Aquarium Air Pumps

The Complete Guide to Aquarium Air Pumps

Any dedicated aquarist knows that some tools you cannot do without when owning an aquarium. The air pump is such a tool that maintains the water oxygenated, helping the fish live inside the tank.

You want an air pump that works properly so that the water is never stagnant, helping air to move and circulate efficiently so that your fish has a beautiful life.

TOP 7 Best Aquarium Air Pumps

   1. Tetra Whisper Air Pump-Minimal Noise-Maximum Air Flow

Should you go shopping on a tight budget, Tetra Whisper Air Pump with Minimal Noise and Maximum Air Flow is a reliable option to check.

Tetra Whisper Air Pump with Minimal Noise and Maximum Air Flow

Where to buy Tetra Whisper Air Pump with Minimal Noise and Maximum Air Flow? - the current price is $10.49 on Amazon

The air pump is designed for aquariums up to 40-gallon, pushing the right amount of air. It ensures airflow in your aquarium and sustains water circulation. It comes with sound damping chambers with a dome shape, which will flatten the sound wave frequencies. The one-of-a-kind dome shape and rubber feet reduce the level of noise per se.

You can rely on the air pump to maintain the aquarium oxygen level high so that your fish stay healthy. There are seven sizes to choose from, according to the size of your aquarium. You can use it in deep tanks (up to 8ft deep), which are strong enough to power protein skimmers, several air stones in one/more tanks.

Each Tetra pump includes a lifetime limited warranty.

Here’s our list of pros:

  • It’s efficient and reliable
  • You can choose from different sizes
  • It ensures water circulation and airflow in your tank
  • It’s dependable and cheap

The cons shouldn’t matter much when buying:

  • Some note that it’s louder than expected
  • The replacement rubber parts are pricier than the unit

Stay focused on the positive aspects and remember that the air pump is efficient without emptying your wallet.

   2. Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump

The Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump isn’t just a silent air pump, but also a reliable model to use in smaller aquariums.

Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump - buy it on Amazon for price $17.99

There’s a thin piezoelectric ceramic plate driving the air pump, which is so different from any typical electromagnetic air pumps. It has no motor, no shaft, and no cumbersome mechanisms to worry about. It’s compact, lightweight, and runs quietly for a long time.

The list of good things continues with the low power consumption for the unit, which is only 1.0W. The flow rate is 240ml/min, which turns the air pump to be highly energy saving. The performance is constant, and an air pump is a reliable option for small and medium-sized fish tanks. You can also use it for high-grade aquariums, oxygenation, aquaculture, and spout decoration.

Due to its features, the air pump is a reliable choice for adding oxygen in a fish tank no more substantial than 13gallons. In the case of an efficient air stone, the air pump can push an excellent range of bubbles at a nice pace. Betta and shrimps will love it, for sure.

On top of everything else, the air pump is small, lightweight, and very easy to carry around. It features a suction cup for effortless attaching to the aquarium.

When we check the numbers, we notice that the unit needs a 100-110V power supply and can work up to 19.68in deep aquariums. It’s the right choice for 13-gallon tanks, and the level noise is lower than 33dB.

Let’s go over the positive aspects once again:

  • It’s small, compact, and lightweight
  • You may easily attach it thanks to the suction cup
  • It pushes a lot of air, and it’s dependable for small and medium-sized aquariums
  • It has low power consumption and runs quietly

We’re not going to back down over some inherent shortcomings:

  • A check valve would have been nice
  • It’s not very strong

As long as you can focus on the positive aspects, the air pump is going to be an excellent purchase for your small/medium-sized aquarium nine times out of ten.

   3. Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump

Due to its impressive popularity, the Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump doesn’t quite need a detailed description. However, we should note at least the most significant features so that you understand why do people like it so much.

Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump - buy it on Amazon for price $28.95

The air pump gives 240GPH output, presenting a maximum amperage of 0.08 and maximum decibels of 45. It comes with a unique artificial rubber for maintaining a steady airflow output. You may also adjust the pressure for better efficiency of the air pump.

