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Duck Pond Pump

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have tried 3 pumps so far for our duck pond and none of them seem to last very long, approximately a few months and then they quit working or decrease their output.  We first bought a sump pump, then a sewage pump from Home Depot, then another sewage pump from Home Depot.  The last pump was supposed to be able to pump 5700gph, it pumped great at first but now it can't seem to pump out as much water.


Our pond is approximately 18' x 21' and approximately 4000gallons.  We have two large filters filled with lava rocks, that combined are about 400-500 gallons.  The pump has to pump the water about 20 feet to the filters and up about 5 ft.  


I'm curious if anyone else has a pond this size and what kind of pump you are using?




post #2 of 10

Hi TracyZ,

Our pond is much smaller but I'm curious of how much debris was stuck on the inside of all of your failed pumps?  I made a small "pre-filter" for ours out of pillow stuffing and a nylon stocking.  It has helped tremendously; I was having to clean the pump almost weekly before doing this.  Just a thought, not sure if it'll help for your situation.


Troy & Tina

post #3 of 10

I agree that filtering the water before it gets to the pump should help. Another filtering option is too put a layer of lava rock in the bottom of a bucket with holes, put the pump in, and then surround it with more lava rock. Those thicker black plant pots that larger bushes and trees come in works well for this. Putting mesh or nylons around the pump will also help keep the little stuff out. Just make sure you still get a good amount of water flow so you don't burn out the pump.


You might want to consider getting a good pond pump instead of the pumps you have been buying. Most of those pumps are not designed for continuous use. You also need to make sure that whatever pump you get does not use oil in the mechanical parts. If the oil leaks into the water it could do serious harm to your ducks.

post #4 of 10

Excellent points on the pump types!!  Thanks for covering that aspect lomine!!  How are things in the Springs?  I sure miss living there!


Troy & Tina

post #5 of 10

Are you sure that your pumps are rated for 25 ft of head pressure?

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

When we take the pumps out they aren't filled with anything.  I've looked at pond pumps but I have only seen ones that are for little ponds, maybe I need to check some other places for pond pumps.  Any suggestions on a good pond pump instead of a sewage pump?


head pressure?  I'm assuming this means how far it has to pump and so far the pumps have said they can do this.  The most recent pump, started out pumping a ton of water, actually way too much, our filter was overflowing, so my husband bought a faucet for it and then we decreased the flow with this, but now it can't pump the water all the way to the filter.


Thank you so much everyone for all of the help.


post #7 of 10

What I meant was that the oil is used on the inside of the pump. You wouldn't necessarily see it. If that oil leaks into the water it can harm the birds. I think I read that it can kill them if ingested. I know it kills fish. The seals that normally keep the oil in the pump can slowly deteriorate as the pump is left in the poopy water. The pumps manual/info packet will tell you if there is oil. The other problem is that these pumps are not designed to be used continuously. They are designed to move a lot of water in a short period of time and then shut off. They get hot. Running them continuously causes them to overheat. Even the best filtration won't help with that. That's why the pump isn't working as well as it used to.


I personally only use a sump pump to empty out the ducks' pools every other day so I can't recommend a pond pump. I picked one that doesn't use oil, it never runs for more than 10-15 minutes at a time, and I don't leave it in the water. I know there are other threads that pop up every now and then about pumps but I don't remember if any of them gave specific recommendations. Is there a pond store near you? They should have something that could handle a bigger pond. Or you could check online. It might cost you more but it's better than replacing a cheaper pump every three months. Something else to keep in mind is that pond pumps usually use less electricity to run so that will also save you a little money. 


Hope that helps.


Hey @tmorgan46 it's been nice here in the Springs as we are actually getting some fall weather. The last few years it went straight from hot summer weather to cold winter weather. Fall is my favorite time of year so I'm enjoying it while it lasts, which probably won't be for long.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much lomine for the extremely helpful information.  I just called Lifegard Aquatics about their pumps and spoke with someone that was very helpful on the phone, I think I'm going to try one of their pumps.  They have one that seems to be able to fit what I need and he says they can run continuously with no problems.  And their pumps are around $200, which is what I've been spending on each of the sewage pumps that I've bought.  


Thanks again!


post #9 of 10

Glad you were able to find something. And glad to hear the information was helpful. :D

post #10 of 10

Sorry im late to the party. You are all correct.


1.  Pond pumps are useless for this application

2.  Sump/dirty water pumps are dangerous and are not rated for continuous use.


I had the same problems you did and went with a dirty water pond pump. It is designed to process poopy water and run continuously and it sounds like that is what you found. It seems to be an emerging market from what used to be a niche, dirty water ponds are gaining popularity.


Here is what I got and it works for me, but any dirty water pond pump should work.



Final thought. Koi pond stores/aquarium pond stores have a lot of experience dealing with dirty water pumps. True fish poop is much easier to manage, but they are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to managing dirty water ponds.

Edited by revans2003 - 11/6/15 at 8:29pm
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