Frequently asked questions about FishMate pond pumps and filters

Pond Pumps

I have read about Fish Mate's energy saving pond pumps - how much do they cost to run?
Model Max. Flow Wattage   Total Running
Cost  For 1 Year
  Total Running
Cost For 3 Years
FISH MATE 700 700 L/h 9W 8.89 26.66
FISH MATE 1200 1200 L/h 18W 17.77 53.31
FISH MATE 1800 1800 L/h 23W 22.71 68.12
FISH MATE 2400 2400 L/h 27W 23.65 70.96
FISH MATE 4000 3800 L/h 29W 28.63 85.89
FISH MATE 5000 5500 L/h 75W 74.04 222.13
FISH MATE 9000 8900 L/h 95W 93.79 281.37
FISH MATE 16000 16200 L/h 295W 291.24 873.12
FISH MATE 22000 21500 L/h 445W 439.33 1317.98

Costs are based on London Energy standard meter charge @ 11.27p (inc. VAT) per Kilowatt hour as of July 2012. Running costs will vary depending on your local rates.

What size solids can the pump handle?

As supplied, our small and medium pumps (Ref. 290, 291, 292, 247, 248 and 249) will handle solids to 1mm, ther intermediate pumps (Ref. 277, 278 and 279) will handle solids to 1.2mm and the large pumps (Ref. 326 and 327) will handle solids to 12mm.
If required, sections of the pump casing may be cut away to allow solids handling of up to 5mm on the medium pumps and up to 6mm on the intermediate pumps.

Will my pump harm wildlife in my pond?

The outer strainers on all Fish Mate pumps are designed to be wildlife friendly by allowing particles of 1mm to a 12mm maximum size to pass through. The strainer covers on the large pumps can be modified as above, to let larger particles pass through if required. Our pumps also draw the pond water in from a larger area than many of our competitors, which minimises the pull and allows wildlife to escape the flow more easily.

Why is there no plug on my pump?

Primarily, this is to comply with UK standards regarding the manufacture and supply of electrical products for outdoor use. As a benefit, this assists installation for a number of different pond environments, allowing you to easily trim off excess cable to a desired length and giving you the option to hard-wire the pump directly to an outdoor power system.

What safety precautions should I take when installing a new pond pump?

Basic safety precautions should be observed, including the following:
a) All electrical work must be carried out by a competent electrician.
b) The pump must be wired into a circuit breaker and a 3 AMP fuse (13 AMP fuse for large pumps - Ref. 326 and 327).
c) Connection to the power supply should be made through a double pole switche enclosure with minimum 3mm contact.
d) This appliance must be earthed.
e) Do not carry or pull the pump using the power cable.
f) Disconnect electrical supply from pump before contact with the pond water or pump.
g) Use pump only for ponds - do not use in connection to swimming pools, showers, etc.
h) Use conduit approved by your electricity authority to protect power cables where damage from gardening equipment, children or animals may occur.
i) Do not allow the pump to run dry.
j) Do not operate the pump in freezing conditions.

How often do I have to clean my pump?

Due to our innovative design, our pumps do not have to be cleaned as often as other pumps. Brushing off debris from the outside of the case will be occasionally necessary dependant on pond conditions and water. A more thorough clean will be required once or twice a year.

How often should I service my pump?

Fish Mate pumps have been designed to require very little maintenance, but should be serviced with the appropriate Fish Mate service kit after about three years of use. Your Fish Mate dealer will often be happy to assess the condition of your pump and recommend any service requirements.

The cable on my pump has become damaged/cut. Can I repair/replace it?

It is not possible to make a durable and safe repair to the electrical cable and because it is permanently attached to the pump at the time of manufacture (for safety), it cannot be replaced. You should stop using the pump and dispose of it.

Sometimes when I turn off my pump, it does not start again when I turn it back on, why is this?

The most common cause is sludge or limescale build-up on the pump's impellor or rotor mechanism. Sludge can be easily removed from the impellor by wiping with a clean sponge. You can use a proprietry kettle descaler to remove limescale, but remove all traces before returning to the pond. Always disconnect your pump from the mains when performing routine maintenance.

