Aquarium Air Pump Buying Guide

In order to find the best pump for your aquarium, your first need to learn what are the features you should look for. Check out the buying guide below:

Air Pump Noise

The first thing that you need to check when searching for the best aquarium pump is the noise that it makes. There’s nothing more annoying than buying a pump that ends up making so much noise you can’t fall asleep any longer. Fortunately, all manufacturers include the noise levels of their devices in the Amazon listing. We highly recommend the HIRALIY Fish Tank Air Pump because it has a 20 dB rating and supports adjustable airflows.

Air Pump Size and Power

What you should never overlook is the size and power of the air pump. If you don’t pay attention to these details, you risk ending up with a pump that is either too powerful for your aquarium or not powerful enough. Either way, it’s never good. Therefore, it’s always best to take into consideration the capacity of your aquarium when searching for a reliable air pump.

Air Stone

While most air pumps are bundled with a free air stone, this is not the case for all of them. Air stones are really cool decorative items for aquariums that also serve a purpose. They diffuse the air into the water to ensure that there are no large bubbles that cause too much water commotion or noise. That’s not all. They also look really cool.

Air Pump Outlets

The last thing you should be looking out for is the number of outlets that the air pump has. The higher the number, the more powerful the airflow will be. If you have or are planning on setting up a large aquarium, then you should go for an air pump that supports at least two outlets.

 

The hardest part about setting up an aquarium in your living space is figuring out what are the best accessories to buy. There is so much equipment required for an underwater ecosystem to thrive that it may seem overwhelming to new hobbyists. If you find yourself in this position, then you have arrived at the right place. We have created multiple guides that teach beginners what the best products they need for their aquariums are, and today we are going to check out the top 8 best air pumps available online.

If you consult forums and experts, you will find out that air pumps do not make it on the “necessary” list. This is because many people have set up aquariums without air pumps, and everything is running well. However, no one can deny the benefits that using a proper air pump brings. The water oxygen levels will be higher, the water circulation will be improved, and more importantly, the bubbles made by the air pump will make your aquarium look that much better. With that being said, let’s go ahead and check out the best air pumps that you can get from Amazon.

ProductPriceMax power
VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH$$$102W
Hygger Aquarium Air Pump Hygger Aquarium Air Pump$$10W
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Hydrofarm Active Aqua$$6W
HIRALIY Fish Tank Air Pump HIRALIY Fish Tank Air Pump$$5W
Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump Dual Outlet Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump Dual Outlet$$4W
Tetra Whisper Air Pump Tetra Whisper Air Pump$$-
Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Aquarium Air Pump Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Aquarium Air Pump$2
Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump$$-




Dimensions: 10.2 x 6 x 5.2 inches

Power: 20W, 32W, 50W

Weight: 5.15 Pounds

We will kick things off with a premium product that is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks. The VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH is available in multiple power options, and therefore, you will have an easy time finding one that is perfect for your aquarium’s capacity. This is one of the best air pumps that you can get because it uses a driven structure powered by an electromagnetic motor. The performances offered by the VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH are quite impressive, especially when considering that it delivers a maximum flow of 1,100 GPH.

The electromagnetic motor is not the only feature that impresses us about this air pump, and instead, it’s also the premium build. The air pump is made from a high-quality ZL 102 aluminum alloy that is combined with radiation fins and a heat dissipation system to prevent overheating. In order to ensure that the powerful motor doesn’t rattle the aluminum casing and cause too much noise, the manufacturer has equipped the air pump with a rubber base. As a result, VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH is silent, and you won’t even notice if it’s running.

Pros:

  • Premium quality;
  • Aluminum casing;
  • Powerful motor;
  • It reaches a maximum flow of 1,100 GPH;
  • It is silent;
  • Available in multiple power options.

Cons:

  • The price is high.

