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6 Best Aquarium Sump Pumps in 2023 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

fish in a fish tank

A sump pump plays a crucial role in the circulation of an aquarium, especially large ones. The sump pump should be strong enough to push the water back up into the aquarium so that your aquarium can run smoothly. If you have an aquarium that runs from a sump as the main form of filtration, then investing in a good sump pump will help make running your aquarium far easier.

There are many different brands and varieties of sump pumps that come in different size options with different power adjustments. We have researched and reviewed some of the best aquarium sump pumps available on the market to help you make an informed choice on which sump pump might be beneficial to your aquarium.

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A Quick Look at Our Top Picks in 2023

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Jebao Mini Submersible Pump Jebao Mini Submersible Pump
  • Energy saving
  • Control dial for flow adjustment
  • Can be fully submersed
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Eheim Compact Aquarium Pump Eheim Compact Aquarium Pump
  • Quiet operation
  • Has an adjustable flow rate
  • Low power consumption
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Aqueon Quietflow Aquarium Pump Aqueon Quietflow Aquarium Pump
  • Quiet
  • Low maintenance design
  • Durable
  • Freesea Submersible Water Pump Freesea Submersible Water Pump
  • High-lift output
  • Energy-saving
  • Ideal for large aquariums
  • Jerepet Controlled Aquarium Water Pump Jerepet Controlled Aquarium Water Pump
  • Has 6 different flow settings
  • Auto shut-off abilities
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • The 6 Best Aquarium Sump Pumps

    1. Jebao Mini Submersible Pump – Best Overall

    Jebao Mini Submersible Pump

    Dimensions: 9 × 1.7 × 1.1 inches
    Material: Plastic
    Power: 66GPH

    The best overall product is the Jebao submersible sump pump because it is affordable, has a built-in control dial, and can easily be submerged while being small enough to not stand out. This is an energy-efficient sump pump that comes with a 12V AC VL transformer, and it also includes a plug and connectors for an easy installation process.

    The built-in control dial allows you to adjust the flow and strength of the flow of the pump to suit your aquarium’s needs. It comes fully functional with all the necessary power cords so it can be used right away.

    Pros
    • Energy saving
    • Control dial for flow adjustment
    • Can be fully submersed
    Cons
    • Low flow output

    2. Eheim Compact Aquarium Pump – Best Value

    Eheim Compact Aquarium Pump

    Dimensions: 4 × 5 × 4 inches
    Material: Plastic
    Power: 45 GPH

    The best value for money sump pump is the Eheim aquarium pump because it is made from high-quality materials and is highly affordable. This versatile pump can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. It has a slick and compact design while having a strong water output. It features an adjustable flow rate and has a low power consumption, while also being almost entirely noise-free.

    The strong suction cups allow you to easily and securely place this pump into an aquarium. The compact design aims to be discrete and ensure that this pump does not take up too much space.

    Pros
    • Quiet operation
    • Has an adjustable flow rate
    • Low power consumption
    Cons
    • Only works with the brand’s specific tubing

    3. Aqueon Quietflow Aquarium Pump – Premium Choice

    Aqueon Quietflow Aquarium Pump

    Dimensions: 5 × 2.5 × 3.5 inches
    Material: Plastic
    Power: 335 GPH

    Our premium choice is the Aqueon pump because it is quiet, efficient, and ideal for both freshwater and marine aquariums. This is a fully submersible and quiet pump that is versatile and relatively low maintenance. It offers powerful water filtration and has a durable design with a secure faceplate to ensure that this pump is durable enough to last. It has an adjustable flow rate so you can control the output pressure of this pump and it can be secured using the heavy-duty suction cups. This sump pump also includes a grounded power cord for added safety along with a tubing adaptor.

    Pros
    • Quiet
    • Low maintenance design
    • Durable
    Cons
    • Strong flow valve

    4. Freesea Submersible Water Pump

    Freesea Submersible Water Pump

    Dimensions: 1 × 4.7 × 3.7 inches
    Material: Plastic
    Power: 660 GPH

    This is a powerful sump pump that is ideal for very large aquariums. It has a special function that automatically turns the pump off when it runs dry to help reduce damage. It has a bottom suction so it can easily be submerged in a sump and has a strong power flow and high lift. The motor runs on 40W and it is considered energy-saving for the amount of power this pump produces when running in an aquarium.

