The 5 Best Aquarium Air Pumps
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Have you ever seen those aquarium decorations that move and produce bubbles? These bubble decorations are powered by a small electrical device known as an air pump. As you can guess from the name, air pumps pump air into the aquarium and they can easily be hooked up to decorations in order to serve both a practical and an aesthetic purpose.
In this article, we’ll talk about filtering your aquarium water and provide some tips for choosing the best aquarium air pump. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best aquarium air pumps.
At a Glance: Best Aquarium Air Pumps To Buy
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Compare Best Aquarium Air Pumps
1. Tetra Whisper Non-UL Air Pump
2. Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump
3. Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump
4. Fluval A202 Aquarium Air Pump
Best High Quality
5. Hygger Quiet High Output Aquarium Air Pump
10 thru 100 gallons
12 watts, 400GPH
600 gallons, 10W
Efficient, easy to use, affordable
Silent, 8 outlets, low power consumption
Silent, high-efficiency, easy to use
Quiet, adjustable flow control, powerful
Powerful, quiet, high-output
What To Look For In An Aquarium Air Pump?
An aquarium air pump is simply a device that forces air into the aquarium through a tube typically connected to an air-stone or bubble decoration. The air pump itself sits outside of the aquarium and delivers air through plastic hoses known as airline tubing. If you want to increase the aeration in your aquarium, an air pump is the way to go.
Here are some important things to look for in an air pump for an aquarium:
- Power source. The most common type of air pump is one that plugs into the wall, though there are battery-operated air pumps as well as plug-in air pumps with battery backup.
- Quiet running. Air pumps can make a lot of noise if you’re not careful to choose one that runs quietly if you are likely to be bothered by the noise.
- Size or rating. The size of your air pump will be determined by its intended use as well as the size of your aquarium. If you’re planning on hooking it up to a sponge filter, you may want a larger air pump than if you’re just hooking it up to an air-stone for supplemental aeration.
- Price to purchase. When shopping for an air pump, it is important to consider quality as well as price. Shopping by price alone doesn’t guarantee that the product you get will be any good.
Our Top Picks For The Best Aquarium Air Pumps
Now that you have a better idea what to look for in an aquarium air pump, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best aquarium air pumps.
Tetra Whisper Non-UL Air Pump
- Brand: Tetra
- Rating: 10 thru 100 gallons
- Features: Efficient, easy to use, affordable
- Designed for quiet and easy operation
- Available in four different sizes
- Reliable service at an affordable price
- May start to make a little noise over time
- Doesn’t come with any tubing, purchase separately
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump
- Brand: Hydrofarm
- Rating: 12 watts, 400GPH
- Features: Silent, 8 outlets, low power consumption
- Multi-level muffler for silent operation
- Single through 8-outlet options
- High output with low power consumption
- Significantly more expensive than some models
- No power switch, needs to be unplugged to turn off
Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump
- Brand: Mylivell
- Rating: 50 gallons
- Features: Silent, high-efficiency, easy to use
- Unique technology, no motor to make noise
- Compact, lightweight, and highly efficient
- Durable design with a strong air-stone included
- Suction cup may be tricky to attach
- Check valve is not included with the pump
Fluval A202 Aquarium Air Pump
- Brand: Fluval
- Rating: 3.0W
- Features: Quiet, adjustable flow control, powerful
- Available in two models rated up to 160 gallons
- Quiet operation with adjustable flow control
- Powerful and reliable with 2-year warranty
- Dual outlets are not adjustable like some models
Hygger Quiet High Output Aquarium Air Pump
- Brand: Hygger
- Rating: 600 gallons, 10W
- Features: Powerful, quiet, high-output
- Super-quiet running with high output
- Features 2 air outlets and adjustable flow rates
- Rated for tanks 30 to 600 gallons with 250 GPH flow
- May not be as durable as some models
Tips For Filtering An Aquarium
Your aquarium is a captive environment where your fish spend the entirety of their lives. Because your fish spend all of their time in the tank, it is bound to get dirty with the accumulation of waste and the process through which that waste is broken down. Filtration is how you remove solid and dissolved wastes and toxins from the tank water, so it stays clean and doesn’t harm our fish.
Here are some simple tips for filtering your aquarium:
- Choose a filter that offers three-stage filtration – chemical, mechanical, and biological.
- Make sure the filter you choose is appropriately sized for your tank – it should have a rating on the package that states the range of tank sizes it will work for.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the filter – certain types of filters can be installed outside the tank and others need to hang on the tank itself.
- Choose the right filter media for your filter – options include things like activated charcoal, sponges, and bio-balls.
- Consider adding an air pump and air-stone to increase the aeration in your tank – it can boost the oxygen content in your tank water.
Now that you have a better understanding of what an air pump is and the role it plays in filtering your tank, there is only one thing left to do – start shopping!
Filtration is essential for keeping your aquarium water clean and clear, but an air pump may not be a comprehensive solution. Air pumps help aerate your tank water and can be hooked up to a sponge filter, but you should also install a filter that offers chemical as well as mechanical filtration (and biological filtration for good measure).
If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for an aquarium air pump, try out one of the top 5 best aquarium air pumps we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!