Best Aquaponics Water Pumps of 2019 – Pros, Cons, & Our Top Picks

Lack of motion is the start of stagnation. Not sure if that's a real quote but it should be enough to move you towards the idea that finding the best aquaponics pump to keep things moving is going to benefit your growth more than you think. Besides, do you want a sub-par machine to get water from the fish tank to the plant bed? I think not

After all, mosquitoes only breed in still water and they're the devil. so that can't be a good sign, right?

So let's find you a good ol' pump to keep the water flowing and those veggies growing, unless you just like the smell of stagnant pond water in your life. Then feel free to gloss over all these facts and linger in the muck. But I'm sure you're a sensible person who understands that without proper water circulation your fish won't make it, which means your plants will suffer as well.

Comparison of the Best Aquaponics Pumps

Product

Rating

Price

Eco Plus Pump

EcoPlus 396 GPH (1500 LPH, 20W) Submersible Water Pump w/ 6 ft Power Cord | Aquarium, Fish Tank, Fountain, Pond, Hydroponics

Best Overall

Jebao Submersible

Jebao WP-1200 317GPH Submersible Fountain Pond Water Pump

Runner-up

Ponics Pump

PonicsPump Submersible Pump with for Hydroponics, Aquaponics, Fountains, Ponds, Statuary, Aquariums & more. Comes with 1 year limited warranty. (400 GPH : 6' Cord)

Best for the Money

Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit

Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit - 360+GPH - Submersible Pump and 20 Watt Solar Panel for Sun Powered Fountain, Waterfall, Pond Aeration, Aquarium, Aquaculture (NO Battery Backup)

Best Solar Powered Aquaponics Pump

VIVOSUN 800GPH Submersible Pump

VIVOSUN 800GPH Submersible Pump(3000L/H, 24W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 10ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 5ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics

Why Do You Need a Water Pump for Aquaponics?

So let's get started! Those of you who are experienced with  indoor fish operations like fresh water aquariums know that a pump isn't necessary at all to keep fish alive. Rather, it just serves the purpose of making the toys in the tank dance.

However, there are plenty of reasons to have the best possible pump controlling your system in aquaponics. For one, you want to make sure you have one strong enough to get the water from the fish tank up to the plants. If it can't do that, then you might as well pack up now.

Efficient Water Transportation

The primary job of a pump in an aquaponics setup is to move water from one place to another without having to do it yourself. Knowing the need for your specific setup is key to a successful operation, but we'll go over that part later.

For now, all you need to get from this is that a pump is required to make your system work.

In a simple aquarium, the pump's objective is just to make some trinkets move in the tank. It's not really a necessity for a few small fish. However, when you're dealing with a larger population of bigger fish, like 25-50 tilapia, you're going to need to keep the oxygen levels pretty high to keep those fish alive.

Oxygenation of the Water

You need to make sure the fish have plenty of oxygen available in the water. Otherwise it would be like putting them all in a trashcan and wishing them the best, it's just not going to end well at all. 

Turning Over the Water

The precious minerals and nutrients that help your plants and fish stay healthy are an invaluable resource, so don't let them sink to the bottom of your tank! Having the right pump will ensure that these resources will be circulated throughout the tank and make it to the plants, as well. 

After all, the purpose of using fish with the plants is for the plants to benefit from the nutrients the fish create. So make sure you've got the right pump to keep those juices flowing and your amazing self-sufficient garden growing!

Should I Get an Inline or Submersible Pump?

The only thing that needs to be said about an inline or submersible pump is that one is cooled in the water and the other is cooled by the air. That's not really enough to go off of, because a submersible pump goes by GPH (Gallons Per Hour) and tends to increase in cost as the size goes up, whereas an inline pump is used to create more turbulence in the water, which is best for stirring up the nutrients that have settled on the bottom. This is best for working in fertilizer.

Quick Take: 
Our Top 3 Choices

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of the best aquaponics pumps:

Review of the Best Aquaponics Pumps

Aquaponics pumps are a sure way of sustainable watering. To make the most out of a pump, you need to buy the right one. Here is a review of the best aquaponics pumps to help you with your purchase.

