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7 Best Water Pumps for Ponds and Water Features for 2024

Whether your water feature is a pond, pool, fountain, or fish pond, it will need some sort of water pump. Water pumps come in all forms. Some are designed to clean out entire pools, help oxygenate the water, or simply add moving water and the sounds of rippling, running water to your garden.

In this guide, we’ll look at a few different types because, I’m guessing, you’re just as confused by the range of names, purposes, and types of water pumps out there as I was when I first added water to my garden.


Best Water Pumps for 2024


Our Rating


1. Protege Solar Power Water Pump Pond Kit

Protege Solar Power Water Pump
Top Rated Garden Water Pump in Australia

2. Warton Petrol Pump for Irrigation and Fire Fighting

Warton Petrol Pump for Irrigation
Premium Choice Garden Water Pump in Australia

3. Topex Submersible Dirty Water Pump

Topex Submersible Water Pump
Best Value Garden Water Pump in Australia

4. Protege Water Pump Electric Self Priming Filter

Protege Electric Water Pump

5. Giantz Peripheral Water Pump

Giantz Water Pump

6. Protege Pro-Series External Aquarium Filter and Pump

Protege External Aquarium Filter and Pump

7. Water Master Honda Transfer Water Pump

Water Master Honda Water Pump

Australian Buyers' Guide to Water Pumps

What are Water Pumps?

Water pumps are a varied set of garden tools. Some are designed to pump out entire ponds and can cope with debris, while others are lightweight pumps designed to power small fountains or move water a few feet up ornamental waterfalls.

With everything from industrial petrol water pumps to tiny solar-powered garden pond pumps to choose from, it can be a baffling world. So, let’s take the hard work out of it for you and break things down a little.

Best Water Pumps Australia

Benefits of Garden Water Pumps

Pool pumps, or dirty water pumps are generally corded electric or petrol-powered water pumps with one purpose - to clean out your pond. The benefits of those types of pumps are abundantly clear for your health, and the look of your pool.

Other pumps have more subtle benefits. For example, an oxygenating air pump for ponds makes your water healthier for wildlife, and a better growing space for water plants. These types of pumps don't add noise, or visual impact to your garden, but are cheap to run, and often solar-powered.

Other types of pumps, such as fountains, or water feature pumps, move water from one point to another. They do oxygenate water to an extent, and by keeping things moving they help to clean it and stop algae from building. But they also have a more important benefit; they add sound to your garden.

Adding the sound of running water to a garden instantly makes it more relaxing, whether it’s by mimicking rainfall or streams. The subtle noise of running water also helps to disguise traffic sounds and makes your garden feel more private.

And there’s one more benefit to these types of pumps too; by moving water, particularly as fountains, or sprays, you will help to add humidity to any pond border plants that will love those conditions.

What to Look for When Buying a Water Pump

When buying any water pump, don’t cut corners. Buy the best you can afford, and look for trusted brands. Most water pumps, other than pool pumps, are electric, rather than petrol powered, so they need to be safe when submerged.

Some cheaper online brands have cut-corner seals that can corrode, and even harm pond life. Brands like Protege, Giantz, Warton, and Topex are great examples of water pump manufacturers doing their best at every turn.

And price isn’t necessarily everything. You can pick up some brilliant small pond pumps for about $40, with solar panels included.

Small Garden Water Pump

Petrol Vs Solar Vs Corded Electric Water Pumps

Petrol water pumps are generally used for clearing pools or dirty tanks. They are unbeatable for power and efficiency, and for the more ambitious amongst us, can even be used to power gigantic fountains. In reality, they are a practical tool, and essential for most gardens with large swimming pools.

For smaller pools, hot tubs, or large water features, a corded electric dirty water pump is often enough for annual cleaning and will be selective with finer filters to prevent damage to pond life.

Solar water pumps are, in most cases, low-powered pumps, designed only for moving water a few feet, or through arrow tubes for longer distances. At their most powerful, some can reach fountain heights of about 2 metres.

Function, Power, and Durability

Durability is key for any water pump. Because you’re unlikely to clean your pool out completely more than twice a year, time isn’t everything, so don't just go for the biggest, fastest model. Go for something durable that can cope with debris and fallen leaves. 

When it comes to power, if you do need speed from a dirty water pump, definitely get a larger petrol model, but if you’re willing to wait, stand back, and let the pump do the work you can save hundreds of dollars by buying smaller electric pumps that do the same job but slower.

Different Types of Garden Water Pumps

With so many choices out there, it's impossible to write about all the types of water pump, but we’ve categorised them by their primary function. However, within each group below, there are variations in power, durability, and function.

