The Best Small Fountain Pump For A DIY Garden Fountain

A small fountain pump is essential if you want to build an original garden fountain. You can either build the pump yourself or take the easy way and buy one. There are dozens of models available on the market and finding a suitable product is rather easy.

When choosing the right water pump, there are a few things to consider and this guide aims to show you how to decide upon the best.

The Best Small Fountain Pump For A DIY Garden Fountain

However, if you don’t feel like reading, click on the links in the table below to find the best small fountain pump for your DIY project.

Types Of Fountain Pumps

Water pumps are grouped into submersible and external pumps, but we can also make a difference between those powered by electricity and the solar water pumps.

Submersible Water Pumps

As their name suggests, these pumps are designed to be submerged in the water. They are easy to install and work well in a wide variety of environments. Most submersible pumps are perfect for small water fountains but they are also used to oxygenate the water in a pond or aquarium.

An advantage of this pumps is the quiet operation. Since they run very quietly, their sound won’t disturb you. In fact, you’ll only hear the relaxing sound of water.

Regarding their size, submersible water pumps range from 50 to 5000 gallons per hour.

External Water Pumps

External pumps are more suitable for large fountains or ponds and are able to move a high volume of water effortlessly. External pumps also outperform their submersible counterparts in terms of energy consumed. However, they are harder to install and noisier than submersible pumps.

While these pumps require less maintenance, finding the right spot where to place the equipment is often complicated. The motor of these pumps mustn’t come in contact with water, therefore finding a dry spot near the fountain or pond is essential.

Despite this downside, when installed properly, external pumps have a longer lifespan than their submersible counterparts, are easy to repair and usually handle 1000 gallons of water per hour or above.

The only thing to pay attention to is the self-priming feature. Not all pumps have it and if they don’t, they can burn out if the power shuts off while the pump is running.

Electric Water Pumps

These water pumps are powered by electricity and are either submersible or external. The main advantages of an electric pump are the reliability and power. Because they run on electricity, you can keep them running 24 hours a day and won’t have to worry about running out of power during the night.

On the downside, you’ll have to make sure the pump is of high-quality and well insulated, to avoid accidents.

Electric pumps are available as small fountain pumps with a capacity of 50-100 gallons per hour, or bigger pumps for more demanding fountains or ponds.

Solar-Powered Water Pumps

Like their name suggests, these pumps receive energy from the sun. Their main advantages are the impact on the environment, the reduction of running costs and the silent operation. However, a solar fountain pump won’t run at night or on cloudy days.

There are solar pumps with batteries which are capable of storing the excess power received during the day. These pumps can run in low light conditions, but only for a limited time.

Nevertheless, these pumps are inexpensive, easy to use, maintenance-free and free to use.  

How To Choose A Small Fountain Pump

small fountain pump

Type

When choosing the right small fountain pump for your DIY project, the first thing to decide is what type of pump you need.

For small water fountains, I recommend submersible pumps. They are easy to install, have a quiet operation and have various applications. Moreover, you can even choose a solar pump if you don’t mind having a still bird bath or pond on cloudy days or at night.

External pumps are recommended for large ponds or larger DIY projects, for fountains holding at least 1000 gallons of water.

Capacity

Small fountain pumps have capacities that vary between 50 and 1000 gallons per hour. I prefer small capacity pumps for many reasons, but this doesn’t mean they are better than large ones.

DIY garden fountains are usually small, therefore equipping them with a small pump seems more appropriate. Moreover, a small pump will reduce splashes and water waste even if your fountain or pond is large.

Nevertheless, it is completely up to you to choose the ideal size of pump you need.

Application

Some small fountain pumps can be used for much more than fountains. For instance, many small pumps are ideal for aquariums, to oxygenate the water. Some of them are even suitable for indoor use. For example, you can use a small fountain pump to build an indoor Zen fountain.

Solar pumps are ideal for bird baths or wall fountains if you want to enhance the water play in your garden.

Best Small Fountain Pump For Your DIY Project

1. Homasy 400GPH Submersible Pump

Homasy 400GPH Submersible Pump is a great small fountain pump to consider for your DIY project. The pump has a capacity of 400 gallons per hour, is suitable for a wide range of applications and perfect for outdoor or indoor fountains.

One of the main features of the pump is the water flow control. The flow is easy to adjust from a knob, allowing you to set the pressure you want. The maximum flow rate is 400 GPH, which is more than enough for most applications.

Homasy 400GPH Submersible Pump

Another great feature is the presence of four suction cups at the bottom of the pump. These cups keep the pump in place and it is easy to stick on glass or other smooth surfaces, either vertically or horizontally. This allows you to hide the pump among plants to enhance the design.

Because the pump also ensures the circulation of air and the oxygenation of water, it is suitable for aquariums or ponds with fish. Needless to say, this is a great feature to have.

Things We Liked
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    Flow control: the pump allows you to control the water flow rate from an adjustable knob. In this way, you can set the desired water pressure.
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    Nozzles: the pump comes with two nozzles that allow you to customize the stream. The nozzles are made of stainless steel and are made to last.
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    Power cord: the 5.9 feet power cord is long enough for easy installation and it can be easily extended with an outdoor cord extension.
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    Application: the pump is ideal for garden fountains, indoor fountains, aquariums, and ponds.
Things We Didn't Like
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    It is hard to install the pump vertically on surfaces other than glass.

2. KEDSUM 550GPH Submersible Pump

KEDSUM 550GPH Submersible Pump

KEDSUM 550GPH Submersible Pump is ideal for those looking for a more powerful water pump for their DIY projects. This pump boasts a maximum speed flow of 550 gallons per hour and is able to lift the water stream up to 5 feet high.

