Choosing a Water Pump for Aquaponics

I think I have finally found a suitable pump for our new aquaponics system. Not that the MD5 pump won’t do the job, but I haven’t found one for sale in Europe. The pump I found earlier is an internal one and the head of the Fish Department (my girlfriend 😉 ) would prefer if the pump was placed outside the fish tank to get a cleaner look, and I agree so I was off to find an external pump. People around here working with aquariums refer to such a device as a “bucket pump” so I searched different forums to find a local shop where I could buy one.

I noticed the pumps in the web shops were usually divided into three groups; internal, external and power heads. I was concerned by the fact that most of the pumps are described as filters, and sometimes equipped with UV-filters, because I want the plants in the aquaponic system to do the filtering, not some device.

Fortunately the third group, the power heads, or the circulation pumps is what I was looking for. I don’t think the purpose of these devices is to do any filtering, but time will tell since there’s a small built-in filter anyway.

The Eheim 1260 is available locally and even looks like the MD5 pump:

Here’s the performance chart for the Eheim 1260:

The Ultimate Aquaponics Home System guide that I’m following suggests “~6 gpm capacity across ~5‐7 feet of head” and the chart above shows about 350 gph at 5 feet of head. That’s 350 / 60 = 5.8 gpm at 5 feet. It’s priced at USD 150 – we have a winner 😉

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