By all means, one of the most substantial perks of utilizing the best aquarium sump pump setup is none other than the significant amount of control that you could team with the entire system.
In addition, you can put up whatever type of filtration you prefer in order to conform it to the specific requirements of your fish tank. Basically, if you are starting a new aquarium and working on a sump system, then one of the valuable tools you need to invest in is a reliable fish tank sump pump.
Needless to say, it is critical to ensure that the entire system functions as well as it feasibly can. The good news today is that by simply going over the comprehensive product reviews below, finding the one that could match your fish tank requirements won’t be a struggling task for you to deal with anymore.
Finding an ideal marine/aquarium sump pump requires looking at several crucial factors. Otherwise, it’s impossible to separate a high-quality aquarium pump from subpar models. So before we dive into the reviews, here’s a look at a few of these vital aspects:
- Ease of Setup and Convenience of Use: Any worthwhile sump pump will offer an easy installation process while being effortless to use and controllable. In other words, these products should make your life much easier rather than causing stress or frustration.
- Silent Operation: Never purchase sump pumps notorious for being noisy. Instead, try to find the quietest available option within your budget. Trust me; this commonly overlooked aspect can make a world of difference.
- Type of Sump Pumps: Most sump pumps will fall into two types: in-line water pumps and submersible water pumps. Each buyer must determine what best suits their aquarium’s setup before making a final decision.
Start reading so you can come up with the most practical decision regarding your fish tank sump pump needs!
Table of Contents
Most Trusted Aquarium Sump Pump Reviews 2023
1. Jecod/Jebao DCT Water Pump
If you are searching for a fish tank sump pump that comes with a premium performance motor and is equipped with power-saving and avant-garde electronics features, then this is the right catch for you. Moreover, it is furnished with a smart speed controller as well as a motor shield that works when the rotor is obstructed
When this device operates, it generates audible sound which is opposed to what others claim that it works quietly. It is quite clean, easy to utilize and maintenance is not a problem to manage. It has a power-off shield that works in an automatic mode too.
The fish feeding button and the pump seed can be easily controlled, it is built with IC electronic detection, as you can see, and this comes with an excellent controller feature that ensures convenience. You can utilize these when adjusting the flow as well as when feeding various fish species inside your fish tank. This is ideal for anyone who keeps a good size aquarium or pond.
However, this best aquarium sump pump has the tendency to lose pressure after several months of use. And, contrary to what’s advertised, it is not that quiet while in operation. It generates a sound that is audible enough, but it is not that annoying though.
- Engineered with superior performance motor that comes with energy saving and innovative electronics features
- Comes with durable entire construction
- Includes a total of 10-speed mode controllers for T-Series
- Installation and maintenance are a piece of cake to manage
- Risk-free to utilize since it does not contain copper
- Generates audible noise
- Has the tendency to lose pressure
2. Current USA eFlux DC Flow Pump
Looking for saltwater sump pumps that are a snap to set up may be challenging. Fortunately, this unit won’t give you a difficult time when installing it. This is capable of fitting into narrow spaces and tinier sumps since this is designed with a tiny footprint. What makes this a good catch is the fact that it can ensure high flow and high pressure at the same time. Undeniably, these are the combination that aquarists commonly search for in an outstanding return pump application.
For sure, we always opt for devices that are energy-efficient and this is one of the features that this unit possesses. It DC flow pumps can effectively generate robust water flow with high pressure. This is built with a DC motor that is carefully sealed and a nice magnetic drive design. It is no wonder why as compared to conventional pumps, this works outstandingly.
This device can be set up either externally or submersible. This is safe for use in both marine and freshwater tanks. Once purchased, it already includes hose barb fittings that are meant to make servicing and to set up procedures for a cinch to execute.
Still and all, there are a few downsides that you need to deal with, the power cord of this device is quite short and it is really a very costly investment to consider. But, not bad at all if you have the money.