These are suggestions based on the information we've already gone over and just what we've figured out on our own by keeping our ears open. In the end, the only thing you need to keep in mind for the pump is if it can cycle half the amount of water in your tank per hour. This is called the flow rate.

Best Overall:
Eco Plus Pump

EcoPlus 396 GPH (1500 LPH, 20W) Submersible Water Pump w/ 6 ft Power Cord | Aquarium, Fish Tank, Fountain, Pond, Hydroponics

Pros

  • Weighs only 2 pounds and fits well
  • Has a fixed flow of 396 gallons an hour
  • The power cord supplies 120 volts of voltage
  • The 69-inch power cord comes already wired
  • Great pump for fish tanks and filter systems, too
  • Can create multi-stream spray to cover roots for indoor aquaponics
  • Multiple attachments make the pump easy to connect to different pipe sizes

Cons

  • Not a powerhouse of a pump
  • The barbs are smaller than the ideal size
  • There are often leaks in the housing over the impeller
  • Longer life than most, but still not a lifetime pump by any means
  • Some parts move a bit too easily for comfort

We're going to come out guns blazing with the first suggestion, with the EcoPlus Eco 396! The benefits of this pump make it user-friendly whether you're a complete beginner or a veteran water farmer. However, one qualm we have with this piece of work is the lack of adaptability to a water hose. Now, this isn't a deal breaker because you can rig a way around that, but the lack of thought to that aspect is a bit concerning.

With that said though, this pump has a multitude of uses from aquaponics to fountain decoration, but you're not here for fountain decorations.

The ability of the EcoPlus to be used inline or submerged, sets it apart from other pumps. That doesn't make it the best overall for your situation, but it's ability to be flexible is a great benefit to those who need it.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are glad they purchased this aquaponics pump. They love that it is good for both dry land and underwater placement. This has helped them save both space and time. Also, they like the provision of a steady flow through the pump. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This pump stands out to us because of the water flow of 396 gallons an hour. The flow is steady over the course of hours and has such an even distribution that we recommend it highly. We also like the different fittings it offers, including the threaded ones.


Who Will Use This Most 

People who have small farms or nurseries that need constant care will use this the most. The pump is also great for aquariums and fountains, so if you want constant water recycling, then go for it. Above all, the pump is highly useful for people who care about the planet and believe in the conservation of resources. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is it helps you water your plants more easily. It is a great choice since it consumes less electricity and provides more benefits. Thus, this pump is a must for modern sustainable farming.

Runner-Up

Ponics Pump

PonicsPump Submersible Pump with for Hydroponics, Aquaponics, Fountains, Ponds, Statuary, Aquariums & more. Comes with 1 year limited warranty. (400 GPH : 6' Cord)

Pros

  • Important parts have epoxy resin encasement
  • Effective prevention of rusting and wearing out
  • Nitrile bushings cause lesser friction and pollution
  • Bushings have vibration-reducing mechanism in place
  • Low power usage and can run off of solar power if you have it
  • Has Neodymium Iron Boron permanent magnets in the motor
  • Easily disassembled for personal service, if you know what you're doing 
  • Adjustable inlet means you can power a smaller or large aquaponics operation

Cons

  • Filters do not attach to the pump
  • All-plastic body breaks more easily
  • Suction cups on the bottom don't hold well at all
  • Impossible to use without a filter of some kind, otherwise it dies QUICKLY
  • Not a long lifetime for this pump, but the company is good about replacement

Now, this pump was designed with aquaponics at the forefront of purposes. It's by no means perfect but it's got almost all the traits an all-in-one pump needs and with with protective outer shell, it keeps the output of machinery, like oil and metals within the pump's shell. This is a small detail that gets over looked by other pump makers who are not thinking of the end result,  which is the quality and health of the fish.

