Best Aquarium Air Pump Reviews – 10 Handpicked, Guide, FAQs & More

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You’ll agree with us when we say that finding the right air pump for your aquarium can really push its performance to whole new heights. 

There’s not a lot of information available about air pumps online which is why we decided to test out many popular aquarium air pumps in order to understand how they work and to rank them in the form of a list. 

Today, we’ll look at many different aquarium air pumps and discuss why some air pumps work better in particular aquarium setups than others. 

Top Pick

This pump comes with weighted air stones which ensure they don’t float freely inside your aquarium. The bubbles it produces are rich in oxygen to make breathing easier for fish.

Runner Up

This product comes in many different sizes to accommodate a wide variety of aquariums. It’s very easy to work with and it operates very silently so as not to disturb your fish.

Also Great

Coming with a small and lightweight body, this pump takes up minimal space. It has an intuitive and easy-to-use that is perfect for beginners and veterans alike.

After testing dozens of air pumps under many different conditions, we’ve come to the conclusion that these three operate best under many different types of conditions. 

Now, let’s get into the detailed reviews for the top 10 best aquarium air pumps. 

Best Aquarium Air Pump - Best 10 Reviews

1. Overall Best Aquarium Air Pump - Marine Metal 110 Air Dual A-2 Review

This product really is everything you want from an aquarium air pump. It features a sturdy body that is supported by a rubber base mount. This base, being made of rubber, is incredibly smart since it helps dampen the noise that is emitted from it due to its vibrations when it operates. 

It comes with two air stones that are weighted so you don’t have to go out looking for and buying air stones for it. The fact that they’re weight makes it very easy to securely place them between your aquarium gravel. They help produce wonderful bubbles that help in effectively circulating water around your aquarium.

Features of Marine Metal 110 Air Dual A-2 – Best Aquarium Air Pump

  1. Dimensions: 2.4 inches by 9.8 inches by 5.8 inches
  2. Weight: 1 pound
  3. Works in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  4. Works on 110-volt household current
  5. Comes with two air stones
  • Low energy consumption
  • Easy to install 
  • Produces dense air bubbles
  • Small in size
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty
  • Some units tend to get noisy over time

If you’re looking for an aquarium air pump that offers consistent performance then this product is perfect for you. It features a well-designed exterior and comes with two high-quality airstones. 

2. Best Budget-Friendly Aquarium Air Pump - Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump Review

Setting up an aquarium can be quite an expensive endeavor and it makes sense that most people wouldn’t want to spend too much when buying secondary equipment such as an aquarium air pump. This is where this product excels. It offers you top-notch performance along with silent operation, all coming with a very modest price tag. 

You would think that an aquarium air pump that’s so cheap would be poorly-built but this product is actually one of the better-designed air pumps we had the pleasure of testing. It has a sturdy body and a sound-dampening chamber which ensures it doesn’t make too much noise. 

Features of Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump

  1. Comes in four different sizes
  2. Appropriate for aquariums ranging from 1 gallon to 100 gallons
  3. Larger sizes contain two air outlets
  4. Rubber shock mounts
  5. Sound-dampening chamber
  • Easy to use
  • Highly durable
  • Works for a wide range of aquarium sizes
  • Works silently
  • Inexpensive
  • Necessary tubing needs to be bought separately

If you’re a little low on cash but still want effective circulation of water inside your aquarium then this product is ideal for you. It’s beginner-friendly and is available in many different sizes.

3. Best Silent Aquarium Air Pump - Mylivell Aquarium Air Pump Review

Having an air pump inside your aquarium combined with a working filter can get pretty noisy. That’s a problem that this product addresses brilliantly. It’s an air pump that’s fairly small in size and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. In addition to that, it produces little to no noise at all while it’s operating. When we first turned it on, we thought we hadn’t plugged it in correctly but sure enough, it was working and producing bubbles; it was just doing so extremely quietly. 

