When it comes to owning an aquarium, you need the right tools. Of course, there are many things to consider, including the aquarium itself. Once you have that in place, you are going to need an air pump.
Today, we are going to talk about the best aquarium air pumps. This is going to help you pick the right one for your tank and needs.
With so many products on the market, it can help to know more about a handful of air pumps. That way, you can make an informed buying decision.
Table of Contents
The 12 Best Air Pumps For Your Aquariums
There are many types of aquarium air pumps on the market with many different features. It is not difficult to find one, but it may be difficult to find the best one.
|Pictures||Air Pumps||For Aquariums||Links|
|Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump for Aquariums||Up to 10, 40, 60, 100 Gallons|
|Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump||Up to 40 Gallons|
|Hygger Quiet High Output Aquarium Air Pump||Up to 600 Gallons|
|Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump Dual Outlet||Up to 100 Gallons|
|Tetra Whisper Air Pump for Deep Water Applications||Up to 150, 300 Gallons|
|Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump||Up to 200 Gallons|
|Fluval Q Air Pump||Up to 80, 160 Gallons|
|Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Aquarium Air Pump||Up to 10 Gallons|
|Hygger Quiet Mini Air Pump for Aquarium||Up to 15 Gallons|
|U-picks Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit||Up to 15 Gallons|
|Pawfly Commercial Air Pump for Aquarium Pond||Up to 300 Gallons|
|Upettools Aquarium Air Pump||Up to 210 Gallons|
Aquarium Air Pump Reviews
1. Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump for Aquariums
The air pumps produced by Tetra are probably the most powerful pumps available on the market today. They are one of the best pumps to use in deep tanks and tanks with a lot of air stones in them.
Oxygen and water movement will be added to your fish tank, which helps to keep the water clean and also improves the well-being of your aquarium fish.
The Tetra air pumps produce some bubbles that enhance the appearance of your fish tank, which looks awesome when paired with decorations, pretty fish, and lights. The interesting arch shape of the air pump is attractive to behold and the elastic feet on the base keep it from sliding around.
Moreover, the arch shape flattens the frequencies of the wave, preventing the air pump from creating a reflection on the furniture present, such as shelves and tables. This also means reduced air pump noise so it does not disturb anybody in the room in which the aquarium is placed.
This aquarium air pump by Tetra is backed up with a lifetime limited guarantee to assure the client that this organization stands behind their air pumps’ quality. You will experience serious difficulties finding another pump with the performance and power of Tetra air pumps.
- It is very economical
- It comes with an air valve
- It is really quiet
- Backed up by a lifetime limited guarantee
- No tubing included, so you will need to get some for the air pump to work
2. Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump
This air pump model has a unique design. It is built with a dark stingray-like frame and has a suction cup on the back. The function of this suction cup is to help keep the air pump safely attached to your tank. In addition to having this fascinating design, it is also one of the quietest air pumps on the market.
It is built with special material to achieve this. Unlike conventional electromagnetic air pumps, this model utilizes a new technology that uses a piezoelectric ceramic plate to create wind current that decreases the noises made.
This air pump model is highly energy-efficient, with a power utilization of just 3.5W. It gives an airflow rate of about 24L/h and can be used for tanks up to 40 gallons.
That makes this air pump perfect to use in aquariums of small to medium size. This air pump is very easy to install so you don’t need to worry that it will be a tedious process.
- Amazingly quiet
- Lightweight and compact
- Very good air flow
- Great for small aquariums
- Durable because of its piezo construction
- Emits fine bubbles
- Check valve not included
- Suction cup can be difficult to attach
3. Hygger Quiet High Output Aquarium Air Pump
This Hygger air pump is specifically designed for aquariums of small to medium size, regardless of what sorts of inhabitants your aquarium has, saltwater and freshwater. The sound is extremely low but there is a vibration that can still be felt.
From five feet away, a hum is distinguishable, yet the bubbles are considerably louder. This is one of the highest-volume air pumps. Likewise, most importantly, one of the quietest.
The dark external covering encases another container inside which shelters the 12V air conditioning engine, so it is a container inside a case, which most likely greatly contributes to how silent it is.
You will hear some murmur from these air pumps; it’s only a matter of the level of murmur you find acceptable. If you are searching for an air pump apparatus that can push the volume down to an extremely low noise level, try this model.
The Hygger air pump comes with two air outlets that give oxygen to two or more aquariums simultaneously. You can also assemble them in one aquarium to deliver more bubbles based on your requirements. This air pump is built for ultra-quiet operation and reliability to provide years of service.
