pond-pump

4 Best Pond Pumps & Filter Systems (2021 Review)

Written by:

DIY Garden is reader-supported. If you click through using links on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

In this guide we’ll look at the best pond pump for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, reliability, performance and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

What is the Best Pond Pump?

In a rush? Here's my top choice...

PFC-12000 Pressurised All In One Pond Pump & Filter

Highly effective filter for ponds up to 12,000 L!

This PFC-12000 Pressurised All In One Pond Pump & Filter can clean ponds of up to 12,000 L. It runs quietly and is able to remove both dissolved and solid waste. The built-in UV clarifier works effectively to prevent the growth of algae and eliminate harmful microorganisms. You'll see a marked difference in 1 week and it will even indicate when to clean the filter.

CHECK PRICE →

Everything I Recommend

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Best pond pump and filter system
  • Biological and mechanical filters
  • Ponds up to 12,000 L
  • Excellent fountain effect
  • Efficient integrated pump
  • Easy installation and maintenance
  • Fuss-free set up
  • Perfect for small to medium ponds
  • Easy maintenance
  • Ideal for small ponds
  • 5-in-1 functions!
  • Easy to install and maintain

More Detailed Pond Pump Reviews

PFC-12000 Pressurised All In One Pond Pump & Filter

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best pond pump and filter system
  • Biological and mechanical filters
  • Ponds up to 12,000 L
OUR RATING
98
PRICE
CHECK PRICE →

PFC-12000 Pressurised All In One Pond Pump & Filter Review

This PFC-12000 Pressurised All In One Pond Pump & Filter is suitable for relatively large ponds and cleans them using a combination of a filtering system and UV light.

Depending on what type of pond it is, it has slightly different cleaning capabilities: for a heavily-stocked Koi pond, it can clean up to 6000 L of water; for ponds stocked with a small amount of fish/Koi it will clean up to 9000 L; and for decorative ponds it can filter up to 12,000 L. Its performance is therefore very much based on the function of the pond as well as its size.

For a dirty, green, cloudy fish pond of roughly 4500 L, a difference in the water can be noticed within one week of using the filter, and in less than six weeks it can have the water completely clear.

In terms of value, it’s almost half the price of some other filters yet offers a similar service. It may need to be cleaned more often, and can be a little prone to getting blocked, but given its cost, this still offers good value.

There are biological and mechanical filters, as well as coarse and fine foam filtration. These work alongside the built-in UV clarifier, filtering dirt and debris whilst preventing the growth of algae and harmful microorganisms/parasites.

Whilst some filters can be surprisingly noisy, this one cleans the water quietly without disrupting the ambience of the garden. It’s also relatively easy to install, although as the instructions are a little lacking it may take a bit more patience from first-time pond filter users.

Pros

  • Produces quick results with most users noticing their pond looks clearer within 24 hours
  • As an all-in-one kit, there are no separate purchases needed
  • Easy method of cleaning the filters by turning side handle
  • Can turn even green pond water to clear water within a couple of weeks
  • Surprisingly quiet given the power

Cons

  • Blanket weed can clog the filters, so should be kept under control by other means
  • The 5 m hose supplied may be a little short for some gardens, depending on the pond set up

Hozelock 3003 Pond Fountain Pump & Filter

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Excellent fountain effect
  • Efficient integrated pump
  • Easy installation and maintenance
OUR RATING
96
PRICE
CHECK PRICE →

Hozelock 3003 Pond Fountain Pump & Filter Review

The Hozelock 3003 Pond Fountain Pump & Filter is suitable for filtering 3000 L of water an hour, and the cleaning power is helped by a variety of sponges, stones and Kaldnes bio-media (K1 media). This helps to promote ‘good bacteria’ in the pond, which, in turn, benefits the ecosystem and ensures that fish and plants remain healthy.

Set up is relatively straight forward, not requiring any previous knowledge of pumps and filters, although the instructions are quite basic.

