Setting up a home aquarium can be hard!
Figuring out what level of salinity your fishes need, whether they need a current passing through their tanks, and how much air they need!
You want your fish to be happy and healthy after all.
But it can be so hard to keep track of all these different factors it might be tempting to give up on your home aquarium dream altogether!
But fret not! We can help out with at least one of these problems and make the process of finding the right gear easier for you.
Here are some of the best air pumps for your aquarium you can find on the market right now!
Do you need a reliable air pump for your little fish tank?
Are you a new -aquarium owner and don’t know what the best option might be for your fish?
Both of these questions find their answer in the Aqua Supreme Air Pump by Danner.
If you’re struggling to figure out what the right option for you is, you can’t go wrong with this option!
Danner Aqua Supreme Air Pump is specially designed to deliver clean air to freshwater and saltwater aquaria.
It provides oxygen to aquariums by using air from the atmosphere instead of electricity.
This makes it much safer and eco-friendly than traditional aquarium aerators.
It has been tested and approved by Danner to be safe for freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
The pump comes with standard airline tubing, which allows users to connect it to a protein skimmer easily.
The pump is compact enough to fit anywhere in the tank.
The pump uses very little power compared to traditional aquarium aerators.
It delivers up to 275 cubic inches per minute of fresh air to the aquarium at a flow rate of 5 liters per hour.
The pump is easy to assemble and maintain. Its compact size makes it ideal for small aquariums.
It does not require electrical connections and can be operated manually.
We tested this pump for our saltwater tanks. They are great!
They do exactly what they say they do. Likewise, they were easy to install and set up.
We loved how they are quiet, efficient, and not too expensive compared to other models.
We also like that they come with their tubing, which made the setup much simpler on our part.
- Adjustable flow rate – With an airflow that is surprisingly powerful for its size, you’ll find that it not only packs a punch but also can be adjusted for different strengths to cater to your aquarium’s needs.
- Small footprint – The small size of this pump makes it very easy to high amongst any decorations or other equipment you may have in your tank.
- Surprisingly quiet – Whilst some smaller pumps often have to compensate for their smaller pump size by being louder, that is not the case with this pump.
- Very reasonable pricing – This is the perfect price range for people who are setting up their first aquarium.
- For small tanks only – This is a pump made for tanks that ideally hold less than 10 gallons of water in them. Whilst it works great for smaller tanks as the primary filter and pump, you’ll find that it struggles to cope with anything larger. Still, with its reasonable pricing, you may find some extra use for this as a secondary backup pump to compliment a larger system.
Also available at chewy.com.
If you’re looking for a pump that is perfect for your tank and isn’t going to bring a racket into your home, you need to see this air pump by Eheim.
With a long line of reliable products, over 70 years of experience in aquarium equipment making under their belt, and the quietest pump out there, this is ideal if you are looking to craft that perfectly tranquil environment for your fish tank.
The Eheim Air Pump is a powerful yet silent air pump.
It provides a continuous flow of clean water without disturbing the fish tank environment.
Its unique design allows it to be mounted in virtually any position.
It is easy to install and maintain. With its integrated eyelet, it can be attached to a wall or other stable surface.
The Eheim Air Pumps come with two air vents, which are adjustable independently of one another.
This makes it possible to adjust the bubble size to your personal preference.
A useful thing to keep in mind is that the Eheim air pumps are designed to be used with the Eheim AquaStar controller, so you may need to consider making that extra purchase to get the most out of this pump.
It works great for fish tanks and looks great too!
- Incredibly quiet – This has to be one of the quietest air pumps that you can find on the market right now! Just what you would expect from a brand name as established as Eheim.
- Well-built piece of equipment – With a state-of-the-art check valve and air diffuser system, you can be sure that this air pump is built up to standard and built to last too!
- Plug-in option available only – Your tank will need to be near a socket for this air pump to work. And without a backup function to make sure that your fish continue to receive oxygen in their water, this may not be a great option if you find that it fails. Unless you already have a backup air pump, you may want to look elsewhere.
Also available at chewy.com.
For another great entry-level pump, we turn to Fluval, who has been in the business of producing amazing aquarium equipment for over 30 years.
Their Q series of air pumps are all excellent products in their rights, and the Q2 is no different!
Fluval Air Pumps are amongst the best-selling aquarium products worldwide due to their high efficiency and reliability.
They are built to withstand the rigors of everyday use in marine environments.
