Aquarium Sump pumps are often found on marine aquariums but can be useful in any type of large tank regardless of its location. Its great advantage is that it frees up space inside the display tank. Other advantages of the sump pump include the ability to handle a large volume of water, media flexibility, increased stock levels in your tank, greater efficiency, and enhanced environmental stability within the tank. Many people unfamiliar with this type of system are skeptical about whether it’s actually necessary. They tend to think of it as something that mostly appeals to aquarium hobbyists with too much time on their hands. But the fact is an aquarium pump can save you a great deal of time and hassle.
If you have a large aquarium you know that the amount of equipment required to keep it clean and vibrant can be substantial. The sump pump can help by consolidating all that equipment in one easy-to-access place, such as a cabinet under the display tank. This way it’s also completely out of sight unless or until it requires maintenance. Below you’ll find our picks for the best aquarium sump pumps on the market today.
Best Aquarium Sump Pump Comparison Chart
Top 5 Sump Pump For Aquarium Reviews
Aquastation Silent Swirl Controllable DC Aquarium Sump Pump
The Silent Swirl from Aquastation is a high-volume sump pump that’s as versatile as it is dependable, as quiet as it is powerful, and as safe for you with its low voltage motor as it is for the fish with its copper-free construction. The Silent Swirl moves in excess of 3,100 gallons of water per hour. That’s about the same amount of water you’d expect from an in-ground pool pump. As if moving 3,100 gallons of water per hour isn’t impressive enough, the Silent Swirl manages to move all that water without making a sound. We’re not kidding.
The Sine Wave technology employed here completely nullifies the sound waves emitted by the device and the result is that you need to get right on top of this puppy to hear it. It’s so quiet you may even think the motor has tripped out. Beyond the graveyard-quiet operation the Silent Swirl also offers optimal control and versatility with 20 different water flow rates. That way you can customize performance precisely to match the size of your tank, outdoor pond or waterfall. That’s right. This is one of the few aquarium pumps that is also capable of handling the volume required to do a waterfall feature right. But back to the aquarium.
The Silent Swirl is safe for both fresh water and marine tanks. Features a low voltage motor that minimizes the risk of shocks and has a nifty Feed Mode that shuts the pump down for 10 minutes so you can feed your fish and not worry about half the food winding up in the filter. If there is a downside to the Aquastation Silent Swirl it’s the lack of adapters. There’s little doubt it will work with most tanks. But there may be some instances where an owner will have to shell out for a separate adapter in order to hook it up. Still, that’s pretty small potatoes. The bottom line is that if you’re looking for an aquarium pump that can handle large volumes, is compatible with marine or fresh water tanks and doesn’t make a sound the Silent Swirl from Aquastation is here to answer the call.
- The flow rate of over 3,000 gallons per hour is enough to handle most of the largest domestic tanks and to enable outdoor water features as well.
- To say that it’s quiet is an understatement. We had to get right up next to it before we heard any noise emanating from the sump pump.
- Feed mode is a nice touch. It turns off the pump during feeding time so that half your food isn’t sucked out of the tank.
- Having 20 different water flow levels to choose from is a big plus as is the low-voltage operation.
- It’s a little puzzling that they didn’t include any adapters. This means it may not work right out of the box with some setups.
- If you try and use it without submerging it you’ll be in for a rude awakening.
Flexzion Submersible 800 GPH Aquarium or Pond Sump Pump
While the Flexzion Submersible 800 GPH pump is not the most powerful on the market it should be more than enough for most moderately sized fresh or salt water aquariums, ponds and water features whether indoors or out. It features an adjustable flow rate, a maximum lift height of 6.5 feet and a 120v motor that’s reasonably quiet. The Flexzion Submersible sump pump filters out large debris up to 1/4 inch in diameter and offers both low power and high flow settings. At just over 4 pounds it’s also light enough to move about without having to worry about throwing out your back. While marketed as a submersible (which it certainly is) it can also be used as an inline external pump for any type of water feature.
The pump has no exposed copper elements that could leach into the water and harm your fish, will not leak oil or other harmful chemicals into the water and is constructed using non-corrosive materials. So it’s good to go for the long term. In addition it breaks down into 3 small component parts to provide easy cleaning and maintenance.
We found this modular construction to be one of the most compelling aspects of the pump. First because there are no special tools required to take it apart. And second because it saves you a boat load of time and hassle. And since maintenance is traditionally a ball and chain most aquarium owners could happily live without, anything that makes that process easier is a major plus. While overall the pump is an outstanding value it’s not without its downside. If you’re going to use it as an inline, external pump be aware that it’s not the quietest device on the market.