- Quiet compared to other large and small air pump models
- Quiet with regards to air volume
- Pumps a large volume of air
- Lacks durability
4. Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump Dual Outlet
The Uniclife brand isn’t quite as well-known as some of the others on the market. Still, we think it is an excellent option. When you look at the product, you can see that it is compact and looks almost like a battery or adapter.
This helps it blend in with the surroundings so that it isn’t obtrusive in your home. Of course, looks aren’t the only thing to consider.
You are going to find that this air pump is suitable for marine and freshwater aquariums. Therefore, you can use it regardless of the type of fish or plants you have inside.
There is an adjustable flow rate on this product with two outlets. Therefore, it can fit fish tanks that range in size from 20 to 100 gallons.
Plus, you are going to notice that this air pump is ultra-whisper quiet. The lowest setting is only 25dB, which is as loud as a ticking watch or rustling leaves. Of course, this is only on the lowest flow rate.
You get many accessories with this air pump. These include two return valves, a 2M airline, two air stones, and two connectors. If there is a problem with quality in an 18-month period, you can get a free replacement of any part.
- Dual outlets
- Adjustable flow rate
- Very quiet design
- Accessories included
- Doesn’t produce many bubbles, even with the air stone
- Not strong, even on high settings
- Bulky hoses, no way to hide them
5. Tetra Whisper Air Pump for Deep Water Applications
The Whisper air pumps are the most powerful and popular line of air pumps from the Tetra company. The air pumps come in seven different sizes, making it easy for you to choose the one that best fits your tank size.
The Tetra Whisper Air Pump keeps your aquarium oxygen level high and also helps keep your fish happy and healthy by producing water circulation and vibration. This will help improve the water condition in the tank overall. The underwater bubbles produced by the air pump also add a pretty touch to enhance the look of your aquarium.
This air pump has a unique dome-shaped design and rubber feet to stick on the glass of your tank. Thanks to this special design, the sound wave frequencies created by the air pump are flattened.
This prevents them from being reflected off other surfaces such as tables and shelves, etc. This feature helps the pump produce a minimal level of noise, making it very quiet when functioning.
This air pump is powerful enough to be used in deep tanks (up to eight feet deep), power long decorator air stones or even multiple air stones at once, and activate protein skimmers for saltwater aquariums.
Even though overall this is a very good air pump, there is a problem with it. This product is designed to be quiet, however, there is an expiration date for everything. After a long time of use, even when the pump still functions properly, it can become a little noisier.
So if you won’t be bothered by the noise, you will not have to worry about the longevity of this product.
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Unique dome-shaped design
- Powerful vibration
- Produces mesmerizing underwater bubbles
- Comes in different sizes
- Becomes noisier with age
6. Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump
The Active Aqua Air Pump comes in one universal size of 7″ length x 5.5″ width x 11″ height. Even though it only has one size, it comes in several outlet options for your convenience, making it easier for you to choose an appropriate size aquarium air pump for your tank. With an eight-outlet size option, 25 liters (6.6 gallons) of water is cycled per minute and about 400 gallons per hour.
The air pump consumes little power. With many other electric-fueled accessories in your tank, an energy-efficient air pump can save you money on the electric bill at the end of the month.
The Active Aqua air pump has a box-like design. There are special artificial rubber legs to keep a steady airflow output to the tank. The pressure delivered can be adjusted freely with the knob on top of the air pump.
The product is designed to be extra quiet with a multi-level muffler, making sure it does not constantly make loud, inconvenient noises.
The pump itself is powerful and strong enough to efficiently move a large quantity of air around the tank in a short period of time. With a pressure control knob on top, you can control how much air and how strongly the air should be pumped into your tank, choosing an appropriate level for your tank size.
There are a few small problems with this air pump. It is not waterproof even though it is also not too weather sensitive. So if you plan to use the air pump outdoors, remember to cover the pump to protect it from the elements.
The pump does not come with any tubing included, so if you don’t have already have some, you will have to order a few tubes separately.
- Powerful, strong
- Pressure control knob
- Many outlet options for convenience
- Energy efficient
- Extra quiet with multi-level mufflers
- Not waterproof
- Does not come with tubing
7. Fluval Q Air Pump
This product is a small, compact air pump. It has a simple, rectangular, box-like design. It has dimensions of only 3.2 x 7.8 x 6.4 inches and weighs only 2.1 pounds. The Fluval Air pump is a powerful series, and the Q2 is the second one in this series.
