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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a pump that can generate a small waterfall at a height of 6'. I was told by the HD folks that this 210GPH pump could do it...now that I have educated myself some more I should have known better (when the max height is 7'....it barely dribbles).


Long story short, I need a powerful enough pump to generate my waterfall; I'm guesstimating at roughly 5-10GPM (30-60GPH) @ 5.5-6' is what I need....this is not too hard to find...


however, none of the pumps I look up have any information on their NOISE! This is going to be running a waterfall 24/7 in the living room so it needs to be sufficiently silent.


Any suggestions?

Also, is there ANY reason to use 450GPH "pond" pump $50:

http://www.amazon.com/Sunterra-200450-Pond-Pump-Black/dp/B000E5Q8MK/ref=sr_1_31?s=garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1325561260&sr=1-31

over a pump that can do 1800GPH for $45 but is not a "pond" pump.

http://www.amazon.com/Superior-Pump-91250-Thermoplastic-Submersible/dp/B000X05G1A/ref=pd_cp_hi_1




I'm still learning here but it seems "pond" pumps are just like "reptile" incandescent bulbs...nothing more than a name and price hike?
 

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You may want to check out some of the sump type pumps at some of the aquarium supply sites...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yep checked out tons....not a single one has a noise rating anywhere on the sites, specs, etc...
 

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The sump pump that you linked to is oil filled and direct drive. Eventually, the seals have to fail. All that oil will then be in your tank. Pond and aquarium pumps are generally magnetic drive and either oil-less, or completely sealed and driven with magnets so that seal failure and oil contamination will not occur. Additionally, the sump pump is probably not built to be run continually. It could also be made of cheaper plastics that may not be completely safe to be used in a viv or fish tank.
More expensive, but quiet, high performance, able to handle the head height, and longer lasting, would be the PanWorld external pumps. I used one on my wife's reef tank to pump from the basement to the upstairs living room. I've used a lot of different pumps running a coral farm and let me tell you, this thing was QUIET! Looks like maybe the 50PX would suit your application. Here is a link for a good price. PanWorld 50PX External Aquarium Water Pump - 590gph - English Here is a link so you can look up the stats. Pan World Americas, Ltd. | The World's Best Magnetic Drive Centrifugal Pumps | PX Series
 
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A maxi jet 1200 should work well. Make sure it is an OLD STYLE one the new " improved" ones click when they have back pressure on them(ie hose). The old ones are in a green box and do NOT come with a modding kit to up the flow and make it look like a koralia power head. Should be able to get one at petco ect. Hope that helps. Pretty quite I run 3 on my tanks.
 

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How big is this waterfall your trying to run? 5-10 GPM is 300-60 GPH which is a lot of flow if your pushing it through a pipe smaller than 1" (common garden hose is generally 5/8", and most barb fitting aquarium pumps are 1/2"). For comparison, a standard shower head produced in the last 10 years will most likely have a flow rate of 2.5 GPM.

What is the width of your waterfall, and what are you planning on using to spread the flow across the width of your fall?

The Pan World pump that Pumilo linked is a really decent pump and will give you 6-7 GPM at 6 ft of head height, but I still think that this is more flow than you're probably looking for. I actually like Iwaki pumps a little better than the Pan World, but unless you really need the head height or large volume flow, the Pan worlds are probably a better fit for this situation.

Both pumps you linked to are submersible internal pumps, what size enclosure is this waterfall going to be in? Do you need to use a submersible or would drilling a bulkhead for an external pump be an option in your build?

I design and install aquariums and ponds for a living, sizing pumps is a regular activity for me.

As to your question of noise, I'm NOT saying you have to go buy the most expensive, top of the line pump, but generally the cheaper you go, the more noise you will experience, especially as the pump ages.
 

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A maxi jet 1200 should work well. Make sure it is an OLD STYLE one the new " improved" ones click when they have back pressure on them(ie hose). The old ones are in a green box and do NOT come with a modding kit to up the flow and make it look like a koralia power head. Should be able to get one at petco ect. Hope that helps. Pretty quite I run 3 on my tanks.
A maxi jet 1200 tops out at 6 feet. He wants to run it at 5.5 to 6 feet. It would either barely trickle or not run at all.
 