Types of Water Pumps

Pond Pumps

Pond pumps are usually solar-powered tools, designed for creating fountains or running water, but some will allow you to filter water or have specific aeration features to oxygenate too.

The best pond pumps come with large filter boxes, which need clearing out every six months as a minimum. This helps to remove impurities from the water and will keep your pond crystal clear.

Filter Pumps

Filter pumps are purpose-made for aquariums and fish tanks but are useful in most other settings. They are generally quiet but are sold with a range of different power sources.

In 99% of cases, corded electric will be the best option, as solar filter pumps are generally less efficient, and petrol filter pumps are too noisy to be pleasant in the garden and too expensive to run.

Petrol Pumps

Petrol pumps are usually only used as sump pumps or dirty water pumps. They do not filter water and are not designed for perpetual use. Petrol pumps, despite being high powered, are often quite compact, so handy to have in the garage or shed if you have a pool as part of your regular annual maintenance.

How to Install a Garden Water Pump

Installing a water pump requires an element of common sense. Most need good pressure, and complete submersion to work most effectively, though corded electric or powered pumps will have hoses for directed suction, meaning they should be used away from the water, while the hose is submerged.

To install a basic water fountain, make sure the pump and filter box is fully submerged, and hold it at the bottom of the pond, or on its platform until all air bubbles have escaped.

Place the solar panel somewhere bright and in direct light, or run cords neatly to the nearest socket. 

Garden Water Pump Maintenance

Water pumps are designed to reduce pond maintenance, but they also require some maintenance themselves. Any type of pump should be cleaned out, and have its filters cleaned and rinsed each year - refer to individual product manuals for how to do this, as it will vary based on the pump and filter design.

Small solar pumps can become blocked if leaves fall into your pond, or pond life disturbs any soil or debris on the floor of the pond. If they stop pumping, remove them from the pond, turn them off, and clean out the pumps, tubes, and hoses before reinstalling.

Garden Water Pump Reviews

1. Protege Solar Power Water Pump Pond Kit

Protege Solar Power Water Pump Pond Kit

When it comes to running water in your garden, it’s important to consider all factors, from the power of the water, to the way your water is cleaned. This filtered water pump, with solar panel included, from Protege makes sure your fountain or running water feature keeps running all year round.

The fountain itself reaches about 1m tall, so is easy to manage in most gardens, while the filter is simple to clean out too. What’s more, with the power afforded by this solar fountain, you can change out the fountainhead to tubing to make a running stream.


  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • Solar powered so no running cost
  • Trusted brand
  • Powerful but compact fountain


  • N/A

2. Warton Petrol Pump for Irrigation and Fire Fighting

Warton Petrol Pump for Irrigation and Fire Fighting

Warton’s petrol high-pressure water pump is suitable for fire fighting, so will definitely be suitable for your swimming pool. The pump sits neatly next to the pool, and hoses can be dropped into the pool, and into the drain respectively. 

Once it's up and running, all you need to do is wait as it rapidly empties your pond, removing most debris along the way too.

If you do ever need to use this pump for fire fighting, or other purposes, it’s worth noting that it has four hose outlets - each can be attached to separate high-pressure hoses and run from the mains water, or from the pool for quick access.


  • Four outlets for hoses
  • Very versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Rapid pump
  • Trusted brand


  • Heavy
  • Noisy

3. Topex Submersible Dirty Water Pump

Topex Submersible Dirty Water Pump

This corded electric water pump is designed for full submersion and pumps dirty water right down to the last inch at the base of a pond. For the best low-running cost solution, without a huge, noisy, petrol pump in your garden, this is a great, compact option for any pool or home spa, and is lightweight enough for regular use too.


  • Great value
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Simple to store
  • Effective pump
  • Trusted brand


  • Less powerful than most petrol dirty water pumps

4. Protege Water Pump Electric Self Priming Filter

Protege Water Pump Electric Self Priming Filter

This filtration pump for swimming pools comes from one of Australia’s leading water pump brands, Protege. The pristinely designed filter prevents any debris from entering or blocking the pump while removing any bacteria and impurities from your pool.

It’s corded electric, so runs quietly, without disturbing your enjoyment of the pool, and is reasonably cheap to run, working together with any pool filtration or pool cleaning units you have installed.


  • Trusted brand
  • Easy to install
  • Effective filtration
  • Creates crystal clear water
  • Good value
  • Designed for 24/7 use


  • N/A

5. Giantz Peripheral Water Pump

Giantz Peripheral Water Pump

A general-purpose pressure pump, this Giantz water pump can be used simply to move water from A-0B, or even improve water pressure in your home. It's easy to install, but some applications, like mains connection, will require a professional.

