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Swede's Dock

Fisherman's Revolutionary

Ponder's Bible


There's a lot of confusion in the ponding when it comes to pumps. I'm not an engineer but I do have a lot of experience with pumps of many types and sizes. From very small (a few gallons per hour (gph) to over 5,000 gallons per minute (gpm).

Here is my experience with two pond pumps. I actually measured both the gph outputs and the watts used. The output was measured using my filter (90 gallon capacity) both empty and with media. The power consumed with meters. (Kill AWatt $20 at Super Media Store)

GPH Watts Monthly
Gallons Life Pump
5 year
--- Rated Actual Rated Actual @.10 kwh per watt Expectancy - Monthly Cost
3,500 2,700 310 360 $26 7.5 1 year plus
Still in use
$300 $31
3,900 4,200 700* 425
2-3 years $110 - $190 $35

I got the FishMate last spring (2006) when the Beckett gave out. I would have gotten another Beckett (have been using Becketts for more than a decade) but Home Depot didn't have any in stock when I went over. So, I thought, time for a change anyway. I found the Fishmate online, the numbers looked good (310 watts "max power", gph, etc.). It was nearly twice what I paid for the last Beckett 3900 but less juice used, only a few hundred gph less, hopefully last a couple years longer so I took a shot.

It looked like a lot less water coming out of the filter and over the falls but the water stayed clear so I didn't bother checking the numbers myself. This spring Kevin extended the top pond for me and part of the project involved emptying the media (lava rock) from the filter so I decided to time the output of this pump (as I had done for the Becketts years earlier). The filter (3'L x 2'W x 2'H) is 90g. The Fishmate consistently took 2 mins to fill so 45gpm x 60 min = 2,700 gph. (Note with the media back in, it takes 1m 40sec)

(The Becketts had worked out pretty consistently to 4100-4200gph using the same measuring system some years ago.)

Had picked up a Kill Awatt last year so I plugged that in and was surprised to see 360 watts draw for the FishMate pump. Note the two different Beckett draws in the table. The lower one (425w) was calculated using an actual electric meter (you know, the ones with the globe over them with all the little wheels and gears that hang on the side of the house) over a week's time, so it may not have been entirely accurate with me reading all those little wheels. The 500w was from the KillAwatt on the firehouse pumps. I'm not 100% certain the firehouse is still using Becketts as I haven't seen Richie (the pond caretaker) in a while to ask. Note also the 700w manufacturer's rating given above is from my memory. I don't have a Beckett box to check the number.

Clearly when the FishMate goes, unless it lasts 10 years or something (which is much longer than I expect to last anyway), I will be replacing it with Beckett. For the "5 year Monthly Cost" above I factored in the cost of 2 Becketts and 1 Fishmate (presuming the higher price justifies a longer life) as well as the estimated electric costs.
( If anyone has actual numbers on his pump and would care to send them along, I will add to the list. Note the numbers may not just be guesses, or "someone told me", they must be actually measured in a reasonable way (no "I measured how long it took to fill a teacup and multiplied it out" type stuff). Use this format:

Pump Brand & Model ______________

Cost (Paid & range if known) ______________

GPH manufacturer rated ______________

GPH actually measured (and method used)______________

Watts manufacturer rated (it may be in horsepower or hp)______________

Watts actually measured( and method used) ______________

Years it has lasted for you______________

End Ponder's Bible - Pumps

"He can compress the most words
into the smallest idea of any man I know."
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

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