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What size pump?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Dirty Water, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I'm planning on adding a very small water feature to a backyard patio I'm putting in my backyard.

    The pond will be around 5'x'3'x2' or so.

    On one side, I'll have small (1 foot or so), waterfall. I just want to create a nice looking pond, with the falling water sound to accent the patio.

    My question is, what size in GPH pump should I use to feed the waterfall?

    I can get really cheap 750-1000 GPH pumps on ebay for under $50, are these suitable, or are they junk?

  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    No help???
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Thanks Bryan, that link confirmed that 750 GPH would be fine for my little pond...Now I just want to know if the ebay pumps will be reliable.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    by the way, if I read the tetra site correcty, you have created a near impossible scenario. Your pond 3x5x2 (30cu' or 225 gallons) w/ a 1' wide waterfall (12"x100gph=1200gph) doesn't seem practical. Moving almost 10% of your total volume (and that's if your sides are straight down and your pond is square) per minute seems like a LOT of flow.

    In other words, I'm betting your pond volume is closer to 150 gallons actual, and you should probably consider a waterfall that uses something more like 300gph. You could probably push it to 600gph, but....... That's a lot of flow. what about filter and skimmer? Some way kewl kits out there with pump, skimmer, and waterfall all together. You just have to pair them up with the right size pond.

    Make that pond 4x6 and increase the depth to 3' and you've got a better scenario. (a lot more money too :) )
    That would put you closer to 400 gallons and would make a 6-9" wide waterfall more practical.
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Yeah, good advice..I'm totally new to pond building, and I'm learning/experimenting on my dime on my place :)

    I'm trying to keep the total cost really low, so I wasn't planning on using a filter or skimmer, I was also not planning on stocking the pond, or planting it. I figure I can plumb in a manual valve that redirects the pumps flow from the waterfall to a external drain, so if it gets too scummy, I'll just drain it and clean it.

    Of course, that could be a horrible idea. But I'm inexperienced in cheap ponds :)
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    A diverter for draining is a great idea, not putting in a skimmer is the opposite :) I've seen all manner of skimmers done. they don't have to be fancy. I've seen some that were 5 gallon buckets or small plastic barrels the liner overflowed into, and I've seen some where the skimmer area was just dug out and it was lined too. Put the pump in the skimmer and let it feed from the pond over flow. This gives you a place to put a float or float valve (grainger sells a micro switch for about $15 that can be wired into an irrigation valve). Then pump into your waterfall sump and all is good. Most waterfall kits allow for bio-media in the waterfall sump. And a mesh netting in the skimmer you can dump completes a waterfall kit. How you create it is up to you. The kits are just easier. Especially for bidding, etc.
  8. addinc99

    addinc99 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Jon, here is how to figure the gallonage of your feature. Lentgh times width times depth times 7.5. That will give you the gallonage roughly. Do the same for the waterfall length, width and depth. Figure 1000GPH per one foot of width 1/4" thick of water. If you want 1/2" thick figure 2000GPH. Can you get a low cost pump? Why? You'll only have to replace it in a couple of years?
    Also think about this, how much energy does a cheap pump use? You may put in a cheap pump but in order to be energy efficient the pump needs to use 100watts per 1000 gallons. 150 watts is inefficient. Also consider the warranty offered. 1 year 2 years 5 years etc. Most customers want as long a pump warranty they can get. Remember the pond enviroment is rough! Stay away from China made pumps! Many pumps come from China now. Pick your pump to match your filtration system.

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