Whether you’re using it as a DIY way to move dirty water from your pool or pond or to power up running water more effectively, it’s capable of pretty much any task but doesn't offer filtration.


  • Powerful and versatile
  • Durable
  • Trusted brand
  • Affordable


  • No filtration

6. Protege Pro-Series External Aquarium Filter and Pump

Protege Pro-Series External Aquarium Filter and Pump

This corded electric tank, aquarium and fish pond filter pump by Protege is designed mainly for indoor aquariums, but can be installed, with longer hoses, or a covered storage box, with outdoor fish ponds too.

Occasionally, outdoor pond filters are clunky, or over expensive, so you can save money by adding a care unit to the side of your fish pond, and making sure a truly spectacular filter pump is fitted, rather than a noisy outdoor model.


  • Cheap to run
  • Very effective filtration
  • Easy to install
  • Trusted brand
  • Good value


  • Not weather resistant
  • Requires waterproof storage space for outdoor use

7. Water Master Honda Transfer Water Pump

Water Master Honda Transfer Water Pump

This durable water pump, with its Honda engine is easily powerful to pump water, clear ponds, or fill tanks. Its 4-stroke petrol engine will power through dirty water like it’s nothing, and with the benefit of a trusted brand, and trusted parts, you know you’re in for a safe bet.


  • 2yr engine warranty
  • Powerful pump
  • Trusted brand
  • Easy to set up


  • Expensive

Top Picks of Garden Water Pumps for 2024

Top Rated Garden Water Pump

Top Rated Garden Water Pump in Australia
Protege Solar Power Water Pump Pond Kit

If you’re thinking about starting your own water garden, or adding any sort of water feature, the easiest place to start is always with a pond and a simple solar water fountain like this.

This basic pump helps to filter and clean your water, as well adding the calming sound of trickling water and helps to humidify your garden through summer. Protege is one of the best brands in water pumps, particularly for ponds and fish ponds or aquariums.

Premium Choice Garden Water Pump

Premium Choice Garden Water Pump in Australia
Warton Petrol Pump for Irrigation and Fire Fighting

Warton’s high-powered petrol water pump boasts immense water pressure, not just from one outlet, but four. It can run from standing water like tanks or ponds, or even connect up to the main. 

While it’s a noisy tool, if you're using it to clean dirty water, or move water occasionally from sites, or gardens, it’s worth considering for the sheer convenience the speed offers.

Best Value Garden Water Pump

Best Value Garden Water Pump in Australia
Topex Submersible Dirty Water Pump

For cleaning out swimming pools and spas on a semi-regular basis, consider something a little quieter. For a bargain price, you can pick up one of these corded electric water pumps from Topex, which offers all the convenience of petrol pumps, without the speed, the noise, or the price.

Ok, so it's not going to empty a pool in minutes, but it’ll get there eventually, and doesn’t take up a huge amount of space in the shed either.

Garden Water Pump Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of a failing water pump?

Water pumps will initially signal that they are failing, or struggling, with a high-pitched whining noise, but if you notice any corrosion, fuel, or coolant leaks beneath the pump itself, stop running it, and get it checked out.

Are electric water pumps any good?

Electric water pumps are great tools for your garden ponds and pools. As well as being kinder to the environment than petrol pumps, they are quieter, easier to store, and much lighter too. They aren't as powerful, and will remove dirty water slower than petrol sump pumps, but are much cheaper.

Do water pumps use a lot of electricity?

Solar water pumps don't require any mains electricity to run, but corded electric pumps, particularly dirty water pumps, are quite expensive to run.

Wrapping Up Our Guide for Choosing the Best Water Pump for 2024

Water pumps are easy to use and simple to install, but there really is a lot of variety, and the ultimate choice is probably going to be decided for you based on the type of water feature you have, or want. 

We’ve got a small pool here, so a corded electric dirty water pump is all we need, and our ponds run on solar pumps, both for filtration and water movement. For anyone looking at adding water to their garden for the first time, read our guide to water gardens and get to know a whole new world of gardening.

Last Updated on January 4, 2024

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About the author 

Gary Clarke

Hi, I'm Gary Clarke, gardening enthusiast and former landscaper. I have had privilege of sharing my gardening knowledge at Aussie Green Thumb since early 2020.

I have a passion for using native Australian plants in Aussie gardens and I always try to promote growing fruit trees and vegetable gardens whenever possible.

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