If you are thinking about setting up your own aquarium, you must already be freaking out over choosing the best type of accessories and equipment for it. An exceptionally hard choice is related to the aquarium air pump. First of all, if you take a look at the internet, only deciding if an air pump is necessary or not may seem like an entire case worthy of Sherlock’s experience. Luckily for you though, we’re going to set things straight in this article, so you won’t have to second guess again.
Before jumping into all the different types and models of aquarium pumps, let’s first spend some time dismantling the mystery regarding the necessity of such a device in your aquarium. The main advantage or benefit that an fish tank air pump brings to your aquarium is it will help a lot with water circulation and the exchange of gases. The release of carbon dioxide and intake of oxygen is done faster and more efficient with a fish tank pump, even though a good filter should also be able to do a good job on its own.
Another benefit of adding a fish tank aerator to your setup addresses the situation in which you other moving objects in the tank. The air pump will help move those objects, spins wheels inside the aquarium and making it look better and also improve comfort for your fish.
Like we said at the beginning, you won’t have to worry about a thing because we’ve gone through a lot of reviews for different types of both power-plugged as well as battery operated air pumps and we’ve putting all that knowledge at your disposal for you to make the best choice for your tank.
Even though you still didn’t get any extra knowledge about fish air pumps, it’s better to start with an overview of the best models on the market just so you have an idea of what are the main players. Using the table below it will be easier to do a proper comparison between models and better make sense of all the technical specifications that will follow.
|Product||Tank Compatibility||Noise Level||Adjustable Flow Control||Flow Rate||Max. Depth||Additional Accessories||Rating|
aPump Plus Air Pump
|55-60 gallons||40 dB||No||N/A||25 inches||2x Air Stone|
VicTsing Air Pump
|50 gallons||35 dB||No||3 LPM||20 inches||2 air stones, 2 silicone tube|
Mylivell Quietest Air Pump
|13 gallons||33 dB||No||18 LPH||20 inches||Air Stone|
B15 Marine Air Pump
|35 gallons||N/A||No||125 GPH||30 inches||2x glass bead airstones|
Tetra Whisper Air Pump
|150 / 300 gallons||20dB||No||N/a||8 feet||No|
Tiger Air Pump
|120 gallons||20dB||Yes||120 GPH||35 inches||No|
Danner Air Pump
|75 gallons||40dB||Yes||N/A||20 inches||No|
Fluval Q2 Air Pump
|50/160 gallons||40 dB||No||2 LPM||20 inches||No|
Danner Aqua-Supreme Air Pump
|100 gallons||35 dB||Yes||4 L/M||25 inches||No|
Now that we have a general idea about the basic functions and the specifications you need to be a lookout for, it’s time to get further into details and see exactly what type is the best aquarium air pump to fit for your aquarium and how to decide that. We will take the best 10 models on the market and break them down for you so that choosing the best one will become a much simpler task. Keep on reading as you’re getting closer and closer to becoming a fish air pump expert.
This small air pump is made of high-quality materials and is using advanced technologies to provide aquarium water with oxygen in a quick and easy manner. The aPump does a great job while also being durable and nearly invisible due to its small size. Actually, it is advertised as being the smallest and quietest aquarium air pump money can buy. It can be used in small to medium size fish tanks with a water level that can go up to 25 inches. Due to its size and piezoceramic technology, the aPump only produces around 40 decibels and it can be used with both fresh or seawater. Besides all that, it is very easy to install, and it comes with its own air stones that you just have to connect to the pump through the silicone tubes it comes equipped with.
If you’re interested in some more technical specifications than you should know that the aPump uses a power supply of 100V, it has an exhaust of 560 ml/min and can deliver a pressure of 11 kPa. The total power it produces stays around the 3-Watt mark while the power supply cable is almost a meter long.
Based on the reviews we found online, we can safely say that the biggest advantage it holds over other models is the fact that it is a very quiet air pump. The small-size and easiness with which you can install also makes it “a great choice for a medium-size aquarium”, as Kuntz Pascal says on Amazon. Unfortunately, everything over medium-size might be too much for the power it can offer. But that’s not a negative thing at all since all the websites and specifications we checked, show the correct values for power-wise. Similary, Kemo says on Amazon that ”It is, after all, a small to medium air water pump, you can not expect for it to have the performances of a big-size one. I had a small aquarium air pump for my small aquarium, but this one is perfect for a medium-sized one, and it’s VERY silent!”