The unit presents multi-level muffler and only needs 6-watts for running. It moves 15liters per minute, and the low power consumption makes it a solid choice for many aquarists.

The air pump keeps the water well aerated for every irrigation cycle, introduction dissolved oxygen to the nutrient solution.

You can choose from four different sizes. Even if the unit is more significant than expected, you’re not going to be disappointed by its performance. After all, it’s excellent value for the price.

Here’s our take on the pros:

  • It comes with multi-level muffler
  • You may adjust the pressure
  • The artificial rubber ensures steady airflow output
  • It has low power consumption, and it’s efficient

The inherent downsides don’t take away its value:

  • The plastic mounts for diaphragm aren’t the best quality
  • It’s bigger than you’d expect

The air pump is affordable, dependable, and efficient for many aquariums, and it’s not like diving in the dark when buying it.

   4. VIVOSUN Air Pump 1110 GPH 8 Outlet 50W 70L

There are many good things that VIVOSUN Air Pump 1110 GPH 8 Outlet 50W 70L/min Commercial Air Pump brings to the table. However, the overall value for the price is the selling point, for sure.

VIVOSUN Air Pump 1110 GPH 8 Outlet 50W 70L/min Commercial Air Pump - buy it on Amazon for price $57.99

The case of the air pump is made of high-quality ZL 102 aluminum alloy with radiation. The build makes the heat dissipation more efficient. However, bear in mind that the aluminum manifold will still get hot on the cause of high air pressure. It’s quite common for the air pumps to get hot at some point.

The unit has an electromagnetic motor, which presents a straight-line reciprocal motion for producing air and a more reliable structure. Therefore, the unit can 1110GPH and has an output of 70L/min, with pressure higher than 0.03Mpa.

The oil-less lubricated design purifies the compressed air, and the air pump is dependable for aquariums, hydroponic systems with eight outlets and fish farms. It has a constant temperature and pressure operation so that the performance is always efficient.

The unit comes with an adjustable distributor for better control for air stone, whereas the rubber base reduces the level of noise. The air pump has a rugged build, with a piston and cylinder made with wear-resistant materials for low power consumption.

Here’s what we like a lot about the air pump:

  • The case is made with aluminum alloy with radiation fins
  • It’s dependable for aquariums, hydroponic systems, and fish farms
  • It’s strong and effective
  • It moves a lot of air and runs quietly

The inherent pet peeves don’t make it as deal breakers:

  • Some think that the craftsmanship could be better
  • The risk for overheating isn’t null

All things considered, the air pump moves a lot of air, runs quietly, and has a rugged build. It’s a wise buy on any given day if you ask us.

   5. Hydrofarm Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump

The Hydrofarm Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump is a commercial-grade and robust model that many dedicated aquarists appreciate. It’s a suitable unit for sustaining several water farms or airstones at the same time.

Hydrofarm Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump - buy it on Amazon for price $78.40

The air pump is capable of high pressure and high output, coming with a multi-outlet divider. It’s very quiet and comes with a multi-level muffler. It’s rated at 1750GPH, which is quite impressive.

The design and build explain the performance of the air pump, with the unique artificial rubber maintaining a steady airflow output. You may adjust the pressure according to your aquarium’s needs at a specific moment.

As for the numbers per se, the air pump gives 110 lpm and requires 120Voltage. Its maximum amperage is 1, whereas the maximum decibels is 60.

The air pump has a good build and durability feel to it. It’s reliable and takes the use for a reasonable amount of time too. Considering its performance and overall value, we can honestly say that the price is just right.

Let’s check the positive aspects once more:

  • It’s strong and efficient
  • It comes with a multi-outlet divider and multi-level muffler
  • You may adjust the pressure
  • It runs quietly, and it’s dependable

The negative aspects are nothing to worry about:

  • The risk for overheating isn’t null
  • Make sure it’s not too strong for your aquarium’s needs

Regardless of the minor problems, the air pump is worth every single penny, and it’s a sure buy anytime.

