The most important part of any fountain is the pump.
Circulates water, prevents algae from forming, creates soothing sounds and adds a stream of water to turn any fountain into a beautiful centerpiece.
Choosing the Best Fountain Pumps is key to creating sustainable water features. There are several varieties available, so it’s important to know what to look for to find the right one for you.
A small fountain pump is essential if you want to build an original garden fountain. You can build the pump yourself or take the easy route and buy one. There are dozens of models on the market and finding a suitable product is quite easy.
When choosing the right water pump, there are a few things to consider and this guide aims to show you how to choose the best one.
However, if you don’t feel like reading, hit the links in the table below to find the best small fountain pump for your DIY project.
Selecting a dedicated pond pump for your waterfall or fountain offers a variety of benefits, including a better head lift, easier installation and lower operating costs. In this guide, we’ll explain how to choose the best fountain water pumps and recommend our top-rated pump picks.
Whether you have a koi pond with a waterfall, a fountain decorated with ornate statues or an aquarium with your favorite goldfish, a pond pump will keep the aquatic life of the water feature healthy and vibrant. However, not just any pond pump is enough, it must also provide reliable and energy-efficient performance so that you can save money on your water and electricity bill.
How to Choose the Right Fountain Pump?
There are a few things to consider when choosing a fountain pump. When deciding which one is best for you, it’s always important to consider how you’re going to use it. Different applications have different needs.
Solar energy pumps
The most important thing to consider when choosing a fountain pump for an outdoor water feature is how you intend to feed it. Solar energy is a useful option for pumps that are only used outdoors.
Many pumps designed to create fountains in swimming pools, ponds, and bird baths have a nozzle surrounded by a large solar panel located near the surface of the water. Others use a separate solar panel with wires that connect to the mouthpiece. They do not require an additional power source.
Some solar pumps do not store energy and only operate when the solar panel is exposed to bright sunlight. Others have an internal battery that gives the pump a little more power and keeps it going when the sun is blocked by clouds.
For something more powerful and reliable, consider a submersible pump. They can be used indoors and outdoors and, as the name suggests, they are fully submersible. This means that they can also be used in aquariums to circulate and supply water with oxygen.
Submersible pumps are electric and can be plugged directly into an electrical outlet. Since they do not depend on sunlight, they are constantly powerful and run 24 hours a day.
How high do you want the water to splash? There are two factors that determine how high the jet can reach: the volume of water in the pool or fountain and how much water pressure it takes to reach that height.
Each of these pumps has a different maximum nozzle, but it is important to remember that this is not the only factor that determines the actual nozzle. Choosing a pump that is tailored to the size of your pool, fountain, or birdbath can help it run more efficiently.
Most of the products we reviewed come with a variety of nozzles to control the shape and coverage of the water flow. This is a great feature if you want to mix it up every once in a while and change the look of your font.
Top  10 Best Fountain Pumps on the Market
If you are looking for the best fountain pump for your needs then you have come to the right place. There are many options to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you.
Best Fountain Pump Reviews
The best solar powered fountain pump we can find is this one from Solatec. It is fully powered by the sun, does not require a backup battery or electrical outlet, although it does not store energy and does require sunlight to function.
It is an ideal pump for fountains, bird baths, swimming pools, small ponds or for circulating water in an aquarium.
This pump has four different types of nozzles. Each creates a slightly different spray pattern that can grow up to about 20 inches long. Switching from one to the other is easy, and the all-black design won’t distract from water and other environments.
Installation is easy too. Make sure to keep the floating plate on the water surface so that the solar panel is exposed to sunlight. The fountain will start working automatically in a few seconds. The brighter the sun, the better the fountain works.
The weatherproof design is waterproof and durable, and the polycrystalline silicon solar panel is designed to withstand even freezing weather. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a full one year warranty.
Another great choice is this font from AMYER. It is fully solar powered and has a beam height of up to 38 inches in full sun. That said, it also features an updated solar panel and unique design that still creates beautiful fountains even in dim sunlight.
The pump starts working after being exposed to sunlight for just three seconds, but is stronger after prolonged exposure to the sun.
There are four different types of nozzles and different combinations you can try to get the perfect accent for your small pond, pool, aquarium or bird bath. For best results, place the pump in the water to start running, then mount and attach the nozzle of your choice.
For larger sprays, make sure there is at least two inches of water. Regular cleaning is also recommended, especially if you want large jets of water. Remember, the more sun exposure, the more power.
This Tiger submersible pump has a low consumption and energy-saving design that runs quietly. It is an excellent choice for fountains, ponds, swimming pools and aquariums and can even be used in hydroponic pump systems. It is powerful enough to produce jets of water up to 1.5 meters high.