Whilst it does work effectively at cleaning dirty water in smaller ponds, quite regular servicing may be required. This not only includes cleaning the filters monthly, and more frequently after initially installing them, but also keeping an eye on the UV unit and making sure that the O-ring remains water tight.

Given the low price, this level of quality seems as expected, and it still produces a good clean. It’s one of the best pond pumps in terms of value for money for several reasons: cleaning power, versatility as a pump and fountain, inclusion of K1 media, and low unit cost.

Pros

  • Produces an attractive fountain or waterfall effect while simultaneously cleaning your pond
  • Easy to set up no even if you're not familiar with filter systems
  • Inclusion of K1 media benefits the health of plants and fish
  • Capable of creating crystal clear clean water in a few weeks

Cons

  • Requires regular maintenance with regular checks of hardware as well as filters
  • Initially the filters may need to be cleaned every couple of days

All Pond Solutions UV Steriliser Filter Pump

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Fuss-free set up
  • Perfect for small to medium ponds
  • Easy maintenance
OUR RATING
92
PRICE
CHECK PRICE →

All Pond Solutions UV Steriliser Filter Pump Review

Setting up pond filter systems isn’t always straight forward, but fortunately there’s very little preparation or effort required when fitting this All Pond Solutions UV Steriliser Filter Pump into the pond.

It’s a single unit with just one power cable (10 metres long) which makes a change from other filters that can have multiple wires, units, and connectors.

If you have a waterfall feature, this is also one of the best pond pumps for managing the flow of water around the pond between different elements. There’s a splitter included that allows the circulating water to be divided between a waterfall feature and the pond, and the flow rate of water sent through either course can be controlled.

Three fountain heads come included, which attach to the top of the filter and turn it into a water feature itself, keeping water moving. It’s primarily suitable for small to medium ponds, up to 2500 L.

There are several filters included too: a coarse foam filter and three filter-media baskets. The first two baskets are filled with ceramic biological media and the last with a K1 media.

Within a few days it’s possible to see the results of these filters working, and the water clearing. Once you can see into the depths of your pond again, you may even find some fish you didn’t know you had!

Like many of the pumps featured on this page, it makes use of a UVC lamp, utilising UV light to kill algae as the water is filtered. However, the UV bulb is 11 watts which is slightly more powerful than others.

Overall, this seems to be a great option for those who like ponds with aesthetic elements; it can send a controlled amount of water over a waterfall whilst creating an attractive fountain in the middle of the pond. Plus, the water becomes visibly clearer.

Pros

  • Most users find their pond is clear within just 7 days
  • Comes with 3 fountain head attachments so suit your style of garden
  • Can be put together and installed in around 15 minutes
  • Compact and neat - doesn’t take up much space in your pond

Cons

  • Some customers commented that the UV light wasn’t strong enough to have much effect
  • Filters initially need cleaning every day

Blagdon Inpond 5-in-1 3000

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Ideal for small ponds
  • 5-in-1 functions!
  • Easy to install and maintain
OUR RATING
90
PRICE
CHECK PRICE →

Blagdon Inpond 5-in-1 3000 Review

As it turns out, there’s a lot more to pond filtration systems than simply cleaning grubby water. This Blagdon Inpond 5-in-1 3000 offers five different functions in one unit, some of which are purely aesthetic.

Not only does it work well as a pump and filter to keep water clean, it also uses UV to kill algae, creates a stunning fountain, and makes use of LED bulbs to transform into a light feature after dark. A nice feature with the light is that it can be programmed to only come on at night, but setting it up may take a bit of experimentation as the instructions aren’t very detailed.

The filtration system uses a combination of coarse/medium foam and ceramic bio-media, as well as a polymer wool pad cartridge to remove debris and clean the water. Within one week the filter can clear the water so that it’s possible to see the bottom of even a 60 cm pond.

One thing that might be a little misleading, is the amount of water this pump can filter – despite the model name being ‘3000’, it is only suitable for filtering 700 L of water an hour. Therefore, it’s only appropriate for small-medium ponds.