With its ultra q, powerful, yet extremely compact design, the Fluval Q2 Air Pump is ideal for freshwater aquariums.
It has been designed specifically for freshwater systems and provides exceptional filtration and circulation where water movement is required.
It has a low profile, making it easy to install.
Its compact size makes it ideal for use in small tanks.
Plus, it comes with a 3.4 psi air output and adjustable flow control.
It requires just 15 watts of power and delivers 4.5 CFM of airflow.
When we were testing this product, we found that the pump was easy to install, and we were able to get it up and running within just a few minutes.
We had some issues with the filter cartridge not working properly, which took a while to figure out on our part, but overall, we are happy with how quickly it was installed and works.
- Powerful pump motor – The dual air outlets mean that this small air pump is capable of feeding even larger aquarium tank set-ups.
- Trusted brand name – Even if you don’t get this pump with a warranty, the Fluval name means that you know that this product can be relied on to feed your aquariums for years to come. Just make sure that you take the time to look after it!
- A little on the loud side – This pump is a little louder than some of the other pumps we have already tested on this list, probably due to the unit’s power demands. Still, it is probably not much louder than the industry standard, if at all. We’ve just been testing a lot of quiet air pumps!
Also available at petproducts.com
For another reliable name that you can trust when it comes to air pumps for your aquarium, Tetra has a huge range of air pumps for you to try.
For our guide, we chose to go with the whisper for its exceptional features!
Aquarium owners are always looking to find ways to improve their tanks.
The Tetra Whisper Air Pump helps do just that by providing efficient and effective air circulation in your aquarium.
It features a patented domed design that allows for quiet operation.
Its unique shape also provides a wide range of options, so you can decide on the right size pump for your specific aquarium.
Tetra Whisper Air Pumps are available in sizes ranging from 10 gallons to 40 gallons.
They all feature one or two air outlets, depending on the size of your aquarium.
Each model of pump comes with a one-year warranty if you know where to buy them from.
Whisper Air Pumps are designed to provide efficient, dependable airflow for submersible models of air pumps.
They are designed to provide efficient aeration in aquariums that will more than meet your needs when it comes to gallon filtration, as we already mentioned.
It features a patented dome-shaped housing, suspended motor, and sound dampening chambers.
With its non-listed UL-listed design, it is also safe for indoor use. It offers a powerful yet quiet solution to your aquarium aeration needs.
We tested two of these pumps in two different tank sizes.
One is a 10 gallon, and one is a 20 gallon. They both worked great and were super easy to install.
We loved them because they don’t require a lot of maintenance or cleaning to operate them, and they provide good air circulation, which is important when it comes to filtration.
We would recommend these to anyone looking for a simple solution to keep their aquariums healthy and happy.
- Reliable name – Tetra has been making aquarium equipment for over 50 years, so they know a thing or two when it comes to making a good air pump for your aquarium!
- Great for aquariums of all sizes – Whether it’s just a 10-gallon aquarium, a 20-gallon tank, or even a 40-gallon setup, this model can handle them all!
- Great features that come as standard – Dependable airflow, regulator valve, and perfect aeration. This model does it all!
- Interesting design – There’s no need to hide this amongst your corals and other aquarium decorations. The unique, sleek, patented design makes it immediately stand out from almost every other model and brand on the market right now.
- A loud model – Being able to filter larger tanks does come at a price, with this pump being pretty loud by models of this size’s standards. If you’re looking for a quiet model that you won’t notice in-tank once it is set up, you may want to consider extra sound-dampening features for this model or look at one of our other options on this guide.
Also available at petsupermarket.com.
Looking to have a tank setup that doesn’t need a cord to function?
Marina has you covered with their Battery-Operated air pump model.
Perfect when you just can’t find the right spot to put your air pump cord, or you want to avoid cords in your tank altogether!
The Marina Battery-Operated Aqua Pump from Marineland is a portable aquarium pump that offers a great air source away from plugs or as an excellent backup pump during those unexpected periods of power cuts.
With its battery-operated design, it is ideal for traveling, camping, boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
This marine-grade pump operates off two D cells and features an adjustable airflow rate for your tank as well.
It has a variable speed control knob that allows users to adjust the airflow rate.
It is equipped with a built-in air stone and 18″ tubing that connects directly to the backside of the pump.
Overall, this is a great little portable pump. It’s perfect as a backup pump if your primary model fails all of a sudden and you are worried about your fish’s health whilst you find a new one.