There’s no Sine Wave technology at work here. And that’s perhaps expected considering the very affordable price. Also, be aware that if you intend to use this for a waterfall it should be of pretty modest dimensions, height and flow. Otherwise the pump will simply be overwhelmed.All that said none of those negatives should be deal-breakers. This is a fine piece of equipment that’s affordable, well-built, convenient, easy to move around and easy to clean.
- The unit is incredibly easy to work on as it breaks down into its 3 component parts in just seconds. As a result, cleaning and maintenance are a breeze.
- The unit is extremely versatile and, with little effort, can be adapted to indoor or outdoor tanks as long as you take the proper precautions.
- There are no exposed copper parts that could leach copper into the water over time and possibly compromise the health of your fish.
- The very attractive price point is a welcome sight for a hobby where the cost of accessories and peripherals can add up quickly.
- While 800 gallons per hour isn’t necessarily a falsehood the actual flow rate is the subject of some debate, with a few customers claiming it’s more like 700.
Dai Bao Submersible Water Pump
You won’t find the Dai Bao Submersible Water Pump on a lot of ‘best of’ lists and it’s a little hard to understand exactly why. This is a well-made, dependable, high-volume pump that’s great for salt or freshwater tanks, ponds and water features. It also happens to be extremely affordable and carries a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. So what’s not to like? The Dai-Bao submersible has been recently remodeled and now features a much cleaner, more attractive and less cluttered look than previous models.
Now that we think of it, perhaps it’s leftover bad feelings from those earlier rust-bucket versions that have prejudiced some folks from giving this new model the fair shake it deserves. But that would be a shame because there’s a lot to like here. Let’s start with the flow rate of 1,585 gallons per hour. While that’s no industry best it’s more than enough for those with large tanks or good-sized outdoor ponds. Combine that generous flow with the maximum lift of 13 feet and you’ve got a pump that’s made for waterfalls. Something not a lot of more expensive pumps can rightfully claim.
In addition the Dai Bao Submersible Pump comes with a half dozen different size connectors so it’s bound to sync with a majority of systems. It’s also low voltage, minimizing the risk of shocks, and is super simple to install with no special tools needed. All electrical components are UL certified, including the plug and power cables. The high grade ABS polyurethane housing is encapsulated with epoxy resin that creates an air-tight seal. And while it doesn’t employ Sine Wave technology it is nonetheless remarkably quiet.
Overall the build quality is pretty impressive too for such an affordable pump. But, it’s not completely without issues. For instance, the lack of a handle means moving it around is an unnecessarily clumsy process. Cleaning the device can also be a bit time consuming. And while the 1 year warranty is nice to have, working with customer service can be a less than pleasant experience. On the whole though the upside here far outweighs the potential downside.
- An extremely versatile pump that can be used for your large display tank or for an external pond, small scale fountain, other water feature or even hydroponics.
- While this is a Vietnamese product everything is UL certified and built to a surprisingly high level of quality. There are no cheap aluminum wires or leaky gaskets.
- With 20 incremental steps for both wave function and flow levels all the control is in your hands where it belongs.
- While not whisper-quiet it is one of the quieter 1,000 GPH+ aquarium pumps we looked at.
- The maximum lift height of 13 feet decreases rapidly as you increase water flow. Not a deal breaker but means you need to be careful when planning your waterfall.
Aquarium pumps are a great way to clear your tank of equipment so you can dedicate more space to your fish. If they’re powerful enough they also enable you to create compelling water features in your yard and keep them clear of algae, bacteria, and debris. Just be sure to keep a few things in mind when looking for an aquarium sump pump:
- Type – There are two kinds of aquarium water sump pumps: pedestal pumps and submersible pumps. Pedestal pumps are external pumps not meant to be placed in a water tank. While submersible pumps can be placed directly in the water. Submersible pumps are typically quieter than pedestal pumps and are the preferred type for aquariums.
- Materials – It’s important your pump (especially your submersible pump) be constructed from non-corrosive materials. It’s also desirable that there are no exposed copper elements that could potentially leach into the water and harm your fish.
- Flow rate – Finally, always make sure you select a sump pump with a flow rate appropriate to the size of your tank. There are a number of flow rate calculators on the internet that can help you in that regard.