The VicTsing aquarium air pump setup is perfectly designed to maximize the oxygen levels inside your fish tank and thus favoring the gases exchange. This leads to a better environment for your fish and a longer and happier life. Even though it is not necessarily a large air pump, it has two air outlets allowing you to deliver oxygen to two tanks simultaneously, if needed. Or you can simply put them both in the same aquarium for more bubbles and a better-looking setup, the choice is all yours. When it comes to noise, the VicTsing doesn’t go above 35dB a value that is bearable perceptible by the human ear. One of the things that differentiate this pump from the others available on the market is that it comes prepared with all the necessary accessories. The package includes 2 silicone tubes which are different in length and 2 air stones that will fit perfectly in your aquarium. The maximum flow of the VicTsing water pump is 3.5 liters per minute and that’s exactly what a small or medium-sized aquarium needs. It works with both marine or freshwater and it also offer a 45 day money-back guarantee and an overall worry-free warranty period of 12 years.
There seems to be an agreement with all the customers that had the opportunity to try this pump that it does exactly what is expected of it. Womazonian says that “It works perfect with two small tanks and it saves you some good money for not having to but two mini air pumps for fish tank. It’s quite quiet but not the exact definition of silent, it rather makes a humming sound which is natural for such devices.” On the same note, Leo Klepnev says that “It’s quiet enough so that you can hear the bubbles erupting in the tank. The only thing that some of the users complained about is the length of the power cord which seems to be a bit short.” Otherwise this is the perfect cheap air pump for fish tanks, and these two customers seem not to regret buying this product.
If you’re looking for an air pump filter that is both efficient, silent and powerful, the Mylivell model is exactly what you are looking for. It’s super silent functioning on a thin piezoelectric ceramic plate with no additional troublesome mechanisms that can break down in time. All these make the pump very quiet, light weight and with a long service time. Besides that, the aqua air pump has a low power consumption with a 1.8 W at a flow rate of 240 ml per minute. The performance of this pump is quite remarkable as it is perfect for both small and medium-sized fish tanks. It also comes with a very efficient air stone that spreads bubbles at a good pace keeping your fish healthy and happy. It can be installed through the use of the built-in suction cup underneath and it takes up very little space.
If you were to check out aquarium air pump reviews for this model, you will be very pleased with what you will find online. There are a lot of happy and satisfied customers that are especially pleased by the fact that all you can hear from it is the sound of the bubbles it makes in the aquarium. Megan says: “Compared to other pumps that has similar sizes and power levels, the Mylivell models really offer a great experience and allows you to enjoy your aquarium to the fullest” and gives the item a rating of five stars.
The Marine Metal Power Bubbles is what you can call a cheap air pump if you consider the fact that it has a 12V direct current power generator that is capable of delivering up to 46 amps. It comes equipped with twin bellows and can deliver proper aeration for 2 livewells of up to 35 gallons each. The Power Bubbles delivers far greater results than a regular battery-operated aquarium pump due to the fact that it has a lot more power and it delivers the oxygen at a rate of 5.6 STL / minute. As far as performances go, the Maine Metal Aeration System can produce an oxygen saturation level of 99.5% in the aquarium and it can be easily installed. The seller also advertises that it each unit is tested in real conditions before being shipped to ensure proper quality.
This is more than just an aquarium pump, it can be easily used by fisherman to keep both bait and caught fish alive during a long fishing trip. It also disposes of two anti-siphon valves that are designed to keep water out of the pump.
According to a user named Free88 on Amazon, the Power Bubbles is “the perfect battery air pump aquarium you can buy at this price. It’s perfect in case of a power outage and it drains the battery at a very low pace.” Although it might not be ideal for your fish tank, if you like to go on fishing trips and need something to keep your bait and catch alive, this is the pump for you. It is also quiet enough if you go camping and have to leave it overnight. Similarly, a user named Michael D. Zilmer says that “all in all, an excellent choice if a battery powered aquarium air pump is what you are looking for.”
The Tetra air pump will keep your fish tank oxygen levels at a high level, helping you have healthy fish. With a unique dome shape and four rubber feet which helps to flatten the sound wave frequencies in such a manner that they do not reflect off the surface of the table or shelve where the aquarium is placed for minimal noise. Being a submersible model, the Tetra has to be a small aquarium pump in order to leave enough room for fish and other aquarium ornaments.
It has an operating maximum depth of 8 feet and even though it’s quite tiny, it has enough power to ensure proper oxygen levels for long decorator air stones, multiple stones in one or several tanks and even protein skimmers that are used in saltwater aquariums. Oh, we almost forgot, once you buy a Tetra Air Pump you also receive a lifetime guarantee. Anything wrong with it, at any moment after purchase and you will get a brand-new model. That’s how sure its manufacturers are regarding the performance of this air pump.
