tell you the factors which should affect your purchase. It then goes on to list and review some of the top-quality ones, so you buy only the best aquarium pump.

Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Aquarium Pump

1. Size

The obvious rule when buying something that goes within the aquarium is to make sure that it’s small enough to fit in the space you have inside properly. The same is applicable when buying a pump. If you’re a beginner, you might think to invest in the most powerful one you can find – only to turn out that it doesn’t fit in your tank.

Different pumps work for different sizes, and this is usually mentioned in their packaging. However, it’s important to note that it is meant for standard-sized tanks, and might not be applicable if you have a hexagon-shaped, long or tall aquarium. It’s important to note that if water needs to be pumped a long distance, you will need more power, as well.

As a general rule, it’s better to get a slightly bigger size than you think you might need. Also, take into account the dimensions of the product. Take into account tight corners, plumbing required, and the space you have to connect the water pump or motor if it’s to be placed outside. The cord has to be plugged into a socket far away from the aquarium, so take into account the cord length provided.

2. Type

There exist two major types of aquarium pumps dominating the market currently – inline and submersible. Some of the latest versatile models also offer both. Choosing one type is one of the first major decisions you should make when buying an aquarium pump. Each type is different concerning a few variables, and it helps to know the difference to make an informed choice.

A submersible water pump, like the name, is to be housed under the waterline of the fish tank. It has two parts, the actual pump and the motor that powers it, both of which are kept in water. It won’t take up much space in your tank and usually doesn’t affect the aesthetics of the tank as it can be nicely hidden.

A submersible pump typically works rather quietly but powerfully. Additionally, it might even come with inline heaters and submersible filters. They are usually easy to maintain and install, with no drilling required. One drawback is that they are water-cooled, which means they might make your tank water slightly hotter. They also cost somewhat more than inline types.

Inline pumps or pedestal style pumps, on the other hand, is a rather practical choice, too. They are installed outside the aquarium and are in contact with water using the inlet and outlet hose. The motor, however, is not submersible or waterproof and has to remain outside. It can be a little dangerous if you have pets or kids who might play with it.

The biggest advantage with inline pumps is that they don’t add heat to the tank as they are air-cooled. They are a good option if you have a free-flow setup or a pressure set up in a deep, narrow aquarium. They are usually much cheaper and much more powerful than the submersible kind. However, a disadvantage is that they can get noisy when in use.

3. Power

The horsepower of the aquarium pump is crucial because it determines a few things. The most important and obvious one is that the more powerful or stronger it is, the faster it will clear up the water. They will also be able to take care of large amounts of water at once. However, it will also require more electricity. They are usually larger.

As a general rule, freshwater fish and plants like less circulation and thus a low flow rate, while saltwater fish tend to prefer more circulation and a higher flow rate. So, ultimately, the power depends on the flow rate required in your tank. Another small but significant factor is head pressure, or to what height the water needs to be pumped. The more it needs to be pumped, the higher the power required.

Top 10 Best Aquarium Pumps 2020

1. Jecod/Jebao DCT Marine Controllable Water Pump

Jecod Jebao Best Aquarium PumpsModel: DCT-8000 | Power: 68 watt | Weight: 4 pounds | Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.4 x 7.2 in | Max flow: 2113 GPH | Max head pressure: 14.8 feet |

Key features:

  • Newer enhanced models
  • Energy saving
  • No copper
  • T series 10-speed mode controller

Reasons to buy:

  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Includes ten control modes for T-series
  • Construction is very durable
  • Does not contain copper components, thus risk-free

Reasons to avoid:

  • Seems to lose pressure sometimes
  • Might be slightly noisy

The best aquarium pump on the market currently is the DCT 8000 by Jecod/Jebao. It combines power saving with innovative features to provide premium performance, just like you would expect. This newer upgraded model promises to save up to 50 percent energy than its predecessors.

It is capable of delivering a high rate of flow, which can be controlled. Even in case of power cuts, the setting will not change and can be locked in place. If you’ve set it high, it doesn’t directly jump up, but instead gradually increases the flow rate and climbs to the set value. These kinds of DC adjustable pumps are increasingly long-lasting. This is in itself is a justification of the price you pay.

Another additional feature is the “fish feeding” button. On pressing this, the pump stops working as the fish feed. This is to ensure food doesn’t get sucked into your filter. Also, it means you won’t have to plug your pump in and out constantly. The pump is also another safe option for the inhabitants of your tank, as none of its components are made using Copper.

Even if you’re a beginner, you will find the pump easy to set up and maintain. A small downside is that it isn’t very quiet, although some consumers do claim it is. The majority, however, find it to be capable of generating audible sound that isn’t very loud. Other features work as advertised. The product has a one-year warranty, and should typically last you longer than that. In rare cases, it might lose pressure after a few months of use.