   6. EcoPlus 3566 GPH (13500 LPH, 200W)

When you have two aquariums, and you want just one air pump, the EcoPlus 3566 GPH (13500 LPH, 200W) Commercial Air Pump w/ 12 Valves is a great model to try.

EcoPlus 3566 GPH (13500 LPH, 200W) Commercial Air Pump w/ 12 Valves - buy it on Amazon for price $117.74

The air pump is reliable for providing oxygen in aquariums, hydroponic systems, and fish farms. It comes with a chrome air manifold and ranges from six to twelve outlets.

The build and design turn the air pump into a reliable and highly efficient model. For instance, the pistons and cylinders are made of high-quality materials, rending the air pump to be long-lasting and sturdy.

The air pump moves a lot of air, and many use it for the two aquariums they own. It lets you control the overall pressure and features two outlets for air tubes, which only improves its functionality.

It’s easy to use the air pump, and you should rely on its performance for a fair amount of time.

Let’s check the functional aspects once more:

  • It’s reliable for aquariums, fish farms, and hydroponic systems
  • It pushes a lot of air
  • The elements are made with premium materials
  • It features two outlets for air tubes

We don’t back down over the minor flaws:

  • It runs a bit loud
  • It may get hot

All in all, the air pump is dependable and easy to use for two aquariums simultaneously. Why not take the plunge?

   7. Supreme (Danner) ASP04260 AP-60 Aquarium Air Pump

For those of you looking for powerful aquarium air pumps, Supreme (Danner) ASP04260 AP-60 Aquarium Air Pump is one model not to skip.

Supreme (Danner) ASP04260 AP-60 Aquarium Air Pump - buy it on Amazon for price $189.00

The air pump features an energy-efficient motor, and it’s quite the power horse within its category. Despite its power, it runs relatively quietly, and it’s effortless to use. It doesn’t require lubrication and ensures steady airflow. It presents a single outlet discharge and air diffuser.

It’s made for ponds up to 7000-gallons, with depth lower than 9.6ft. When we check the technical specs, we notice that the air pump features 50-watts power, 0.75amps, and 3/4in diameter hose size.

Even though it’s not fundamental, the air pump has an attractive design, and it’s environmentally friendly. You may confidently use it for oxygenating the aquarium for a clean aquatic environment so that the fish and plants stay healthy. The air pump also helps with the breakdown of fish waste.

It comes with a 6-ft power cord and has a high volume. If you’re using it outdoor, you need to protect it from the elements.

Here’s our list of favs:

  • The air pump features a durable motor
  • It has a high volume and a steady airflow
  • You can use it for aquariums and ponds up to 7000-gallons and 9.6ft deep
  • It looks beautiful, and it’s environmentally friendly

Bells and whistles aside, here’s what we like less:

  • It doesn’t come with an adjustable flow feature
  • The internal parts are made of plastic

Even if the price may throw some aquarists off, the air pump is still a wise investment to make for large aquariums and ponds.

What’s the best way to choose an aquarium air pump?

Once you own an aquarium, you must get all the equipment you need for keeping it clean so that fish and plants can live and thrive.

The variety of aquarium air pumps may overwhelm a newbie, which is why some tips when buying the air pumps are more than welcome.

Without any farther ado, let’s see what aspects you should consider when selecting the aquarium air pump:

  • Power

Aquarium air pumps are powered in two ways. You can go with battery operated air pumps, or select an electric air pump instead. The battery-operated units are reliable, especially as backup models in case of power outages. However, it’s the electric models that are more common since you only plug them on the wall. They operate on the standard AC power.

  • Volume per hour

You need to make sure that the air pump is going to process the amount of water you need in your aquarium. It should also provide it at specific speeds too. Once an air pump pushes the right amount of water for your aquarium, you know that you won’t have to deal with oxygenation-related problems any time soon.

