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5 Best Aquarium Sump Pump & Refugium in 2022 – Reviews & Top Pick

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

KEDSUM Submersible Pump

Sump pumps allow hobbyists to set up an innovative and professional filtration system for their aquarium, pond, or hydroponic system. They are becoming increasingly popular for their benefits—they are excellent for larger aquariums and ponds.

We have put together some of the best sump pumps and refugium on the market by giving you a detailed review of the individual products to ensure that you can make an informed purchase.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
VIVOSUN Submersible Ultra-Quiet Pump VIVOSUN Submersible Ultra-Quiet Pump
  • Quiet
  • Easy to hide and place
  • High-performance and energy-efficient
  • Best Value
    Second place
    KEDSUM Submersible Pump KEDSUM Submersible Pump
  • Powerful speed flow
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Wear-resistant
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Zoeller M35 Might-mate Submersible Sump Pump Zoeller M35 Might-mate Submersible Sump Pump
  • 100% factory tested
  • Turns a large volume of water
  • High-quality design
  • WAYNE Submersible Cast Iron Stainless Steel Sump Pump WAYNE Submersible Cast Iron Stainless Steel Sump Pump
  • High-quality material
  • Powerful
  • Bubblefin Aquarium Sump Refugium DIY Kit for Protein Skimmer Bubblefin Aquarium Sump Refugium DIY Kit for Protein Skimmer
  • 3 chambers
  • Easy to setup
  • The 5 Best Aquarium Sump Pump & Refugium

    1. VIVOSUN Submersible Ultra-Quiet Pump – Best Overall

    VIVOSUN 800GPH Submersible Pump

    Check Price on Chewy
    Power source Corded electric
    Product dimensions 4.1 × 2.6 × 3.5 inches
    Max lifting height 10 feet

    The best overall product on this list is the VIVOSUN submersible pump. It is very quiet in comparison to other pumps and small enough to hide from direct view. The 5-foot long power cord offers convenient installations and an adjustable knob to control the water flow rate and pressure. The maximum flow rate is up to 800 GPH which is approximately 3000 L per hour.

    This product is easy to clean, and it detaches without the need for tools. This pump has many different placement options, it should be placed flat on its base and can be angled and placed on a vertical surface. This product can be manually rotated to get it to the best position that you need it to be.

    This high-performance and energy-efficient pump is designed for ponds, fountains, waterfalls, and hydroponic systems. It is durable and reusable and includes a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.

    Pros
    • Quiet
    • Easy to hide and place
    • High-performance and energy-efficient
    Cons
    • Suited for small bodies of water only

    2. KEDSUM Submersible Pump – Best Value

    KEDSUM 880GPH Submersible Pump

    Power source Corded electric
    Product dimensions 5.9 × 3.1 × 5.9 inches
    Max lifting height 11.3 feet

    The KEDSUM submersible pump is one of the best products for the value of money. It is affordable and features a powerful speed flow. The rotor is made of hard polyacetal material which pumps water faster and more efficiently. The maximum flow rate is 880 GPH or 3500 L per hour with the maximum lift height being 11.3 feet.

    The power cord is a decent length of 5.9 feet to make placement easy. The pump is ultra-quiet and adopts a ceramic shaft that is resistant to high temperatures and weathering. It is equipped with a second steel shaft as a replacement if something was to happen to the first one.

    This product features a long service life, and it is energy-saving with low power consumption. The suction cups allow for both vertical and horizontal placement. It is equipped with 3 outlet adaptors to give different water flow options. It is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater bodies of water and it is easy to detach and clean.

    Pros
    • Powerful speed flow
    • Ultra-quiet
    • Wear-resistant
    Cons
    • Steel shaft breaks easily

    3. Zoeller M35 Might-mate Submersible Sump Pump – Premium Choice

    Zoeller Submersible Sump Pump

    Power source Corded electric
    Product dimensions 7.8 × 10.5 × 10.5 inches
    Max lifting height 11 feet

    The Zoeller M35 submersible sump pump has been engineered with a thermoplastic base and a cast iron switch. It is suitable for residential sump pits and consists of 3.10 HP. The discharge component is 1.5 inches in size, and the spherical solids are 1.2 inches.