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Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.9 x 4.1 inches

Power: 5W up to 150-gallons and 10W up to 600-gallons

Weight: 1.9 Pounds

The way to differentiate a good air pump from a great one is to pay attention to the noise that it makes. You don’t want to install a noisy air pump to your aquarium because the living space will be filled with annoying white noise from the motor. Hygger Aquarium Air Pump is dubbed as the “quietest air pump” because it uses a dedicated noise suppressing chamber to lower all noise levels. This is an essential feature if your aquarium is placed in the room that you sleep because otherwise, the white noise would make it difficult to fall asleep. What’s even better is that the Hygger Aquarium Air Pump is equipped with a knob that allows you to adjust the airflow intake. So, you can set the device to be as quiet as a whisper.

You can get the Hygger Aquarium Air Pump in two power options, and they are suitable for both large and small gallons. We also want to highlight that despite being silent, the device is powerful. The pump can be plugged into two outlets to power up to 600 gallons of water at 160 GPH. Hygger Aquarium Air Pump takes the title as one of the best aquarium air pumps because it uses an ABS plastic cover to reduce vibrations. However, this doesn’t mean that the air pump is not sturdy, quite the opposite. The device is covered by stainless steel that locks the motor sound and provides protection. In addition, the manufacturer is so confident in the air pump’s performance that it is offering a 12-month warranty.

Pros:

  • It runs very silent;
  • It uses a dedicated noise suppressing chamber;
  • 12-month warranty;
  • Insulated stainless steel case;
  • It is powerful enough to aerate multiple aquariums simultaneously;
  • Adjustable airflow;
  • Available in multiple power options.

Cons:

  • The price is high.

more reviews and price on Amazon

Dimensions: 6 x 4.1 x 9.4 inches

Power: 6W

Weight: 1.4 Pounds

Active Aqua is a well-respected brand in the industry, and this is all thanks to the premium quality of the company’s products. While there are many air pumps that you can choose from, the great ones separate themselves from the pack with their powerful features. The Hydrofarm Active Aqua is not an exception to that rule using a powerful motor that is paired with a multi-level muffler to ensure that it doesn’t make too much noise. The device’s low power consumption is impressive, but to make things even better, the Hydrofarm Active Aqua also provides adjustable airflow. Therefore, you will have an easy time finding the ideal setting for your aquarium’s size.

The feature that makes the Hydrofarm Active Aqua one of the best air pumps for aquariums is that it doesn’t pump air, but it also introduces dissolved oxygen to the nutrient solution. This means that you can rest assured knowing that your aquarium is well-aerated for each irrigation cycle. Another cool feature is the integrated support for up to four outlets. You can use the Hydrofarm Active Aqua to pump air in multiple aquariums as long as you have enough outlets. Lastly, the air pump ships with a 12-month warranty, and it weighs in at only 1.4 pounds.

Pros:

  • Trusted brand;
  • Multi-level muffler;
  • Low power consumption;
  • It supports up to 4 outlets;
  • Compact design;
  • Adjustable airflow;
  • 12-month warranty.

Cons:

  • It is not powerful enough for large aquariums (240 GPH).

more reviews and price on Amazon

Dimensions: 6.02 x 3.98 x 3.78 inches

Power: 3W and 5W

Weight: 1.1 Pounds

If you have an aquarium that is up to 80-gallons, then you don’t need to search any further than the HIRALIY Fish Tank Air Pump. This is a high-quality air pump that ships with all the accessories that you need. The package contains four air stones, two silicone tubing, two return valves, two suctions cups, a user manual, and the air pump itself. The HIRALIY Fish Tank Air Pump is designed for dual outlets, and it utilizes 3W. You shouldn’t be fooled by the low power consumption and think that the device is not powerful because this couldn’t be further away from the truth. The HIRALIY Fish Tank Air Pump supports adjustable airflow, and it works for aquariums of up to 80-gallons.

