Rio 20HF, 26HF, & 32HF Water Pumps
The best in sealed impeller high pressure/flow water pumps
An excellent pump choice for applications needing higher water pressure, but necessarily "super high" water flow (rates (gph)
SunSun Power Head
Sunsun JP-23, 264 GPH PowerHead; Compare to Marineland Penguin or Maxi Jet, however a more reliable impeller with a much better price!
We no longer are using flow charts, as with medication charts there are too many variables that often make these inaccurate, which could then inadvertently mislead a potential purchaser of one of our water pumps/power heads or others as well.
*Generally what a pump is rated for flow (such as 100 gph) is only achieved at 0 Head Pressure meaning right out of the pump with no devices added, no lifting, and no water pressure.
Impeller design such as a closed will maintain a higher flow rate as head pressure is added over th more common standard impeller designs.
To measure you actual "real world" flow rate; simply disconnect or slip a bucket, pitcher, or other measuring device where your water flows out back into your pond, aquarium, fountain, etc. Then measure the time to fill this container.
For instance if 1 gallon were filled in 10 seconds, this would be 6 gallons per minute or 360 gph.
For higher head/back pressure applications or when flow rate is of lower importance than head pressure, a closed impeller design such as that of the Rio HF Series Pumps is best.
*With most water pumps, adapting the inlet or outlet to fit your application is OK and often necessary.
I do not recommend restricting inlet size more than 25% or outlet size more than 50%.
For instance a Rio HF Pump with a 1 inch outlet can easily be fitted to a 3/4 inch pipe/tubing if this is what is already in use with your application (if you are building this application from start, matching pump & pipes is best whenever possible, but with established applications such as pond, this is not always possible without great expense and labor).
Generally I will use PVC Reducing Bushings or Reducing Hose Barbs to make these fits.
*Increasing pipe/tubing size is also helpful for increased flow and especially head pressure. This is even more important with light duty impeller designs as the open impeller of this design (which is employed by 90% of water pumps sold, not just those sold here), simply will not push water through a small pipe, even if a larger flow pump is purchased as the impeller design simply allows water to flow back when the pressure is too great.
*It is also noteworthy that even for in-line pump applications (many of the pumps we sell can work both submersed or in-line), that for in-line applications, ANY in-line pump must be placed below the top water level without a siphon in the middle; in other words the water should flow level or better, down hill to the pump without Any obstructions/impediments on the way to the pump. As well make sure all connections into the pump are air tight, otherwise if the pump "sucks air", this can damage your pump. After the pump the water can be restricted if needed and travel "uphill"
*All pumps listed here are compatible for both saltwater and freshwater
Light Duty Applications (with some head pressure)
Most Aquarium and light duty aquarium pumps have a standard open impeller such as the one pictured to the left (from a SunSun HJ-1542).
There are of coarse differences in these impellers of this basic design (of which from our extensive real time use with our aquarium and pond maintenance company) have shown the SunSun (formally via Aqua) Power Head series to among the best, most reliable pumps for most applications that require a durable water pump with reasonable head pressure.
However their "more heavy duty" design is not best for wave makers, for these consider the Seio Propeller pumps.
More secure magnet
The SunSun Economy line such as the SunSun HJ-411, JP-033 JP-054, JP-065, JP-066 are a good choice for most light duty applications, simply choosing the flow rate of the four models we sell is all that is necessary.
All of these pumps employ impellers that have the second two bullet points noted above for impellers. The design provides for good life in most light duty applications and the noise level is low to moderate (more noise with larger models)
The Seio Propeller, Perfect (SunSun, also sold under other brand names), Hydor Koralia, or Ecotech Marine Vortech Pump utilize a very light duty but extremely energy efficient impeller (propeller) design.
As well, Propeller Pumps in general provide a much "Softer" water flow rather than the more harsh and directed flow of traditional Power Head Water Pumps. The flow in these pumps provide nice spread of the water volume so as to provide good circulation without strong streams of underwater current (I have found the Seio best here); this is particularly desirable in planted freshwater (even more so Amazon River set ups) and reef saltwater aquariums
The impellers used by propeller pumps do not need to have the head pressure (which is part of the reason they are energy efficient and light duty in design), as these pumps are simply designed to create currents and not really "lift" water, making these excellent to increase flow and current in reef tanks or plugged into "wave maker" devices.
However there are differences that are worth of note in design as some (in particular Hydor Koralia) has a propeller/impeller that is so light that they are easily broken, including by debris that may get caught up in the water column.
Another use for these propeller pumps is for use as wave makers, as their design lends well to the constant on/off of a wave maker where more heavy duty power head water pump that is designed for more head pressure (such as the Via Aqua 1300) is not a good choice.
Light to some Moderate Duty Applications
The Via Aqua and ReSun Power Head line both provide designs that still employ the basic impeller design plus often have a ceramic shaft which adds to durability and slightly decreases noise. As well the design is lightly more "beefed up" and these pumps/power heads are much more versatile than the Economy line in that these pumps can be installed inline, used as a power head, and are available with more parts and application possibilities/variations.
It is noteworthy as to the design of the above Via Aqua Power Head Line that Via Aqua often employs the same "shell" design for more than one models and then increases the power for higher flow rate, however this does not always increase head pressure, especially in moderate duty applications and in a few cases does not allow for as long of pump or impeller life. The Via Aqua 2300 and even more so the Via 4900 are examples of this and is why we do not sell these models
Moderate to some Heavy Duty Applications
These types of pumps are generally best for pond applications or for moderate to heavy applications where water is often lifted to much more "elevation" such as 1 foot vs. 10 feet, and/or where other applications such as pressurized filters or even large UV Sterilizers are added.
These utilize a sealed impeller such as the one pictured to the left which is a better choice for these more demanding applications. This type of design does not allow for the back flow under pressure that the more common impeller design allows.
This design is generally better for ponds with larger/higher water falls or even where water is require to "shoot" out of the opening of the pipe or other device at not necessarily higher volume, but more pressure/power (think of a pressure washer).
Most very heavy duty pond pumps such as the Pentair SeaHorse Self Priming Pond/Spa Pumps utilize this impeller design as well