The Best Air Pump For Your Aquarium | iPetCompanion

Best Air Pump For Your Aquarium

Finding the right tools is important to help maintain your aquarium and keep your fish happy. The tools and equipment you buy will always depend on the size of your aquarium as well as the type of fish you choose. While you just can't do without certain tools, such as aquarium filters, there are aquarium supplies that may not look that important but can certainly help everything work more smoothly. An aquarium air pump is one such tool to buy. Be sure to buy the best aquarium air pump to ensure it oxygenate the water and keep your aquarium clean and efficient.

Here are some good air pump for fish tank to consider:

Upettools Aquarium Air Pump

BEST for Gas Volume

  • Quite Powerful
  • Better gas volume

Rated by: Amber

Tetra Whisper Air Pump


  • Powerful
  • Different Sizes Available
  • Very Quiet

Rated by: Amber

U-Picks Mini Air Pump

Best Kit

  • Suitable for Most Aquariums
  • Accessories Included
  • Motor Made of Copper

Rated by: Amber

The Best Aquarium Air Pump: Our Top Picks

1. Upettools Aquarium Air Pump

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

It is one of the most popular air pumps on Amazon mainly because of its powerful performance. It is capable of running around2.5 L/min. It is designed to increase oxygen in the water and handles the job quite efficiently. It is also capable of providing a lot more gas volume as compared to many other brands currently available on the market.

If you're interested in keeping air stones in the aquarium, this air pump should be the choice because it can work just fine with four-inch air stones. Moreover, you won't have to worry about dealing with any irritating noise because it is very quiet. You can make it even quieter by adjusting the air flow.

Overall, it's a great option to consider, but keep in mind that as compared to many other brands on Amazon, it consumes a lot more power, as it runs with 10W. Other than this, there's nothing really to feel concerned about.


  • It is powerful enough to turn 2.5L/min
  • It provides better gas volume than other brands
  • It is quiet


  • It consumes a lot more power than other brands

2. Tetra Whisper Air Pump

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

If you're looking for a highly dependable air pump with adjustable air flow, you should put your money on this product from Tetra. It is extremely easy to use and there's no need to worry about anything while installing it for the first time.

It is available in different sizes, which means you can pick one easily as per the aeration needs of your aquarium. It is quite suitable for aquariums as small as 10 gallons and as large as 100 gallons. Another great thing is that it is among those air pumps that don't produce a lot of noise, all thanks to its patented dome shape. It also features sound-dampening chambers, which allow for a quieter operation.

Similarly, there's no need to feel concerned about vibrations because of its wider footprint. It also features a suspended pump motor and rubber feet that lower the overall vibrations. The only thing to bear in mind is that it may be a bit expensive than other similar brands.


  • It is quite powerful
  • It is available in different sizes
  • It has sound-dampening chambers for noise reduction


  • The price could've been lower

3. U-Picks Mini Air Pump

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

In case you have an aquarium with a capacity anywhere between 1 and 15 gallons, you may want to put your money on this air pump from U-Picks. It is also among the popular brands on Amazon, and that's mainly because of its solid performance.

You won't experience any issue in terms of performance, thanks to its motor made from high quality copper. Even though it works in a powerful way, it still manages to keep the noise at minimum. That's mainly because it uses piezoelectric ceramic plate. As it produces sound no more than 35dB, you won't feel anything more than a mosquito flying around.

As it is more of a kit, you get some valuable accessories already added to the package. You will get a suction cup as well as two air stones, two silicon air tubes, and a check valve. 

With all these accessories, you will be ready to put it to use soon after receiving the package. The only issue you might notice is its short power cord, so you will have to find an extension in some cases.


  • It is suitable for tanks up to 15 gallons
  • It comes with various accessories
  • It features a copper motor for better performance


  • The power cord could've been longer

FAQ - A Buyer's Guide

Which is the Quietest Aquarium Air Pump?

These days, you can find a variety of air pumps for your fish tank. If your objective is to find the quietest air pump, you can still find a few options. Tetra Whisper Air Pump, for instance, is a great choice if noise is your concern. Mainly used for aquariums up to 10 gallons, it is extremely efficient and easy to use at the same time.

