Top Six Water Pumps for Aquaponics

Top Six Water Pumps for Aquaponics

Growing your own organic plants is one benefit you get from aquaponics. But to do so, you need to be equipped with a right aquaponics pump in maintaining your system. A reliable pump is important in an aquaponics system to continuously push water throughout the entire system.

A water pump is one of the most important components of an aquaponics system. Having an efficient water pump will ensure the quality of plants and fish you’re growing. In this article, we’ll help you select the right water pump to get started.


What does a water pump do in aquaponics?

The water pump plays an important role in an aquaponics system as it ensures that both the plants and the fish receive their necessary nutrients for growth. In a recirculating aquaponics system, water circulates to the entire system through the help of the water pump.

In a media-based aquaponics system, water containing the ammonia from fish waste is pumped from the fish tank into the grow bed, where the nitrifying bacteria breaks down the ammonia into nutrients for the plants.  After the plants absorb the nutrients, the water from the grow bed which is filtered by the plant roots is pumped back to the fish tank for a new cycle. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Water Pump

Here are some things you need to consider in choosing a pump for your aquaponics system.



Know the electrical usage of the pump you are planning to purchase. This means knowing the number of the watts the pump uses, so you can calculate the possible additional cost to your electricity. Lower watts use means less consumption of electricity. (1)

Flow Rate

The next thing you need to consider is the amount of water that has to be pumped through the system. Your water pump should be able to circulate the entire system within two hours. If your system uses a 200-gallon of water, then it should be able to pump 200 gallons of water within two hours (100 gallons within 1 hour). So you need a pump with at least 100 GPH. The GPH is the maximum flow rate of the water pump and can be dialed down. It is important to select a water pump with a larger GPH than your required amount. This will ensure that your fish are supplied with clean, nutrient rich and oxygenated water at least once every two hours. To have an effective system, it is important to buy a water pump that is strong enough to produce the required flow for your system. (1)

Types of Water Pumps

1. Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps sit directly in the tank and pump water through a hose attaches to a fitting at the top of the pump. This type of pump is sized in gallons per hour (GPH), because they are submerged in the water they stay cool and don’t overheat. They are preferred in smaller systems and are most common among household aquaponics systems and small commercial systems. (1)

Advantage of Submersible Pumps:

  • Not prone to pump cavitation problems
  • Very efficient
  • Quiet,  because it is underwater

Dis-advantage of Submersible Pumps:

  • The seals can be corroded with time.
  • Can be difficult to repair. (2)

2. Inline Pumps

Also called centrifugal pumps, these air-cooled pumps sit outside the tank and are preferred for larger aquaponics systems. Because of their high-powered motors, they can move a larger volume of water. This pump is measured in horsepower (HP) not by the volume of water they can move. Inline pumps have a tube that connects from the fish tank to the pump and from the pump to the grow bed.

Advantage of Inline Pumps:

  • The heat generated by the pump is cooled by air.
  • Can aerate water by pumping low volumes of air.
  • Have more power and durability.

Dis-advantage of Inline Pumps:

  • More expensive than submersible pump.
  • Noisier pump.

Top Water Pumps for Aquaponics

Top Pick for Efficiency

Inline or Submersible

700 GPH

Top for Smaller System


120 GPH

Top Pick for Larger System

Inline or Submersible

1056 GPH

Top Pick for Versatility

Inline or Submersible

1083 GPH

Top Pick for Environmental Friendliness


110 GPH

Top Pick for Best Budget


80 GPH

Top Pick for Efficiency


This 700- GPH magnetic drive pump by Danner is made to run continuously to your aquaponics system without seals that wear out. The pump is filled with epoxy instead of oil, so it doesn’t leak and you’ll experience a very steady flow. This product can also be used inline or submerged under the water. In this pump, the powerful ceramic magnetic impeller is the only moving part, which makes these pumps extremely energy efficient.

Leaks can happen if you use this pump inline;It is because of the four screws that is attached to the cover. This 700 GPH water pump is noisy, however, many users who purchased this pump still gave it great reviews and ratings. 

Because of its versatility and efficiency, Pondmaster Magnetic Drive Pump is our top pick for efficiency. This might not be the most quiet product in the market, but this pump is definitely beneficial for those who are looking for a versatile and efficient pump, that doesn’t cost much money. It’s five-year warranty make it also a good option for buyers who want a guaranty on their money.

Top for Smaller System


This compact and powerful pump is designed for smaller aquaponics system. This pump is 100% submersible and is a 120 GPH design, which means it can only move a few gallons of water. But, despite its small size, this pump is durable and designed with the next generation of acid and salt resistant materials making it the most quiet, secure and environmentally friendly pump on the market today.

Because of its small design, compact, low noise and durability features this pump is our top pick for smaller aquaponics systems.

Top Pick for a Larger Aquaponics System


These Simple Deluxe pumps are quality products designed using the very latest technological developments. These pumps are an excellent choice for larger aquaponics systems. These simple deluxe water pumps have been developed based on so-called synchronous technology, whereby the electrical parts are fully encapsulated in epoxy resin. The pumps have an economical, powerful & reliable motor. The entire series is suitable for installation on dry land for in-line use or submersible into the water. The pumps are equipped with a ceramic shaft & therefore also suitable for salt water.

This pump can clog when exposed to solid debris in an aquaponics system. However, because of the versatility of this pump, it still provides enough power of 1056 GPH and the inclusion of extra nozzle attachments adds convenience.

This pump is an excellent product for aquaponics system at it has a high 1056 GPH flow rate and its versatility makes it our top pick for larger aquaponics system.

Top Pick for Versatility


The EcoPlus Submersible water pump can an inline and submersible pump. This pump also has a very high flow rate of 1056 GPH, which is great for larger aquaponics systems. Powerful oil-free, rare earth rotor magnet, ceramic shaft and bearing insures reliability and versatility of this water pump.

When used as an inline pump, the impeller housing of this pump leaks, which is a dis-advantage. Overall, one of the  best features of this product is its high flow rate and its five different adapters, which increases the versatility of this. This water pump is our top pick for versatility.

Top Pick for Environmental Friendliness


This water pump is our top pick for environmental friendliness because of its environmentally friendly feature that is oil free. With its high flow rate of 1110 GPH this submersible pump is built for larger or commercial aquaponics systems. 

This is also a go-to water pump for power and durability. This product had a one-year warranty and works well indoors or outdoors. 

Top Pick for Budget


The VicTsing water pump is our top pick for the best budget water pump. This pump is popular because of its competitive price. This pump is great for small aquaponics systems because of its compact size and strong performance. The multifunctional, space saving, compact  and detachable features of this water pump added to its versatility.

If you need a budget and good quality water pump VicTsing is a good pick and just like any product, it also has a one-year warranty. 

Water pump is one of the most important components of an aquaponics system, so be sure to do the required research before purchasing one. Having a top pump will provide you with excellent crops and success in your aquaponics system. All the products we’ve picked are great, so look at the reviews and decide the best aquaponics water pump that fits your needs.