Aquarium Submersible Water Pump

Aquariums are like enchanting underwater heavens, offering a peaceful break from our busy lives. To keep your underwater world healthy and lively, it’s important to know about aquarium submersible water pumps. 

In this complete guide, I’ll explore what these devices do, which fish tanks need them, why Gallons Per Hour (GPH) matters, and even offer reviews of top-notch aquarium submersible water pumps. 

Plus, I’ll give you some valuable advice on taking care of these essential tools for your aquarium. So let’s get started and learn more.

What is the Purpose of an Aquarium Submersible Water Pump?

Submersible water pumps are like the quiet helpers in your aquarium. Their main job is to keep the water moving and full of oxygen, which is important for your fish and plants to stay healthy. 

In nature, water flows in rivers and streams, bringing fresh oxygen to aquatic life. Submersible pumps do the same thing in your aquarium.

Here’s why they’re important

1. Promoting Water Circulation: 

Submersible pumps are like water movers in your tank. They keep the water flowing all the time. This is super important because when water just sits without moving, it can become kind of gross, like a yucky pond. 

Stuff like fish poop and food that didn’t get eaten can collect in the water, and that’s not good for your aquatic friends. 

So, these pumps work like gentle water stirrers, making sure the water doesn’t get still. This way, your aquarium stays clean and healthy for your underwater buddies. 

It’s like having a fan in a stuffy room – it keeps the air fresh, but in this case, it’s keeping the water clean and clear for your fish and plants.

2. Oxygenation

Just like we need air to breathe, fish also need oxygen from the water to stay alive and healthy. The pump does something really important to help with this.

It stirs up the water, and when the water moves, it grabs fresh oxygen from the surface and mixes it in. This oxygen is like their lifeline. 

Without it, your fish and plants can get stressed or even sick. So, the pump is like their personal oxygen blender, making sure they have all the air they need to be happy and healthy in your aquarium.

3. Mimicking a Natural Environment

Think of submersible pumps as tools to make your fish feel at home. In the wild, fish live in rivers and streams where the water is always moving. They’re not used to still, stagnant water like in a pond.

So, by having a pump in your aquarium, it’s like creating a mini river in your home. It makes the fish feel comfortable because it’s similar to the water they’re used to in nature. 

This way, your aquarium becomes a cozy place for them, just like their natural habitat. Happy fish live in a tank that feels like their home sweet home.

4. Preventing Issues

When the water in your aquarium doesn’t move, it can cause problems. It becomes like a trap for bad stuff, like chemicals and waste. Well, a submersible pump acts like a cleaning buddy for your aquarium. 

It doesn’t let all those bad things pile up. Instead, it keeps the water moving, so the bad stuff gets carried away, and your water stays clean and safe for your underwater buddies. It’s like having a continuous cleanup crew in your tank, ensuring a healthy environment for your fish and plants.

So, the purpose of a submersible water pump is to create a happy and healthy environment in your aquarium, just like nature intended. It’s like a little underwater superhero that keeps things clean, oxygenated, and comfortable for your aquatic pets.

Which Type of Fish Tank Requires a Water Pump?

Not all fish tanks require a submersible water pump, but if you aim to maintain a thriving aquatic environment, particularly in larger or heavily stocked tanks, a water pump is indispensable. Here’s why

1. Larger Tanks

If you have a really big fish tank, like a giant swimming pool but for fish, you definitely need a water pump. In a big fish tank, you use a powerful pump to make sure the water flows and moves around. This way, the water doesn’t stay still and get dirty.

The pump helps the water to keep moving and swirling gently. This movement is super important because it stops the water from getting all stale and bad for your fishy pals. 

It’s like giving them a nice, fresh breeze to swim in and keeping their home clean and healthy. So, in big fish tanks, a water pump is like a superhero that keeps the water in motion, so your fish can thrive!

2. Reef Tanks

Reef tanks are like homes for delicate corals and lots of different sea creatures. But here’s the thing: corals really, really need oxygen and water to be moving around to stay happy.

Now, a water pump is like a magic tool in these tanks. It keeps the water swirling and moving just right, like a gentle ocean current. 

This is like giving the corals a perfect environment to live in. They love it when the water moves, and it helps them grow and stay healthy. So, in reef tanks, a water pump is like their best friend, making sure everything is just how they like it.

3. Freshwater Tanks

Even if you have freshwater fish, a water pump can be very helpful. It does two important things:

  • Heat Distribution: It helps distribute heat evenly throughout the tank. Just like in your house, you want the temperature to be the same everywhere. A water pump helps achieve this, ensuring that your fish are comfortable.
  • Water Quality: Fish produce waste, and if it stays in one place, it can make the water dirty. A water pump stirs things up, so the filter can remove this waste more effectively, keeping the water clean and safe for your fish.

4. Saltwater Tanks

Saltwater tanks are like homes for fish and sea creatures that live in the ocean. But here’s the trick with these tanks: they need a water pump.

Now, a water pump isn’t just for moving water. It has another really important job. You see, in these tanks, we need to mix salt and other special stuff evenly in the water. It’s kind of like stirring a drink to make sure all the flavors mix together.