    This product features a cast iron switch case, motor, pump housing, and a plastic base. The overall performance of 43 GPM, 5 TDH, and a shut-off of 19.25-inch TDH. It has been factory tested for quality and performance which produced excellent results.

    The pump should not run all the time as it has a float that shuts the product off when the pit is nearing empty. The metal-air hole typically gets clogged with debris and can be easily detached and cleaned. It turns a large volume of water in a short period which is useful.

    Pros
    • 100% factory tested
    • Turns a large volume of water
    • High-quality design
    Cons
    • Airhole gets clogged with debris
    • Expensive

    4. WAYNE Submersible Cast Iron Stainless Steel Sump Pump

    WAYNE Submersible pump

    Power source Corded electric
    Product dimensions 8 × 8 × 12 inches
    Max lifting height 10 feet

    The WAYNE submersible sump pump has been assembled in the United States with foreign and domestic parts. It has been constructed with submersible cast and iron and stainless steel that features a vertical float switch. This product is safe and has been approved by the CSA agency.

    It is fully submersible and contains an 8-foot water-resistant power cord that provides easy access to a nearby GFCI protected outlet. This sump pump has a maximum flow rate of 6100 gallons per hour which makes it excellent for larger bodies of water. It has a 5100 GPH with a 10 feet discharge lift. It is quite powerful and makes a good yet pricier product in this category.

    Pros
    • High-quality material
    • Powerful
    Cons
    • Expensive

    5. Bubblefin Aquarium Sump Refugium DIY Kit for Protein Skimmer

    Bubblefin Aquarium Sump Refugium

    Power source Not necessary
    Product dimensions 12.09 × 10 × 1.38 inches
    Max lifting height Not necessary

    This sump refugium kit functions as a placement for a protein skimmer. It comes with 3 pieces of acrylic dividers for a standard 20-gallon aquarium. It excludes silicone glue which may be necessary if you want to secure any part of the sump refugium.

    The dividers give the chamber height for most of the skimmers and the width of the acrylic sheet is 11.8 inches which makes it suitable for a 20-gallon long aquarium with a width of 12.5 inches. It allows you to effectively DIY a sump refugium to meet the needs of your aquarium. You can construct the sump refugium kit with minimal hassle and it is easy to clean.

    Pros
    • 3 chambers
    • Easy to setup
    Cons
    • Excludes silicone glue and attachments

    Related Read: 5 DIY Sump Filter Ideas You Can Create Today!

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Aquarium Sump Pump & Refugium

    The sump pump or refugium should meet the requirements that you plan to use the product for. It should be waterproof, made of high-quality materials, and large or small enough to support the body of water in the aquarium or pond.

    The refugium should be large enough and completed with enough chambers to produce the desired effects. Saltwater aquariums typically require a refugium system to control algae growth. Ensure that the refugium is suitable for the type of size of your aquarium to ensure it will operate appropriately.

    Tips For Buying a Sump Pump and Refugium

    • Take into consideration the overall price of the product in correlation to the power and accessories of the product or kit and ensure that it meets your budget requirements.
    • Ensure that the sump pump turns over the desired amount of water according to the volume of water in the pond.
    • The refugium should have chambers included if you are purchasing a kit. A standard aquarium can be bought and repurposed as a refugium, so it is not necessary to buy a specific type of tank to use as a refugium if it does not have refugium chambers and accessories.
    • The material should be waterproof and high-quality to ensure durability.

    How Do Sump Pumps and Refugium Work?

    Here are some video explanations of how sumps and refugium work:

    Sump pump


    Refugium


    How to set up a saltwater refugium system

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    Conclusion

    Out of the products we have reviewed in this guide, our pick for the best overall sump pump is the VIVOSUN Submersible Ultra-Quiet Pump because it is quiet and convenient for its job. If you’re looking for an option that includes a protein skimmer, we recommend the Bubblefin Aquarium Sump Refugium DIY Kit because it is affordable and efficient at improving the water quality and removing algae through an intricate system.

    We hope that this article has helped you find a good sump pump and refugium for your aquarium or pond.

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