Not all water features will require a pump, although many do. Generally speaking you will need a pump if your water feature has moving water, whether that is running, bubbling, spilling over, spouting into the air like a fountain etc. You will also need a pump if you have a pond, in order to keep the water from becoming stagnant.
The pump that you choose for your water feature will depend on a few different things. Firstly, it will depend on the size of the feature. The more water you have in it, the larger the pump will need to be in order to move the water. It will also depend on where your water feature is. For example, you don't want a noisy pump drowning out the sounds of moving water! Generally speaking, the cheaper pumps tend to make more noise while pumps that cost more are quieter and can operate almost silently. More expensive pumps also tend to last longer and work more efficiently.
When you decide on a pump for your water feature, ensure that it is able to move more water than you need. By doing this, you can change your water feature in the future without having to buy an entirely new pump. As well as sizing the pump to suit your feature, you also need to make sure that it is capable of producing the effects that you need in your feature, such as a waterfall, a fountain, etc.
If you have a pond, the pump needs to be fitted with a filter in order to clean the water. Most pumps are able to be fully submerged in the water. Just remember to regularly clean the filter.
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