Blog, Pumps

How to Choose the Right Pump for Your Reef Aquarium

Choosing the right pump for your reef aquarium is crucial for several reasons. Considering that it can be difficult to return a used pump to the store, it’s important to select carefully the first time.

Before jumping to making a purchasing decision, a good place to start your research is reef forums. Lookup for similar reef aquarium forums and threads to the available designs. Read about important details like the type of tank available there, the type of mechanical filtration system, and then, the pump type.

You may also want to learn directly from pump manufacturers. Surf their website and read about flow rate vs. head height Chart. With this, you can have an idea of what type and model of the pump are suitable for your tank.


What does a marine pump actually do?

You will need a pump if your reef tank comes with a sump.

The best practice for water draining into your sump is to find a way to move back into the aquarium. This is where the marine pump comes in handy. However, there are several things to consider before buying a return pump:

  • Filtration type – the type of filtration system you plan to use will determine the type of pump you need to set up.
  • Flow rate – this time, you need to consider the type of corals and inverts you want to keep. Do they require a high, medium, or low water flow rate? Do thorough research before buying a water pump.
  • Plumbing and head height – what type of plumbing are you considering? What’s the location of the filtration system?



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Types of pumps for your reef tank

There are two common types of pumps you can buy, namely: submersible and in-line water pumps.

Submersible Pumps

This type of pump is run completely under the water, mostly in the sump area. However, you need to consider the dimension of the pump before installation.

Submersible pumps can be easy to install since there’s no need for drilling. Their quiet operation is also an appeal. The major disadvantage, however, is the fact that they are water-cooled. The effect of this is the unwanted heat or exhaust from the system will be added to the water in your tank.

In-line Pumps

In-line pumps are the opposite of the submersible types. In simple terms, they are used out of the water. They are also connected to the filtration system to function efficiently.

By comparison, they are air-cooled (not water-cooled). This, in return, means that they add lesser heat to the water system.

Where do you place a pump in your reef tank?

As discussed above, the placement of your return pump will depend on its design. However, most pumps usually fit into the sump area of your reef tank.

Concluding Thoughts

As you have seen so far, using a return pump in your water system is an essential choice. While there are several types, it’s best to choose one that works best with your design.

Research more before buying. Read reviews and forums with an open mind. Choose a pump with a proven track record for amazing results.

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