When you’re a fish keeper…

…you must maintain a healthy environment for your aquarium inhabitants.

To do this, a sump set up could be your best bet.

Such a setup gives you full control over your entire system…

… but you need to invest in the best aquarium sump pump.

With this in mind, check out our top picks below.

OUR TOP PICK

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Why We Love it:

  • High-performance motor

  • Innovation electronics

  • Super quiet

Sizes (Gallons Per Hour):

Summary:

The best sump pump for the money, Jecod/Jebao DCT has far surpassed my expectations. It’s super easy to install, albeit not coming with the best instructions, and whisper-quiet. The flow rate is a breeze to adjust, while the included controller is intuitive to use and very effective. An awesome thing is the feed button that temporarily stops the pump and prevents fish food from getting sucked into the filter. Durable, heavy-duty, and wonderfully priced; no doubt, a range-topper.

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Why We Love it:

  • Submersible or external setup

  • Variable speed control

  • Perfect for fresh and saltwater

Sizes (Gallons per hour):

Summary:

This silent aquarium pump by aquastation works in both fresh and saltwater, a feature that makes it perfect for all fish keepers. Variable speed control and 20-speed settings give you full control over its performance. Ultra-silent and energy efficient, it boasts a max flow rate of 1,065 GPH and works in steady, wave, and feed mode. Suitable to use either submersed or inline, the pump also comes in smaller or bigger variants.

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Why We Love it:

  • Included pre-filter

  • Exceptional build quality
  • Easy to clean and maintain

One of the most affordable sump pumps, this model by Simple Deluxe is great for aquariums, fountains, and even hydroponic systems. Similar to the aquastation in terms of flow rate, it comes with a pre-filter and boasts durable quality. Long life pump is ensured by an impeller shaft made from polished aluminum oxide ceramic, while the epoxy resin encasement prevents corrosion of the metal parts and unwanted conductivity. Versatile and convenient, it also comes with three threaded nozzles, and it’s designed to both circulate and aerate the water in your tank.

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Why We Love it:

  • Very small footprint

  • Energy efficient

  • Perfect for return pump applications

Sizes (Gallons per hour):

Summary:

eFlux DC Flow Pump by Current USA is another completely controllable sump pump safe to use in saltwater and freshwater systems. Easy to install and maintain, it impresses with a compact footprint that makes it ideal for smaller tanks. Energy efficient, it features a sealed DC motor design and produces high water flow with high pressure. Ideal for goldfish and many other species, it also comes in three sizes suitable for smaller or larger aquariums.

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Why We Love it:

  • Perfect for big tanks

  • Budget-friendly

  • Environmentally friendly

Sizes (Gallons per hour)

Summary:

Ideal for big or small tanks and hydroponic systems, this submersible water pump by Hydrofarm boasts a powerful mag drive construction and is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Designed for fast and efficient movement of water, it ensures air circulation and nutrient delivery. It can run in a sump or inline system and thanks to its smart design, it’s very easy to clean. Available in eight sizes and coming at a price that won’t break the bank, it’s definitely a great option for the hobbyists on a budget.

Tips for Choosing an Aquarium Sump Pump

There are dozens of aquarium pumps out there…

… so why choose a sump pump?

Well,

The truth is that sump pumps come with a host of advantages.

They keep the water in your tank cleaner, boost oxygenation, keep a constant water level, and ensure efficient mixing of any additives with the water in the tank.

Furthermore…

… most sump pumps can be used in both fresh and saltwater systems…

… and you can opt for wet or dry installation as well.

All these features make them the go-to choice for most fish keepers.

With this in mind, here’s what to check before buying.

  • Your filter: If you already have a water filter, its type will dictate the type of sump pump you can get. Because aquarium filters must be chosen based on the inhabitants of your tank, always choose the filter first and sump pump after. Checking compatibility is easy, as most manufacturers disclose this information on the packaging.
  • Water flow: Also known as gallon per hour (GPH) rating, it determines the amount of water the unit can pump in an hour. For the best results, you need a sump pump with water flow at least four times the volume of your tank, but 10 is ideal. For instance, if your tank has 30 gallons, the pump must have a flow rate of at least 120 GPH – but 300 would be best. Remember that you should also take into account the preference of your aquarium’s inhabitants and choose the flow rate accordingly, and that the flow through a sump filter will be greatly reduced by the baffles and media.
  • Wattage: Sump pumps are typically energy efficient, but you might want to check how many watts it actually consumes before buying. Considering that it might run 24/7, even a small difference could have an impact on your electricity bill.
  • Versatility: Some sump pumps require to be submerged in water; others can work in both wet and dry setups. If you’re the ‘no-strings-attached’ kind of person, go for a wet and dry pump you can use with all systems.
  • Pre-filter: An important thing to look for before buying; the pre-filter prevents debris from getting inside the pump, prolonging its lifespan.

You May Also Like: Best Aquarium Sumps

Your Thoughts

Aquarium pumps are essential, and the sump kind could be your best bet regardless of the type of fish you keep or aquarium you have.

Which is the best aquarium sump pump is down to you.

Consider the size of your tank, its inhabitants, and type of filter you have, and choose accordingly.

So, what do you think?

Would you go for a sump pump or do you prefer another type?

Have you found the right aquarium sump pump on this list?

I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in a comment below.