Pumping and aeration are of the utmost importance in AquaPonics.
Not only are they vital to fish, plants and bacteria, this is also where your energy consumption goes to.
A well designed system will keep the energy bill low.
Even small errors can easily make you waste 30, 50, 100% or more.

But don't let this deter you:
The key is to keep your system as simple as possible as you will quicly understand after reading this page.


The pump is literally the heart of an AquaPonics system.

Just like the heart in the human body, it provides transport for both the elimination of waste and the providing of oxygen.

The pump in AquaPonics is meant to transport water from one point to another. That is it's purpose. It's performance must be directed to maximal volume (flow).

There are two forces the pump must overcome:
gravity and the friction in pipes and appendages.

While designing a system, it is very important to keep both the height to which is pumped as the friction in pipes and appendages to the strictest minimum for best pump performance and least energy consumption.

It is easy to understand that if you need to pump the water to a height of 1 meter, pumping it to 1.2 meter will mean an energy waste of 20%.
So keep the height to where you pump as low as possible: just over the rim of your tank is enough.

How to limit friction?
By eliminating all unnecessary piping and appendages.
This is easy to do and means a simplification of the setup.
The only length of pipe that is unavoidable is the standpipe on your pump to bring the water to the necessary height.
From there on the work is done. You have overcome gravity.
Let gravity do the rest of the work by using wide horizontal pipes or gutters (better) that are never completely filled.
Dimension the standpipe one size bigger than the connections on your pump: 3/4" pipe for 1/2" connections, 1" pipe for 3/4" connections, and so on.

These four simple measures will ensure best performance of your pump:
-pump straight up,
-the lowest necessary,
-in a slightly overdimensioned standpipe.
-from then let gravity work for you in wide horizontal pipes or gutters (better) that are never completely filled.

Most used in aquaculture and Aquaponics are centrifugal pumps as these are reliable, readily available and cheap through mass production.

The performance of a centrifugal pump is directly related to the hight to which it must pump (pump head): the higher to pump, the lower the flow, the lower to pump, the higher the flow.
This performance can be set in a table or in a curve on a chart.
Centrifugal pumps perform best in the middle of their curve. That is what they are designed for.

Here is the bad news:
99% of the pumps we use are designed for much higher heads than we need. Most pumps can pump to 30-40 meters, while we mostly only need 1 to 1.5 meter.

... to be continued.


Aeration is about exposing water surface to air srface so that the water can absorb oxygen out of the air

... to be continued.
To the best of my knowledge the information I present is accurate. All pages on this website © Hygicell 2009