There is a simple valve to adjust the flow up to 120 GPH and ½ and ¼ inch adapters are included. Installing this pump is very easy. It has four separate suction cups on the bottom and is so compact that it can be easily hidden. It is also very lightweight and can be mounted horizontally if required.
One of the best things about this pump is that it is designed to last. It is 100% submersible and uses acid and salt resistant materials throughout. Plus, it comes with a 12-month limited warranty and a 100% money back guarantee.
Finally, we recommend this submersible pump from KEDSUM. This ultra-quiet design is very easy to install. Use the large suction cups on the bottom of the pump to attach it to glass or other smooth, sturdy surface.
It has a 2 meter power cord and large suction cups on the bottom to make it easy to install and stay firmly in place. You can even hang it horizontally if you want, which is great for use in an aquarium.
This pump includes a 0.51 inch, 0.75 inch and 0.87 inch adapter for different effects and has a maximum water jet height of 1.5 meters. It is an excellent choice for ponds, fountains and aquariums and can handle fresh or salt water in temperatures up to 95 degrees F.
The pieces are easy to take apart, making cleaning much easier. It’s also backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Homasy 400GPH Submersible Pump is a great little fountain pump to consider for your DIY project. The pump has a capacity of 400 liters per hour, is suitable for a wide variety of applications and is perfect for indoor or outdoor fountains. One of the main features of the pump is water flow control. Flow is easy to set with a button, so you can set the desired pressure. The maximum flow is 400 GPH, which is more than sufficient for most applications.
Another great feature is the presence of four suction cups on the bottom of the pump. These cups hold the pump in place and are easy to stick to glass or other smooth surfaces, both vertically and horizontally. This allows you to hide the pump between plants to improve the design.
Because the pump also provides air circulation and oxygenation of the water, it is suitable for aquariums or fish ponds. Needless to say, this is a great feature.
If you need a small pump, the Homasy 80 GPH Submersible Pump might be for you. As the name implies, this pump can handle 80 gallons per hour, while lifting a water column of 2.6 feet. The pump has ultra-quiet operation and a reliable, durable motor. Thanks to these functions you can enjoy the water game without being disturbed by annoying noises. In addition, the pump has an adjustable flow rate and is designed with a comfortable adjustment knob.
The pump has many applications. It is suitable for a bird bath or small outdoor fountain, for an indoor fountain or even for aerating the water in an aquarium or pond. Thanks to its compact size, the pump is easy to hide and thanks to the suction cups easy to install on the bottom or walls of the fountain.
This multifunctional pump comes with two nozzles with which the water jet can be tailor-made. Thanks to the different effects of water, you can change the appearance of your fountain in an instant.
Similar in many ways to the Homasy pump described above, the VicTsing 80 GPH submersible water pump is another small fountain pump to consider for your DIY garden fountain projects. This pump has a capacity of 80 liters per hour, is suitable for a wide range of applications and has a compact design. In detail, the pump is ideal for small to medium sized aquariums or aquariums, for tabletop fountains, water gardens, ponds, outdoor birdbaths and more.
The pump comes with two nozzles that allow users to adjust the effect of the water flow, while the height of the jet can be easily adjusted with the pump knob.
The compact pump is easy to install thanks to the suction cups that allow for both vertical and horizontal installation. In addition, the pump is easy to remove and clean. No tools are required to separate it, while cleaning is a breeze.
Last but not least, the Intsun 220 GPH Submersible Pump is another small fountain pump to consider if you want to build an indoor or outdoor garden fountain. This pump has a capacity of 220 liters per hour and is very similar to the pumps described above. In detail, the pump is suitable for a wide variety of indoor and outdoor applications. It is ideal for bird baths and aquariums, for ponds or indoor Zen gardens.
The pump has water flow control and it is easy to get the desired water pressure just by turning a knob. In addition, the pump is easy to install and has a 6-foot power cord that is long enough to plug the pump into an electrical outlet.
But what makes this pump stand out is the LED light. The pump has 12 colored LEDs that color the water in four different colors. The light provides impressive effects at night, turning your DIY fountain into a real eye-catcher.
This powerful cyclone pond pump from Alpine Corporation is not only cost effective and energy efficient, but also an excellent choice for medium-sized ponds. Whether you want to add a beautiful waterfall to your koi pond or upgrade your existing fountain pump, this submersible pump can pump up to 3100 liters of water per hour and create strong waterfalls and provide good aeration.
The Alpine Corporation pump has a solid design as the outer casing is made of strong plastic. The Vortex ceramic impeller is oil-free and is driven by a magnetic drive motor that is completely enclosed in a separate housing, increasing water tightness and preventing leakage.
There is also an easily removable pre-filter and the Vortex motor can be removed without tools for easy cleaning and maintenance.
