An aquarium air pump is among the most crucial accessories that you should add to your fish tank. Not only does it boosts the oxygen level which is indispensable for breathing, but it also helps you clean up the water automatically when combined with a filtration.
Since there is a wide range of factors to consider when purchasing an aquarium air pump, it’s not easy for buyers to make the correct decision. Here I offer you detailed reviews of the best aquarium air pump on the market recently. Let’s get started!
What Is An Aquarium Air Pump?
An air pump is designed to pump air by circulating the water. In other words, what it does is to transport the air from this point to that point. The main part of a typical air pump is the electromagnet system which is responsible for rapidly vibrating a rubber diaphragm, leading to disturbance and vibration for the water.
However, many people mistake between an aquarium air pump and a water pump. They’re both called “pump”, but the way they work is very different. If you want to know what exactly these differences are, you can check the video below:
Benefits of Using An Aquarium Air Pump
The more regularly the water circulates, the more oxygen is released. As I mentioned above, an air pump prevents the water from stagnating. When the water is stagnant, it will become terrible for your fishes and other underwater friends. More seriously, they might die due to the lack of oxygen.
Saving Cleaning Time
If you own a small or medium aquarium with an installed filter, this filter is capable of doing this by itself. But for the bigger one, it may be very time-consuming and hard to clean. So, in this case, a filter is simply not enough. An air pump is therefore beneficial to the process.
Other Specific Purposes
This is up to what you mean. If you get some accessories that only work with an air pump, an air pump is obviously a must-have tool.
- Your aquarium has a filter that is only run by a pump, so an air pump is essential. Otherwise, you will have a tank with an unworkable filtration system.
- You get an action ornament which can only be controlled by an air pump. You wish it operates as designed; of course, you have to use an air pump first.
- Last but not least, an air pump works well with a full of air stone tank. Then, it’s again impossible to lack this tool.
What to Consider for Buying the Best Aquarium Air Pump?
This may be a difficult question because there is a variety of factors that affect how good or bad an air pump is. Here are some things that you should look at for buying the best air pump for aquarium:
You can buy a powerful air pump for your small tank, but it isn’t really necessary. Sometimes, it’s is too strong for your sensitive fishes. On the other hand, for a bigger aquarium, an air pump that isn’t powerful enough cannot improve anything. In case your tank isn’t a standard size (may be too big or too small), you should test out and check if the pump is efficient for it. If needed, make some adjustments.
Air Pump’s Size
This feature depends on the others. But it’s better to choose a compact product so that it doesn’t take too much space and can be put anywhere. Investing in a compact air pump also means that you save more room for your tank, and thus, your fishes will have a wider living environment.
Air pump’s cases are commonly made of aluminum or plastic. Both of them are affordable and lightweight. For the outside purpose, a plastic one may be better. But if you want a durable product, aluminum is obviously the better choice.
Objects and Decorations
A bigger and stronger air pump is perfect for a tank which includes many things. A smaller capacity with fewer objects inside only requires a small machine. Besides, keep in mind to recheck everything in your aquarium that needs an air pump to run or push before deciding on the strength of the air pump.
Volume Per Hour
It’s important to make sure that your future device is able to process the desired amount of water at any speed. In case of aquarium air pumps, “volume per hour” is similar to “strength”. If it’s too weak, it might not provide enough oxygen for your fishes. But if it’s too strong, it might shock your fishes into a daze.
Low Energy Consumption
It will save your bill and increase your machine’s longevity. There are many different air pumps on the market. Anyway, it’s always the best if you can pick up the one that works powerfully while consuming a little energy.
Machines, like air pumps, make noise during operation. The important thing is whether its loudness is acceptable or not. Just bear in mind that 45 dbs is the standard. The smaller the number of dbs, the quieter the air pump.
Our Reviews of Top 7 Best Aquarium Air Pumps
1. Alita Industrial Air Pump
From the moment I received this, I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. In the advertised picture, it seems to be made of hard plastic. However, it is actually an enamel coated steel air pump, which is built very solid and durable. I also love the appearance of this air pump: compact and nice!