The pump has an ultra-quiet operation and is designed to provide a reliable service for a long time. Moreover, the pump has a low power consumption and is equipped with an energy-saving motor.

Despite its excellent performances, the pump has a small profile size and is easy to hide or disguise. The fountain is excellent for indoor garden fountains, such as a Zen fountain, and for aquariums but it can’t be used for outdoor applications.

Sadly, this is a limit for many homeowners. Nevertheless, the pump is popular for its great features and it is available in various purchase options, things that make it a versatile product.

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    Choice: the water pump is available in four versions which have different speed flows. The range is between 320 and 770 gallons per hour.
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    Size: the pump is small and easy to hide between plants or other decorative objects in the fountain. It is also suitable for aquariums.
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    Nozzles: the pump comes with three nozzles which allow you to customize the water flow. The pump works well with both fresh and salted water.
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    Detachable: the pump is easy to detach from its place and clean. This ensures a longer life compared to similar products.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The pump is only suitable for indoor applications.

3. Homasy 80 GPH Submersible Water Pump

If you need a small pump, the Homasy 80 GPH Submersible Water Pump might be the right one. As its name says, this pump can handle 80 gallons per hour, while it can elevate a water column of 2.6 feet.

The pump has an ultra-quiet operation and a reliable and durable motor. Thanks to these features, you’ll be able to enjoy the play of water without being disturbed by annoying sounds. Moreover, the pump has an adjustable flow rate and is designed with a convenient adjusting knob.

Homasy 80 GPH Submersible Water Pump

The pump has many applications. It is suitable for a bird bath or small outdoor fountain, for an indoor fountain or even to aerate the water in an aquarium or pond. Thanks to its compact size, the pump is easy to disguise and, thanks to the suction cups, is easy to install on the fountain’s bottom or walls.

This multifunction pump comes with two nozzles which allow the customization of the water stream. Thanks to the different water effects, you’ll be able to change the aspect of your fountain in a breeze.

Things We Liked
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    Multifunction: this small fountain pump has multiple applications and multiple functions. It is ideal for fountains or bird baths, ponds or aquariums.
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    Size: the pump is really small and easy to disguise in a fountain or aquarium. Thanks to the compact dimensions, it is also easy to clean.
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    Flow rate: the pump boasts an adjustable flow rate. The maximal water rate is 80 gallons per hour and it is easy to adjust it with a knob.
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    Nozzles: the two different nozzles provide different water flow effects. This will allow you to customize the fountain as you like.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The power cord is rather short.

4. VicTsing 80 GPH Submersible Water Pump

VicTsing 80 GPH Submersible Water Pump

Similar in many ways to the Homasy pump described above, VicTsing 80 GPH Submersible Water Pump is another small fountain pump to consider for your DIY garden fountain projects. This pump has a capacity of 80 gallons per hour, it is suitable for a wide range of applications and boasts a compact design.

In detail, the pump is ideal for small to medium sized aquariums or fish tanks, for tabletop fountains, water gardens, ponds, outdoor bird baths and more.

The pump comes with two nozzles which allow users to customize the water flow effect, while the height of the stream is easy to adjust from the pump’s knob.

The compact pump is easy to install thanks to the suction cups which allow both a vertical and a horizontal installation. Moreover, the pump is easy to take off and clean. No tools are needed to detach it while cleaning is a breeze.

Things We Liked
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    Motor: the pump is equipped with a quality motor that is reliable and durable. Boasting a quiet operation, the pump is suitable for a wide range of applications.
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    Adjustable: the flow rate is adjustable and the pump boasts an adjusting knob that helps you regulate flow speed and water column height.
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    Easy to clean: thanks to the suction cups, the pump is easy to take off and clean whenever needed.
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    Colors: the pump is available in two colors, black and blue. Choose the one that best matches the intended purpose of use.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The pump is inexpensive but the longevity is debatable.

5. Intsun 220 GPH Submersible Water Pump

Last but not least, Intsun 220 GPH Submersible Water Pump is another small fountain pump to consider if you want to build an outdoor or indoor garden fountain. This pump has a capacity of 220 gallons per hour and is very similar to the pumps described above.

In detail, the pump is suitable for a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications. It is ideal for bird baths and aquariums, for ponds, or indoor Zen gardens.

Intsun 220 GPH Submersible Water Pump

The pump has a water flow control and it is easy to get the water pressure you want by simply switching a knob. Moreover, the pump is easy to install and it boasts a 6-feet power cord that is long enough to connect the pump to an outlet.

But what makes this pump stand out is the LED light. The pump boasts 12 colorful LEDs that color the water in four different colors. The light provides stunning effects in the evening, allowing you to transform your DIY fountain into a true attraction.

Things We Liked
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    Colorful LEDs: this water pump boasts 12 colorful LED lights that can color the water in four different colors. The colors are red, blue, yellow, and green.
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    Installation: this small fountain pump is easy to install, while its compact size makes it easy to hide between the plants or decorative items.
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    Flow control: the pump boasts a water flow control knob that allows you to determine the power of the flow. The maximum flow is 220 gallons per hour.
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    Applications: the pump is ideal for fish tanks or aquariums, ponds, outdoor and indoor fountains, and more.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The power cord is rather short and you might need an extension.

Conclusion & Final Pick

There are many reasons why we like the Intsun 220 GPH Submersible Water Pump, yet our number one favorite is the Homasy 400GPH Submersible Pump. This pump is ideal for a wide range of applications, it is powerful and adjustable.

The pump is easy to install thanks to the suction cups. Although it doesn’t have a great stability vertically, the pump is easy to hide between plants or decorations. For this reason, horizontal installation is possible in all circumstances.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best small fountain pumps on the market, and if you’re aiming for lights, there are many alternative solutions to consider.

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