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Introduction to Filter Pumps

21st Nov 2019

A filter pump can often be thought of as a pump that will filter your pond, this is untrue, it is a component part of pond filtration. The name 'filter pump' was given to these pumps because they are a pump that will accept bigger solids, sometimes up to 12mm, they will then push them to a filter where they are filtered out, by the media inside your filter. Due to accepting the larger solids, these modern filter pumps do not require as much maintenance, so they are much more effective when compared with older style pumps which had sponge pre-filters that blocked all the dirt from being pushed through the pump. Also with most filter pumps it is standard to have either a 3 year or a 5 year guarantee, all you have to do is fill out a card, send it back to the manufacturer and you will qualify for the guarantee.An example of how a modern filter pump looks is shown below.

Secondary Inlet

Over the last 3-4 years it has become increasingly popular for filter pumps to give you the option of a secondary inlet. The secondary inlet is to give the water gardener more options and has a number of handy benefits which are explained below. The secondary inlet though can be seen as a fairly recent idea, the roots of the design can be traced back to the Oase Nautilus range of fountain pumps (pictured below), these pumps came with 'wings' that would either open out to increase the surface area, or detach altogether to make a secondary inlet.

The two main reasons for their introduction on filter pumps are; 

Satellite StrainerThe secondary inlet can be used to accommodate a 'satellite strainer' this separate filter cage is designed to sit up to 2 metres away from the main body of your pump. The filter pumps that come with the option to use a secondary outlet, will allow their user to set the main body of the pump to a percentage, this will allow you to draw water from a separate area of your pond. This is most helpful if your pond has a particularly large surface area, different depths or is a peculiar shape as the secondary inlet can sit in the areas that are out of the water flow to help prevent certain areas of your pond becoming stagnant due to lack of water movement.


The secondary inlet can also be attached on to a 'surface skimmer' like the oase AquaSkim 40 (Pictured Below) these surface skimmer when used with the filter pump can effectively skim a pond of 40m2. These can be bought for less with an Aquamax EcoPremium or separately, they offer a cheaper alternative to buying a skimmer as a complete unit.

Outer CageAll filter pumps come with an outer cage, this is designed to protect the impeller inside the main body of your filter pump. The cage design will only allow certain size solids to pass through, which will only be as big as the impeller can handle, this is to stop the impeller from blocking up and overheating. The cage is also good to stop your filter system becoming clogged up with debris that are too big to be broken down quickly by your filter, this would lead to too much strain being placed on the bacteria in your filter and could lead to water quality problems.

Head Heights

Filter pumps are designed to and are powerful enough to push water through a hose to a filter, they are designed to push a long distance rather than up to enormous heights so can be used on most garden ponds. If you have any doubt of which filter pump to select or want to use it to a height, please use the table below or please give us a call!