Why is this so important? Well, the right mix of saltiness, called “salinity,” is super important for the health of the fish and sea animals in the tank. 

If the salt isn’t spread out properly, it can make the water too salty or not salty enough, and that’s not good for the creatures living in the tank. 

So, a water pump helps make sure the salt and everything else is just right for them, like a chef mixing ingredients for a tasty dish.

5. Breeding Tanks

If you want to help fish have babies, you might use a special tank called a breeding tank. Now, in these tanks, a water pump can be pretty handy.

Here’s why: some fish need things just right to make baby fish. They like the water to move gently in certain ways, like a slow and cozy river. But making a river in a tank isn’t easy. That’s where the water pump comes in.

The pump can make the water flow just how these fish like it. It’s a bit like creating a perfect, calm riverbed in their tank. When the water moves like this, it makes the fish feel like it’s time to have babies. So, the water pump helps make the fish comfy and happy, like a matchmaker for fish couples.

A water pump is a versatile tool that can benefit a wide range of fish tanks, from small to large, freshwater to saltwater, and various specialized setups. 

It contributes to oxygenation, water quality, and the overall well-being of your aquatic pets, making it an important component for many aquariums.

aquarium pump
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What Is GPH, And Why Is It Significant?

GPH, or Gallons Per Hour, is a crucial metric that quantifies the rate at which a submersible water pump can move water through your aquarium’s system. 

This measurement is significant because it directly affects the health of your aquatic ecosystem and the well-being of its inhabitants.

The Formula For Calculating GPH

To calculate GPH, you need to know the amount of water the pump moves within an hour. The formula is:

GPH = Flow Rate (Gallons) / Time (Hours)

For example, if your pump moves 300 gallons of water in an hour, the GPH would be 300 GPH.

Significance of GPH

The GPH rating of your water pump is essential because it determines several critical factors.

  • Water Circulation: Higher GPH rates lead to more efficient water circulation within the aquarium. This circulation helps distribute heat, nutrients, and oxygen evenly, preventing stagnant areas and maintaining stable water conditions.
  • Filtration Efficiency: GPH affects the performance of your filtration system. If the pump’s flow rate is too low for your filter’s capacity, it can lead to incomplete filtration and poor water quality. Conversely, if the flow rate is too high, it may bypass the filter media, rendering it less effective.
  • Oxygenation: Proper oxygenation is vital for the health of your fish and aquatic organisms. A higher GPH can promote better surface agitation, which increases oxygen exchange at the water’s surface, benefiting both fish and beneficial bacteria.

Measuring The Water Pump’s Gallons Per Hour (GPH)

Measuring the GPH of your submersible water pump is relatively straightforward. You will need a container of known volume and a stopwatch or timer.

Step 1: Prepare The Setup

Fill the container with a known volume of water. For accuracy, it’s best to use a container with gallon markings.

Place the submersible water pump in the container, ensuring it is fully submerged and functioning correctly.

Step 2: Start The Timer

Start the timer or stopwatch as soon as you turn on the water pump.

Step 3: Measure The Flow Rate

As the pump operates, measure the time it takes to fill the container to a specific level, such as one gallon.

Step 4: Calculate GPH

Once you’ve recorded the time it took to fill the container, use the GPH formula mentioned earlier to calculate the pump’s GPH rating.

For example, if it took the pump 30 seconds to fill a one-gallon container:

GPH = 1 gallon / (30 seconds / 3600 seconds per hour) = 720 GPH

So, the pump’s GPH rating would be 720 GPH.

GPH Testing Results

When you perform GPH testing on your water pump, you will obtain a specific GPH rating. This rating serves as a reference point for choosing the right pump for your aquarium. 

It’s essential to compare this rating with your tank’s requirements, taking into account factors such as tank size, the type of aquatic life you have, and desired water flow rates.

For instance, if you have a 50-gallon freshwater aquarium and aim for a water turnover rate of at least five times per hour.

Minimum GPH = 50 gallons x 5 times per hour = 250 GPH

In this case, you would want a submersible water pump with a GPH rating of 250 or higher to ensure adequate water circulation and filtration.

Understanding GPH, how to measure it, and interpreting the testing results are essential steps in maintaining a healthy aquarium. 

This information empowers you to select the right submersible water pump for your specific needs, ensuring that your aquatic ecosystem thrives.

Best Aquarium Submersible Water Pump Review

Now that you understand why GPH is important, let’s dive into the best submersible water pumps for aquariums that you can find on Amazon.

After doing thorough research, I’ve identified this particular pump because it has received outstanding reviews and ratings from users.

1. The JAJALE 93 GPH Submersible Water Pump 

This pump is a hassle-free and dependable choice for all your aquatic needs. With its user-friendly design, you won’t need any special tools to install, remove, or clean it, and its compact size fits seamlessly into your setup. 

Crafted with high-quality materials, including real copper core wires and durable epoxy resin, this pump ensures a long-lasting and smooth operation. 

Whether you have a pond, fountain, hydroponic system, or any water feature, it’s up for the task, and compatible with different tubing sizes. 