It also features a very attractive design that will look great alongside your aquarium. The design has a tendency to blend in with your home’s environment and it doesn’t look ugly like most external aquarium equipment does. 

Features of Mylivell Aquarium Air Pump 

  1. Dimensions: 3.5 inches by 2 inches by 2 inches
  2. Weight: 4.8 ounces
  3. Air circulation rate: 24 liters per hour
  4. Appropriate for aquariums up to 40 gallons
  5. Comes with an air stone
  • Incredibly compact
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Elegantly designed
  • Highly durable 
  • Operates very silently
  • Quite expensive

If you’re worried about your aquarium air pump producing too much noise then this is the product you’re looking for. It produces barely any noise at all and it features a smartly-designed durable body.

4. Best Aquarium Air Pump for Deep-Water Tanks - Tetra Whisper Deep-Water Air Pump Review

Regular-sized air pumps are quite inadequate when it comes to aquariums that have a higher depth than most standard-sized aquariums. In general, if your aquarium is deeper than 24 inches, you’re going to need an aquarium air pump that is specially designed to handle deep-water tanks. This product is one such aquarium air pump. It is appropriate for aquariums that have a depth anywhere above 24 inches and up to 8 feet. 

Features of Tetra Whisper Deep-Water Air Pump

  1. Comes in two sizes: one for 150 gallons and one for 300 gallons
  2. Designed for deep-water tanks up to 8 feet deep
  3. Energy-efficient design
  4. Sound-dampening capabilities
  5. Wattage: 3.5 watts and 7.5 watts respectively
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to install
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Appropriate for aquariums of many different sizes
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Some reviews say it gets noisier over time

If you’re having trouble finding an aquarium air pump for your deep-water tank then this product is perfect for you. It can handle significantly deep aquariums and it’s quite lightweight considering how powerful it is.

5. Best Adjustable Aquarium Air Pump - Fluval Q1 Air Pump Review

Fluval has been manufacturing aquarium products for decades now and they really have a firm grasp over what consumers want. This air pump is a great example of that, simply because of the fact that it offers a feature that, in our opinion, should be present in all aquarium air pumps but in reality, very few of them actually have it; this feature is an adjustable flow control dial. 

Features of Fluval Q1 Air Pump 

  1. Dimensions: 3 inches by 6.5 inches by 5.9 inches
  2. Weight: 1.9 pounds
  3. Advanced swing-arm and diaphragm design
  4. Appropriate for aquariums up to 80 gallons
  5. Thick, durable outer-wall casing
  • Specifically designed for noise suppression
  • Produces large and dense bubbles
  • Low energy consumption
  • Durable body
  • Easy to mount
  • Some reviews say it starts producing a rattle noise after some days
  • Quite heavy

If you’re worried about your aquarium air pump being too powerful for your aquarium then this product is perfect for you. It features an adjustable flow control dial which you can use to lower the air flow rate until it suits your aquarium.

6. Best Aquarium Air Pump with Multiple Outlets - Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump Review

Aquarists are often frustrated by how they’re limited to set up just 2 – 3 air-powered ornaments inside their aquarium because their air pump can only handle so many ornaments. If they want to set up more ornaments than that, they would have to buy more air pumps. This is a product that puts an end to all that frustration. It comes with 8 separate outlets that can be hooked up to 8 different pieces of equipment inside your aquarium. 

Features of Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump

  1. Dimensions: 7.1 inches by 11 inches by 5.5 inches
  2. Weight: 2.6 pounds
  3. Multi-level muffler
  4. 8 separate outlets
  5. Air flow rate: 25 liters per minute
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to install
  • Low power consumption
  • Can power up to 8 ornaments at once
  • Does not come with its own airline tubing

If you have several ornaments in your aquarium that require an air pump then this product is definitely for you. It’s powerful enough to power 8 separate ornaments and it features an incredibly sturdy design.