It's not actually an all-in-one, as we regret to tell you. The lack of a built-in water filter should spark some creative thinking on your part to find a way to filter the water as it's being pumped. Since there's no way to attach it to the pump, our recommendation is to put the pump in a filter box you can buy from any home improvement store and you should be good to go.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love this for its competitive function. The motor is fast and uses less electricity. This leads to cheaper electricity bills for the users, making them love it even more. Still, there are some users who dislike its noise and prefer to have it outdoors. But overall reviews by customers are good.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

It stands out to us due to both its build and functioning. The body is all plastic, but it is highly durable because of the coatings. The motor has all the parts coated and prepared to fight corrosion. This increases the life of the pump even more.

But if you're looking for a pump that has a lot of power and is easy to use, we would suggest you look at this one as a possible solution.

Who Will Use This Most 

This pump is great for all users but people with a smaller area like it more. The simple design goes well with all kinds of ponds and fish tanks, as well. So, it is a nice option for everyone looking for a reliable pump at a low price.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, the PonicsPump is an amazing choice for people on a budget. It stays true to the claims of greater service at a lower price. So, there is hardly anything to stop you from buying it. 

Best For the Money

 Jebao Submersible

Jebao WP-1200 317GPH Submersible Fountain Pond Water Pump

Pros

  • A long power cord of 6 feet
  • All-plastic body avoids rusting in water
  • Operates on a voltage of 110-120 volts
  • Efficient 317 gallons per hour of water flow
  • Great amount of power for the price of this pump
  • 6.6 feet maximum head height increases storage capacity
  • Relatively quiet when submerged which is nice if you have pets

Cons

  • Pressure isn't always steady
  • Not very good for use indoors
  • The pump can be very noisy at times
  • Don't expect it to last forever, most people buy in pairs
  • Bulky design might be a hinderance if you have a smaller tank and more fish

Now, if you're bootstrapping an aquaponics farm starting out, this is the best pump for the least amount of money. It's not a piece of junk, but don't expect the same performance out of this one as the others. With a  317 GPH, this guy can do some serious work, but you don't have the option of inline or submersible.

This one is strictly submersible, which could be a bad thing or could be a good thing, that decision is up to you, friends.

This is a bare bones pump that will get the job done with minimal noise and has been proven to last a pretty long while. But don't expect it to last forever, because you get what you pay for. I wouldn't say it's built cheaply, but I wouldn't bet mine or my kid's lives on this thing lasting more than three years at a time.

What Recent Buyers Report

People who bought it recently came up with differing views after using it. Some love it for its sleek build and the fact that it takes up less space. However, others just cannot tolerate its noise and prefer it for outdoors. Users are still happy with the pricing, as it offers so much at such a low price.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

It catches our attention because of its water flow rate. Not many aquaponics pumps in the market offer a water flow of 317 gallons per hour. In addition to the water flow rate, we like it for its wattage and voltage requirements too. They make it energy-efficient and go light on your pocket.

Who Will Use This Most 

People with outdoor fountains or ponds will find this Jebao Pump the most useful. This surely creates a lot of disturbing noise, but when it’s outdoors, it does not bother as much. The pump is also great for people who need something less spacious and lightweight. 

Bottom Line

The conclusion for this Jebao unit is that it has a modern build for continued use. The water flow rate is amazing and it runs on less power than other such pumps. So, if you can bear with all its humming, it is a nice option.

Best Solar-Powered Aquaponics Pump: 
Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit

Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit - 360+GPH - Submersible Pump and 20 Watt Solar Panel for Sun Powered Fountain, Waterfall, Pond Aeration, Aquarium, Aquaculture (NO Battery Backup)

Pros

  • The solar panel provides 20 watts power
  • Solar panels work even when placed afar
  • The magnetic pump has a life of over 20,000 hours
  • 16-foot long power cord provides a better connection
  • Totally solar-powered pump cuts down electricity costs

Cons

  • Does not work at night
  • Does not have any batteries attached to it

What Recent Buyers Report

The Solariver Pump has a long chain of happy customers. They love everything from the design of the pump to its energy efficiency. They like that it has an extension cord. They are also very fond of this pump due to its size and portability.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

It grabs our attention because of its sustainable working, no matter how long you use it, as long as it is during day time. There are no worries regarding electricity bills or power cuts, as the solar panels keep working. 