As an example, a pond that is approximately 140 cm long, 100 cm wide and 50 cm deep would have a capacity of about 700 L.

Another thing to be aware of is that you will need to fit plugs onto both the power cable for the pump and the UV base unit. The plugs aren’t included, so this is something that needs to be sourced before the system can be used.

Overall, this is one of the best pond pumps for offering aesthetic features as well as working well to clean the water. It’s inexpensive, especially considering everything it can do, but it does require a fair amount of maintenance to keep the filters clean and the pump working.

Pros

  • The polymer wool pad cartridge effectively removes very small particles
  • A difference to pond water clarity can be seen in just a few days
  • Good choice for beginners as easy to assemble and clean
  • Filters can be easily cleaned with rain water or garden hose

Cons

  • Two outdoor plug sockets are required
  • Two plugs are required, to attach to the power cables, and they don't come included

Things to Know Before Buying a Pond Pump

Ponds are a source of great pride for many gardeners. Not only do they create a sense of tranquillity in the garden, they also attract wildlife and give us the opportunity to keep beautiful fish.

Pond water needs to be constantly circulating, otherwise it will stagnate.

A pond pump keeps the water moving, whilst filtering and cleaning it. They remove debris and clear the water, whilst oxygenating it and improving the conditions for the plants and fish.

The best pond pumps and filters will not only clean the water, but kill algae, encourage beneficial bacteria growth, and create water features. I’ve put together the following information to help you find a good option for your pond:

Many pumps come with filters that include different types of filter media. Filter media simply refers to the substance doing the filtering.

When buying a pump, you can check to see if it’s easy to change the filter media – you may decide that a different media will work better in your pond.

The types of pond media fall into three main categories. Here are some of the different types of filter media, their uses, and why you might want to look out for them:

Mechanical Media

This includes substances such as sponges, filter foams, and filter wool.

The purpose of mechanical media is to clear the large particles from the pond water. Generally, the water will pass through the mechanical media first, before passing through other filters.

Once water has passed through the mechanical filter media it will be visibly cleaner to the human eye – particles of dirt, vegetation, small stones, etc. will all be removed from the water at this stage.

Mechanical media is essential in a filtration system.

Larger particles need to be removed from the water first before other filters can get to work on a deeper level. As a result, mechanical filter media requires the most maintenance – these are the filters that often get clogged up with dirt.

Mechanical filter media will need the most cleaning or replacing. Make sure you have enough of your chosen mechanical media in your house to replace it when necessary.

Chemical Media

Chemical media is not found in all filters. It is often chosen to do a specific job, which you may or may not deem necessary in your pond.

Chemical media includes substances such as Phosphate removerCarbon, and Zeolite.

Carbon is used to remove odours and impurities, Zeolite to remove ammonia, and Phosphate remover will tackle Phosphate.

Carbon is the most frequently used of the chemical media, and should be used in conjunction with mechanical and biological media. It’s what boosts clear filtered water to the next level: crystal clear sparkling water.

Zeolite shouldn’t be used often, only in times of crisis when there is an emergency relating to ammonia in the water. If it is used too frequently it will have a negative impact on the pond’s ecosystem, effecting the health of plants and pond life.

Phosphate remover will help tackle problems pertaining to high Phosphate levels in the pond. Too much phosphate can cause excessive algae and weed growth. Keeping Phosphate levels down will limit this growth.

Chemical media should be changed monthly at least. Once chemical media has performed its chemical process, it is no longer useful and should be thrown away.

Biological Media

This includes substances such as ceramic shapes, plastic beads, and K1 (Kaldnes Bio-Media).

The main function of the biological media is to trap ‘good bacteria’ and encourage it to prosper in the pond. These bacteria work to maintain water quality, taking waste produced by fish and converting it into substances that are not toxic to them.

Biological media tends to have a lot of rough surface area to trap this beneficial bacteria. When you begin to use it, you may not initially notice any changes. It takes time for the bacteria to grow on the biological media.

Bacteria requires oxygen, so water needs to be constantly running through the filter to keep these good bacteria alive.