  • Energy consumption

Even though the power is essential, you don’t want an air pump that uses a lot of energy, increasing your electricity bill. It’s better that you select an energy effective air pump so that you can rely on it without emptying your wallet.

  • Level of noise

If you take a look at air pumps, you notice that the designs are entirely various. You should pay attention when selecting the air pump since you don’t want it to bother you at night. Go with an air pump that ensures a low noise operation so that it doesn’t disturb the fish nor your family.

  • Objects and decorations inside the aquarium

Many things running with the air pump means that the air pump should be strong. Fewer items say that a smaller capacity for the air pump is going to be enough. Always pay attention to all the objects that the air pump has to run or push so that you figure out the strength you need on the air pump.

  • Objects resistance

Not only that, you should consider the number of objects inside the aquarium, but also need to check the “quality.” The higher the strength of the objects and decorations, the larger the air pump should be.

Side note: A deep aquarium will need a specific type of air pump. If your tank is higher than 18/20in, you need a particular deep-water air pump that can push a lot of air further below the surface. Otherwise, the aquarium isn’t going to have the proper amount of oxygen, rending the air pump to be pretty much useless.

FAQs on aquarium air pumps

Q: What does the aquarium air pump do per se?

A: The air pump moves the water so that the exchange of air into the water goes effortlessly. Fish need air for breathing, and the air must be mixed in water. The most efficient way to combine the outside air is to move the surface of the water with the air pump, providing the fish the oxygen they need for living.

Q: Do you have to install the air pump in specific ways?

A: It goes without saying that you have to think about where you’re going to place the air pump. The surface should be stable, and you should never put it on a hollow container. It’s only going to make the air pump run louder than usual. No matter the surface, you should always place the air pump in the middle of it. Even if it vibrates, the risk for falling off the edge is considerably lower. Also, never place the air pump on top of the aquarium. It should never fall into the water. It shouldn’t make the water vibrate, which can only stress the fish.

Q: Can you have oxygen into an aquarium without using the air pump?

A: It may sound surprising, but using aquatic plants eliminates the need for an air pump. Since aquatic plants thrive on carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, it makes sense that they give the water the oxygen for fish. However, keep in mind that aquatic plants take a lot of space, which may not be suitable for your fish. Aquatic plants are great when you’re breeding fish since they offer a fantastic ground for laying eggs.

Q: Can you reduce the level of noise of an air pump?

A: Even many air pumps run quietly, there are some tips to try to lower the level of noise. You can place the air pump into a cabinet with a thick door or keep it higher than the aquarium water. Someplace something soft under the air pump, which makes the object absorb the noise and lower the level of sound altogether. Anything from an old sock to a soft sponge can work, as long as it’s quiet and large.

Q: Is it possible to reduce the vibration of the air pump?

A: As we’ve mentioned previously, you should never place the air pump on the tank since it will vibrate the glass and the water inside, stressing out the fish. You should always have a distance between the electrical supply and the tubing going inside the aquarium. The air pump must be above the water level so that the theater inside doesn’t get back into the air pump.

Q: Is it necessary to turn off the air pump at night?

A: You may actually turn the air pump off throughout the night, turning it back on in the morning. It’s not mandatory to run the air pump 24/7. However, you can only do it if you know you have a dependable water filter inside the aquarium. An efficient water filter should circulate water, mixing air from the surface for proper water circulation.

Q: Should you place an air stone at the end of the air pump tube?

A: Honestly, the air stone has nothing but aesthetic utility. You may very well hide the end of the bare tune under a rock or place it in the gravel, without altering the air pump’s performance. Many people think that the air coming out of the air stone will combine into the water, but it couldn’t be further than the truth. On the contrary, the air bubbles that come out from the air stone stimulate the surface of the water in your aquarium. There will be an exchange of oxygen, but you may perfectly use the air pump without the air stone.

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