How do Pond Pumps and Filters Work?

Yucca gloriosa Variegata on banks of small garden pond. Beautiful striped yucca leaves of gloriosa variegata on green blurred background. Evergreen landscaped garden. Nature concept for design.

When installing a pond, you need to consider many elements to get the best possible results. From pond liners to pond lighting, each one plays an integral role in the quality and running of the pond, so they need to be incorporated into the installation process for it to be successful. Pond pumps and filters are essential as they allow the water in your pond to circulate properly and introduce oxygen into it. This ensures that it remains clean and free from contaminants by agitating the pond, which helps to prevent it from becoming settled and stagnant.

Understanding how each piece of equipment works and the different types available may be a little intimidating for a new pond keeper. There are many benefits to purchasing a good quality pond pump and filter, but with so many available options, it can be difficult to decide which type is right for your pond. To help you learn more about pond pumps and filters, we’ve created a useful guide that will tell you everything you need to know about each of them, along with how to use them. Our guide is guaranteed to help you find a suitable pond pump and filter in no time, bringing you even closer to building the pond of your dreams. 


  1. Why do you need a pond pump?
  2. What kinds of pond pumps are there?
    2.1. Feature pond pumps

2.2. Fountain pond pumps

2.3. Filter pumps

2.4. High-pressure pond pumps

2.5. Dry-mounted pond pumps

3. How do you use a pond pump?

4. Why do you need a pond filter?

5. What kinds of pond filters are there?
5.1. All-in-one internal pond filter

5.2. Pressurised pond filter

5.3. Box pond filter

5.4. Koi pond filter

6. How do you use a pond filter?

Why do you need a pond pump?

A reliable pond pump is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can have in a well-functioning ecosystem pond. It is a vital part of your pond’s filtration system, as pond filters and UVCs wouldn’t be able to circulate water without them. Its purpose is to drive the filtration system of your pond, and it is also needed to power water features such as waterfalls, rivers and streams by keeping the water moving at a regular pace. 

Pond pumps are essential for most ponds, especially if you keep fish in them. In nature, most ponds are fed by a river or stream, so having a reliable flow of water is completely natural and essential for the health of your pond. A pond pump isn’t necessary if you have a wildlife pond inhabited by creatures such as frogs because these animals prefer a bog habitat.

Magic pond with cascade fountain. Jets of water fall on emerald surface of pond in shade of plants growing along coast. Freshness and coolness on sunny day. Nature concept for design.

What kinds of pond pumps are there?

Many pond pumps are available to keep your pond performing at its best. We’ve listed these below so that you can find the right type to suit your requirements.

Feature pond pumps

Feature pond pumps are inexpensive and specially designed to serve water features and ornaments. They can easily draw up water from a shallow pond to make your chosen water feature perform spectacularly and are also known for running quietly.

Fountain pond pumps

Fountain pond pumps are designed to create a more impressive display and are ideal for servicing larger water features such as fountains to ensure they run smoothly and consistently. They are more widely available than feature pumps and can be used for smaller water features if you’re on a budget. 

Filter pumps

Typically considered as your ‘main’ pond pump, filter pumps act as the engine of your pond and keep the water flowing continuously. They are known as ‘solid-handling’ filter pumps, meaning they can handle large solid particles of waste and debris. These are pumped out and up the attached pond hose, eliminating them from your pond. Filter pumps constantly run which can be an expensive addition to your pond. However, designs featuring eco motors can be more efficient. 

High-pressure pond pumps

A high-pressure pond pump can generate very high flow rates, making them an ideal choice for features such as pondless waterfalls. As they aren’t designed to run 24/7, many are fitted with a float switch, which ensures the pump switches off if the water supply drops to a shallow level. They have a lower cost than other types, making them a suitable backup pump for emergencies. 

Dry mounted pond pumps 

Dry-mounted pumps are made to be run without being submerged under the water surface, making them easier to maintain. They are commonly used in koi ponds that run on a gravity-fed filtration system, where water is drawn from the pond by a bottom drain and down to a gravity filter. 

How do you use a pond pump?

How you use your pond pump depends on whether it is a submersible or external pump. A submersible pump is installed below the water level. To do this, put it into the pond or a skimmer, ensuring it sits on a stable surface. Turn it on and attach your pipe to it so it can begin pumping the water. 

External pumps sit above the water level, making them more efficient and reliable. They can be set up by priming the pump, attaching your pipe and filling the pump with water before turning it on. When setting up and using a pond pump, it’s always best to check the instruction manual on your chosen device, as these may differ depending on its design.

Why do you need a pond filter? 

A pond filter’s main purpose is to maintain healthy pond water for your fish and plants. It is an essential part of your pond, especially if it has fish because it helps to remove waste and prevent the water from becoming contaminated. If pond water isn’t cleaned correctly, this can pose a risk to your fish, as they may be unable to survive in it. Having a high-quality pond filter will help to clear our visible debris and eradicate toxic chemicals from the water, as both of these could cause your fish and plants harm.

To get the best results, pond filtration must happen on two levels: mechanical and biological. Mechanical pond filters remove waste and debris from the water and feature sponges, brushes or vortexes. Every type of pond needs this type of filtration system, but they also need to be fitted with a biological filter. These filters feature media with good bacteria that can break down harmful waste from pond inhabitants, making your pond a safer environment for its ecosystem.

Skimmer Messner floats on surface of water in garden pond against blurred background of stone banks. Selective focus. Skimmer removes debris and dirt and saturates water with air.

What kinds of pond filters are there?

There are many pond filters to choose from to keep your pond safe and clean. We’ve listed these below so that you can find the right type to suit your requirements.

All-in-one internal pond filter

Ideal for smaller garden ponds, all-in-one pond filters provide your pond water with mechanical and biological filtration without the need for two separate filters. They incorporate a pump, filter and ultraviolet clarifier into one system and can be installed directly into your pond. These systems work effectively in small to medium-sized ponds but aren’t powerful enough to keep larger ponds clean.

Pressurised pond filter

Pressurised pond filters are one of the market’s most popular filter types. They are used externally and work by delivering water to the pressure filter, then passing it through the filter media and UVC. The clean water leaves the filter under pressure, so it can be positioned at various areas of the pond or used to feed a waterfall of water feature, providing you with a range of possibilities for your layout.

Box pond filter

Box pond filters are seen as a more traditional style and are also used by many pond owners. As your pond pump carries water to the filter, this then flows through the filter media and is returned to the pond using gravity. For a box pond filter to cooperate at its best, its outlet must be above water level to allow the water to flow down into the pond once it has been filtered.

Koi pond filter 

Koi pond filters are a special variety of filters ideal for handling the excess waste that Koi fish produce. They are specially designed to be used in Koi ponds and can handle a large amount of waste with little maintenance, allowing owners to enjoy their pond without spending too much time cleaning out a more generic filter.

How do you use a pond filter?

How you use your pond filter depends on whether it is mechanical or biological. It is always best to have both to clean your pond water and maintain its ecosystem effectively. When setting up and using a pond filter, it’s always best to check the instruction manual on your chosen device, as these may differ depending on its design. From pressurised pond filters to Koi pond filters, each one will require a different setup and maintenance, so research each one thoroughly to determine which one is suitable for your pond.

While many options are available when choosing a pond pump or filter, choosing the right one to suit your needs doesn’t need to be a struggle. With our guide, you can learn about the available types and useful tips for using and maintaining them. We offer an extensive selection of high-quality pond pumps and filters, so why not browse the range today?


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