You should not rinse your biological media filter because it will get rid of all of the bacteria that has built up. There shouldn’t be a need to clean this media, if the primary mechanical filter is doing its job, the biological media shouldn’t be coming into contact with any large particles of dirt.

Using biological media will really help the health of your fish. Having levels of bacteria that are too low is one of the primary causes of fish death in ponds.

Depending on the size of pond you have and the type of fish you keep, you will need a pump with a different flow rate.

If you have a pond with plants and goldfish you need a pump which will circulate at least 50% of the total volume of the pond every hour. In some cases, 75%. So, for example, if your pond is 9000 L, the minimum flow rate that you’ll need is 4500 – 6750 L per hour.

If you have a Koi pond then you need a pump which will circulate 100% of the pond water every hour. A 9000 L Koi pond would require a pump with a minimum flow rate of 9000 L per hour.

To work out the volume of your pond, use the following equation:

Length of pond (m) x Width of pond (m) x Depth of pond x 1000

Understanding Flow Rate With Pressurised Filters

When it comes to pumps and filters, you may buy them together as a set, or you may buy a pump and pressurised filter system separately.

If you are buying a pump and pressurised filter system separately, there are a few things you need to know to make sure that they are compatible. If you buy the pump and filter as a set, this should already have been taken care of for you, but it’s good to be aware of.

The maximum flow rate of the filter must be at least the same as the maximum flow rate of the pump. The maximum flow rate of the filter can also be more than the maximum flow rate of the pump, that’s fine and won’t cause any problems.

For example, if you’re using a pump for a 9000 L pond with plants and goldfish, you may have selected a pump which has a maximum flow rate of 6000 L per hour. Therefore, your filter will need to have a maximum flow rate of at least 6000 L per hour.

You can calculate how much it will cost to run your pump. Remember, if you have fish in your pond you ideally want the pump to be running the whole time.

You’ll need to know the wattage of the pump and how much your energy provider charges you per kWh (kilowatt hour).

You will need to do the following equation:

(Wattage of pump x number of hours pump used in one day) / 1000 x kWh rate

Let’s say the pump is 11 w, used for 24 hours a day, and the kWh rate is 14p.

(11 x 24) / 1000 x 14 = 3.69p

It would cost you less than 4p a day to run the pump for 24 hours.

Fountains

Fountains help aerate the water and keep it moving. They also have the added benefit of looking great and adding a relaxing sound to the garden.

If you choose a pump with a fountain, make sure that the water flow rate is suitable to the size of your pond.

If you want a larger waterfall, you will need a more powerful pump than for a small one. However, you still need to base this on the size of your pond – too big a pump for the pond will move the water too much and could injure fish and pondlife.

UV Light

Pumps and filters that include UV light have an added attack against pond algae.

As the water passes through the filter, the UV light shines on the water and kills algae.

This is a great additional feature for filters to have and can keep algae levels in the water under control.

LED Lights

Whether or not you want LED lights comes entirely down to personal preference.

Some pump and filter units have LED lights included which mean the pond can be illuminated in the dark.

Not only does these create an atmospheric lit water feature in the garden, they can also help in terms of safety because you know where the pond is at all times.

Pond Pump FAQs

If you have a Koi pond, your pump needs to be circulating 100% of the water every hour. If your pond is 9000 L then your pump needs to have a flow rate of 9000 L per hour.

Whether or not you need a pump in your pond depends on the sort of pond you have.

If your pond is for wildlife only, you do not need a pump. Frogs and insects will enjoy making use of your natural outside watering hole.

If you are keeping any form of fish in your pond, you need to use a pump. This is primarily because fish are not able to live in their own waste, or in dirty water in general. If the water gets too dirty, the health of your fish will suffer.

If you have a Koi pond, you need a more powerful pump than with standard goldfish.

You need to be running your pond pump for 24 hours a day. The water needs to be constantly circulating to keep it oxygenated. If it is constantly running through a filter it will also be kept clean.

Sources
Scroll to Top