Internal vs External Water Pumps

This is a video where I talk about the basic differences between external and internal water pumps used in an aquarium. This video is intended to be a basic introduction to water pumps and the advantages of external vs internal pumps.


Usman Khan says:

heat is not big issue im hearing it 1st time , it has no effect on temp its very minute and when you drop water from few inches it balances it like from small waterfall or outlet thats raised 1 or 2 inches above water level , other thing can be done is adding air tube some pumps come with it , submerged are energy efficient if u calculate watts and g/h

Alca Bringer says:

Thanks for the informative vid sir. I’ve been planing to buy a external pump.

Santos Lee says:

Ok thanks! 🙂

Tee says:

does a internal pond pump have to be submerged, i have a 600gph that i want to use in a diy filter system for a 55g

Santos Lee says:

Thanks for the video! It seems to me that the main benefits of external pumps are less heat in water and more space in the sump… so external may be the way to go with saltwater systems (where the fish prefer cooler water and there may be lots of components in the sump). I have a sump for a freshwater tank with South American cichlids… so after watching your video, I think I’ll stay with an internal sump pump (warmer water is good for SA cichlids, and I have room in my sump). Thoughts?

915Mang says:

Good job Jay

fullscew says:

hi jay, please could you help me before I do a wrong move….I have a seastar hx-2160 pump (15W h.max:0.8m q.max:800L/H), and a resun submersible sp-500D pump (5W hmax:0.6m qmax:200L/H) and as I’m an absolute beginner  just starting out I have no idea how to set them up properly & what they’re both capable of?? I bought them brand new but from a guy who’s selling up to move house (didn’t tell me much except that they’ve not even been used yet but supposed to be v.good), all I know so far is that they both work out of water (don’t seem to be very powerful though?), and the resun 500D submersible also works in a bucket of water but also didn’t seem to be very powerful, am I doing something wrong? and can the seastar HX-2160 also go in the water?? I’m very keen to get on with things so would be extremely grateful for any advise as I cannot find any websites with these exact same pumps on?…….aaaarrrrgghh   can anyone please help me quickly??    thanks. Adie ‘The Desperado’.

jayhawkscott says:

Less plumbing and less noise for sure but in regards to energy it really just depends, you have to compare one to another. I have found that my external pumps last longer than my internal but they better because they cost a lot more.

worm5406 says:

Very good video. Thanks.

Irma Nurulhayati says:

pumps cool c f 67

art ch says:

can this pump be used in a 150gallons fish pond?

07eaglejuice says:

what was the manufacters name of the one in the middle.the 50 60 dollar one

92HondaEX says:

where do you get the magline pump? I can’t find any info on them…

Bob says:

I have used many different pumps and external is the way to go.   Mag pumps are cheap toy pumps that add alot of heat to your tank.   A mag 7 I had raised the temp of my 300 gallon from 80 to 88 degrees.   I pulled that pump and used a Panworld 200 and temps went back to 80.  

For external – Iwaki, Panworld, Little Giant or Reeflo (for 3000+ gph)

Internal – Eheim better than mag for heat transfer. 

Most people go with internal due to cost.   Lil giants and Panworlds are a pretty good bang for the dollar and last for years.   My lil giants ran 8 years 24/7 and still work.  Never even cleaned them.   

Joseph Bagdonas says:

I do have a question for you regarding internal vs. external water pumps, but in a real small application…

Basically a small water fountion, circulating maybe only one or two gallons of water.

Just about all fountains I’ve looked at, come with internal pumps. And I’ve looked at indoor tabletop types, on up to larger outdoor garden fountains.

I know these internal pumps require more maintenance, and are probably ‘only used’ for economic reasons.

These ultra small pumps are probably imported by the ‘boatload’, at a cost of ‘maybe’ a couple dollars a piece.

I’m trying to design and build something on my own, (not really available on the market), and would like to ask your opinion and feedback on this.

I will also be incorporating an aquarium chiller into this project of mine, so your input may be very useful.

But how do I contact you? I’m not a user of facebook, twitter, or any of that other stuff… just e-mail.

I don’t know if it would be proper, (or a good idea), for me to leave my e-mail address ‘here’, and I don’t know if you would be able to respond to this feedback, and get ahold of me, through leaving this feedback, (I do hope so!).

In all my years, this is the first time I’ve tried something like this…

Siv Kumar says:


Tony Nguyen says:

i prefer internal pump, less energy used, less noise. less plumping. less rust! that’s just me.. lol

notw21 says:

Thanks for the video. everyone loves info in this hobby.

mrsquirtsalot says:

Thanks I was debating which style pump i should get. Looks like external it is!

wajid naqvi says:

Can i use an external pump for my waterfall

jayhawkscott says:

Before I did the saltwater tank I used to do the cichlids as well, really liked the electric blues. With both the saltwater and freshwater systems I have had both internal and external return pumps and both work fine. You are right that space in the sump is far more of an issue with saltwater systems and keeping the water cooler is always a battle. I would say if your in sump return pump is working fine stick with it, there is always other places you can spend your money. 🙂

dumpster baby says:

how much does it cost to run those pumps?

Aldrin Mar Jalog says:

I have a question.. what’s the difference of water pump on a rv/motorhome and a aquarium water pump..??? can I used an aquarium water pump to make a home water pump??

patrick jullian says:

i just have both and have no problem and in fact i have the most clean water ever 

bilal hussain says:

hi just a question ive got a 80litre water tube snd i need to fill my aquariums .. fed up of using a bucket the height in say ground level traveling say 1.5 metres …. tank on a stand … but im thinking what type of pump i dont want the motor to damage if there is no water in the container help please

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