- Certified energy-efficient, high flow and high pressure
- Comes with easy-to-adjust and control flow features
- Can effectively work even in narrower spaces and smaller-sized sumps
- Specifically built to be safe for use in both saltwater and freshwater tanks
- Equipped with IC electronic detection that shields pump if there is no water
- Power cord was too short
- Comes with a very costly price
3. Innovative Marine Nano Return Pump
This reef sump pump feels solid and seems to be exceptionally constructed. It comes with all the fittings that are particularly necessary to adapt well to different applications. The controller of this unit works appropriately and the fact that it is capable of regulating the amount of flow is awesome. Likewise, it can place the pump into feed mode which is deemed as a fantastic feature that is ideal for sophisticated tank controllers.
Since this is a branded name, it could be costly given the output. Basically, it is a state-of-the-art pump that can operate effectively for all-in-ones and it is in fact highly recommended for anyone who runs nano reef tanks with sumps.
If you prefer a great water flow, noise-free motor and a controller that is smooth sailing to use, and if you are looking for a pump that could operate for a long term with the aid of a battery backup system or a UPS, then this could be the sump pump that could satisfy your preferences and requirements. While you need to spend more on it, it’s a product that shouldn’t be ignored.
Regardless, there are two downsides to keeping an eye on this DC return pump device and are the reality that it does not come with sound-dampening feet and it is considered overpriced as compared to other AC-powered pump versions sold these days.
- Accordingly sized to suit all-in-one fish tank chambers
- Designed with a single-touch feed mode
- Easy to install and comes with fully adjustable feature
- Comes with soundless DC technology
- Supported by a run-dry protection
- Does not come with sound dampening feet
- Pricier than other AC-powered pumps models
4. Jebao DCP Sine Water Pump
Jebco submersible pump is renowned for being the most recent model by this brand. What makes it distinguished from previous versions is that it is designed with an outstandingly-performing motor that ensures upper-limit performance. And, since it is more energy-efficient, it is a better option than the older models.
This is a great device to have since it comes with the capability to turn the power down to feed. Meanwhile, the controller itself is quite accurate once you get accustomed to it. It is surprising to know that it is possible to acquire a vigorous pump in a small package. As a matter of fact, this version is regarded as a very tough contender than other pumps that comes with an almost similar price tag probably because it comes with a flow rate of 1710 GPH.
What makes this unit stand out more are its gilt-edge electronics features and it is harmless to use since it does not contain copper contents. Please be guided that this unit is designed for internal use only. It is also furnished with a memory function that is particularly intended for power supply off to recollect memory.
Notwithstanding, this sump pump is more marginally expensive. And, there are other versions that are similar to its features, but these are sold at a much more affordable price tag. Hence, other consumers will prefer other brands with similar features since they could get them at a lesser cost.
- Stands up for soundless operation
- Works more efficiently as compared to previous versions
- Built with a solid and powerful pump
- Does not contain any copper components
- Engineered with energy-saving feature
- More costly
- Other versions come with similar features at affordable cost
5. Fluval Hagen Sea Sump Pump
You don’t need to suffer from conducting exhaustive research regarding top-drawer sump pumps for saltwater aquariums. This model is a great deal that you won’t regret buying. It is specially made with vigorous flow rates as well as powerful head delivery. And, whether you operate it in and out of the sump, it is capable of working at fairly cool temperatures to inhibit altering the tank water temperature.
What is more, if you have this, there is no need to worry about ensuring a first-rate water flow for your sump-equipped saltwater system. It is energy-efficient too which means you won’t have to pay more for higher energy consumption.
This version is electrically approved for saltwater use and comes with a rugged design. It is engineered with ingenious pump technology that enables the pump to discern when the water flow is regulated and modify its pump appropriately. This impedes the device from over-operating and curtailing its lifespan.
On the other hand, this device comes in a much bigger size, so you need to arrange it well first to fit it in. Besides, once purchased, it does not include a filter cap or strainer on the intake.
- Does a superb job at ensuring superlative water flow specifically for sump-equipped saltwater systems
- Guarantees low heat transmission to energy use
- Works at comparably cool temperature to ward off affecting the tank water temperature
- Comes with barbed hose fittings once purchased
- Built with top quality energy efficient magnetic drive unit
- Does not have strainer or filter cap on the intake
- Comes in a much bigger size than expected
6. Jebao New dc Return Pump
If your choice is a sump tank pump that comes with a 528 GPH max rate, then this is highly recommended for you. This is harmless to utilize for all kinds of tanks since it does not come with copper components. It works powerfully making it ideal to use even for your delicate finned friends.