Checking the reviews from people that already used the Tetra pump will only strengthen the facts stated by the manufacturer. “For the price tag it has, the air pump can’t be beaten,” says KountryKat. Similarly, Robert Christianson says: “It’s a great mix of power and stealth at the same time. With two air nozzles, there is one user on the internet that split each nozzle into another two to power all kinds of underwater decorations and the pump handles everything without any issues. For such a powerful pump it is also very quiet, you can keep it in the living room and it won’t bother you even at night when everything is quiet.” We found that this product is ideal to place on a folded towel or other piece of cloth to absorb any vibrations.
The Tiger pump has an awesome price / quality ratio and some people might even get confused by low price and may think that it’s no good since it is so cheap. But the Tiger pump offers an adjustable flow rate that it is controlled by a built-in valve that, when opened to the max, can provide 120 gallons per hour. Thanks to its design, this new generation of Tiger Pumps is very silent even though it’s what you can call a large aquarium air pump. This is a very important aspect when buying for a new pump since everyone wants a silent air pump that won’t disturb your normal activities in the room where you install the aquarium.
The Tiger pump is compact and durable, another two very important features for a submersible air pump. You wouldn’t want the pump to occupy half of the aquarium capacity, wouldn’t you? Besides that, it is a pump that can have multiple purposes, anything from aquariums, to fountains, hydroponic pump systems or ponds. The manufacturer offers a 100% money back guarantee during the 12 month warranty period.
The reviews of users that already use it for some time come to backup all the above info. Chris H. says that “The pump is powerful enough to use in large aquariums an even outside fountains, does the job perfectly and is also very silent for the power it provides.” One the same note, Alan Lees says: “Considering the fact that is also very compact and has a very reasonable price, it is the probably the best submersible pump you can buy with the amount it is sold at.” These are just two of the customers who didn’t regret buying this product.
Another great model of an air pump for your fish tank, the Aqua-Supreme model offers a great service for the price tag it has. It’s ideal for a small or medium fish tank and it provides excellent oxygen levels both for keeping the fish healthy and for all sort of decorating objects that you can place in it. The suction cup ensures an easy and secure positioning of the pump outside the aquarium and you can use it with a diverse range of accessories like air stones, protein dispensers or even objects powered by the water flow. If you look through the reviews of the hundreds of satisfied customers, you will have no doubt whatsoever that this is the perfect air pump for your aquarium.
There is no question that this powerful and strong water pump is exactly what you require for you fish tank at all times. One user named C. Webb on Amazon says that “it will deliver awesome performance when it comes to generating the proper values of oxygen needed for the fish to live a long and happy life” and at the same time it is discreet enough to not even know it’s working, as he rated the product five stars. And that’s very impressive considering the strong motor it has. All in all, this is probably the best choice for you if wish to go with a fish tank air pump setup.
The Fluval Q2 Air Pump is what you want if you are looking for an extremely quiet, yet powerful aquarium oxygenator. It can easily operate with water tanks from 50 to 160 gallons while producing a consistent flow of air due to the swing system and diaphragm-like design. It has a double-walled construction, a well-engineered noise suppression baffle camper and an integrated pump that makes Fluval one of the most silent pumps on the market. So, if you want a powerful and silent air pump that will last a long time, this is the best choice for you. It might not be most powerful aquarium air pump, but for the power it has it delivers exceptional performance.
The reviews that we found online from people who buy aquarium air pumps are overall positive, even though one or two comments about the noise it makes is also there. Some of them compared it with an underwater air pumps, something that isn’t very conclusive because the two devices have different mechanisms. George N. Moorachian Jr. says that “the great thing about the Fluval is that you can use it for different aquarium sizes by making full use of the adjustable flow function.” If you start with a small tank just set the device to operate at minimum flow and, if later you decide to get a bigger one, just adjust the flow so that the water is properly oxygenated. On the same note, Randy says the has “been using my Fluval Q2 air pump for over one year without any signs of failure or getting loud”, giving the item a rating of five stars.
The Danner Aqua Supreme is a really powerful air pump that is perfect for ensuring a constant oxygen flow for multiple aquariums at the same time. Being an aquarium air pump with 4 outlets you can even go as far as using it for 4 different aquariums as long as you are willing to invest in tubing. But the best usage of the Aqua-Supreme pump is with two medium or large fish tanks. If you’re looking for the best air pump for small aquariums, you should skip this product because it’s all about power.
If you want raw power, this high-power aquarium air pump is exactly what you are looking for. You can hook it up to 4 generous aquariums and still does a great job. There’s one user online named not ready for primetime that even claims he went ahead and “attached splitters to the four air outtakes and it still did a decent job but the level of oxygen and bubbles weren’t quite enough”. He rated the item five stars. As long as you use it as it was intended, it will work like a charm.