Despite its size, this air pump is surprisingly powerful and strong. It is efficient enough for any tank between 50 to 160 gallons.
This air pump comes with a smart and efficient design. With the advanced swing-arm and diaphragm design, the air pump can produce a consistent airflow that is not only strong but also stable.
Thanks to this airflow, the water in the tank is provided with more air, circulated and aerated. This will help improve the level of oxygen for your fish and aquatic plants.
The air pump is also built with a double-walled construction design. Together with that, the product is integrated with an excellent pump and engineered with a noise-suppressing baffle chamber. Thanks to all those features, the Q2 is extra quiet.
Overall, this air pump is quality constructed and can provide lasting and reliable performance for your aquarium, especially given its small size. However, the size can be a double-edged sword. This product does not come in a variety of sizes so as a customer, you only have one size to choose from.
Even though it is effective in tanks from 50 to 160 gallons, if you have a bigger aquarium, one pump will not be sufficient. In that case, you‘ll need to use multiple pumps at once.
- Small, compact design
- Efficient and powerful
- Designed with special technology for quieter performance
- Cheaper price than many others on the market
- No variety in size
- Can be too small for larger tank
8. Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Aquarium Air Pump
Those who are looking for an inexpensive air pump kit are going to like the Pawfly brand. This MA-60 air pump comes with five feet of air tubing, a check valve, and an air stone. It is suitable for tanks that are 10 gallons or less.
Plus, it can be used in marine and freshwater aquariums. With the low 2-watt device, you aren’t going to use a lot of energy to power the air pump, either.
This air pump is designed to be whisper-quiet with less than 40dB. That is louder than some of the other models. However, it shouldn’t be too loud to use at night in a bedroom or something similar.
The product is designed to oxygenate the aquarium without taking up a lot of power. It features an advanced air compression system. This ensures that your fish stay healthy, and oxygen levels remain high.
It is lightweight and compact, so it isn’t going to weigh down the tank too much. Plus, you can hide it with a little bit of creativity.
- Compact design
- Rubber feet on bottom (keeps it in place)
- Whisper quiet
- Likely to have to replace airline
- Tubing creates film; could kill fish
- Toxic odor from tubing
- Clunky appearance
9. Hygger Quiet Mini Air Pump for Aquarium
The Hygger brand offers a variety of aquarium products, and the mini air pump is an excellent choice. It’s very quiet, and it can improve the well-being and health of your fish by providing more oxygen.
It’s not a traditionally-sized air pump. The mini pump works because of the thin piezoelectric ceramic plate. This means that there isn’t a motor or mechanism to reduce noise.
This product features a compact design and is just 2.4 inches in diameter. Therefore, it is lightweight and can easily be ‘hidden’ at the back of the tank.
Of course, the smallness of it ensures that it doesn’t use a lot of power. With only 1.5 watts, you get something that saves energy and still produces a flow rate of 420 ml/min. Therefore, it is an excellent mini air pump for 1- to 15-gallon tanks and hydroponic systems.
You are going to like that it comes with the necessary air pump accessories you are going to need. Of course, you get the air pump and power adapter. Plus, you receive a 0.9-inch air stone, a 3.6-foot air tube, and a double-sided suction cup.
- Can clip to the tank
- Very quiet
- Give consistent air pressure
- Comes with appropriate accessories
- Doesn’t pull in much air
- No way to organize air lines
- Very short cord
10. U-picks Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit
With the U-picks brand, you get a mini air pump that is designed specifically for 1-15 gallon tanks. It comes with two silicon air tubes and two air stones. You also get a suction cup and a check valve, which are all the accessories you’re likely to need.
The motor is made of copper and includes a piezoelectric ceramic plate. Therefore, it isn’t like an average air pump. The ceramic plate is very effective at reducing noise production while it works.
It produces sounds of less than 35dB, so it sounds like a mosquito flying around, which isn’t very loud. Of course, it doesn’t consume a lot of power, either. With only 1 watt, it has energy-saving properties. Plus, it still gives a flow rate of 450 ml/min.
You also get a more stable performance from this oxygen air pump. It works well in small and medium-sized tanks. Plus, it comes in white or black, allowing you to choose the color that works best for your décor.