    This pump includes the necessary nozzles and tubing required for it to be set up and run properly so you do not have to worry about buying these items separately.

    Pros
    • High-lift output
    • Energy-saving
    • Ideal for large aquariums
    Cons
    • Short installation cord

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    5. Jerepet Controlled Aquarium Water Pump

    Jerepet Controlled Aquarium Water Pump 

    Dimensions: 5 × 3.5 × 4.8 inches
    Material: Plastic
    Power: 1250 GPH

    This DC-controllable water pump from Jerepet has 6 different adjustable output flow options. It features an ultra-quiet operation system and has auto shut-off when the pump is either blocked with dirt or running dry. It can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums and also as either an external or inline submersible pump. It has a very powerful flow rate which makes it ideal for large volumes of water in big aquariums.

    This pump is quite durable and efficient and provides water circulation through the sump and back into the aquarium.

    Pros
    • Has 6 different flow settings
    • Auto shut-off abilities
    • Ultra-quiet operation
    Cons
    • Difficult to take apart and clean

    6. Hygger DC Water Pump

    Hygger DC Water Pump

    Dimensions: 1.9 x 1.9 x 1.6 inches
    Material: Plastic
    Power: 2650 GPH

    This powerful submersible water pump from Hygger can be used in marine or freshwater aquariums. It has a magnetic-controlled DC motor with a high-quality ceramic shaft. The pump itself is energy-saving and very quiet with a low consumption rate. It has several different speed settings so that you can adjust the flow according to the size of the aquarium, although it is too powerful for small aquariums. This versatile pump can either be submersed or used as an inline pump for a sump tank.

    It also includes two types of intake screens which help to prevent large debris from clogging this pump.

    Pros
    • Made of high-quality materials
    • Includes intake screens
    • Auto shut-off
    Cons
    • Pricey

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Aquarium Sump Pumps

    What Is An Aquarium Sump Pump Used For? 

    Sump pumps help to keep the water in your aquarium flowing and moving which in return helps to keep the aquariums water clean. Sump pumps are located at the bottom of a sump and help to pump the water back into the aquarium and are also responsible for the water drainage. With the help of a sump pump, water that is taken into the sump will then be pumped back into the aquarium’s water column helping to increase surface movement and aeration.

    What To Look For When Purchasing A Sump Pump

    Size

    The size of the sump pump you choose will primarily depend on the size of the sump’s return compartment. An external inline pump size will depend on the amount of storage space that is available inside of the sumps tank. Small aquariums will need a much smaller sump pump with a low GPH, whereas a pond will need a sump pump that can produce a much larger output to properly circulate the water.

    Durability

    Most sump pump brands are both reliable and affordable, and the quality of the product will determine how durable it is. If you are using an outdoor sump pump, then you want to choose one that has been manufactured to withstand the outdoors and weather elements. Some sump pumps are made from high-quality materials that make them more resistant to wear and tear than others. Customer reviews will help to give you a good indication as to how durable the pump has been according to many verified buyers’ experiences.

    yellow fish in aquarium
    Image Credit: Krys Amon, Unsplash

    Maintenance 

    The majority of sump pumps will need to be cleaned at least once a month to keep them free from dirt, debris, and algae build-ups. You want to choose an aquarium sump that will not be too difficult for you to take apart and clean properly. The impeller shaft and pump cavity are the main areas that usually gather unwanted gunk that can slow the pump’s output, so ensure that you choose one that is easy to put back together once it has been taken apart and rinsed under clean water.

    Power 

    Sump pumps have a very strong output (GPH) used to push water out. This makes some sump pumps way too strong for certain sizes of aquariums. You want to ensure that the pump is strong enough to provide the aquarium with adequate circulation and water flow, without being too strong that it pushes the substrate and plants around or stressed out the aquarium’s livestock inhabitants. Most sump pump manufacturers will include the minimum and maximum recommended volume of water that the specific pump is suitable for.

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    Conclusion

    Of all the different sump pump models we reviewed in this article, two are standout choices. The first is the small and affordable Jebao submersible pump because it works well in small aquariums and it is energy efficient. Our second favorite is the Aqueon Quietflow pump because it is an efficient and durable pump that is quiet and features a low energy consumption design.


    Featured Image Credit: Huy Phan, Unsplash

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