The Hozelock Aquaforce is a solids handling pump designed to pump water to a filter.

A solids handling pump is designed to handle solid particles of dirt so they can be processed by the filter. For that reason it differs from a fountain pump - you wouldn't want water full of dirt going to your water feature.

So what the Hozelock Aquaforce Pond Pump does best is supply water to filter and maybe a gentle watercourse.

The Aquaforce sits fairly comfortably in the middle of the range - it's not as expensive as an Oase but in our opinion does the job better than, say a Fishmate equivalent which is more of a 'jack of all trades.'

Hozelock Aquaforce offer superb performance in flow rate and a decent head height. They are trouble free in terms of maintenance, efficient and designed to reduce clogging.

The pond pumps can be used flat or on their sides, and the case has an integral carrying handle making it easy to lift into or out of the pond during maintenance.

What kind of pump does my pond need?

So how do you know what kind of pump is needed for your pond? Swell pond advisor Chris Plumb says: "In the past you would choose a pump based on the volume you want to turn over, over so many hours, but now the approach is to select a filter that's suitable for your size of pond and then select a pump that's right for your filter."

For example:

If you have a 10,000 litre pond (say 5 x 2 x 1m), assuming you don't keep a messy fish like Koi, you might select a gravity filter such as the Green Genie 24,000 which has an optimum flow rate of 7,800 litres per hour.

Therefore you will need a pump that can handle around that many litres per hour, so the Hozelock Aquaforce 8,000 would be a good bet.

However if you were going to choose a pressurised filter, for example if you needed to pump uphill, something like the Oase Filtoclear 20,000 would be required  which again would need a more powerful pump - one that would handle 12,000 litres per hour.

In terms of the manufacturing of the Hozelock Aquaforce, the ceramic bearings maximise pump life and the conical impeller maximises performance.

The Aquaforce has been designed to be trouble free in delivering water to a filter or water feature, and will handle solids up to an impressive 8mm.

The larger models in the range (6000, 8000, 12000 and 15000) may be used in conjunction with a satellite strainer, allowing water to be drawn into the pump from two separate areas of the pond, improving filtration and circulation.

So if you pond is an unusual shape where a part of it would go unfiltered a satellite strainer lets you filter different zones in the pond. For this we'd recommend the Hozelock Aquaforce Strainer Cage.

Alternatively, a pond surface skimmer can be used in place of a satellite strainer, removing floating leaves and other surface debris which is particularly useful in the Autumn months.

The pump also has a Wildlife Protection System that protects tiny inhabitants of your pond from being sucked in.