Furthermore, it is built with a total of ten distinguished water flow rates that you could freely select from hinging on your fish’s inclination. This also operates on a low voltage power and it can prevent instances of overworking through its automatic power-off feature. And, to ensure more efficient energy and long-standing power, this unit is proudly made of a wear-proof ceramic shaft.
Also, you can finally use a sump pump that can guarantee maximum performance yet won’t disturb you and your aquarium pets mainly because unlike other models it does not generate bothering noise.
All the same, of course, this is not a perfect unit and also comes with a few disadvantages that include its larger size than other conventional pumps. While it is true that it can suit most tanks, perhaps, it can’t be hidden easily. Thus, if you are presently keeping a smaller fish tank, then you may further your search as this is not the one for you. Indeed, it does not have an on and off button.
- Designed with an easy controller and handy feeding button
- Can ensure noiseless operation
- Powerful pump that can fit all types of tanks
- Built with 10 diverse water flow rates you can select from
- Highly recommended for inline use
- Comes with larger design as compared to other pumps
- Doesn’t come with on/off button
7. Uniclife DEP-4000 DC Water Pump
This is a highly recommended saltwater return pump that comes with a number of awesome features. Its memory function significantly helps keep your system’s settings with each restart. And you can possibly prolong the pump’s lifespan since this unit is designed with a wear-proof shaft that provides more shield. This is particularly built for efficiency and more reliable consumption.
It is worth mentioning that this pump consumes by up to 65% less power as compared to other similar pumps available on the market today. It is furnished with a total of 99 adjustable speeds wherein it also offers a 10-minute feed more.
By the same token, you can also get this device with a 1-year warranty offer. This is definitely a prominent device to choose from because it is constructed with a stuck shield, IC chip control, True Soft Startup as well as lack of water protection. This obviously makes it a safe pump that is a worthwhile investment.
Even so, this marine return pump is made of a plastic body that is quite fragile and has the tendency to break easily. And, it is advised that it must be utilized only when submerged since the water greatly aids in keeping the pump operating in a cooler mode.
- Built with a reliable and long-lasting pump
- Renowned for having ingenious controller that comes with adjustable speed
- Proudly made with a number of protection features
- Designed with wear-proof ceramic shaft
- Highly recommended for amphibious use
- Comes with fragile plastic body that can get damaged easily
- Must be only used when submerged
8. Jebao New 80W Controllable Water Pump
Without any shadow of a doubt, this return pump for sump comes with a lot of interesting and practical features that you will love. It includes a premium quality magnet rotor, seal impellers, and wear-proof ceramic shaft that is also rust-resistant and can promise a long-standing performance.
This is a safe device to pick as it is operated with low voltage power supply and is also meticulously designed with a leakage protection feature. It is designed with an exquisite LCD power display, wave function, 30-100 stage speed flow control and of course it also comes with a feed mode function.
It is not necessary to waste your time looking further for other options. With this brand, you won’t be cheated in terms of efficiency and reliability. More than that, you won’t have to have concerns about leakage since this comes with a leakage shield that works effectively. It has a powerful motor that operates smoothly. This can be safely utilized for freshwater and marine tanks.
Anyhow, this return pump just like many other models isn’t soundless when in use, but the noise is not that annoying at all. And, the wave mode function of this unit does not circulate an adequate amount of GPH. These are a few of the defects of this unit that you need to watch out for. Besides these flaws, all is well. These are not really serious issues to be bothered about.
- Designed with wave function, feed mode and 30-100 stage speed flow control
- Equipped with anti-rust ceramic shaft and high quality magnet rotor
- Specifically designed for reliability and efficiency
- Built with topnotch LCD power display
- Safely safeguarded against any potentiality of leakage
- Wave mode doesn’t flow sufficient GPH
- May produce a little noise while operating
What To Look For When Buying An Aquarium Sump Pump
Whether you are a pro or still a newbie when it comes to domestic fish tanks, it cannot be denied that your primary objective when you keep an aquarium is to look after it. Further, it is indispensable to sustain a healthy and safe habitat for your underwater animals and aquatic plants. And, in order to accomplish this, one of the most crucial decisions you need to make is picking the most suitable fish tank sump pump for you.