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How big is this waterfall your trying to run? 5-10 GPM is 300-60 GPH which is a lot of flow if your pushing it through a pipe smaller than 1" (common garden hose is generally 5/8", and most barb fitting aquarium pumps are 1/2"). For comparison, a standard shower head produced in the last 10 years will most likely have a flow rate of 2.5 GPM.

What is the width of your waterfall, and what are you planning on using to spread the flow across the width of your fall?

The Pan World pump that Pumilo linked is a really decent pump and will give you 6-7 GPM at 6 ft of head height, but I still think that this is more flow than you're probably looking for. I actually like Iwaki pumps a little better than the Pan World, but unless you really need the head height or large volume flow, the Pan worlds are probably a better fit for this situation.

Both pumps you linked to are submersible internal pumps, what size enclosure is this waterfall going to be in? Do you need to use a submersible or would drilling a bulkhead for an external pump be an option in your build?

I design and install aquariums and ponds for a living, sizing pumps is a regular activity for me.

As to your question of noise, I'm NOT saying you have to go buy the most expensive, top of the line pump, but generally the cheaper you go, the more noise you will experience, especially as the pump ages.
I agree a Japanese Iwaki would be better but I'm not so sure about the American models. I was trying to get a quality pump without going nuts on the price. I agree too that his specs sound like a lot of flow and he may not need as much as he thinks.
 

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A maxi jet 1200 should work well. Make sure it is an OLD STYLE one the new " improved" ones click when they have back pressure on them(ie hose). The old ones are in a green box and do NOT come with a modding kit to up the flow and make it look like a koralia power head. Should be able to get one at petco ect. Hope that helps. Pretty quite I run 3 on my tanks.
A maxi jet doesn't have the head height to push water up 6 ft, the pdf instruction manual I just found says the max head height is 69inches.

Pumilo beat me :p
 

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I agree a Japanese Iwaki would be better but I'm not so sure about the American models. I was trying to get a quality pump without going nuts on the price. I agree too that his specs sound like a lot of flow and he may not need as much as he thinks.
I've not used the American Iwakis yet, but I can't imagine that they're as good as the Japanese Iwakis.
 

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I've not used the American Iwakis yet, but I can't imagine that they're as good as the Japanese Iwakis.
They each have completely different motors, while the pumping section is the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@pumilo: thank you for identifying the differences between those pumps!

@Feist: it is rather difficult to explain but....

yes inline is an option and one I slightly prefer; the enclosure is quite big, but you are correct to identify that my 5GPM flow rate is very high.


I am overestimating by a fair margin on purpose, partly because of my inexperience. I was planning to split the line multiple times and have various pieces of cork tube spilling water out of my wall


so far during some testing with my 260GPH pump, it was originally a bit weak and not really loud but not great either...I reorganized things a little to elevate the pump approx 1.5' and it has made the world of difference.

The sound is still meh, but I am going to try foaming things up in a few minutes to see if that helps...
 

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Doing an external/ inline pump will cost you a bit more up front and take a bit more planning with the plumbing, but it is so much easier to service an inline pump than it is to dig out a submerged pump.

For those PanWorld pumps Pumilo linked, you might be able to get away with a 30PX, but at the head height your planning on running, if your home electric runs closer to 50Hz than 60Hz, you might not get as much flow as you want. The 40PX, even if you had it running at 50Hz, would still give you a flow of about 3.75 GPM which would be plenty for your application. If you're in the U.S. you should be running closer to 60Hz which would give you about 6.5 GPM which is some serious overkill, but you can throttle the pump down with a valve on the OUTLET side of the pump. Any which way I would advise using true union ball valves on both the inlet and outlet of the pump to make it easier to remove for servicing. NEVER RUN A PUMP WITH THE INTAKE VALVE CLOSED AT ALL! Only ever use the valve on the output side to control flow. I'd suggest using at least 3/4" pipe for your plumbing.

You said with your current pump you raised the pump and it was working better, that is probably fine, but be careful how high above the waterline you raise your pump. Pumps are designed to push not pull.

Your cork thingys should work fine to distribute the water as long as you have enough of them.
 
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