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How to Choose a Perfect Water Pump for Your Aquarium

As we all know, the aquarium filtration system is very important for fish farming, and the water pump is a vital part of the aquarium filtration system, which is one of the key factors to determine the water quality of the aquarium.

Many fish get sick because the flow rate of the water pump in the tank is too low and the density of the tank is too high, so the filtration system can't decompose the harmful substances in the tank in time.

The poor water is a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites, making fish suffer from diseases. Therefore, the selection of a suitable water pump is very important.


Factors affecting water pump selection

Filtration way

As we mentioned before, a water pump is an important part of the aquarium filtration system, so the filtration way will influence your selection of a water pump. For example, if you set up a canister filter in your aquarium, you may need a submersible water pump.


Flow rate

The fish sold in the market come from different places. Some come from freshwater areas, some come from salty oceans, and some come from water puddles.

The water flow of each area is different. To make sure your fish can adapt to your aquarium, you must take the water flow into consideration when choosing a water pump. The water pump you choose should be able to maintain a reasonable water flow rate in the aquarium.

So before you buy a water pump, research the fish you are keeping, be clear about the flow rate they need.



Some fish are very sensitive, the noise would make them become stressed, which will have an impact on their health. What’s more, too much or too loud noise would influence our daily life.

If your fish or your family cannot tolerate the noise, you’d better choose a quiet one.



The size of your aquarium is also an important element that will influence the selection of a water pump. For small fish tanks with fewer fish, there is no need to clean too much, so you don’t have to buy a big and powerful water pump.

But for a big aquarium with several fish, since there will be much waste in the tank, you need a strong filtration system which requires a big and powerful water pump.

Therefore, when choosing a water pump, make sure you have known the size of your aquarium.



When choosing a water pump, you should consider the installation. If there is no more space in your tank or you want to leave more room for your fish to move around, maybe you need to buy a water pump that can be installed outside the tank. Or you need to buy one that can be set up in the tank, which will not occupy the space of your room.


The species and number of fish

Generally speaking, those active fish may have better digestion, they will eat more often and produce more waste, so you need a great water pump to speed up the water cycle. But those quiet fish eat less and digest more slowly, you don’t need to buy a too powerful water pump for them.

The number of fish will affect the density of the tank. If you keep too many fish in a certain tank, there will be a lot of waste in the tank, so you need to speed up the flow rate to clean the water. But if the density of your tank is low, there is no need for you to buy a powerful water pump.


Additional elements

Some water pumps can serve as extra heat and light providers. And some of them can act as chillers. So if your tank needs extra functions, you can choose a water pump that can meet the tank’s needs.


Types of water pumps

There are plenty of water pumps available in the market. We can divide them into two categories--submersible water pump and in-line water pump.


Submersible water pump

Just as its name implies, a submersible water pump is fully submerged into the aquarium. It will pull water into the pump and push out filtered water to the surface. The water pump must be fully submerged into the water to avoid accidents.


In-line water pump

Different from the submersible water, which is fully submerged, the in-line water pump is installed away from the aquarium and functions outside the water. The water pump is connected to an inlet and outlet hose used to filter the water.


Comparison between submersible & in-line water pump


Submersible water pump

  1. Easy to install. It doesn’t require you to drill and install a bulkhead in your filter system, you can just put it into the water and connect the lines.
  2. Quieter. It is installed under the water, which will lower the noise. And it pumps water through a filtration system without making any noise.
  3. Various types. There are versatile submersible water pumps in the market, you can choose the most suitable one.
  4. Efficient. A submersible water pump is very efficient because it pumps water by water pressure rather than energy.


In-line water pump

  1. Air-cooled. It means that the in-line pump won’t add its heat to the water, which influences the water temperature.
  2. Suitable for big tanks. It is suitable for big fish tanks since it has a powerful pumping system.
  3. Occupies less space. It is designed to be installed outside the fish tank, so it occupies no space of the fish tank. And there will be more space for fish to move around.
  4. Cheaper and easier to repair and maintain. It doesn’t have a waterproof and anticorrosion design, so compared with a submersible water pump, it is cheaper and easier to repair and maintain.



Submersible water pump

  1. Water-cooled. It depends on the water as a cooling system. This will end up with heating water in the aquarium.
  2. More expansive and difficult to repair and maintain. It is fully submerged into the water, so it must have a waterproof and anticorrosion design, which makes it difficult to repair and maintain, and is also more expansive than the in-line water pump.
  3. Occupy much space. It will influence the movement of the fish because it has to be installed in the aquarium, which will occupy the space in the aquarium.


In-line water pump

  1. Safety risk. It is installed outside the tank, so it is easy for kids or pets like cats to touch and play with the tempting water lines, which are dangerous.
  2. Require more energy. Unlike a submersible water pump, which relies on the water pressure to pump, the in-line water pump uses energy to pump water, so it requires more energy.
  3. Noisy.


Some recommendation about our water pumps

Hygger Aquarium DC Water Pump

The DC water pump has automatic power protection, which is safe for you to use. It is used as an internal or submersible water pump. It provides two modes for you to choose from, the normal working mode and the feed mode.

Hygger DC Water Pump

[Buy it now]

Hygger Mini Submersible Water Pump

This water pump is super quiet, if you are very sensitive to noise, try this one. It is suitable for most water features. It is easy to use and maintain. And it has an adjustable flow rate, you can adjust the flow rate according to the fish you keep, the density of your tank.

Hygger Mini Submersible Water Pump

[Buy it now]

AQQA Multi-functional Submersible Bottom Intake Water Pump

This kind of water pump provides versatile functions, which can meet most of your needs for a water pump. It also provides an adjustable flow rate, you can adjust it by yourself. What’s more, it has run-dry protection, so you do not need to worry that it will get burned.

AQQA Multi-functional Submersible Water Pump

[Buy it now]

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