Take in mind that when selecting the size and type of pump for your sump, there are a number of considerations that you need to think over. For instance, it is substantial to learn more about what kind of filtration system is the most excellent for the kind of fish tank you’re planning to maintain.
Apart from this, you may also consider whether your new fish tank will necessitate extra temperature control devices or filtration tools. Prior to making the final decision, it is a must for you to have a deeper knowledge of what a pump for sump is.
You need to know what this device can do with your domestic fish tank. In this manner, you can easily list all the features, advantages and disadvantages and many other vital factors to think through when investing in one.
A few of the buying considerations that you need to take into account include the devices:
- Ease of setup and convenience of use
- Materials it is made of. For example: PVC, Glass or Acrylic
- Silent operation
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is an aquarium sump pump/ return pump? How does it work?
This device works by feeding water into the fish tank’s skimmer or filtration system. This is conventionally situated in the sump, in the below section and is linked to the reef tank. In addition to this, all the water that comes from the fish tank must be strained with the aid of the skimmer prior to being returned to the fish tank.
It is also the role of a return pump to oxygenate the whole system even though most of the task is accomplished by the skimmer.
This works by draining the water from the display aquarium into the sump container below. Then, the water is returned to the aquarium with the aid of a return pump that is operated either externally or submerged. The water circulates into the chamber as the water rises gradually in the display aquarium and lastly, this siphons back into the sump.
Please be guided that this is a consistent cycle and the purpose is to push out as much as the tank can strain.
What are the different types of aquarium sump pumps?
In-line Water Pumps. These are utilized out of the water. Such type is linked to an outlet and inlet hose that are utilized to strain the water in the fish tank. This commonly comes with an air-cooled feature; therefore, it helps avoid adding more heat to the water.
This is typically a more vigorous type of pump in that it has the capability to shift more gallons per hour. This can be set up in 1 of 2 structures that consist of the free-flow installation and pressure installation.
Submersible Water Pumps. These are often completely operated underwater, generally in the sump of a dry or wet filtration system. They pump water from the filter and then return this into the tank, at times with the aid of other tools like UV sterilization units or chillers.
In general, these are a piece of cake to set up since they do not require users to drill or set up a bulkhead in their filtration system. Moreover, these are slightly noise-free since they are operated underwater.
However, the more powerful submersible pumps come with water-cooled features; this implies that unnecessary heat may be directly added to the fish tank water. And, the sump’s strainer might have inadequate space for a pump. Take note that the extent of the submerged pump is a vital factor to take into account.
Why do you need a sump pump for aquarium? (Benefits)
A sump refers to an additional canister that could be utilized to hold extra water, fish tank equipment and filter media. By means of simply using a sump system in your aquarium, you could ward off the mess of having a protein skimmer, heater and filter and other equipment that you might require – attached to the tank’s walls.
In addition to this, they could also be carefully concealed inside the tank cabinet underneath the tank where they won’t be unseen but can ensure instant access for cleaning and maintenance purposes. So, instead of eliminating your tank hood or taking apart your light fixtures solely to acquire access to the rear section of the tank for equipment maintenance, you could just consider disclosing your tank cabinet and enjoy easy access to all of your fish tank equipment.
Besides, your sump can be utilized to hold specialty or extra filter media. Many fish tank filters come with definite space for filter media; however, through utilizing a sump, you can have roomy space to add more. This also serves as one of the most suitable spots to propagate good bacteria for biological filtration. Essentially, additional space for water is probably one of the greatest perks of having a sump for your pump.
Fundamentally, if you were able to install it accordingly, a sump might definitely play the role as a backup water overflow system in situations there is a power outage. As you can see, this is one good means to top off the aquarium and add more supplements to the water without the need to stream it directly into the aquarium.
Aside from all these, a sump can also provide good tank water volume, extra aeration to your filtration system and most importantly, it could highly contribute to enhancing the quality of your fish tank water.
