Aquarium Return Pumps

Aquarium Return pumps are the backbone of your aquarium. When you are building either an all-in-one aquarium or sump, you will often hear about return pumps.
Aquarium Return Pumps
Aquarium return pumps come in two types:

  • Internal or Submersible pumps – Pump is placed in the water to function
  • External pumps – Pump functions outside of tank

There are certain types of pumps that can actually function both internally and externally. Submersible pumps are the most popular type of return pump because they are easy to install and maintain. All you need to do is install your plumbing, place the pump in the sump or tank and it’s good to go. They tend to be fairly quiet; however, large pumps can be loud due to the vibrations from their motor. All the pumps we sell have magnetic impellers. This allows for the unit to be completely sealed and allows for safer operation. 

External aquarium return pumps are more involved when installing in the aquarium, but often several benefits. External pumps will produce less heat, have higher flow rates, have higher pressure rates, and typically last longer than submersible pumps. They are often equipped with commercial grade motors. Since they handle pressure well, they are ideal to use when long or complicated plumbing is used in the aquarium setup. They are also preferred for commercial and large aquarium setups. 

Aquarium Return Pumps also come in two voltage types:

  • AC Return Pumps
  • DC Return Pumps

AC Return pumps are the most common pumps available. they are direct flow and produce a constant gallon per hour output. They can be restricted in flow with a ball value. You will need to be careful about reducing your flow rate too much as this could lead to damage to your pump long-term, but minor restrictions in flow rate should not harm the pump.

DC Return pumps use less electricity than their AC return pump counterparts and have the ability to be controllers by a controller or unit or the controller functions that comes with the unit itself. They also tend to be quieter and cooler than AC pumps.

Aquarium Store Depot sells quality return pumps for tank. Everything sold on this page is of high quality. We recommend Eheim and Coralvue pumps