Alita’s dimension is 11 x 9 x 7 inches, and it weighs only 14 pounds. In spite of this small size, the device is powerful. It can work with an admirable power: up to 60 watts while consuming low energy. Its standard voltage range falls in 110v/115v/120v.
For ponds which have 6000-15000 gallons, 200-1000 square feet surface area or 30 inches in depth, Alita Industrial is an ideal choice. Aside from that, it works well in a winterization, fish tanks, protein skimmers, waste water treatment, and hatcheries.
The air flow rate of this machine is 60+ liters/60s. It has a linear diaphragm. I have to admit that this is a hard-working machine. It works constantly and silently without creating any heat into the water. Moreover, this great air pump requires no lubrication.
- Solid and durable construction
- Compact and elegant design
- A hard-working machine with a quiet operation
- Low energy consumption
- No lubrication
- No creating heat
- The magnet between 2 diaphragms is breakable yet irreplaceable.
2. Danner 04520 Air Pump
In comparison with the Alita air pump, Danner is smaller, which is 9″ long, 6″ wide and 7″ high. The housing is made of plastic, and it appears to be more or less hermetically sealed.
Danner takes 20 watts and can work as strongly as a big counterpart. In the description, its air flow rate is up to 1700 cu.in/min (cubic inch per minute/cfm) ~ 27.86 liters per minute, which is considered pretty powerful. Besides, the standard voltage is 110V, and the power cord is up to 6 feet long.
This air pump is built with an oilless greased motor which helps it to operate efficiently and save energy. Additionally, it can put up with 4.0-PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) pressure. Though it comes without tubing (inside diameter is 5/8’’), it includes a 6-way diverter, a 1’’ x ½’’ connector tube and clamps.
With this device, the breaking-down fish waste and oxygenating processes will be increased. The water will be clearer, bringing a healthier life to your fishes and aquatic plants. Also, it protects the outdoor ponds from being icing-over. For the best result, put it into the 7’’-water-deep space.
- Oil-less greased motor for an efficient operation
- Pump lots of air
- Quiet and powerful
- Good at cleaning the water and oxygenating
- Compact design
- Creates too many bubbles.
- Doesn’t include a cooling fan.
3. Tetra Whisper AP300 Air Pump
This is the most popular line in the Tetra Company and one of the most powerful air pumps on today market. For the money, it can’t be beaten. It’s available in 7 sizes: the smallest is Whisper 10 (10 gallons), while the Whisper 300 (300 gallons) is the biggest one. More sizes for more choices!
The pump operates totally quiet. Formed like a dome, it’s good at trapping of the sound. Additionally, the rubber feet can flatten the noisy sound waves and prevent them from inspiring to table, shelves or other surfaces. So, during its working time, you will hear neither hum nor buzz at all.
Not only it is quiet, but it’s also powerful. The air pump is strong enough to power the long decorating either air stones or multiple air stones in one and even more tanks. It’s a good protein skimmer for the salt water tanks, too. Especially, it can be set up outside without any issue.
Being designed for deep tanks, Whisper AP300 has significant back pressure. It can pump air down up to 8 ft and maintain the high oxygen level in my aquarium. Moreover, I like the way it produces the bubbles. They’re great sizes and make my aquarium look mesmeric.
- Reasonable price
- Unique shaped
- Control sound perfectly
- Powerful motor works well for great depth
- Also used for outside
- Only 1 output
- Doesn’t come with a splitter.
4. Active Aqua – 8 Outlets Air Pump
This air pump has the modest dimension which is 7’’x5.5’’x11’’. At my first sight, I even thought that it looked like a watermelon! Because of this small size, it can be put on a shelf or somewhere else conveniently and wastes no much space.
The manufacturer designs it to be an 8-outlet product. All of the outputs are controllable and allow you to run whatever you want. Especially, once they all work, they’re still quiet. None of the outlet on either pump without airline makes a noticeable annoying vibration.
Also, the air pump is rated for the maximum decibel level: up to 45 dbs. Thanks to the multi-level muffler, vibrations are dampened, while overall noise produced is decreased. That’s not all! This helps the air flow constantly and keeps the steady pressure.