Not to mention, it may be a personal preference whether you’re going to invest in a sump or not; nevertheless, with a number of perks one could provide in your entire filtration system, and the fact that it is quite easy to assemble, there is no reason why you should ignore owning one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth getting a sump pump?
Aquarium sump pumps are worth getting for many hobbyists. First, however, it’s crucial to understand the pros and cons that come with these devices. It’s the only way to determine whether getting one would be worth it for your specific tank setup.
So let’s start with the numerous benefits. For instance, an aquarium sump pump is much less of an eyesore. After all, I can conceal it in a closed-off cabinet, unlike most other aquarium utility pump devices.
I also must point out sump pumps offer more power and effective filtration. It’s why people with multiple fish inside a freshwater or saltwater tank often choose to use them. I have no complaints about how well mine has worked compared to using a cheap filter.
Some other crucial advantages include a quieter noise level and more internal space. Due to this, sump pumps are often my recommendations to people who want a more user-friendly aquarium. It’s a more practical way of creating a livable space for your fish.
However, sump pumps are more expensive, and their installation processes are rather complicated. So using one isn’t a recommended choice for newbies or busy owners. These buyers would do better off choosing a traditional aquarium setup.
How to set up an aquarium sump pump?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to what owners can usually expect during the process of setting up an aquarium sump pump in a new empty fish tank:
- Place your overflow skimmer in the correct location, preferably somewhere far away from where your fish typically goes.
- Position the inflow directly opposite to the overflow. Otherwise, the sump’s performance would not be up to your expectation.
- Connect the tubing between your sump inflow and overflow skimmer: the inflow tube should cover your tank’s top while the outflow works to collect water from the bottom.
- Set up the return hose in such a way that allows them to return water from your sump to the tank. Ensure the water can also flow through the tank before reaching the outflow. If not, it won’t filter your tank’s water capacity.
- Gauge the outflow by starting your skimmer basket and seeing how it functions with water from your tank. I’d suggest using a container with measurements to catch the water and record its flow rate.
- Then, set up an alarm for 10 seconds. Record how many gallons per second flows out during this period. It’s a crucial measurement to help you decide what sump pump type is appropriate for your tank’s setup.
- Once you have the right pump, the process becomes easier. It’s a simple matter of starting the gravity outflow and plugging in your pump.
Most of these devices will provide an installation kit to help you through it. So please, look at those directions before simply following our provided guide.
How many times a day should a sump pump run?
Your aquarium’s sump pump needs to be running continuously. Manufacturers make them run 24/7, so don’t turn them off. It’ll only cause severe issues for the environment inside the tank.
If a mini or traditional sump pump does shut off regularly, it indicates something is wrong with your setup. Even if yours is a small sump pump with an auto shut-off feature, you may want to examine your setup again.
It’s not a situation that aquarium hobbyists should take lightly. They may even need to buy a high-quality replacement like the Fluval Hagen Sea Sump Pump.
Where is the best place to install a sump pump?
My preferred place to install a sump pump is near the tank rather than inside or under it. In fact, I had mine in a corner cabinet to hide it. Therefore, it doesn’t become an eyesore that affects the rest of the room’s decor.
But I’m different from most aquarium hobbyists. People usually install the sump pump underneath their tank for convenience. It offers easy access to any maintenance or other care-related procedure.
What size aquarium sump pump do I need?
While it is true that you can buy a sump for your fish tank, many aquarium keepers sometimes prefer to create their own. This device could actually serve many purposes and hinging on what specifications or characteristics you prefer to acquire, the size of your design will absolutely differ. You may prefer basing the size of your sump on different guidelines, but, in truth, nobody has a rule of thumb on the precise size of the sump they should utilize.
To boot, one of the primary reasons why a sump is practical to use is that this aids in elevating the good volume in your fish tank. As you might already know, having more water may convey having more fish, so it is just right that the tank water remains clean and clear. In many instances, you will prefer to create or purchase the biggest sump you can. Nonetheless, keep in mind that nearly all aquarists conceal their sumps in the fish tank stand.