If you don’t have the time of going through the reviews of the best quiet aquarium air pumps available for sale, perhaps this buying guide is exactly what you need. After all, that’s the entire purpose of a buying guide, to quickly help the persons that want to buy a good but don’t have enough time to go through all the fish tank air pump reviews and product specifications. So, keep reading and you will be able to answer all the questions you might ask yourself when shopping for a fish tank oxygen air pump.
There’s quite a big misconception about what are air pumps for in fish tanks or aquarium. A lot of people consider that it directly increases the oxygen levels in the water, but things are not entirely like that. Indeed, an aquarium oxygen air pump will ultimately increase the level of oxygenation on the tank but it a more indirect manner. As you might have noticed, the bubbles emanated from air stones do not interact with the water directly. Instead, what they do is increase the surface of the water that gets in contact with the surface and when a bubble breaks at the surface of the water, carbon dioxide is being released, making room for more oxygen.
Another benefit of having an air pump inside your aquarium is water circulation. This has two main positive effects. Firstly, it ensures the constant temperature of the water as the air is being pumped at the bottom of the tank, where the colder water is. This colder water rises to the surface where it gets heated. The second advantage is that through the same process makes the highly oxygenated water from the surface to go down.
There are two major types of ultra quiet aquarium air pumps out there: submersible and inline. There’s a lot of talk about which one is better and, of course, each type has its ups and downs so that’s why we’d rather take each separately and discuss about them.
This model of water pumps run while being completely covered with water and they draw water from the filter and then pushes it back in the fish tank. Some of them are fitted with some extra accessories like sterilization units or heaters that water goes through before going back to the tank. Using an underwater pump, you have the advantage of a super-fast installing process and they are usually a lot more quiet. If we were to mention some disadvantages of the submersible pumps, there’s heat that might be added to the tank from the pump.
The inline water pump is using an external system to filter the water and has two houses attached. Through one the water goes in the pump, being sucked by the pump’s motor, and through the other one the water comes out. These inline water pumps tend to heat up as well, but they are effectively cooled down by the water that passes through them. Also, an inline water pump is believed to be more efficient that a submersible one simply because the are more powerful.
When buying an air pump one of the decisive factors that should make the difference in your final decision is the size of the aquarium you’re going to use it in. It wouldn’t make any sense to spend a lot of money on a powerful pump for a small fish tank and, at the same time, buying a low-volume pump for a large aquarium is a complete waste of money. Most of the available aquarium pumps on sale indicate the optimum size of the fish tank they work best with. If you’re having doubts about the accuracy of this data, then simply go for one that has a money-back guarantee policy so that you can return it in case you’re not completely satisfied.
Small aquarium air pumps are the most common in shops because most of the fish owners do not go for big-capacity aquariums. These pumps are compact, light and quite cheap since there’s no real requirement for power of complicated technology to go in them. Another type of pump that goes well with a small aquarium is any adjustable fish tank air pump. Since you can set it at the intensity you want to have, such a model is recommended in case you wish to upgrade your aquarium capacity sometime in the future.
This is usually the toughest type of air pump to shop for, simply because this middle level is not that well defined as the small or large ones. Most of the times, if you don’t get it right you will end up with a pump that is not powerful enough for the amount of water you have in the tank. Our recommendation in this situation is to go for a large aquarium air pump that can has an adjustable flow and set it manually so that the bubbles are what you want.
The monster-pumps as they are called by sellers, these are the pumps that usually have multiple functions. They can just as easily be used as aquarium air pumps but also to power a garden fountain, a pond wheel or any other ornamental structure that includes a waterfall of some sort. A good example in this direction is the Aqua-Supreme 59942 model we reviewed earlier.
The question of going for a battery operated air pump or one that gets plugged in is one that appears quite often in the mind of a person in need of a water pump. And since this is a buying guide, it’s only fair to break them down and see what are the pros and cons of each.
The Battery-Operated air pumps have the advantage of being able to run without being dependent of a continuous power supply. So, they can only come in handy if there’s a long power outage or you’re travelling and have to take the fish with you. Otherwise, a plug-in air pump is far superior from a lot of aspects. First of all, there’s the power of the water pump. No matter how big the batter is on a battery water pump, it will never have enough power to compare itself with what a plug-in model can generate. Secondly, we’re talking about dimensions. While a plug-in water pumps is usually slim and lightweight, a battery-operated model has to also include the batteries, thus becoming big and, most of the times, heavy.