7. Best Compact Aquarium Air Pump - Danner Aqua-Supreme 59942 Aqua Supreme AP-8 Aquarium Air Pump Review

The Danner Aqua-Supreme is a wonderful aquarium air pump that really impressed us with its performance. This is mainly because it’s quite small in size and we were quite surprised to see that it had 4 separate outlets for the expelled air. We tested it out by plugging it into four separate pieces of aquarium equipment and it was able to make them work effectively without breaking a sweat. 

Its internal motor is specifically designed to make sure it utilizes electricity in the most efficient way possible. 

Features of Danner Aqua-Supreme 59942 Aqua Supreme AP-8 Aquarium Air Pump

  1. Dimensions: 9.5 inches by 6 inches by 4 inches
  2. Weight: 1 pound
  3. 7-watt motor
  4. Energy-efficient design
  5. Compatible with standard airline tubing
  • Sturdy
  • Does not use a lot of electricity
  • Can power up to 4 ornaments
  • Easy to install
  • Doesn’t take up too much space
  • Louder than most of its competitors

If you’re worried that your aquarium air pump will take up a lot of space then this product was definitely made for you. It has an unobtrusive design which makes it easy to install and hide away beside your aquarium.

8. Best Energy-Efficient Aquarium Air Pump - Hygger Quiet High Output 10W Aquarium Air Pump Review

This product comes equipped with a sound-muffling chamber which enables it to work extremely silently. That coupled with its rubberized feet ensure that this product makes a minimal amount of noise during operation. 

You’ll find that this aquarium air pump is quite powerful and it’s able to produce dense bubbles inside your aquarium without driving up your electricity bill to a ridiculous amount as many aquarium air pumps do. 

It’s an incredibly high-output aquarium pump and considering how powerful it is, it’s fairly small in size and easy to handle. 

Features of Hygger Quiet High Output 10W Aquarium Air Pump

  1. Dimensions: 5.9 inches by 5.1 inches by 4 inches
  2. Weight: 1.5 pounds
  3. Contains two air outlets
  4. Outlet size: 4mm
  5. Air flow rate: 16 liters per minute
  • Appropriate for a wide range of aquarium sizes
  • Produces minimal noise
  • Low energy consumption
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to install
  • Body seems fairly fragile

If you’re worried about your aquarium air pump using up a lot of electricity then this product was purposefully designed for you. It features intricate circuitry that enables it to utilize electricity in the most efficient way possible.

9. Best Aquarium Air Pump with Battery Backup - Deep Blue Professional Hurricane Category 5 Professional Air Pump Review

This product is the only aquarium air pump on this list that consists of a battery backup option. This means that if the power goes out for some reason, it will automatically switch to batteries loaded into it and continue working. This can be life-saving in certain situations and we highly recommend that you get this product if you have an aquarium that cannot run properly without constant water circulation. 

It also features two separate outlets meaning it can power two pieces of aquarium equipment at any given time. 

Features of Deep Blue Professional Hurricane Category 5 Professional Air Pump

  1. Dimensions: 3.9 inches by 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches
  2. Weight: 1 pound
  3. Adjustable flow control dial
  4. D-cell battery slots
  5. Dual output ports
  • Impact-resistant durable design
  • Easy to use
  • Incredibly compact
  • Lightweight
  • Keeps working in case of a power outage
  • Quite expensive 
  • Airline tubing has to be bought separately

If you live in a region where power outages are common then this product is perfect for you. It gives you the option to run on batteries if the power goes out for some reason.

10. Best Easy-Installation Aquarium Air Pump - Eheim Air Pump 400 Review

This product is the best air pump that we tested which was able to handle aquariums as large as 120 gallons as quietly as it did. Sure, there are other aquarium air pumps that can handle aquariums that are even larger but they are often quite noisy when they operate. This product was able to offer high-end performance without ever being too loud. 

It also features hooks as well as rubber-suction pads so you can easily mount it or hang it wherever you’d like near your aquarium. The rubber suction pads are neatly made and ensure that your air pump is securely positioned and doesn’t get dislodged. 