Last but not least, the pump is pretty strong. Its 12-watt motor can solve 6.6 gallons (about 25 liters) of water per minute; that’s about 400-GPH (gallons per hour). It pumps a lot of air, too. Even in 3ft water depth, it can make the bubbles come to the top. To adjust the bubble and the air, use an air-controlling knob.
- Up to 8 outputs
- Save space and electronic bill
- Operates silently
- Features an air-controlling knob
- Doesn’t include any tubing
- Not waterproof
- No ON/OFF switch
5. Active Aqua 8 Outlets – Commercial Air Pump
It is also an Active Aqua 8 outlets air pump. However, unlike the above product, this one is used for commerce. Therefore, it’s the greatest choice for running either the multiple air stones or some water-farms at once with no hassle.
Being truly designed for the commercial purpose, it has the high pressure and high output. This includes a multi-outlet divider, which allows it to turn ON or shut OFF individually. Especially, once used for the air stones or water-farms, this offers you extra control over them.
Though it’s a bit rugged, it’s compact, which is 10’’L x 5-2/7’’W x 6’’, and weighs about 5.8 pounds. The commercial version is powerful than the normal one. Each minute, it pumps about 18.3 gallons (GPM) ~ 1100 GPH.
The machine is able to work fine at 5ft depth. The well-made aluminum alloy case makes it possible to be used outside. Wear and tear-resilient material cylinders & pistons help this last longer, too.
- High pressure and high output
- 8 individual turn ON/OFF outlets
- Powerful: 1100 GPH
- High-quality alloy case for outside use
- Produces too much noise.
- Gets warm when working constantly.
6. EcoPlus 1300 GPH Commercial Air Pump
This one is similar to the above product in terms of appearance. But it’s a bit bigger and heavier, which is 10’’ x 5.3’’ x 6.1’’ and 7 pounds. Including up to 16 outlets and chrome air manifold, it can provide a large amount of oxygen for fish farms, hydroponic system and multiple aquariums at once.
Thanks to the efficient compressor, it can pump water strongly and supply a lot of air for the underwater world. It takes only 18 watts but can deal with 793 gallons of water per hour.
Because of the aluminum alloy case, it’s solid and bearable. Also, its cylinder and pistons are made of great materials, which helps to protect the machine totally.
It took me just 20 seconds to install the product. This was a rapid installing time that I have ever experienced. It works more strongly and pushes much air than I expected. The air bar is evenly in about 15’’ of water.
- Well-made and steady
- Easy and fast to set up
- Push more air and oxygen
- No ON/OFF switch
- Too loud with some customers
7. Fluval – Q1 Air Pump
If you are purchasing a product for your 50- or 160-gallon aquarium, Fluval Q1 is a great choice that works with your require power in a noiseless way. Make sure that you’re not annoyed when you near them.
It’s also the cheapest air pump in our list, which is really a bargain. Nevertheless, Q1 has a unique appearance with a rectangular and box-like design – simple yet elegant. Quality constructed with the double wall and well-integrated pump is also good at decreasing the unwanted sound.
Upgraded features, including the useful swing arm and advanced diaphragm, support air in flowing consistently. As a result, the water in your tank will be full of air, aerated as well as circulated. Then the oxygen level will be improved, offers your fishes and plants a clearer environment.
In case the air flow isn’t up to your mind, the flow controlling knob can help you. It lies at the top of this pump and is extremely effective. Moreover, Fluval comes with 2 outlets and runs at approximately 3.4 psi. Its safe running voltage is 120V. It brings a surprise when sending a wall of bubbles across the whole tank.
- Double wall for stable construction
- Noiseless running
- Includes an air control knob
- Produces better quality bubbles
- Not strong enough for bigger tanks
- Some parts are not sturdy.
Now you know how to pick up the best air pump for aquarium and where you can get it. I hope that our reviews and buying guide can help you make the most proper decision. In any case, always remember to think about your requirements before purchasing anything.
Thank you for reading!
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