Water Pump Specifications, Tips, Recommendations, Limitations
For Aquariums, Ponds, Fountains or Other Water Features
Need Help Finding a Pump, See: Pump Specifications Table
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We no longer are using flow charts, as with medication charts there are too many variables that often make these inaccurate, which could then inadvertently mislead a potential purchaser of one of our water pumps/power heads or others as well.
As well, despite some claims to the contrary, most magnetic drive aquarium, pond, fountain pumps are designed to be run UNDER WATER unless otherwise specifically noted by the manufacturer.
While many will run pumps such as the Rio Pump Line inline out of the water (but at least below the water level), the design is not such that these pumps will stay adequately cool, often resulting in warping of the impeller well.
In my 100s of applications I have seen in my years of aquarium/pond maintenance and design, when installed out of the water, these pumps would often fail much sooner than pumps run under water.
The exceptions are pumps specifically designed for this which are quite rare of late and much more heavy duty and pricey. An example is the SunSun JAP-8500 Amphibious Pump
LIGHT DUTY APPLICATIONS (with some head pressure)
Most Aquarium and light duty aquarium pumps have a standard open impeller such as the one pictured to the left (from a SunSun HJ-1542).
There are of coarse differences in these impellers of this basic design (of which from our extensive real time use with our aquarium and pond maintenance company) have shown the SunSun (formally via Aqua) Power Head series to among the best, most reliable pumps for most applications that require a durable water pump with reasonable head pressure.
However their "more heavy duty" design is not best for wave makers, for these consider the Seio Propeller pumps.
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The SunSun Economy line such as the SunSun HJ-411, JP-033 JP-054, JP-065, JP-066 are a good choice for most light duty applications, simply choosing the flow rate of the four models we sell is all that is necessary.
All of these pumps employ impellers that have the second two bullet points noted above for impellers. The design provides for good life in most light duty applications and the noise level is low to moderate (more noise with larger models)
Models we sell:
Rio Plus Pumps; Models: 90, 200, 600, 1000
VERY LIGHT DUTY VARIATIONS
The Seio Propeller, Perfect (SunSun, also sold under other brand names), Hydor Koralia, or Ecotech Marine Vortech Pump utilize a very light duty but extremely energy efficient impeller (propeller) design.
As well, Propeller Pumps in general provide a much "Softer" water flow rather than the more harsh and directed flow of traditional Power Head Water Pumps. The flow in these pumps provide nice spread of the water volume so as to provide good circulation without strong streams of underwater current (I have found the Seio best here); this is particularly desirable in planted freshwater (even more so Amazon River set ups) and reef saltwater aquariums
The impellers used by propeller pumps do not need to have the head pressure (which is part of the reason they are energy efficient and light duty in design), as these pumps are simply designed to create currents and not really "lift" water, making these excellent to increase flow and current in reef tanks or plugged into "wave maker" devices.
However there are differences that are worth of note in design as some (in particular Hydor Koralia) has a propeller/impeller that is so light that they are easily broken, including by debris that may get caught up in the water column.
Another use for these propeller pumps is for use as wave makers, as their design lends well to the constant on/off of a wave maker where more heavy duty power head water pump that is designed for more head pressure (such as the Via Aqua 1300) is not a good choice.
Light to some Moderate Duty Applications The Via Aqua and ReSun Power Head line both provide designs that still employ the basic impeller design plus often have a ceramic shaft which adds to durability and slightly decreases noise. As well the design is lightly more "beefed up" and these pumps/power heads are much more versatile than the Economy line in that these pumps can be installed inline, used as a power head, and are available with more parts and application possibilities/variations.
Models we sell (not an exhaustive list):
Rio Plus 1100 & 1700
SunSun HQB-3000 Water Circulation PumpSunSun HQB-3000 Pump
It is noteworthy as to the design of the above Via Aqua Power Head Line that Via Aqua often employs the same "shell" design for more than one models and then increases the power for higher flow rate, however this does not always increase head pressure, especially in moderate duty applications and in a few cases does not allow for as long of pump or impeller life. The Via Aqua 2300 and even more so the Via 4900 are examples of this and is why we do not sell these models
MODERATE TO HEAVY DUTY APPLICATIONS
These types of pumps are generally best for pond applications or for moderate to heavy applications where water is often lifted to much more "elevation" such as 1 foot vs. 10 feet, and/or where other applications such as pressurized filters or even large UV Sterilizers are added.
These utilize a sealed impeller such as the one pictured to the left which is a better choice for these more demanding applications. This type of design does not allow for the back flow under pressure that the more common impeller design allows.
This design is generally better for ponds with larger/higher water falls or even where water is require to "shoot" out of the opening of the pipe or other device at not necessarily higher volume, but more pressure/power (think of a pressure washer).
Most very heavy duty pond pumps such as the Pentair SeaHorse Self Priming Pond/Spa Pumps utilize this impeller design as well
A few pumps that we sell that have this impeller design or variations there of:
Via Aqua DP-18000 Multi Duty Pond Pump
SunSun JTP-12000 High Output/Efficiency Pond Pump
SunSun JAP-8500 Amphibious Pond, Aquarium System Pump
Rio 20 HP Water Pump
Rio 26 HP Water Pump
Rio 32 HP Water Pump
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