Features of Eheim Air Pump 400

  1. Dimensions: 8.8 inches by 5.8 inches by 3.3 inches
  2. Weight: 1.9 pounds
  3. Appropriate for aquariums up 120 gallons
  4. Includes a hook and rubber suction pads
  5. Comes with necessary airline tubing
  • Durable exterior
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to mount
  • Multiple options when it comes to positioning
  • Incredibly quiet
  • Relatively expensive

If you don’t want to spend too much time installing your aquarium air pump then this is the product for you. It gives you options in terms of how to mount it and it’s also incredibly powerful.

best aquarium air pump

Buyers’ Guide

What is an air pump and how does it work? 

An aquarium air pump is a simple electrical device that is used to pump air into your aquarium. It is usually used to drive certain pieces of aquarium equipment that require air to be pumped in order to be effective such as airstones, bubble decorations and filters that don’t come with their own pumps. 

These air pumps usually aren’t waterproof so you have to be careful so that they don’t get wet. They usually sit on the outside of your aquarium and transfer air into it using some sort of airline tubing. 

What are some benefits of having an air pump in my aquarium? 

An aquarium air pump is not something that’s absolutely essential to have in every fish tank. However, having an air pump present in your aquarium can definitely help it run successfully in many different ways. 

Firstly, the bubbles it creates are filled with saturated oxygen and thus, do a wonderful job of oxygenating the water inside your aquarium. Not only this but these bubbles rise to the top and disturb the top water surface. As a result of this, the surface area of the top water surface is increased and thus, more oxygen gets dissolved into the water from the air. 

An aquarium air pump also plays a very large role in circulating the water effectively inside your aquarium. The circulation of water is necessary because if water is left stagnant in the same place for too long, it can result in pockets that become low in oxygen. When this happens, these pockets can start producing hydrogen sulfide which is extremely toxic to fish and most other forms of aquatic life.

What are some factors to consider when buying an aquarium air pump? 

Some factors to consider when buying an aquarium air pump are: 

  • Aquarium Size

This is quite self-explanatory. You need to get an aquarium air pump that is adequately suited to the size of your aquarium. If you get one that’s too small, it won’t create bubbles that are adequate enough to oxygenate your tank effectively. If you get one that’s too powerful, you will end up with an air pump that dislodges all of the gravel at the bottom of your aquarium and creates bubbles that will stress your fish out tremendously. 

  • Number of Connections 

Keep in mind that an aquarium air pump often has the ability to be connected to many different pieces of aquarium equipment. You can have a single air pump connected to many different decorative ornaments as well as your aquarium filter all at the same time. With respect to this, you need to think about how many things your aquarium air pump will be connected to. It’s a good idea to decide on all the decorations, ornaments and other air-powered devices you’re going to have inside your aquarium before you decide on what aquarium air pump you’re going to get. 

If you have a high number of devices inside your aquarium that require an air pump, you’re going to have to invest in a much more powerful air pump than you would if you had only one or two devices that required an air pump.

What are the different types of aquarium air pumps? 

There are mainly three types of aquarium air pumps: 

  • Plug-and-Play Air Pumps 

These are by far the most common types of air pumps. They need to be plugged into a power source in order to function. These types of pumps can be very powerful but are often limited in terms of positioning by how long their power cord is. 

  • Battery-Powered Air Pumps 

As the name suggests, these air pumps require batteries in order to run. This makes them quite portable, however, these types of air pumps can never be as powerful as most plug-and-play air pumps. 

  • Battery Backup Air Pumps 

These types of air pumps are a combination of the last two types. They mainly run on electricity but if, for some reason, the electricity goes out, they switch over to battery power. These types of air pumps can be quite useful if you live in an area where the power goes out regularly. 

How do I install my aquarium air pump?

