Even though air pumps are not essential to the survival of fishes in an aquarium, they can make things a whole lot better. Additionally, they add a visual effect that just makes the fish tank more appealing. Add some LED lights and aquarium decorations, and you have a uniquely designed fish tank. For most aquarium owners, nothing but the best aquarium air pumps will do. That’s why in the next sections, we’ll be showing you everything, from what to look out for when buying an air pump, to how to identify best products currently available. By the end, you’ll have enough knowledge to make an informed decision about which air pump to buy.
Guide to Choosing the Best Air Pumps for Aquariums
Air pumps, like other aquarium accessories, need to have basic features. Pumps that lack these features are really not worth your time or money. These basic features include the following.
For many products, aesthetics wouldn’t top the list. But because a major role of an aquarium is to beautify your space, you need to consider how it looks. For example, some air pumps that function primarily via air stones. These, and many other designs, are considered visually appealing. So, they should be on top of your list.
The fact that aesthetics are important doesn’t make the air pump’s performance irrelevant. To assess efficiency, you need to see if your tank’s capacity matches pump’s rating.. You also need to consider how much electricity the product consumes, as well as how loud it is during operation.
Fishes are some of the easiest pets to maintain. They don’t cost much, and you only need to feed them once in a while. THis is why most people don’t want to spend $100 on an aquarium accessory. As a matter of fact, most air pumps cost less than $40. You should keep a close eye on your budget when deciding which air pump to buy.
Top 15 the Best Aquarium Air Pumps
Now that you’re armed with the right information, let’s get into the recommendations. If you’re going to buy an air pump for your aquarium, you should consider one of the following products.
Tetra Whisper Air Pump
Very rarely do you expect products to perform just one function. And that’s a good thing too, because the Tetra Whisper Air Pump does more than just oxygenate your aquarium. The entire product is designed to be the perfect aquarium accessory. It has a dome shaped design that houses the motor and the dampening chambers.
The dampening chamber eliminates vibrations which gives the entire aquarium a soothing vibe. The airflow produced by the pump is also powerful and efficient. There are different models for this pump, and the highest rating can handle an aquarium of up to 100 gallons.
Uniclife Aquarium Pump
The Uniclife Aquarium is unique because it has a robust list of benefits. However, it also comes with a few drawbacks. The benefits include a very small unit, quiet operations, and dual outlets. Additionally, the air pump consumes very little power – 4 watts – and it can handle aquariums of up to 100 gallons.
The most significant drawback is that it requires some assembly before you can use it. This may be a problem for you if you’re not very handy. The flip side of this is, the parts are few and very easy to piece together. The product packaging also has an instructions manual that’s easy to follow.
Tetra Whisper Air Pump for Deep Water Applications
This product easily boasts of being Tetra’s most powerful aquarium air pump. Among other things, it can easily serve aquariums of up to 300 gallons in capacity. This is quite rare to find, and is one of the many reasons why the Tetra Whisper Pump for Deep Applications provides fantastic value for your money.
Other features include improved air flow, a lifetime guarantee, and versatility. By versatility we mean that the pump can deliver power to all your aquarium accessories. The pump also creates an airflow that facilitates water movement in the tank. This, plus the oxygen the pump provides, improve the overall aquarium conditions.
UPMCT Aquarium Air Pump with Dual Outlet
If you bought the UPMCT Aquarium, you’d be installing a machine with a flow rate of 2.5 L/min, capable of creating a pressure of about 0.02 Mpa into your aquarium. Basically, these numbers mean that the water in your aquarium is going to be very rich in oxygen and very habitable for your pet fishes.
Another important feature of this pump is its dual outlets. According to the manufacturer, you can use a single pump for two different aquariums if you wanted to. Talk about value for your money.
Hygger Quietest Aquarium Air Pump
The Hygger Aquarium Pump has a feature that’s reoccurring in all the air pumps on this list – A dual outlet. Combined, the outlets consume about 10W of power and can oxygenate 600 gallons of water effortlessly. These features show just how much the manufacturers care about the pump’s productivity.
Silence is one feature that aquarium owners appreciate, which is another reason why the Hygger pump is perfect. The main component is made of thickened ABS plastic that basically muffles the operating noise of the whole pump. This pump also has an adjustable control knob for regulating the air flow.
Hygger Aquarium Air Stone Kit
In a world of LED lights and acrylic aquarium tanks, manufacturers have been forced to make all their pet oriented accessories visually appealing. Hygger seems to be in the lead with this air stone aquarium kit. For a very affordable price, you get an addition to your aquarium that could easily pass as a decorative piece.
The air stone is a white cylindrical disk that connects to the main pump via a long rubber hose. The stone is the source of the air to the aquarium and it comes with 6 other accessories. The whole kit can be assembled fairly quickl and it weighs less than 15 ounces.