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2. Simple Deluxe 1056 GPH Submersible Pump

Simple Deluxe 1056 GPH Submersible PumpBrand: Simple Deluxe | Model: LGPUMP1056G | Power: 60 watts | Weight: 4.5 pounds | Dimensions: 8.3 x 4.6 x 7.1 in | Max flow: 1056 GPH | Max head pressure: 12 feet | Power cord length: 15 feet |

Key features:

  • Three sizes threaded nozzles
  • 15’ electric cord with vinyl jacket
  • Aluminum Oxide ceramic impeller shaft
  • Filter included

Reasons to buy:

  • Long-lasting
  • The electric cord is long and waterproof
  • Fast water pumping
  • Safe to use

Reasons to avoid:

  • Might clog up easily
  • Cannot be used in ponds

This product is the best aquarium pump for aquaponics, hydroponics, fountains, and fish tanks that require a long power cord. It is a quality product that works when submerged fully in water. The impeller shaft is incredibly strong as it is made of polished aluminum oxide ceramic, which doesn’t rust in water.

The working parts don’t have any exposed copper and are covered with epoxy resin, making them safe and corrosion-free as well. It has a reliable, powerful motor which can also be used in saltwater. Three different sizes of the nozzle are provided (0.83 in, 1.06 in, 1.34 in), so you can select the fitting most stable for you.

A generous 15 feet power cord makes the setup very convenient. It is also waterproof and able to resist moisture, grease, and oil. A pre-filter present with the pump traps all debris to keep the water clear at all times. This aquarium pump requires you to buy a discharge hose but does not need any lubrication or special maintenance.

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3. Fluval Hagen Sea Sump Pump For Aquarium

Fluval Hagen Sea Sump Pump For AquariumBrand: Fluval | Model: SP2 | Power: 58 watt | Weight: 3.8 pounds | Dimensions: 7.7 x 7.6 x 6.3 in | Max flow: 950 GPH | Max head pressure: 14.8 feet |

Key features:

  • Low heat transfer
  • Powerful flow rate

Reasons to buy:

  • Easy to install and maintain
  • No exposed metal
  • Works both submersible and inline
  • Does not affect aquarium water temperature

Reasons to avoid:

  • Bigger size than you might expect
  • Does not include filter
  • Generates audible noise

The Hagen Sea Sump Pump by Fluval, a top brand, is the best aquarium pump for saltwater aquariums. It has an extremely durable build material without any exposed metal parts, so you don’t have to worry about corrosion. It will last you a long time but doesn’t come with a filter.

This magnetic unit is one of the few models of pumps that can be used both submerged in the tank as well as outside, as you prefer. Since this unit is somewhat bigger in size, you might prefer using it outside. This might also mean you have to put up with a little noise that the machine produces to pump water.

It can be used both in freshwater as well as saltwater aquariums. It runs on 120V/60 Hz with a max flow rate of 950 GPH. By using this, you will see a massive reduction in your power consumption. Another good thing is that it is capable of working while maintaining its coolness so it won’t change the temperature of the tank.

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4. Jebao DCP Sine Wave Water Return Pump

Jebao DCP Sine Wave Water Return PumpBrand: Jebao | Model: DCT-6500 | Power: 55 watts | Weight: 6 pounds | Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 5 in | Max flow: 1710 GPH | Max head: 14.7 feet |

Key features:

  • Newer improved model
  • Memory function
  • Quiet operation
  • No copper components
  • Energy-saving model

Reasons to buy:

  • Noiseless functioning
  • Safe to use
  • Power-saving feature
  • Powerful pump

Reasons to avoid:

  • Might be slightly pricey
  • Instructions provided not clear
  • Tread might have leaks
  • The controller doesn’t always effectively adjust the flow

If you’re looking for an aquarium sump pump for your reef or saltwater tank, look no further. The Jebao DCP Sine Wave Water Return Pump is an energy-efficient option that’s perfect for the job. It has a powerful pump with a top performance motor in a compact design. The price tag on it might seem a little high at first when compared to products with similar specifications.

Features that make it stand out from others, other than its power-saving design, are many. One such feature is the memory function which remembers settings even when there is a power cut. It’s safe to use, with no copper exposed. There is also a fish feeding option that lets you turn off the pump without having to unplug it so you can feed your fish.

It is a submersible type of pump. A controller is present that allows you to set or change flow rates as required. However, it’s not wireless. This aquarium pump is a good investment, bound to last a few years. It works without letting you know of its presence and doesn’t heat the water either.