An aquarium air pump is actually quite straightforward to install. All you have to do is find an appropriate location for it near your aquarium and connect all the necessary airline tubing to every ornament and device inside your aquarium that needs it. After that, you can just plug it in and let it work its magic. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is an aquarium air pump necessary for my fish tank? 

An aquarium air pump is not absolutely necessary to have inside your fish tank unless you have equipment inside it that requires an air pump to be installed onto it in order to be effective. For example, if you have a filter that does not come with its own pump, you’re going to need an aquarium air pump that can help regulate the flow of water into and out of it. 

My aquarium air pump is very loud. What can I do to fix this? 

The thing you need to understand about aquarium air pumps is that they vibrate constantly when they are operating so it’s important you place them on a surface that’s not too noisy. Placing them on a rubbery surface is ideal if possible. 

How long can fish survive without an aquarium air pump? 

An aquarium air pump is not necessary to the survival of your fish so the answer to this question would be that fish can survive indefinitely without an aquarium air pump. 

Should I turn off my aquarium air pump at night? 

Yes. You can turn off your aquarium air pump at night in order to save electricity given that your filter is not dependent on your aquarium air pump to operate properly. 

Do aquarium air pumps need air stones? 

Air stones are not absolutely necessary for aquarium air pumps but we do strongly recommend that you invest in one if you’re planning on getting an aquarium air pump. Without an air stone, you’ll just have a naked airline tube pumping air into your aquarium which will be quite ugly. Not to mention, most air stones have specially designed holes in them which create very dense air bubbles. These bubbles do a much better job of aerating your aquarium than a lone aquarium air pump would.  

Why is my aquarium air pump not making any bubbles? 

This may be because some part of the tubing is disconnected or blocked. The first thing you should check is definitely the airline tubing to ensure that it’s all properly connected and is not blocked anywhere. 

If that’s not the problem, look to your aquarium air pump to see if it’s operating properly. It should be vibrating silently during operation. If this is not the case then you should check to see whether it’s properly plugged in. If it runs on batteries then you can try replacing the batteries with new ones. 

How do I determine what size air pump I need for my aquarium? 

You can search online for aquarium air pump size calculators. These calculators take your aquarium’s size as an input and tell you what the appropriately-sized air pump should be. 

If you don’t want to use an online calculator then a general rule of thumb is to have an aquarium air pump that can pump a minimum of 0.033 liters of air per minute per gallon of water in your aquarium. 

Can an aquarium air pump stress my fish out? 

If you buy an appropriately-sized aquarium air pump, it won’t stress out your fish. In fact, a lot of fish actually like the look of the bubbles it produces and are actually quite stimulated by it. 

The only way fish could be stressed out by an air pump is if you buy one that’s too powerful for your tank. 

Do I really need an aquarium air pump if I already have a filter? 

If you have a filter that is able to circulate water in your aquarium on its own then the need for an aquarium air pump diminishes by quite a lot. However, if you have a larger aquarium, you might still want to invest in an aquarium air pump as it can do a much better job of circulating the water to every nook-and-cranny of your large aquarium than a filter ever could. Not to mention that an aquarium air pump can take a lot of workload off of your filter, thus, prolonging periods between filter cleaning and maintenance. 

What should I do in the case of a power outage?

In the case of a power outage, you’re going to have to manually aerate your tank. You can do this by taking a small plastic cup or container and submerging it in your aquarium until it fills with water. Hold this cup a few inches above the water surface and slowly pour the water back into your aquarium. This allows the water to come into contact with a lot of oxygen and helps aerate it. 

Final Verdict

Aquarium air pumps fulfill a lot of functions and assist many pieces of aquarium equipment in running smoothly. 

After months of testing and debate, we’ve concluded that the Marine Metal 110 Air Dual A-2 is by far the best aquarium air pump out there. It comes with its own air stones and it produces dense bubbles consistently for long periods of time. 

And with that, we’re at the conclusion of our post for the best aquarium air pumps. 

Give us feedback and let us know what air pumps you’re using inside your aquarium.

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