A very versatile pump, the Alpine Cyclone can be submerged underwater or placed anywhere in the pond. It can also be placed vertically or horizontally. And it’s backed by a three-year warranty. Alpine Corporation also offers five different pumps to choose from that provide a range of GPH per hour: 2,100, 3,100, 4,000, 5,200, and 6,550.
How Does a Fountain Pump Work?
Fountain pumps are also called recirculation pumps. This means they use the same water over and over, so you can run them without worrying about increasing your water bill or feeling guilty about wasting excess water.
There are three main components to a fountain pump: the pump itself, a reservoir, and a delivery system.
The function of the pump is to move the water upwards to create a jet of water. It can be used at lower pressures to create a waterfall effect or to create movement in an aquarium. Best Fountain Pumps are rated by the number of gallons of water they move. The more gallons, the faster the flow.
This is the area where the water collects to be recirculated. It is constantly being filled as the water is sucked in to maintain water pressure at the pump so the fountain never stops.
The water passes through an inlet valve to reach the pump. It is very important to keep this area free of debris that is quite common in an outdoor water feature. Anything that blocks the inlet can cause the pump to dry out.
The delivery system depends on the effect you are trying to create. A hose is common for soft waterfalls or when used in an aquarium. This allows you to place the exhaust exactly where you need it, so that it fits perfectly with your environment.
If you are making a water feature with a jet, the nozzles are usually connected directly to the outlet of the pump. The pump pushes the water through the nozzles to create different patterns of water in the air.
How to Install a Water Fountain Pump?
The installation of these pumps varies from model to model, so be sure to read the instructions that come with the pump of your choice. With that said, here’s an easy method to install a fountain pump:
1. Prepare the pond, pool, or fountain first.
Remove large debris such as dirt and twigs that could clog the pump.
A submersible pump should never be placed on the bottom of the water unless it is very shallow, such as in a birdbath or small water feature. In deeper water, submersible pumps should be lifted on a stone or concrete slab to prevent dirt from reaching the bottom.
The same is true if you are using a submersible pump in an aquarium, but these are often very easy to install on the side of the tank with the built-in suction cups.
2. Configure the pump
If necessary, apply a tube or choose the nozzle combination you want to use.
Solar powered pumps usually start working within seconds of being exposed to the sun, but most manufacturers recommend leaving the panels in direct sunlight for about 30 minutes before placing them in the sun.
3. Place the pump in the water.
Connect the hoses or nozzles and then place the pump in the water. Make sure it is placed correctly. Remember, submersible pumps should never be placed on the bottom of a pond or fountain unless the water is too shallow to lift.
4. Start the pump
Once the pump is turned on, it only takes a few seconds for the water to start circulating. Once the water is moving, it is time to make the necessary flow adjustments.
Most pumps have a dial or knob to regulate the pressure. If the flow is too weak, the nozzles will not be effective because there is not enough pressure for them to work properly. On the other hand, if you want to create a smooth waterfall, you may need to set the pressure to a lower level.
It is very important not to let the pump run dry. Make sure you don’t turn it on until you are in the water and make sure the water level is always adequate.
How to Clean a Water Fountain Pump?
Keeping a fountain pump clean is very important. Too much dirt or build-up will affect the flow and can cause the fountain to stop working after a short time. Here are some tips for keeping your fountain pump clean.
- Check the water level regularly. The pump itself should always be submerged in water and if it gets too low it can cause serious damage. Distilled water is better because it reduces the amount of fouling and can make maintenance easier.
- Remove debris several times a week, especially in an outdoor pool or fountain. Leaves, twigs and other debris can quickly clog the pump, preventing water from circulating and drying it out.
- The pump should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a month or more frequently if necessary. Turn off the pump, remove it from the water and allow it to drain completely. Then immerse the pump in a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar to loosen mineral deposits.
- After soaking, remove the cap from the pump and use an old toothbrush to remove any mineral residue or algae.
- Rinse and replace the cap, then fill the pump with distilled water before putting it back in the water.
- Once the pump is completely submerged again, turn it on. Make any necessary adjustments to the nozzles or tubes.
- If you live in a climate with cold winters, it’s best to bring your fountain indoors from fall to early spring. Take it apart completely, clean it well and keep it until the weather warms up.
There are many reasons why we like the Intsun 220 GPH submersible pump, but our number one favorite is the Homasy 400GPH submersible pump. This pump is ideal for a wide variety of applications, it is powerful and adjustable.
The pump is easy to install thanks to the suction cups. Although it does not have great vertical stability, the pump is easy to hide between plants or decorations. That is why horizontal mounting is possible under all circumstances.
This is without a doubt one of the best small fountain pumps on the market, and if lighting is what you are looking for, there are plenty of solutions to consider.