Choosing an air pump is among the first things you would do when planning to keep an aquarium. It is an accessory that pumps air outside of the tank into the tank using an outlet. The air pump oxygenates the water in the aquarium tank to the benefit of the fish you are keeping. Not only that, but it also gives the aquarium a nice aesthetic, imitating underwater bubbles.
How, then, should you choose the best air pump for an aquarium. Before trying to answer this question, you need first to examine what an air pump is and why you need one to guide you in finding the air pump that would work best for you.
Top 10 Aquarium Air Pumps Overview
|1. Tetra Whisper AP150 Aquarium Air Pump
|Up to 150 gal
|3.25 x 7 x 4.75 in
|2. Tetra Whisper Air Pump
|Up to 60 gal
|5 x 3.38 x 8.38 in
|3. Hydrofarm AAPA15L Active Aqua
|6 x 4.1 x 9.4 in
|4. Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump
|11.5 x 6.4 x 7 in
|5. Eco Air5 Commercial Air Pump
|10 x 5.3 x 6.1 in
|6. Fluval Q1 Air Pump
|Up to 80 gal
|3 x 6.5 x 5.9 in
|7. Penn Plax Silent Air B11 Air Pump
|Up to 29 gal
|2 x 3 x 5.5 in
|Corded Electric or Battery
|8. Danner Aqua-Supreme 59942 Air Pump
|Up to 120 gal
|9.5 x 6 x 4 in
|9. JW Pet Company Fusion Air Pump
|7 x 4.75 x 4.25 in
|10. VicTsing Air Pump
|Up to 45 gal
|4.72 x 0.28 x 2.17 in
What is an air pump, and why do you need one?
Air pumps mechanically force air from your surrounding into your aquarium. Not only does an air pump provide oxygen, but it also regulates water circulation, works with different ornaments, and operates power filtration tools. This versatile equipment is responsible for creating water bubbles, which indicate the presence of oxygen that your fish need. Most powerful aquarium air pumps feature numerous accessories which you also need to examine.
Some Air Pump Accessories
One crucial accessory to the air pump is the air stone. Attached at the end of your pump tube, air stones are porous materials that release thousands of bubbles. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it also serves the purpose of pushing toxic gases and materials to the surface of the water so that they can dissipate. They come in different sizes and shapes. There can be simple sand air stones or discs or bars made out of porous, synthetic materials.
Connecting the air pump to the air stone requires tubing. Airline tubing can also connect the air pump to any other devices located inside the tank. Some airline tubings are ozone resistant and can be used on ozone reactors.
Among the essential parts in installing every air pump. This is installed in the airline tubing. What this does is to make sure that air passes through the tube only in one direction, preventing water from coming out through the tube in case there are power stoppages or when the air pump’s not plugged. Not only will back siphoning destroy your air pump, but it could also be electrically hazardous.
When air pumps need more airline tubing to supply oxygen, gang valves are utilized. Usually, they come in five sets but can also go beyond that, depending on necessity. Using the gang valve, airflow may be adjusted individually if one desires to create different air stone or ornament effects.
T-valves or connectors
Using different airline tubes, airflow may change depending on how you desire it. Replacement part kits – because air pumps may be damaged, replacement kits are available. They usually include air filters, retainer plugs, diaphragm, rubber bushings, screws, and valve flappers. Specialized wrenched are also included that may be used for repairs. Maintaining air pumps is very essential to ensure more extended use.
Types of Air Pumps
Is used for general aeration purposes or running sponge filters, ornaments, or under gravel filters. These come in several sizes and different models. This can be a deep water aquarium air pump for the larger and deeper tank. Usually, this type of air pump utilizes standard aquarium airline tubes.
High Output Aquarium Air Pump
When you have a huge aquarium, multiple aquariums, aquariums that require high pressure, or those that have large air stones, these pumps should be your choice. They are designed to produce more air. Their design could either be a diaphragm or piston. Having more power than general-purpose air pumps, this type of air pump operates loudly compared to others.
These are air pumps you do not need to the plugin. Because they run on batteries, these are most useful when there are power outages and are less hazardous electrically. There are battery-powered air pumps that could have dual functions – working on A/C power when conditions are normal, then operated on D/C power when there are outages.
Advantages of a Good Air Pump
The same with other animals; fish need oxygen to “breathe” and survive. Using their gills, they absorb dissolved oxygen in the water. While the aquarium can absorb oxygen that’s present at the surface of the water, this absorbed oxygen may not be enough to sustain the life of your fish (depending on the number of fish and the size of the tank).
Using air pumps and air stones, the exchange between carbon dioxide and oxygen dramatically increases, and these gases’ dissolved concentrations are maintained at safe levels. This usually happens because of how bubbles directly transfer gases and the agitation on the surface that escaping bubbles cause.
The bubbles that air pumps produce can also be part of the decoration. It gives the aquarium life and movement – the same life and indication present in the fish’s natural habitat. Some air stones and air pumps come with ornaments of different kinds and sizes. Others even come with lights to add more effect to the aquarium.
Several filters are functional when attached to air pumps. What an air pump does is that it drives the water through these filters to undergo several filtration processes that could maintain the purity of the water in your aquarium. Through this as well, aerobic bacteria are provided with oxygen. These aerobic bacteria are helpful as natural and biological filters in your tank.
You would want to remove protein and other organic wasters that may be present in your aquarium. Best protein skimmers that do this job usually use air stones to create foams and bubbles. Wooden air stones are typically used so that bubbles produced are very fine, therefore increasing efficiency.
Best Aquarium Air Pumps
Here are 10 best-rated aquarium air pumps you can choose from:
Getting its name from its quiet operation, Tetra Whisper Air Pump is among the best fish tank air pumps used in large aquariums and deep waters down to eight feet. It provides power simultaneously even to air stones that are in different aquariums.