Who Will Use This Most 

Since the Solariver Pump runs on solar energy, it needs to be in areas that have sunny days. So, people who live in hotter areas will enjoy its function the most. These are also good for people who need to pump large amounts of water, as it has an amazing capacity.

Bottom Line:

Solariver has outdone itself with this remarkable pump and users love it. The magnetism and the strength of the motor are amazing and we recommend this one whole-heartedly. Just give it some time if you are a new buyer and you will be amazed by its functioning after a while. 

VIVOSUN 800GPH Submersible Pump(3000L/H, 24W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 10ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 5ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics

Pros

  • A 2-year warranty makes it very reliable
  • Offers multiple uses indoors and outdoors
  • Very easy to assemble, clean, and disassemble
  • You can manually change the positions of the pump
  • Flexible water flow rate with 800 gallons per hour at maximum

Cons

  • Has only two-pronged plug-in options
  • The pump has the maximum water lift of 3-feet only

What Recent Buyers Report

There have been mixed reports from buyers regarding its usage. Many buyers do not like the way it works and some even claim the description was misleading. Meanwhile, there are also buyers who love its ease of use. They love how it replaced their old pump or watering system so well.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

It captures our interest because of its unique and attractive design. The pump is quite small and you can hide it easily, which means tanks look nicer with it. The power cord enables you to use it away from power sources and that’s a blessing in most cases. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This aquaponics pump is unique both in its appearance and its function. It occupies less space and consumes even less energy. There have been reports of a mild noise, but it is negligible. Thus, those looking for such qualities find it to be a perfect choice.

Bottom Line

So, this Vivosun Pump beats many others in the market and has some loyal repeat users, too. The aesthetics are cool and the motor is very impressive, as well. All in all, it is well worth your money if you learn to ignore its humming noise. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

To benefit from the magical uses of aquaponics pumps, you need to get the best pump. Here are the aspects you need to consider to make the best decision before choosing one.

Maximum Head Height

This refers to the distance between the foot of the tank and the maximum level you want it to reach. It affects the storage of water and also the way of storing it. As a result, this height also affects the kind of farming you will be doing. 

Rate of Flow

The rate of water flow is also very important when looking for an aquaponics pump. The rate of flow should be in accordance with the amount of water that needs to be pumped. If your farm needs more water, then you need a pump with a greater flow rate. However, if you need less water, then a reduced water flow will do fine, too. So, consider the flow rate carefully before you choose one.

Wattage Requirement

The amount of wattage used will directly affect the money you pay for electricity bills. This is important to consider because the pump is going to run on electricity and the wattage it consumes will determine the bill. So, go for a unit with moderate wattage consumption.

Perks of Getting a New Aquaponics Pump

Getting a new pump is surely a great decision. If you want to get an aquaponics pump and are unsure about it, here are some perks to show you why you need one. 

Faster Growth

With an aquaponics pump, you are sure to get faster plant growth. Since there is a continuous supply of water in the exact amounts required, optimal growth is achieved. To make sure that plants grow to the desired level, you can add some nutrients into the water pump, too. So, if you want your plants to grow faster and better, then why wait? 

Sustainability

Since the wastage of natural resources is a serious concern, people look for energy-efficient farming techniques. This is something these pumps can help with. They make sure that there is no water wastage and then re-circulation makes use of what was already used. So, this is going to make farming more sustainable and eco-friendly. 

Even Watering

One of the major problems with traditional watering means is they do not water all plants evenly. An aquaponics pump sends out water in equal thrusts, so it distributes water in equal proportions. This way, even if some plants are at the farther end, they get the same nutrients. 

Conclusion

To wrap it all up, aquaponics pumps are a sure way of getting the most out of your farm. They not only help you water your plants better but also help reduce the pull on earth’s resources. So, get yourself the best one and see how beneficial things become for you.

Just remember to consider the flow rate, water capacity, maximum head height, and the wattage. This will help you get the right unit for your farm. 

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