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5. Aquastation Silent Swirl Controllable DC Aquarium Pump with Wave Function/Mode

Aquastation Silent Swirl Controllable DC Aquarium Pump with Wave Function ModeBrand: Aquastation | Model: DC4000 | Power: 28 watt | Weight: 4 pounds | Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.8 x 5.4 in | Max flow: 1056 GPH | Max head pressure: 11.5 feet |

Key features:

  • No copper
  • Ceramic shaft
  • Works inline or submersible
  • 20-speed settings
  • Sine wave technology

Reasons to buy:

  • Very quiet
  • Feeding mode
  • Energy-efficient
  • Multiple speed settings

Reasons to avoid:

  • No adapters included

Another great aquarium pump is this one by Aquastation. It has an excellent pump with a maximum flow rate of 1056 gallons per hour. It can be customized to suit your tank’s needs. An example of this is the feeding mode, which turns off the pump for ten minutes so you can feed your fish without worrying about food getting sucked in.

Another customizable feature is the smart controller, which allows you to select between twenty flow rates. Additionally, there’s a wave mode that lets you change the intensity of waves in your tank. The coolest part is that it does all this without making any sound. This is due to the sine wave technology that is used in its making and design.

It can be used for both marine as well as freshwater tanks. While it works with most sizes, a small downside is that you might have to buy your adapter. Other than that, this is easily the best aquarium pump you can get your hands on.

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6. Aqueon Quietflow Submersible Utility Pump

Aqueon Quietflow Submersible Utility PumpBrand: Aqueon | Model: 2300 | Power: 21 watt | Weight: 2.4 pounds | Dimensions: 6.2 x 4.4 x 6.5 in | Max flow: 608 GPH |

Key features:

  • Newer improved model
  • Versatile use
  • Submersible
  • Adjustable flow rate

Reasons to buy:

  • Generally quiet
  • Good flow rate
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Reasons to avoid:

  • Might be loud during the ‘break-in’ period

If you are looking to buy the best aquarium pump for your nano tank, then consider getting the Aqueon Quietflow Submersible Utility Pump. It can be used in both small freshwater as well as saltwater aquariums and household fountains. It is ready to use right out of the box and doesn’t require any separate ball valves. It lets you adjust flow between 106 and 608 gallons per hour.

It’s very quiet, except during the break-in period. This might be at the start, and at that time, it might be annoyingly loud. But if you can put up with that for a few days/weeks, you’ll be surprised at how much it quiets down. It uses only 21 watts of power, which means it’s quite energy-efficient.

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7. Kedsum 400GPH Submersible Water Pump(1500L/H,40W), Ultra Quiet Submersible Pump, Fountain Pump-7ft High Lift, 6.6ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics

Kedsum 400GPH Submersible Water Pump(1500L H,40W), Ultra Quiet Submersible Pump, Fountain Pump-7ft High Lift, 6.6ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium, Statuary, HydroponicsBrand: Kedsum | Model: 800 GPH – Blue | Power: 60 watts | Weight: 4 pounds | Dimensions: 4.7 x 4 x 4 in | Max flow: 800 GPH | Max head pressure: 10 feet |

Key features:

  • UL certified power cord
  • Quiet motor
  • Multiple water flow effects
  • With suction cups

Reasons to buy:

  • Works quietly
  • Can be mounted horizontally as well as vertically
  • Saves energy

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not suitable for tanks with sensitive fish
  • The inner shaft needs lubrication
  • Requires timely maintenance

If you are looking for a pretty yet effective aquarium pump, the Kedsum Submersible Water Pump is for you. Its small size means that it can be easily hidden inside your pond or tank. Its powerful flow rate enables it to be used in desktop water fountains, water gardens, small ponds, and medium-sized saltwater and freshwater aquariums.

One thing against it is that it requires some amount of maintenance. It can be detached and separated easily, though. The inner shaft needs to be lubricated to ensure effectiveness. This can also be harmful to any sensitive fish you might keep, so make sure to continually check up on them in your first few days of use. What you won’t have to worry about it is noise – this product is about as quiet as they get.

This pump by Kedsum comes with a one-year warranty. It also comes with three outlet adapters so that you can save a little money. The sizes are 0.51 inch, 0.6 inches, and 0.7 inches. It can be mounted using suction cups provided.

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8. Rio Plus 2500 HP Aqua Pump, 782 GPH

Rio Plus 2500 HP Aqua Pump, 782 GPHBrand: Rio | Model: Plus 2500 | Power: 55 watts | Weight: 2.8 pounds | Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.8 x 3.7 in | Max flow: up to 782 GPH | Max head pressure: 10 feet |

Key features:

  • Freshwater and saltwater aquariums use
  • Power-saving
  • Fully submersible

Reasons to buy:

  • Durable
  • Inexpensive
  • Produce little to no noise
  • Does not heat water

If you’re looking for an inexpensive aquarium pump that will last you years, go for the Rio Plus 2500 HP Aqua Pump. It is designed with a ceramic shaft and magnetic-rotor technology to offer reliable performance. It does not require any oil or lubrication, and the unit is thoroughly enclosed, so there’s no fear of contamination.