However, it is worth mentioning that even though there are air pumps that are relatively quieter, finding one that won't make any noise whatsoever is just not possible. Here, you will have to base your decision on other factors as well.  For instance, the size of your tank and the number of accessories you're going to run using the air pump can have an impact on your final buying decision. If there are many objects or accessories inside the tank, you're going to need a larger air pump to power those objects, and when you opt for a larger, more powerful pump, you'll have to bear with some noise as well.

It is equally important to consider the depth of your aquarium when buying an air pump. For instance, if your aquarium is 20 inches high/deep, it is important to buy a deep water air pump, which is designed to pump air farther below the water surface. You may end up dealing with uneven distribution of oxygen when you opt for a standard air pump for a deep aquarium. It may even lead to oxygen deprivation at the bottom of the tank. Tetra Whisper is again a good choice here, as it is known for deep water application and is extremely quiet when functioning.

Are Air Pumps Good for Fish Tanks?

It may be true that aquarium air pumps are not absolutely necessary because aquatic plants and fish can still have oxygen naturally. However, if you're concerned about the health of your fish and overall aquarium, it never hurts to invest some money in a good quality air pump, as it helps a lot when it comes to promoting better water circulation.

You may want to install an air pump for your tank because it also triggers the release of carbon dioxide from the water. At the same time, it supports the oxygen intake from the air for your fish. Some people believe that an air filter can perform this function on its own, but it may not be the case if you have a larger tank. That's when you need to buy an air pump to facilitate the whole process.

Moreover, you may have to consider installing air pumps for fish tanks when you have many objects and accessories that rely heavily on an air pump to work properly. For instance, you need to install high quality filters to keep your aquarium healthy, and many of these filters require air pumps to function properly.

  Similarly, some accessories don't really need aquarium air pumps, but you can make them work more effectively by buying one. That is especially true for accessories like the protein skimmers in saltwater tanks as well as the spin wheels for decoration.  Any decorations that work by turning valves or lifting objects would also require a good aquarium air pump.  Also, if you're using air stone to create underwater bubbles, you'll always have to find a good aquarium air pump.

Why Is My Air Pump So Loud?

Air pumps are notorious for being loud, but you need to understand that the noise level will change from one type of pump to another. If you're using a low quality aquarium air pump, it's always going to be noisy.  For how long you've been using that pump will also have an impact on how noisy it becomes over time.

Here are some other reasons why your air pump may be so loud.

  • If you're using air stones in the aquarium, you need to ensure that they're clean. If they have to be replaced because they're not clean, your air pump is always going to be louder than it should be. Dirty air stones are going to put too much pressure back on the pump, which in turn will make the pump work harder to move air, thus causing a lot more noise than before.  Ideally, you should replace air stones at least once a year because they can get clogged with bacteria, algae, dust, and fish waste. Replace it and see if it helps turn your air pump back to its quieter self.
  • Ensure that the air pump stays higher than the surface of the water in your fish tank. If you change positions here, it will again put excessive pressure on the pump and leads to an increased noise level.  Keeping the air pump higher is also a good idea because if your pump fails for any reason, you won't have to worry about water getting back into the air line.
  • Check where you have placed the air pump and change its location to see if it helps with the noise levels. It usually helps when your pump is on a hollow container. Changing its location would prevent the resonance created by the pump, which in turn will significantly cut the irritating noise. Ideally, you should place it on a sold surface. Similarly, putting it on a dense object may also help dampen the noise and keep the environment quieter. Remember, the top of your fish tank is not the right place to keep your air pump because the vibrations generated would travel down to your fish and cause unnecessary irritation.

In addition, you can cut the irritating noise your air pump makes by putting something soft underneath to absorb the vibrations. It will considerably dampen the noise. Anything like an old athletic sock will do the job here. Alternatively, you can consider putting the air pump in a cabinet, as it is going to be less irritating when it is out of sight.

How Do You Oxygenate a Fish Tank without a Pump?

Using the best aquarium air pump is usually the most hassle-free way to oxygenate your aquarium, but it is surely not the only option available. If you're not currently using an air pump because it is not quiet, you can try the following options to oxygenate a fish tank.

  • Consider pouring water into your fish tank from some height. By doing so, you will give the water chance to pick up air while entering the tank. It will help increase the oxygen levels in the tank water. You can add more oxygen by pouring the water from a better height. You can do it by using a pitcher, cup, or container. