Aquascape Waterfall Pumps

See how to choose the right pump for your waterfall.

How to Choose a Pondless® Waterfall Pump

If you already own or plan on building a Pondless® Waterfall, you want to select a pump with adequate flow for the length and width of your waterfall or stream. The length of pipe from your pump to the waterfall also has an impact on how many gallons per hour (gph) your pump needs to push.Your waterfall pump will be placed inside the waterfall vault, protecting the pump and helping to increase its lifespan. Aquascape offers two styles of waterfall pumps: solids-handling and energy-efficient pumps. Follow our three steps below to help choose the right waterfall pump.



Calculate Your Pump Requirements

Use our waterfall pump calculator to determine the best size pump for your water feature.

Length in Feet
Width in Feet
Avg Depth in Feet
Width in Inches
Elevation in Feet
Pipe Length in Feet
Pipe Diameter

Confirm your Water Feature Type

What type of water feature do you have? Select where the pump will be used, either in a "Pond" or "Pondless" water feature.

Pump Application

Pond Volume

A basic pond pump will have the capability of turning the total volume of water over once per hour. Therefore, before choosing a pond pump, you need to know the number of gallons of water in your feature. You can find the volume of your pond in gallons with this useful equation:

(Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.48) x 0.8 = Pond Volume*

*Length, Width and Depth are measured in feet. We multiply by 0.8 to account for rocks in the pond.

Stream Volume

Before choosing a pump for your Pondless Waterfall, it would help to know approximately how many gallons of water your basin needs to hold. To do that, we will need to determine how much water is in the stream. You can find the volume of your stream in gallons with this useful equation:

(Stream Length x Stream Width x (Average Stream Depth x 0.25) x 7.48 = Stream Volume*

*Length and Width are measured in feet. For the purposes of this calculator we are assuming an average depth of 1 inch.

Your pump needs to remain fully submerged while running and the stream is full. We recommend the basin is large enough to hold double the amount of water found in the stream.

Stream Volume x 2 = Gallons in Basin

Flow Rate

Most pond pumps are rated by the gallons of water they're able to pump per hour (gph). As a general rule of thumb, a pump with a flow rate of 125 gph is needed for every inch of your waterfall width. So if the widest point in the waterfall is two feet wide, you'll need a pump with a flow rate of 3000 gph. Higher flow rates can be used if you want to produce a stronger, more dramatic water flow.

Waterfall Width x 125 = Apprx. Flow Rate*

*Waterfall width measured in inches

Head Height

Head height, also known as total dynamic head, represents the height water needs to be lifted (static head) plus the friction experienced by the water as it runs through the pipes (dynamic head).

Dynamic head is the amount of resistance caused by the plumbing. Water velocity (flow rate), pipe diameter, length and pipe material all play a role in dynamic head. Additional resistance will also be caused by fittings such as elbows and valves. Since this equipment is typically buried in the ground, sometimes an estimation of dynamic head needs to be used.

The calculation below is a simple way to estimate the approximate head height.

Static Head in feet + (Pipe Length in feet x 0.1) = Apprx. Head Height*

*Static head: The height difference between the surface of the pond and the waterfall
Pipe length: We're calculating 1 ft head per 10 ft tubing
Fittings: additional fittings would add 1 ft of head each

The pond calculator is designed to help you find the pump you need for your project. Be advised that variables outside of this calculator, such as pipe diameter or number of elbows used, can influence proper pump selection. If your pond project exceeds the performance from a single pump, please contact Aquascape Customer Care for additional help.



Choose Your Pump Model

After using the pump calculator, you should now know how many gallons per hour (gph) you need to pump. Use this information to select a pump model from either the solids-handling pumps or energy-efficient pumps below.

Low Maintenance,
Solids-Handling Pumps

For Use in Waterfall Vaults

Solids-handling pumps are extremely durable and lower maintenance because they are designed to handle small debris such as mulch, twigs, and small pebbles, that could enter your pump.

SLD Adjustable Flow Pond Pumps

Available in three models with maximum flow rates of
2,000 – 9,000 gph

Pump Flow Chart - SLD
ModelPurchaseMax Head Height0'5'10'15'20'25'30'35'
5000 7767616.7'5144376924841256
7000 7767925'71266148504438021957
9000 7768033'9574880877426412506935761355
2000-5000 2501016.7'5144376924841256
4000-7000 1663125'71266148504438021957
5000-9000 1663533'9574880877426412506935761355

Low Maintenance,
Solids-Handling Pumps

For Use in Waterfall Vaults

Solids-handling pumps are extremely durable and lower maintenance because they are designed to handle small debris such as mulch, twigs, and small pebbles, that could enter your pump.

PL and PN Pond Pumps

Available in five models with maximum flow rates of
3,000 – 10,000 gph

  • Direct-drive motor technology
  • Solids-handling capability
  • Unmatched dependability
Pump Flow Chart - PL/PN
ModelPurchaseMax Head Height0'5'10'15'20'25'30'35'40'45'50'55'
8-PN 961756'55005200480043003600280020001500600

Energy-Efficient Pumps

For Use in Waterfall Vaults

Energy-efficient pumps are designed to perform optimally while reducing monthly operating costs.

AquaSurge® Pond Pumps

Available in six models with maximum flow rates of
2,000 – 8,000 gph

Pump Flow Chart - AquaSurge
ModelPurchaseMax Head Height0'5'10'15'20'25'30'
2000 974112.5'219318501465
3000 972915'319627002350
4000 971818.5'3947375033502250
5000 970624'52845000475032501750
2000-4000 968518.5'3947375033502250
4000-8000 967128'779373507000585043002000

Energy-Efficient Pumps

For Use in Waterfall Vaults

Energy-efficient pumps are designed to perform optimally while reducing monthly operating costs.

EcoWave® Pond Pumps

Available in four models with maximum flow rates of
2,000 – 5,000 gph

  • Our most energy-efficient pump option
  • Ideal for low flow and low-head applications
Pump Flow Chart -  EcoWave
ModelPurchaseMax Head Height0'2.5'5'7.5'10'12.5'15'17.5'20'

Use our digital printable pump selection guide or follow the information above that includes handy calculators so you don’t have to do any math!

Pump FAQs

Below you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions we get asked about Aquascape pumps.

Can Aquascape pumps be used in salt water applications?

Aquascape pumps cannot be used in a saltwater aquarium or saltwater pool. They can however be used in ponds that have been treated with (pond) salt.

Are Aquascape pumps the same as typical sump pumps?

A sump pump is not designed for continuous duty and can cost more than 10x the electrical cost to operate. Aquascape manufactures pumps with high quality components that are energy-efficient and designed for continuous duty. It will typically take several months to recover the cost of the pump compared to the original savings of purchasing a less expensive sump pump, but it will then continue to pay for itself every month after with lower energy costs.

Do I have to remove the pump for the winter?

If you live in a region that experiences freezing weather where the surface of the water feature will ice-over, you will need to make a decision if you are going to continue to operate the waterfall or shut it down for the winter. Operating the waterfall during the winter will reward you with the beautiful ice formations around the falls and stream beds, but you also have to consider that there will be a little maintenance required during this time of year, such as adding water due to evaporation and making sure ice dams don’t form in the stream and waterfalls, which could cause water loss over the edge of the stream. Due to winter maintenance required, many pond owners in cold climates simply choose to turn off the waterfalls during the winter. If you choose to turn off the waterfall you will need to remove the pump from the filter and store it in a frost-free location, such as a garage or basement. Consult the pump’s owners manual for more information on properly storing your pump.

What is the operating cost for your pumps?

There is a wide range of operating costs for our pumps depending on the size and style of pump. The average cost for a backyard water feature is about $18-25 per month. Rates are going to depend on the cost of electricity in your area.

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