HIRALIY Aquarium Air Pump
The design of the HIRALIY air pump is so similar to other pumps on this list that it barely needs an introduction. But that doesn’t mean it is generic. In fact, this pump offers a unique take on oxygenating your aquarium.
It has a dual output with two six-foot silicone tubes and four anti-vibration rubber feet. The HIRALIY consumes minimal power – about three Watts – and it has an adjustable flow rate. This pump can oxygenate aquariums of up to 80 gallons.
Pawfly 160 GPH Aquarium Air Pumps
If you thought two outlets were incredible, the Pawfly Aquarium Pump will shock you. It has four different high-output pumps and a capacity to aerate 200 gallons of water. Unexpectedly, it requires a little more power than less powerful pumps – 10 Watts. But considering its capacity, we’d say it’s more than worth it.
Other features of the Pawfly Aquarium Air Pump include an ultra-quiet operating noise, shockproof rubber pads, and an adjustable flowrate knob. This pump is durable, efficient, and designed to work continuously for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Pawfly 7W 254 GPH Commercial Air Pump
Here we have a slightly different air pump by Pawfly. It’s slightly bigger than the 160 GPH, but it is just as effective. This pump also has four outlet ports, but unlike the previous product, it’s outlets are mounted on a divider, allowing you to control the flow rate.
Don’t let its design or capacity deceive you. The Pawfly 254 GPH is incredibly silent, with four rubber shockproof pads beneath an internal muffler. It is also suitable for outdoor use, but it must be kept in a cabinet or under any kind of protective cover.
Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Aquarium Air Pumps
With a 10-gallon capacity, this air pump was designed for very modest operations. But before you ignore it, understand that it handles the 10 gallons of water with more efficiency than most large-capacity air pimps. And, it’s very affordable too.
For a small price, you’ll get the Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Aquarium with an air stone, a check valve, and a five-foot air tube. All these can be assembled quickly even if you don’t have much experience with products like these. The pump is quiet, consumes only two watts, and it is very portable.
SUN YT-304 18 LPM Aquarium Air Pump
Many air pump manufacturers focus on increasing the pump’s capacity or making it more quiet. But few pay attention to the flow rate and output. SUN does this, and they do it really well. In addition, the pump has a low power consumption, and four different outflow valves.
While this may be a common feature, a pump that can maintain a steady air flow in all four output valves is definitely worthy of praise. Some owners have complained of its size, but it more than compensates with its affordable price tag and quiet operating sounds.
Cambani Aquarium Air Pumps
The Cambani air pump is basically a stylish version of many of the other products on this list. They share similar properties, including an energy-saving power rating, quiet operating sounds, and enough capacity to aerate 13 gallons of water.
Additionally, the Cambani Air Pump comes with a free thermometer, a check valve, a bubble stone, and an air tube. Even without the user manual, you can assemble the pump in less than thirty minutes.
IREENUO Aquarium Air Pump, 3W Fish Tank
The IRRENUO air pump can be used for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. What’s even more impressive is that if you have both aquariums, you can use a single unit for them both! You just need valves that are long enough. The product package comes with the pump unit, 2 large displacement air blubber stones, 2 medium length rubber valves, and an overall sleek design.
The product has adjustable airflow rates, a noise reduction design, and a power saving feature. It also has an aesthetic appeal. The large bubble stones will blend in perfectly with your aquarium’s design as they beautify and oxygenate the water.
Uniclife Quiet 20 Aquarium Air Pumps
If you love beautiful aquarium designs, then you’ll love the Uniclife Quiet 20 Aquarium Air Pump. It is suitable for tanks of up to 30 gallons in capacity. If you think about it, the small capacity almost makes the double outlets redundant. But don’t let this perception deceive you because the pump can still do its job.
It is a very minimal air pump with an operating sound of under 40 dB. It also has a power rating of only two Watts. When you buy the device, you get two cylindrical air stones, and two six-foot tubbing valves.
KEDSUM Aquarium Air Pump
KEDSUM continues in the tradition of making gorgeous aquarium accessories with this uniquely designed air pump. It has a sleek white body and a touch-activated power button on the front. The pump comes in two varieties – a single and double outlet variation.
You also get the chance to choose between rechargeable and non-rechargeable models. Some users prefer the rechargeable model because you don’t have to place your aquarium next to an outlet. It also has a techy and sophisticated feel to it.
At this point, you know what the best aquarium air pumps look like. We also discussed what to look out for when shopping for a pump so you probably know which products to avoid. To wrap things up, it’s important to know that, even though air pumps are designed to work 24/7, they still need some maintenance. Luckily, these are mostly in the form of precautions when installing the pump. Firstly, if your pump has two outputs, use a valve or tee to combine their output. This way, the pressure on each diaphragm is equal. Secondly, you should always place a check valve between the pump and the aquarium. This permits air to flow into the outlets, but will prevent water from flowing back into the pump. This precaution is mostly useful in the case of a power failure.