How to Choose The Right Koi Pond Pump for You Revealed

Your koi pond is a very attractive addition to your back yard. If you want it to stay looking beautiful a good pond pump is a must. A koi pond pump is just a regular pond pump-not a special one. I just wanted to gt that out of the way. You don’t have to go find a specialty magazine or anything like that. 

A pond pump sits in your pond and drives water either to waterfall features, fountains or to your filter system. They can also have the added perk of moving your water around so it doesn’t just sit still and become stagnant. 

Why Do You Need a Pond Pump?

This image depicts what your pond population might look at you like if you choose the wrong koi pond pump.

The pond pump, like the name suggests, pumps water out at varying pressure. You want to agitate the water to keep it from becoming stagnant and gross smelling. Moving the water around also increases oxygen production in the water that your koi will need in abundant supply.

Whenever you do get an oxygen powerhouse of a pond you will need to keep it pumping if there is wildlife, as stopping the process and cutting the oxygen levels, could kill them. While it is true that adding pond plants can add oxygen naturally this process only happens during the daytime. At night, the opposite happens and these same plants take the oxygen away.

Anyway, the oxygen produced from plants won’t produce as much oxygen for your koi carp anyway as compared to the splashing, more vigorous movement of the water caused by a pond pump.

Putting a pump near the filter makes its job easier as it gets easier access to the water and pollutants within. This combination should result in a crystal clear pond. When it comes to keeping your water safe for your fishies a pond pump is a very important piece of equipment.

Head Pressure

The head pressure is the amount of resistance a pond must overcome before water comes up out of a pipe. The amount of pressure you want depends on what the pump’s job is. You need more head pressure to run a waterfall than if you are just pushing the water into a filter 

There is a good head pressure calculator that will help you decide how powerful of a pump you need for the task at hand. A very nifty tool. Tell it the vertical lift, pipe length, number of fitting bends, and out pops an answer. There are many different kinds of pond pumps out there and this helps you at least choose your pump wisely.

Use “Google Maps” For Determining Your Pond Size

For determining the pump that is right for you the koi ponds size must be determined. Larger ponds might be easier to determine in acreage instead of feet.  For larger ponds, it can be difficult to measure length and width because a tape measure just might not do. This technique comes courtesy of

To calculate acreage:

    1. Go onto Google, click “Maps”, and enter an address fairly close to the pond you’re wanting to measure.
    2. Click on the “Satellite” view in the lower-left corner.
    3. Right-click on the screen nearest to the pond and then click Measure distance.
    4. Click around the perimeter of your pond’s image until you get back to the starting point. The many clicks you just did will ultimately give you a measure of your pond surface area in square feet. Just make sure you get back to the original starting point. Then, divide this number by 43,560.
  • Mission Accomplished! You now have your ponds surface area.

Smaller circular or perfectly rectangle ponds are easier. Just use a tape measure and use the following equation to get the pond’s water volume.

Getting the Depth

Get a depth finder and go through your pond at regular intervals to take depth measurements. Add the measurements up. Then divide this number by the total number of measurements to get the average depth.

Use feet for this:

(Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.48) x 0.8 = US Gallons*

Pump Size-Sizing It Up

The accepted rule is the right pond pump should pump out at least half of the water volume per hour. Koi ponds especially need this amount of turnover because they are actually known for stirring up the water at the bottom of the pond. They also produce a lot of waste.

A pond of 3,000 gallons or around that would need a pond pump that kicks out 1500 gallons of water per hour. A reliable manufacturer will be able to tell you how much water their pump churns out. If they can’t tell you this, then I would go somewhere else. 

Koi need their oxygen and in an isolated pond free of open rivers or freshwater constantly coming in a pump is required. Choosing the right sized pump for your koi garden pond or koi pond will ensure they are getting oxygen pumping to their gills. It will get rid of excess algae in the pond by pumping water into the filter. They’ll breathe easier and you’ll rest easier.

The Essentials To Choosing The Right Pump

As the generally accepted rule, it is crucial to get a koi pond pump that circulates half of the pond’s total water volume on an hourly basis. You find the ponds water vol. with the formula (Length x Width x  Depth x 7.48) x 0.8 = US Gallons. 

A koi water pump will serve many different purposes. The best purpose is to pump water to the filter which will clean the water well and keep it safe for the pond’s inhabitants like koi, frogs, goldfish, and whatever else is living in the pond. It will keep the water splashing which will help oxygen to keep dissolving into the pond’s water supply.

I read somewhere that a pump to a pond is like a heart to a human. 

This is essentially true. Your pump causes life-giving water to be distributed throughout your pond to its occupants just like a heart distributes out life-giving blood to animals and people, even koi. 

So, to get a life-sustaining environment for your pond you need a water pump if it is isolated from any other bodies of water. Choosing the right pond pump should be a lot easier if you follow the tips in this post. 

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Do you have other methods of picking out a koi pond pump you would like to share? Please leave your comments below and thanks for sharing.

4 thoughts on “How to Choose The Right Koi Pond Pump for You Revealed”

  1. Ok, so the pump needs to filter half the pond’s water on an hourly basis. I’m glad that you included a formula for that or I never would have figured out what size pump to get. Do you have recommendations on brands for filters? Are there some brands that you trust more than others?

    • Hey there Melinda,

      I appreciate the reply. Yes, the filter needs to kick out half of the ponds water volume per hour. The formula is really helpful and I’m glad to hear it helped you. Favorite brands for a koi pond pump are Tetrapond, Patriot, KEDSUM, and TotalPond.

  2. Hello there, From what I know Whether you have a preformed pond or a liner pond, a pond pump is a paramount component of any water feature, because without a pond pump there will be no water movement, which could result in mosquitoes and other unwanted pests breeding in it. If you choose the wrong pond pump, your water will either not flow the way you desire, or you may have insufficient flow to filter your water and/or feed your waterfall.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome article it would be of great help to the public. But I have a question to ask is there any updated pump siding chart

    • David, thanks for the reply. Stagnant water can definitely be a breeding ground for those pesky mosquitos which I didn’t address so thanks. I will probably write about keeping your koi pond from being a pest’s breeding ground in a later post. As for the updated pump sizing chart, I’m sure there are some out there but not positive. Good to hear from you.


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