It might not sound like something you’d worry about when shopping for a new pump for your fish tank. But keep in mind that this thing has to be plugged in 24/7 so you might want to think again because nobody wants huge electricity bills. Go for a pump that is energy-efficient and you’re golden.
Noise is another important factor you want to take into consideration when deciding on what kind of water pump you want for your aquarium. You might think that such a small device can’t really bother you even if it makes a bit of noise but, just like the energy consumption aspect, having it plugged in 24/7 in the same room you work or sleep, can become troublesome. To be on the safe side, go with something that is well under the 30-dB mark and you won’t ever have any issues. In case you’re not sure what 30 dB sound like, it’s the equivalent of a quiet rural area at night.
The pump’s volume per hour dilemma is something you usually solve along with choosing the right pump for your aquarium size. But if you really want to go into specifics and do things right, take into consideration that each pump can process a certain amount of water over a given period of time. It’s a tricky choice you have to make because if the water is not circulated fast enough there’s a risk it won’t oxygenate properly thus leading to a drop in the water quality and fish health. The same can happen if you use a pump that processes too much water too fast, leading to a break in the equilibrium of water’s PH and a lot of other stuff.
With so many different models available on the market, you can’t avoid having a lot of different setup methods for the air pumps. This being said, you should always carefully consult the instructions manual before starting to install the pump in the aquarium. Make sure you fully understand how the pump works in order to prevent accidents from happening. You wouldn’t want to set-up an in-line pump at the bottom of the tank, would you?
This aspect can be easily avoided by buying a silent aquarium air pump right from the beginning, but just in case you weren’t inspired enough, there’s no reason to be worried. There are a lot of ways you can make your air pump cut down the volume.
One method to use when trying to reduce the noise of your aquarium pump is checking that the air stones are clean and the air passes through them properly. Before even starting this procedure, make sure to wash your hand thoroughly so you don’t contaminate the water. Once your hands are clean, insert them into the tank and slowly grab the water stone or stones, depending on what’s the layout you went for. Pick up the water stone and gently pull it up towards the surface of the water then, with the stone in one hand, slowly remove the connecting tube and release the air stone. Make sure to first stop the pump before doing this procedure since lifting the tube that connects the stone to the pump may lead to water going in the other way and damaging the air pump. Once you removed the stone from the tubing, with a straw connected where the tubing should go, try to blow air using your mouth. IF the air doesn’t pass freely, the stone might be clogged and the that translates into more effort on the pump which makes it noisier.
Another known method for reducing the decibels of your pump is far less complicated and it only involves the positioning of the pump. Always remember that the bottom of the pump has to be above the water surface level. It’s basic physics really and by doing so you will prevent pump back pressure, thus making it run more smoothly and without noise.
The last thing you can try when trying to make your pump obey the Do Not Disturb times is air pump padding. Placing a piece of cloth or a kitchen sponge under the pump in order to absorb some of the vibrations can work wonders.
We must admit, buying an air or water pump can really prove to be a troublesome task when you don’t know what to look at. But through this buying guide you now know the exact specifications that can really make the difference between an efficient or a sloppy pump. Or between a pump that you won’t even know it’s on and one that will keep you up at night. Taking all these aspects into consideration will help you build the aquarium of your dreams and choose the perfect type of pump for you plans to keep the fish healthy and the aquarium good looking! So, now you know that adding an air pump to your aquarium will greatly increase the water quality and not only that. It also opens a lot of options when it comes to the types of fish you can host in your aquarium and, at the same time, all kind of different ornaments that can be used. An air pump helps with the oxygen levels of the water but, at the same time, it will help you create an awesome looking fish tank with relaxing bubbles and all types of decoration that are set in motion by the air or water blown by the pumps.
Besides that, you are now very much aware of what are the most important aspects that any person buying an air pump should take into consideration. Even though things like volume per hour, consumption, or the difference between electromagnetic and piezoelectric were mere concepts, you now know how important they all are in the good functioning and development of an aquarium.
Most important, you are now well aware that the best air pump money can buy is the aPump Plus model simply because it’s very small and compact, it delivers the proper amount of power for any aquarium size, it’s silent enough to keep it in your bedroom and it uses the piezoceramic technology that really revolutionized the way these small devices work.
This small air pump is made of high-quality materials and is using advanced technologies to provide aquarium water with oxygen in a quick and easy manner. The aPump does a great job while also being durable and nearly invisible due to its small size. Actually, it is advertised as being the smallest and quietest aquarium air pump money can buy. Besides all that, it is very easy to install, and it comes with its own air stones that you just have to connect to the pump through the silicone tubes it comes equipped with.