HIRALIY Fish Tank Air Pump uses a built-in copper motor and a thin piezoelectric ceramic plate that reduces noise. If you keep the device running at the lowest flow rate, the noise will reach 20 dB. When it comes to the performances of air pumps, it doesn’t get any quieter than this. The HIRALIY Fish Tank Air Pump is equipped with four stable rubber attachments on the base to help lower the noise even further. Therefore, you will be able to fall asleep with the HIRALIY Fish Tank Air Pump running right next to you.

Pros:

  • Adjustable airflow;
  • Ideal for aquariums up to 80-gallons;
  • It ships with a bundle of accessories;
  • It includes a handy user manual;
  • Ultra-quiet;
  • Built-in copper motor and piezoelectric ceramic plate.

Cons:

  • The tubing quality could be better.

more reviews and price on Amazon

Dimensions: 5.1 x 2.8 x 2.5 inches

Power: 4W

Weight: 1.25 Pounds

As previously mentioned, the biggest problem that new hobbyists have to deal with is not knowing what extra hardware or accessories they need for their aquariums. The Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump Dual Outlet takes care of this problem by shipping as a full air pump kit. The kit contains all the tools you need to properly set up your aquarium (check valve, air tube, connectors, air stone). Despite being a small unit that sports a compact design, the Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump Dual Outlet is quite powerful, being the best choice for aquariums between 20 to 100-gallons.

The pump is easy to install, and it sports a rotating dial that gives you total control over the dual-port outlets. You can use the dial to pick a higher setting for more bubbles, or a lower one if you don’t want to hear any noise. Talking about noise, we want to mention that the lowest flow rate has a sound rating of 25 dB. This is super quiet, and once you get used to it; you will not even be able to hear it anymore. As it is the case with almost all premium products, the Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump Dual Outlet comes bundled with a 12-month warranty covering all costs if something goes wrong.

Pros:

  • Compact design;
  • Easy to install;
  • It ships with a bundle of accessories;
  • Ultra-quiet;
  • Adjustable flow rate;
  • Ideal for both freshwater and saltwater.

Cons:

  • The quality of the air stones could be better.

more reviews and price on Amazon

Dimensions: 10.31 x 7.14 x 15.72 cm

Power: Available for 10 to 20-gallons, 20 to 40-gallons, 40 to 60-gallons, and 60 to 100-gallons

Weight: 0.9 Pounds

Tetra is one of the biggest brands in the industry, and there is a good reason for that. The company sells affordable products that deliver reliable performances. The Tetra Whisper Air Pump is a great choice for beginners who are looking for the best tetra whisper air pump. The device is easy to install, and it works with aquariums of up to 10 to 20-gallons. This makes it the perfect pump for nano tanks. The bubbles that it produces are certainly going to improve any nano tank’s appearance because they can be seen so much better in small aquariums.

The affordable price tag and solid performances are not the only things that you will get by buying the Tetra Whisper Air Pump. Instead, the device uses a specialized motor that quietly pumps air into the fish tank, hence the ‘whisper’ nickname. According to market research and multiple reviews, the Tetra Whisper Air Pump is 80% quieter than other air pumps on the market. The last thing that we want to mention about this device is that it is available in multiple size options. Therefore, you are more than likely going to find a version that is perfect for your tank’s capacity. However, we do need to point out that bigger capacity models are more expensive.

Pros:

  • Available in multiple power options;
  • It provides maximum airflow with minimal noise;
  • It’s perfect for nano tanks;
  • Trusted brad;
  • Rubber feet and suspended pump to lower noise caused by vibrations;
  • Affordable price.

Cons:

  • It does not include any tubing.

more reviews and price on Amazon

Dimensions: 3.3 x 1.8 x 1.6 inches

Power: 2W

Weight: 0.64 Pounds

Are you in the market for an air pump that is best used for nano tanks? It’s tricky to find air pumps for nano tanks because they can sometimes be too powerful if the fish tank has only 10-gallons. Fortunately, here is where the Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Aquarium Air Pump comes in and saves the day. This is a high-quality air pump that delivers superior performances while still selling for an affordable price. The air pump is specially designed for aquariums of up to 10-gallons, and it does a fantastic job of oxygenating the water. The water’s oxygen levels will be high at all times, and your fish will thank you for this.

The Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Aquarium Air Pump is bundled with a check valve, standard airline tubing, and a 0.8-inch diameter air stone. Therefore, you are not required to purchase any extra accessories to get the air pump working. It’s a plug-and-play device. The Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Aquarium Air Pump’s small footprint is also a great bonus because it means that you can place it anywhere without needing to free up space for it. Moreover, the air pump uses rubberized feet to reduce noise and keep it in place. Our advice is to take advantage of the rubberized feet and place the device on top of a blanket to reduce the noise caused by the vibrations.

Pros:

  • Specially designed for nano tanks;
  • Reliable performances;
  • It comes bundled with all the required accessories;
  • Easy to install;
  • Rubberized feet to lower noise;
  • Small footprint.

Cons:

  • It’s not suitable for aquariums larger than 10-gallons.

more reviews and price on Amazon

Dimensions: 3 3.88 x 2.75 x 5.5 inches

Power: 20 to 40-gallons, 40 to 60-gallons, and 60 to 100-gallons

Weight: 0.1 Pounds

Since Tetra is a household name in the aquarium industry, no one should be surprised to see that this is the second time that a product from this company makes an appearance on our list. With more than 12,000 positive reviews and earning the “#1 Amazon Bestseller” title, the Tetra Whisper Easy is the best tetra whisper air pump that you can get. The device is available in multiple power options that support from 10 up to 100-gallons. What stands out the most about this air pump is the great price that it sells for. Despite being affordable, Tetra Whisper Easy operates quietly, just like all the other premium products featured on our list.

The air pump is ideal for smaller fish tanks, and it uses a unique dome shape design. The design looks sleek, but this is not the best thing about it. Thanks to the dome shape, the air pump does a fantastic job of reducing turbulence and helping create a smoother stream of airflow. This also lowers the noise! Another unique feature that makes this product stand out is the fact that it comes with support for the Tetra My Aquarium App. This is an easy to use app that makes it possible for users to set themselves reminders for aquarium maintenance and get accurate information about the water level.

Pros:

  • Great price;
  • The air pump is ideal for smaller aquariums;
  • Stellar reviews and Amazon Bestseller product;
  • It comes with access to the Tetra My Aquarium mobile app;
  • Easy to install;
  • It sports a unique dome design.

Cons:

  • It’s not the most silent air pump.

more reviews and price on Amazon

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an air pump necessary for an aquarium?

The air pump is not necessary for an aquarium. Many people don’t use them and don’t run into any problems. However, it’s always best to use one if you want to improve the water flow and oxygen levels for your fish.

How does an air pump work in an aquarium?

Basically, the air pump forces air through mechanical means into the water. This is why they create bubbles and how they manage to increase the oxygen levels of the water. Having increased oxygen levels is going to benefit the aquarium’s inhabitants because this is how they “breathe.”

Do fish like air bubbles?

While the air bubbles might look amazing on the outside, it’s always best not to overdo them. Too many bubbles are unnecessary and they might irritate the fish because they cause too much movement of water.

Can fish sleep with the air pump on?

Yes, fish can sleep with the air pump on. However, it would be best if you did not leave it on 24/7. While the water oxygen levels will increase, your electricity bill will also become more expensive. Generally, most people keep the air pump on during the day and shut it off when they sleep.

What does an air stone do in an aquarium?

Air stones are usually bundled with air pumps for free. They are also called aquarium bubblers, and they act like fancy decoration that blows bubbles inside the aquarium. They gradually diffuse the air into the tank and, therefore, eliminate the noise that large bubbles usually make when an air stone is not used.