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10 Best Aquarium Sump Pumps – Reviews & Top Picks

A sump pump is an essential component of any aquarium, but especially large ones. You need a sump pump powerful enough to pump the water back into the aquarium so that everything can work properly.

If your aquarium uses a sump for filtration, you should invest in a high-quality sump pump.

Sump pumps come in a variety of sizes and can adjust the output to fit your needs.

To help you choose a sump pump for your aquarium that will work best for it, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has done extensive research and written detailed reviews of some of the best aquarium sump pumps on the market.

Selecting the Finest Sump Pumps for Your Aquarium

What is the function of a sump pump in a fish tank?

Your aquarium’s water will stay cleaner if you use a sump pump to keep the water moving and circulating. The water in an aquarium is drained and recycled by sump pumps, which are stationed at the base of each sump.

Using a sump pump, water that is collected in the sump may be pushed back into the aquarium’s water column, where it can aid in enhancing surface currents and oxygenation.

Buying a Sump Pump: What to Consider


The size of the sump’s return chamber will be the primary factor in determining the size of the sump pump you select. The size of an external inline pump must correspond to the volume of the sumps tank.

A pond’s sump pump has to be able to provide a significantly bigger output to adequately circulate the water, whereas a tiny aquarium may get by with a low GPH pump.


The quality of the product, rather than the brand name, will decide the longevity of a sump pump, although most brands are both economical and dependable. Choose a sump pump that was built with the outdoors and inclement weather in mind if you plan on installing it outside.

It’s worth noting that the superior construction of some sump pumps makes them last longer before breaking down. Read customer reviews to get an idea of the pump’s durability based on the impressions of actual purchasers.


Most sump pumps need to be cleaned at least once a month to prevent clogging from debris and algae. Pick an aquarium sump that can be disassembled and cleaned without too much hassle.

When selecting a pump, look for one that can be easily disassembled and cleaned by rinsing its impeller shaft and chamber in a sink full of water, and then be easily reassembled.


The GPH output of a sump pump is extremely high and is used to force water out. As a result, some sumps are just too powerful for aquariums of a given size.

Make sure the pump is powerful enough to move enough water through the aquarium to keep everything thriving, but not so powerful that it disturbs the substrate or the plants, or stresses out the fish and other aquarium occupants.

The makers of most sump pumps will list both the minimum and maximum amounts of water that the pump can handle.


Two of several sump pumps that BestForPets (bestforpets.org) tested for this section emerged as clear winners. The first is the Jebao submersible pump, which is both cheap and effective in small aquariums.

The Aqueon Quietflow pump is our top choice for its low energy use, quiet operation, and long life. Both are on our list of the best aquarium sump pumps.


Top Pick: The Jebao Mini Submersible Pump

  • Inches: 9 Length: 1.7 Width: 1.1 Height
  • Material: Plastic
  • Power: 66GPH

The Jebao submersible sump pump is the finest all-around option since it is reasonably priced, has an in-built control dial, and is tiny enough to be hidden beneath the surface. Installing this low-power-consumption sump pump is a breeze thanks to the included socket and connections, as well as the included 12V AC VL transformer.

This aquarium pump has a built-in dial that lets you modify the pump’s output to meet your specific demands. It is ready to use straight out of the box with all the cables you’ll need.


  • Conversion to energy-efficient
  • A knob that modifies the flow rate
  • Allows Complete Submersion


  • Weak flow rate


The Eheim Value Compact Aquarium Pump is the Best Option

  • It measures 4 inches by 5 inches by 4 inches.
  • Material: Plastic
  • Tendency: 45 GPH

The Eheim aquarium pump is by far the most cost-effective and best-value option, as it is both durable and inexpensive. This pump works just as well in saltwater aquariums as it does in freshwater ones.

It offers a robust water output and a sleek, compact appearance. It may be set to a custom flow rate, uses little electricity, and makes nearly no noise.

The pump can be safely and firmly installed into an aquarium thanks to the powerful suction cups. This pump is not meant to be a showpiece, and the modest form helps with that goal.


  • A silent working environment
  • Features a Variable Flow Rate
  • Power use that’s not too high


  • Uses only the brand’s designated tubing


The Aqueon Quietflow Aquarium Pump Is the Best Option

  • 5-by-2-by-3.5-inch dimensions
  • Material: Plastic
  • Three hundred thirty-five gallons per minute of force

The Aqueon pump is our top pick because of its low noise level, high efficiency, and suitability for use in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. This is a low-noise, multipurpose pump that requires little upkeep and may be used completely submerged.

This pump is built to last, as seen by its sturdy construction and tight faceplate, and its ability to provide effective water filtering. The pump’s output pressure may be adjusted through a dial, and the pump’s portability is ensured by a set of sturdy suction cups.

The grounded power cable and tubing adapter make this sump pump an excellent choice for anyone concerned with safety.


  • Quiet
  • Easy upkeep structure
  • Durable


  • Flow control using a strong valve


Aquatic Submersible Pump by Freesea

  • Size: 1 inch by 4.7 inches by 3.7 inches
  • Material: Plastic
  • Pressure: 660 gallons per minute

This sump pump is perfect for aquariums of exceptional size. There’s a safety feature that cuts power to the pump if it dries up, saving money by preventing further harm.

Because of its bottom suction and high power flow and lift, it may be readily immersed in a sump. As a result of its low energy consumption (40W), this aquarium pump is regarded as being environmentally friendly.

Everything you need to get this pump up and running, including the nozzles and tubing, is included in the box.


  • Strength and power in plenty
  • Energy-saving
  • Great for oceanic displays


  • Limited length of the power cord during setup


Aquarium Water Pump with Remote-Controlled Jerepet

  • Measurements are 4.8 x 3.5 x 5 inches.
  • Material: Plastic
  • Effectivity: 1250 GPH

Jerepet’s DC-controllable water pump comes with a whopping six distinct output flow settings. The pump will automatically turn off if it becomes clogged with dirt or runs out of water, and the operation is quite quiet.

It may be used as an external or inline submersible pump, in either freshwater or saltwater aquariums. Its high volumetric flow rate makes it a good choice for large aquariums with plenty of water.

This pump is both reliable and effective, and it circulates water from the aquarium’s sump to its display tank.


  • Includes 6 distinct modes of airflow
  • Features that can turn off automatically
  • Exceptionally silent performance


  • Frustratingly complex assembly and disassembly

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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