It worked well when we tested it, and we can see someone using this model often.
We just wish it came with batteries included, so that’s something of a drawback for people that want to test it right now.
- Portable design – Perfect for tank setups that are away from power sources, and perfect for emergencies when your other equipment unexpectedly fails.
- Extras included – Coming with 18 inches of tubing and an airstone too, you get a surprising amount of kit with this model too!
- Batteries not included – You’ll have to find batteries for this pump elsewhere. Also, the battery-powered nature of this model does make it somewhat environmentally unfriendly too and may cause a headache when you need to replace them, and you have none in your home.
Also available at starsanddecor.com
This amazing pump by Uniclife comes with a set of accessories, including a pair of air stones, airline tube, check valve, and connector.
With these accessories, you can easily assemble your aeration system.
If you’re looking for a model that comes with tons of accessories, this is right up your alley!
We tested this pump with a 20-gallon tank.
We wanted to test this product to see if it would produce enough airflow to keep fish healthy while not being too loud on your ears.
Once it was installed, we found that the airflow rate was just right for our setup.
We also liked how quiet it ran, barely being audible after a while.
We loved how easy it was to install as well, less than 5 minutes!
We highly recommend this pump to anyone looking for one out there, so long as they have a plug socket handy!
- A quiet model – This pump only makes about 25 decibels of noise!
- Great for big tanks – This pump can be used in setups of up to 100 gallons!
- Plenty of accessories – With 2 Airstones, 2 connectors, and 2 return valves coming as standard, there’s plenty to play around with here!
- A short power cord – You’re not just going to be near a power chord with this model. Without some kind of extension, you’re going to need to be right next to it for this pump’s cord to reach!
Also available at walmart.com
Probably the most important detail that you will need to consider for your air pump is airflow, which is the whole point of owning an air pump.
Your fish likely won’t last long if you don’t have a decent airflow going into your tank!
There are three different types of airflow:
1. Continuous Airflow – For tanks under 10 gallons, continuous airflow is probably suitable. The amount of air pumped into your tank should be proportional to its size. In other words, larger tanks require more airflow than smaller ones do.
We suggest starting slow with this type of airflow, then gradually increasing the speed over time.
2. Burst Airflow – For tanks over 10 gallons, burst airflow is the best option. Burst airflow is also known as “dynamic” or “cyclic” airflow. It means that the airflow will go into your tank for a certain period, then stop until another cycle starts again.
The idea behind this type of airflow is that you’ll get better oxygen distribution throughout the water column when it stops and restarts. When using burst airflow, start with medium settings (around 15 psi), then slowly increase the pressure over time.
3. Manual Airflow – This is perfect for hobbyists who aren’t familiar with bursting their air pumps. Simply turn it on and let it run until it reaches the desired pressure. This type of airflow is great because you can control the output of the pump directly.
So you may decide to turn it down once it gets too high, or even just turn it off completely if you want to save power.
The downside of manual airflow is that it takes longer to reach maximum pressure, meaning you need to either wait a lot longer before feeding or just feed twice as much food.
This is right below airflow when it comes to importance.
A loud air pump will not just frustrate you after some time, but it can also agitate your fish.
Keep in mind that pumps with higher outputs tend to make more noise than lower ones but will also be able to generate higher airflow as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should You Buy An Air Pump?
If you want a reliable way of keeping your fish healthy and happy, you’ll need to invest in an air pump.
If you’ve never had one before, we highly recommend getting started with one today.
Fish need a constant circulation of oxygen in the water they are in.
Tanks without air pumps can quickly deplete their oxygen supply, leaving your fish lethargic and unhealthy, or even dead if the water is too stagnant!
What About Wavemaker Machines For My Aquarium?
You may have heard of wavemaker products as a way of circulating airflow and oxygen to aquarium tanks.
Wavemakers are made up of two parts: a wave generator (the device that generates the waves) and a fan unit.
They work by creating oscillating currents of water that circulate your aquarium.
As these currents pass through all the surfaces of your tank, they create a vortex that pushes fresh water from the top towards the bottom of your tank.
Whilst they are great for circulating water and generating current, different fish require different water currents to live in, so this may not be ideal for every fish.
Make sure you know your fish’s requirements before putting them in your aquarium!
So, there are our best air pumps for your aquarium’s setups at home!
Remember, each setup requires its own needs regarding size, features, and budget.
We hope these tips help you find what fits best for your needs.