- Very quiet
- Ideal for small tanks
- Works great with betta fish
- Short power cord
- Air tubing of low quality with milky finish
- Smaller than we initially thought
11. Pawfly Commercial Air Pump for Aquarium Pond
If you’re looking for something that can run multiple aquariums or ponds, then the commercial air pump from Pawfly is right for you. It delivers 16 L/min of air so that fish and plants can get plenty of oxygen. Plus, it runs at just 7 watts, so there is a low power consumption.
While some brands offer ‘quiet’ models, this one is nearly silent. You aren’t going to hear anything from it because of the internal muffler, which features multiple levels. There are also rubber pads to prevent it from vibrating on the table or glass.
It is designed to run all the time, but you can choose between the high and low flow. Turn it to low when it’s bedtime, or you’re in the room with the aquarium. That way, you don’t hear it running at all.
Of course, this product is designed for durability. It has an artificial rubber diaphragm to prevent vibrations. This helps it lead a longer operational lifespan.
- High and low output
- Three noise level settings
- Outlet divider allows for four outlets
- Not as powerful as described
- Bulky design
- Can be a challenge to set up
12. Upettools Aquarium Air Pump
With the Upettools brand, you get a product that is designed to add more oxygen to the water. It runs about 2.5 L/min and provides more gas volume than other brands. You are going to find that it is compatible with four-inch air stones with a depth of 3 feet.
It does require a bit more power to run with 10 watts, but this is still quite low. Therefore, you aren’t going to use a lot of energy when it is running. Of course, it is designed to be quiet, though you can hear it somewhat.
You are also going to find that you can adjust the output of the air pump. This is ideal so that you can use it with almost any size tank. Plus, it is easy to adjust by turning the volume knob.
The suction filter holes are quite small. This is essential so that your fish do not get sucked into it. Also, it is going to produce smaller and more uniform bubbles because of the small filter holes.
- Easy to set up
- Can adjust bubble amounts
- Powerful but quiet design
- Various settings but no change in pressure
- No supply caps on air output
Benefits of Using an Aquarium Air Pump
As stated earlier, an air pump is not absolutely necessary for your aquarium or fish tank. Without an air pump, your fish and aquatic plants may still have enough oxygen naturally. However, an air pump does help a lot with water circulation.
Because of that, it also helps with the release of carbon dioxide from the water and the intake of oxygen from the air for the fish. If you have an air filter installed, the filter is supposed to be able to do this by itself, but for larger tanks, an air pump helps a lot with the process.
Besides water circulation, sometimes an aquarium air pump is necessary for more specific purposes. If you have accessories that can only be run by an air pump, it’s obvious that you have to have an air pump.
For example, any fish tank setup needs to have filters, and some filters need an air pump to operate. Since the filter is essential, if having an air pump is what it takes to get the filter running then you have to get an air pump.
Other types of accessories may not need air pumps to work, but do work more effectively with them. Those accessories include the protein skimmers in saltwater tanks, the spin wheels for decoration, or any decoration that needs to lift objects or turn valves.
Air pumps work especially well with air stones, a type of decoration used to create small underwater bubbles.
Types of Aquarium Air Pumps
There are a few ways to categorize aquarium air pumps. One of those ways is according to their functionality and features, depending on what you are looking for. Here are a few types of aquarium air pumps available.
Powering undergravel filter: If you need an aquarium air pump to power your under gravel filter inside your tank, then depending on the size of your tank, you can choose the type of air pump rated for that size aquarium.
Powered by sizes: Sometimes air pumps can be categorized by size, not of the tank but the pump itself. The size of the tank is a factor but you also need to account for the accessories and objects inside the tank as well. If an air pump is needed to run a lot of accessories, you will need a larger pump than when you don’t need it to power as many objects.
Deepwater application: Most air pumps are designed for standard purposes, if not stated otherwise. If you have a high/deep aquarium which is at least 18 to 20 inches high, you will need a special deep-water air pump. Air pumps of this type will be advertised as having the functions and feature appropriate for pumping air much farther below the water surface.
Having a normal air pump for a deep aquarium is likely to cause the uneven distribution of oxygen in the tank, including oxygen deprivation for the lower part of the tank.
Power source: You can also choose an air pump based on its source of power. Most standard air pumps are the plug-in types, which means they need to be plugged into a power outlet at all times for energy. However, there is also the battery-powered type of air pump that is more portable but requires external battery packs.
In many cases, air pumps offer dual options: both plug-in and battery-powered. This dual-power option is very convenient. In cases, you can plug them in but there is still a backup battery power option in case there’s a power outage.
What is the Best Aquarium Air Pump?