Pond Filters

What are the differences between pressurised and gravity filters?

Both Fish Mate Pressurised and Fish Mate Gravity Pond Filters are highly efficient at improving water quality. The pressurised range offer greater installation versatility - whereas the gravity filters must be installed above their outlet height, the pressurised filters can be installed at any height and allow the filter to be partially buried. For example, where a pond has a raised waterfall running into it, a gravity filter would have to be installed at the top of the waterfall; a pressurised filter could be installed at any height - even next to the pond.
Powerclenz Automatic Cleaning System is only available on Fish Mate Pressurised models.

How do I choose the right Fish Mate pond filter for my pond?

The best way to choose a filter is to calculate the volume of water in your pond then select the appropriate filter using the recommendations given on the Fish Mate filter leaflet/carton. However, for most applications certain recommendations will apply. 

Why is there no quartz sleeve on the Gravity UV+Bio filters?

The Fish Mate UV+Bio gravity filters have their bulb positioned above the water which is why they do not need a quartz sleeve. The quartzless system has several benefits - it cannot be damaged by frost and will not be affected by limescale associated with hard water areas.
The Fish Mate pressurised filters are designed with the bulb positioned inside a sleeve, which is submerged in water. The sleeve needs to be made of quartz glass to allow the UV-C light through.

What happens if I splash my gravity filter's UV bulb with water?

The UV bulb is itself made out of quartz glass and therefore, even in the unlikely event of the lamp being splashed with water, the bulb will not break. As with Fish Mate pumps, Fish Mate filters are built to comply with all of the appropriate national and international safety regulations and have a proven track record of safety.

How many hours per day should the filter be running for?

It is important that biological pond filters should be run 24 hours per day through the year, except when there is a risk of the water freezing.

Should the filter be run all year?

All of our filters can be run throughout the year provided that there isn't a danger of the pump, filter pipes or filter freezing as this could damage the pump and/or filter. The filter does not have to be taken indoors, it only needs to be turned off and the water emptied. Gravity filters should be allowed to drain, whereas pressurised filters require the water to be emptied from their buckets.

Why when I remove the lid from my pressurised pond filter can I see sludge, even after a cleansing cycle?

The unique Powerclenz self-cleaning action is designed to restore filter flow without over-washing the biological media. Some visible sludge may remain

Sometimes when I perform a cleansing cycle only clean water comes out?

Either your filter is reasonably clean or the sponges have become solid with sludge due to infrequent cleansing cycles. Remove the lid and if the sponges are heavily clogged, wash them manually in pond water and reassemble. Increase the frequency of your cleansing cycle regime.

How often should I change the UV lamp, filter foams and filter media?

The UV lamp should be replaced after 12 months use, even though the lamp is still glowing the UV output will be greatly reduced. The performance of the filter foams and SUPRA will slowly deteriorate over time - annually we recommend that half the SUPRA is replaced and that filter foams are inspected and should also be replaced if looking worn or shrunken. Only use Fish Mate branded replacement parts - available to purchase from a recommended Fish Mate retailer or directly from this website.

I have replaced the UV lamp in my filter but the water will not clear, why is this?

Only use Fish Mate replacement lamps which feature enhanced filaments developed for maximum UV-C output and long life. Cheap and inferior unbranded UV lamps available on some auction websites may not have the required output for guaranteed clear water.

The replacement SUPRA bio media offered by my retailer for my Fish Mate is different to that supplied when I bought it, why is this?

Following extensive research, Fish Mate has upgraded to a new superior biological filter medium SUPRA+. Each 500g pack contains a huge 2600 sq ft of biologically active surface allowing for super efficient reduction of lethal nitrite and ammonia in pond and aquarium water, which improves water quality for a healthier aquatic system. SUPRA+ replaces the original SUPRA filter medium in all Fish Mate Pond Filters as well as being suitable for all types of pond and aquarium filter systems.