It can offer a flow rate between 375 and 782 gallons per hour, which is pretty decent for a medium-sized tank. It works in both saltwater as well as freshwater environments. It works silently, barely making you aware of its presence. They also don’t produce much heat, so the water temperature isn’t altered.

It can be stuck to the ground using suction cups provided. Using a filter is recommended to achieve best results. It’s easy to set up and take off to clean. It comes with a basic manufacturer’s warranty.

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9. Extraup 1375GPH Electric Adjustable Flow Garden Submersible Fountain Pond Filter Silent Pump for Fish Pet Aquarium Tank Waterfall Koi Salt Clear Water

Extraup 1375GPH Electric Adjustable Flow Garden Submersible Fountain Pond Filter Silent Pump for Fish Pet Aquarium Tank Waterfall Koi Salt Clear WaterBrand: Extraup | Model: DCT-8000 | Power: 40 watts | Input voltage: 115V-60Hz |Weight: 4.5 pounds | Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.1 x 4.5 in | Max flow: 1375 GPH | Max head pressure: 15.7 feet | Power cord length: 8.2 feet | Hose adapters: 0.75 in, 1 in, 1.25 in |

Key features:

  • Locked rotor protection function
  • No copper elements
  • Ceramic shaft
  • Instruction manual included

Reasons to buy:

  • Can be used in large tanks, including recycling equipment
  • Energy-saving technology
  • Extremely quiet
  • Won’t burn a hole in your pocket
  • Adjustable flow

Reasons to avoid:

  • Lifting power is not as advertised

One of the hidden gems in the market is the Extraup Electric Adjustable Flow Garden Submersible Fountain Pond Filter Silent Pump. If you like eco-friendly options for your equipment, you will be pleased to know that this product promises to save you a lot of energy. It can be used in huge tanks, including with water recycling equipment, or aquariums, waterfalls, and ponds.

It works most effectively in water temperature in the range 4 to 35 °C. It is designed with a ceramic shaft to make versatile use possible. For smooth maintenance, the impellers are removable, and the shaft and rotor have a separate cover. If the rotor is blocked or if there is no water, it’s smart technology immediately cuts off the power to prevent damage.

The pump allows you to adjust the flow rate between 0 and 1345 gallons per hour. It might not work in lift settings of up to 10 feet as advertised, though – but is great for shallow tanks. It can be used in both saltwater as well as freshwater aquariums, as the body is made to resist corrosion. There is no exposed metal, thus making it a safe choice.

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10. Trupow 4226GPH Flow Frequency Electric Inline Garden Submersible Pond Filter Pump for Fish Tank Fountain Aquarium Waterfall Koi Salt Fresh Water

Trupow 4226GPH Flow Frequency Electric Inline Garden Submersible Pond Filter Pump for Fish Tank Fountain Aquarium Waterfall Koi Salt Fresh WaterBrand: Trupow | Power: 140 watts | Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.3 x 7.2 in | Max flow: 4226 GPH | Max head pressure: 24.6 feet | Power cord length: 16.4 feet |

Key features:

  • Silent working
  • Multiple hose adapters
  • Submersible

Reasons to buy:

  • Inexpensive
  • Strong pump

Reasons to avoid:

  • Flow rate not adjustable
  • Requires regular cleaning

If you’re in the search for the best aquarium pump for your koi tank, look no further. It might be small in size, but don’t let that fool you. It packs a powerful that offers flow rate of 4226 with an impressive head pressure of up to 24.6 feet. It’s important to note that this isn’t adjustable. It comes with four hose adapters – 1 inch, 1.25 inch, 1.5 inches, and 2 inches.

Its ceramic shaft and plastic body are quite durable and promise not to rust easily. It can be used in both saltwater as well as freshwater aquariums. It needs cleaning from time to time, but it’s easy enough to do as it can be easily taken apart. Locked rotor protection keeps your equipment safe by turning off the power automatically if the impeller jams.

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Best Aquarium Pumps: What’s Your Choice?

Getting the right aquarium pump for your tank is important. Not only does it help you clear more space for your fish, but also keeps the water clear by keeping debris, bacteria, and algae at bay. Ensure that the one you buy matches the requirements of your tank (like the type and flow rate), and prefer ones made of non-corrosive materials to ensure durability.

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