This is a difficult question to answer. Since there are many factors involved in judging an air pump, it is unfair to compare the air pumps to each other when their selling points are different. That’s why the question should be read as “What is the best aquarium air pump for you?”
The list above presents the top seven aquarium air pumps and we stand by their quality. However, choosing which one is the best for you is more of a personal choice. In the next section, we will show you a few tips to help choose the right air pump for you.
How to Choose an Air Pump for Your Aquarium?
There are a few factors that are important and highly relevant to your search for the right aquarium air pump. Consider these factors carefully before choosing so you know you’ll get a perfect fit for your tank, your fish, and your aquatic environment.
1. Tank sizes: The rule for this step is straightforward and simple. If you have larger tanks, you will need to have stronger air pumps or have more than one pump at once in order to deliver a sufficient amount of air to the tank. Check the tank size ratings for your air pump to find the one that fits.
If you are using an air pump only to operate an under-gravel filter, then the tank size ratings on your air pump are also highly relevant. If you purchase an air pump that is too strong, it can blow the floor gravel out of place.
If you have a tank that is not a standard size (too large or too high compared to standard sizes) then the tank size ratings on the pump do not mean much anymore. You will have to test out and see how efficient a pump is for your whole tank and adjust if needed.
2. Objects and decorations: The more things you are running using your air pump, the larger and stronger an air pump you will need. The fewer things you are running from your air pump, the smaller the capacity of an air pump you will need.
Remember to take everything that needs to run or pushed by an air pump into account before deciding what strength level of the air pump you need.
3. Objects resistance: Besides the quantity of objects and decorations that need the support of an air pump in your tank, you also need to consider the objects’ “quality”. That means the more resistance in the objects and decorations you are pushing air through, the larger an air pump you will need.
For example, a large air stone will provide more resistance than smaller air stone, therefore you will need a stronger air pump for the larger stones. Also, any air stone will provide more resistance than no air stone at all.
In some cases, the different materials that make up the stones, and their shapes, can provide different levels of resistance even when they are the same sizes.
4. Special need: As mentioned above, a deep tank often requires a more special type of air pump. If your tank is more than 18 to 20 inches high, you will need to get a special deep-water air pump that can pump air much further below the water’s surface. Or else, your tank may not be provided with an appropriate and even amount of oxygen.
How to Set Up an Aquarium Air Pump?
There are different ways to set up your air pump depending on what air pump you have. One of the best ways to set up your air pump is to follow the manual carefully. Don’t take the manual lightly, since there are fish’s lives on the line if you don’t install an electronic device into the tank correctly.
Besides the manual, here are a few tips to help you set up your aquarium air pump better.
- Think about where you’ll put the air pump. It has to be a solid surface. Do not put your air pump on a hollow container since it will resonate with the pump and amplify the pump noises.
- Place it in the middle. Regardless of what surface you are placing your air pump on, place it in the middle of the surface. This is so that when the pump functions and vibrates, it will not fall off the edge of the surface.
- Don’t put it on top of the fish tank or any shelf hanging off the fish tank. Even if you fix the air pump firmly to the shelf or the lid of the tank so it will not vibrate away and fall into the water, the vibrations from the air pump will travel through the shelf and tank, and travel all the way to the water with the fish. The water will vibrate, causing stress to your fish.
How to Set up the Tetra Whisper Air Pump Video Guide
How to Quiet Your Aquarium Air Pump?
Aquarium air pumps often have a reputation for being loud. And noise level varies much from one type of air pump to another and also depends on how long you have been using the air pump. There is no way to completely silence your air pump (unfortunately).
However, there are some tips to decrease the noise level of the pump whenever you find your pump to be too loud.
1. Put it in a cabinet. This is a simple “out of sight, out of mind” fix. Putting the pump into a cabinet, especially one with a thick door then you will see the noise level decrease dramatically.
2. Keep the air pump higher than the aquarium water. By doing this, you can change the back pressure on the pump. When the back pressure is lessened so is the noise of the machine.
3. Place something soft under the air pump. Putting something soft right under the pump to let the soft surface absorb the noise will decrease the overall noise output of the machine. You can use anything, from a soft sponge to even an old sock. Anything soft enough and large enough will suffice.
Even though an aquarium air pump is not absolutely necessary, it is beneficial. Many users can swear by the add-on positive effects an air pump can bring to your tank. So, in order for your fish and aquatic plants to have more comfortable and happier lives, what are you still waiting for? Do your research and get yourself a good aquarium air pump now.
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