Also, this commonly restricts your sump to roughly the same size as your main fish tank. And, if you own a bigger sump or fish tank on the upper floor of your dwelling place, be reminded that water, particularly salt water, is quite bulky and dense. To put simply, it is crucial to ensure that the floor will be capable of carrying the combined weight of your sump and fish tank.
Take note that the minimum-sized sump should still be capable of carrying extra water from the surface area and pipework of the main aquarium when the power shuts down. Apportioning a gap on top of all your refugium and media filter could enable this additional water. In reality, a considerable number of ready-made sumps are engineered in this manner.
To sum things up, the bigger the size of the sump the better as this shall aid in escalating the volume of water as well as the stability of your parameters. At times, plenty of sumps are guided by the size of the cabinet.
How to use?
Prior to starting the sump for your fish tank, you first need to fill it with fish tank water and be sure to work on the necessary final connections in the plumbing. Inscribe the level of water on the external section of the sump using a permanent marker and mark it “fill line” before you activate the pumps.
Afterward, at the time you have already turned on the return pump, you may consider waiting for the time the water starts to stream back into the sump. When the water starts making a full circuit, label the new, lower water level and label it “running line.”
Bear in mind that it is not advised to fill the sump beyond the bounds of this line when the pump is operating. Under other conditions, the sump could deluge if the pump fails to work accordingly.
How to make the aquarium sump pump quiet?
Change the check valve. When this is broken or it does not fit accordingly, it can become a source of annoying noise produced by the sump pump or it may also possibly cause the sump pump to stop working.
Figure out what kind of noises your pump has. There are various noises that pumps generate and these may be because of all the distinct parts which are involved in the filtration system. Noises come in various forms such as water noises, motor noises, and pipe or hose noises. Different noises mean different problems that need to be resolved individually.
Noises could be slurping, clanking and banging sounds. Fortunately, these could be thwarted with the regular maintenance schedule. Needless to say, regular maintenance is generally the most outstanding means to keep your sump pump operating smoothly and noise-free.
Repair banging or vibration noises. Water streaming through the discharge pipe may cause vibration noise that can be heard in the tank’s pump basin or wall. To fix this, carefully bundle the discharge pipe using foam insulation. It is important to insulate the joint at the base of the floor where the discharge pipe intersects.
Alternatively, consider surrounding the flooring with sound-dampening materials to reduce vibration noises.
Solve slurping or gurgling sounds. To fix this, you have to first look for the check valve. Typically, a regular check valve comes up with gurgling sounds particularly when the water streams back down the discharge pipe at the time the pump cycle carries out the action.
If you are using a traditional sump pump, then perhaps you need to consider doing some upgrades. There are a number of contemporary sump pump versions these days that work far better than conventional ones. As a matter of fact, majority of them come with a silent operation feature.
How to care & store?
It is very crucial to execute monthly maintenance to ensure that your sump pump functions effectively when you need it the most. Some ways to look after them and properly store them include the following:
- Remove the sump pump to completely examine and clean it.
- Inspect the power cord to ensure that it is linked to a working power source.
- Examine and clean the inlet screen.
- Pour a good amount of water into the sump to increase the float and inspect if the pump is functioning well.
- Thoroughly clean out the sump pump.
- Store it in a safe, cool dry place and away from children.
Where to buy?
You can purchase sump pumps for your aquarium in various local pet or fish stores, home improvement centers, hardware, or home depot. Or, if you prefer shopping online, you may go to Petco, Petsmart, Lowes, Amazon, eBay and many highly acclaimed online shopping sites worldwide.
All things considered, obtaining the right sump setup could considerably aid in making your fish tank a lot more effortless to maintain and clean. With the right device, you can keep the water properly balanced so to provide a safe, clean and healthy environment for your aquarium dwellers to thrive. As discussed above, the most valuable component of any sump system is the pump.
If you hope to sustain your own fish tank and it is your first time to do so, bear in mind that various water filter systems as well as aquarium sump pumps are certainly one of the most vital elements you should look out for.
Hence, to make certain that you end up purchasing the best aquarium sump pump, it would be beneficial for you to take a careful look at the product reviews and buy the guides shared above. The list of 8 pumps for the aforementioned sump would assist you in coming up with the best possible decision for your tank needs.