Since this comes with a limited lifetime warranty, you can be ensured that buying this product is the correct choice.
- Can handle multiple devices
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Come in different sizes
- Can handle deep water
- It might be noisy when used for a long time
Just like the Tetra Whisper Air Pump for deep water, this air pump also works silently. What draws this apart from the typical Tetra Whisper Air Pump is that this can handle up to 60 gallons, making the product more flexible.
The dome design of the product flattens the noise it produces. It has a suspended pump motor and feet made of rubber for easy mounting. This air pump is compatible with accessories like sponge filters, air stones, and other ornaments.
- Quiet operation
- Maximum airflow produced by an air pump
- Deepwater applications
- It can be mounted easily
- It gets noisy after prolonged use.
Featuring eight outlets, Active Aqua Air Pump cycles a maximum of around seven water gallons every minute and 400 gallons per hour. With its multi-level muffler, this air pump could function very quietly, so you don’t have to worry about your fish getting disturbed.
To make the airflow output steady, Active Aqua Air Pump has a unique artificial rubber. This could also allow you to quickly and freely adjust the air pump’s pressure. Consuming only 6 watts per minute could save you a lot of energy (and money, of course).
- You could save a lot of energy
- Pressure is easy to adjust
- Operates quietly
- Airflow is adjustable
- It does not come with a power switch
- Not waterproof
Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump is best if you want to use several air stones at once. This is one of the high-pressure aquarium pumps that also produces high output with a quiet operation because of its multi-level muffler that is rated GPH 1750. It features a unique rubber that could make the airflow steady and help you freely adjust the output.
Because of its multi-outlet divider, you can quickly turn each air pump outlet on and off, depending on your desire. This product comes with a one-year warranty.
- Multiple outlets
- One-year warranty
- Multiple outlet divider
- High pressure and output
- Electrical and magnetic air compressor
- It might get too warm after more prolonged use
Featuring six to twelve outlets, this air pump is used by many to provide oxygen in aquariums, fish farms, and hydroponic systems. This comes with a chrome air manifold. Durability is also assured by this product, as premium materials are used for its pistons and cylinders. This air pump could also operate silently even without applying oil to it.
Since EcoPlus Commercial Air 5 weighs only 6.5 pounds, you can easily carry it around and install it. Plus, you can buy this at a very affordable price.
- Made out of durable materials
- Can work in aquariums, hydroponic systems, and fish farms
- Can accommodate four to sixteen outlets
- The pump may be too loud
What’s best about this product is that it operates quietly yet retains its motor power. Fluval Q1 Air Pump is uniquely and elegantly designed so that you can easily carry and install it. Its advanced swing-arm and diaphragm design also provide consistent airflow.
Its quiet operation is due to the outer casing that’s double-wall and very thick. Its pump well is integrated, and its baffle chamber suppresses noise. Reliable and lasting, this product is always mentioned in the best aquarium air pump reviews, justifying its efficiency.
- Durable and powerful
- Operates quietly
- Produces consistent airflow
- With two-year warranty
- You can’t adjust the dual outlets
What makes this one of the best fish tank air pumps is that it is battery-operated. In power outages, Silent Air B11 Battery Operated Aquarium Air Pump could still work effectively while maintaining the same efficiency as other electricity-powered air pumps.
This can handle up to 55 gallons of water. Powered by 2 D batteries, you can use this air pump continuously for 48 hours. Its versatility is manifested by immediately switching from using electricity to using the battery as soon as electrical systems are interrupted.
- Could easily switch from electricity to battery power source
- Aeration in the tank becomes continuous despite power interruptions
- Could fit most spaces
- It could hold up to 55 gallons.
- It does not operate very silently
- It does not come with batteries
Lightweight at 1 lb, Aqua-Supreme 59942 Aqua Supreme AP-8 Air Pump has eight outlets, making it more flexible. You can assemble this air pump very quickly and manipulate it without trouble.
Because this uses lesser energy than others, you don’t need to worry about power consumption. Using only 7 watts of power in every pump helps you save money and resources compared to other air pumps. This also operates quietly, maintaining a conducive environment for your fish.
The pressure control knob of this air pump would allow you to adjust the pressure it produces quickly.
- Energy efficient
- It can be installed easily
- Quiet operation
- Several outlet pumps
- Not waterproof
The patented baffle system of this air pump makes its operation silent. This quiet operation prevents disturbance among your fish. You can also attach this to whatever accessories, and it could still provide enough power for your fish tank. It can power fifteen various ornaments and filters.
Despite its small size, which makes the air pump easier to carry and install, it is made out of durable material, and you can trust that even after prolonged use, you can still use this air pump.
- Operates quietly
- More affordable
- Great baffle system
- Constructed out of durable materials
- It may not work for tanks over 10 inches
This air pump features two outlets designed to prevent water stagnation through the water movement that the air pump produces. Because of its two vents, it can give oxygen to two fish tanks simultaneously, making it more flexible than other air pumps. Or, if you like, you can place two vents in one tank to produce more bubbles and water movement.
Due to its multi-level muffler, this air pump works quietly. This comes with two air stones and two silicone tubes that are 3.28 and 3.77 feet, respectively.
- Maximum flow of 3.5 liters/minute
- Come with a 12-month warranty
- Quiet operation
- Two outlets and vents
- Air stones are not high-quality.
Air pumps are helpful not only in giving aesthetics to your fish tanks but, more importantly, in improving the health of your fish. Choosing the most effective air pump is also deciding what would help your fish best and efficiently maintain cleanliness in the aquarium water. This list has provided you with more options, and all you need to do is choose which would work best for your needs.