It operates quietly while efficiently circulating water and has earned praise from satisfied customers for its reliability and performance.

2. CWKJ Fountain Pump, 400GPH Submersible 

The CWKJ Fountain Pump is all about providing you with comfort and tranquillity. It’s a versatile choice that suits various occasions. 

This pump allows you to adjust the water pressure with its handy knob, giving you the control you desire. It even includes three different nozzles to create unique water views. 

Its compact design makes it easy to conceal, while the 25W super-efficient motor keeps water flowing steadily. You’ll find it easy to install with its long and durable power cord. Plus, it stays firmly in place with four sturdy rubber suction cups. 

With a maximum flow rate of 6.66 Gallons Per Minute, this pump is ready to create your peaceful oasis, wherever you choose.

3. VIVOSUN 800GPH Submersible Pump

The VIVOSUN 800GPH Submersible Pump is a versatile powerhouse that measures inches, making it easy to hide and fit into tight spaces. 

Its 6.5 ft. long power cord simplifies installation, while an adjustable knob lets you control water flow rate and pressure. With a max flow rate of 800 GPH (3000L/H) and a max lift height of up to 10 ft., this 24W pump packs a punch. 

It’s detachable and easy to clean, requiring no tools for disassembly. You can place it flat, stick it on angled or vertical surfaces, and manually adjust its position.

Additionally, it offers three outlet adapters with different diameters (0.51 in., 0.62 in., and 0.74 in.) to suit various water flow needs, making it a versatile solution for a range of applications.

Tips for Maintaining Water Pumps

1. Regularly Clean The Pump’s Intake And Impeller

One of the most important maintenance tasks is to clean your pump’s intake and impeller regularly. Over time, debris, algae, and small particles can accumulate in these areas, leading to clogs that hinder water flow. A clogged pump can strain the motor and reduce its efficiency. To prevent this, here’s what you should do.

  • Turn off and unplug the pump.
  • Remove the pump from the water (if possible).
  • Disassemble the pump housing to access the impeller and intake.
  • Carefully clean any debris, gunk, or algae from these parts.
  • Reassemble the pump and return it to the water.

By performing this cleaning routine at regular intervals (e.g., once a month), you’ll ensure that your pump operates at peak performance.

2. Be Alert To Unusual Noises And Vibrations

Your submersible water pump should operate quietly and smoothly. Any sudden noises or vibrations can indicate a problem. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, here’s what you should do.

  • Turn off the pump immediately to prevent further damage.
  • Inspect the impeller for damage or obstructions.
  • Check the pump’s mounting and positioning to ensure it’s secure.
  • If you can’t identify the issue, consider seeking professional assistance.

Addressing unusual noises and vibrations promptly can prevent costly repairs or replacements down the line.

3. Keep Electrical Components Dry And Secure

Water and electricity don’t mix well, so it’s crucial to keep the pump’s power cord and electrical connections dry and secure. Here’s how to do that.

  • Make sure the power cord is properly sealed and free from damage.
  • Use drip loops in the power cord to prevent water from running down into electrical outlets.
  • Place any electrical connections or power strips in a dry and elevated location, away from water sources.

By taking these precautions, you’ll reduce the risk of electrical accidents and ensure the safety of your pump and aquarium.

4. Replace Worn-Out Parts Or Seals Promptly

As your submersible water pump ages, certain parts may wear out, such as seals or O-rings. If you notice any leaks or decreased performance, it’s essential to address these issues promptly. Here’s what to do.

  • Identify the source of the leak or performance issue.
  • Consult your pump’s manual or manufacturer for replacement parts.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to replace worn-out components or seals.

Regularly inspecting your pump and replacing worn-out parts will extend its lifespan and maintain its efficiency.


In summary, a submersible water pump is like the engine that drives a healthy aquarium. Knowing why it’s needed, which tanks benefit the most, and what GPH means will help you pick the perfect pump. 

When you choose the right one and take good care of it, you’ll create a happy and balanced underwater world that captivates both you and your aquatic friends. 

So, make a smart choice when it comes to your aquarium’s heart—the submersible water pump—and enjoy the beauty of your flourishing aquatic world.


Are submersible aquarium pumps safe?

Yes, submersible aquarium pumps are generally safe. These pumps are designed to work underwater, so they’re made to be water-resistant and won’t usually cause any harm to your aquarium or the fish in it.

What is the difference between a submersible pump and a water pump?

The main difference between a submersible pump and a water pump is where they are meant to be used.

A submersible pump is designed to work underwater, like in an aquarium, while a regular water pump is meant for use outside of water, like in a garden or a well.

How high can a 1 hp submersible pump lift water?

A 1 horsepower (1 hp) submersible pump can lift water quite high, typically up to around 100 feet (30 meters) or more. This makes it suitable for various applications like supplying water to a house or irrigation system from a deep well.

What are the disadvantages of a submersible water pump?

There are some disadvantages to using a submersible water pump. One drawback is that they can be more challenging and expensive to install and maintain compared to above-ground pumps.

They may also be less energy-efficient if not properly sized for the task. Additionally, if there’s a problem with a submersible pump, it can be more difficult to access and repair since it’s underwater.

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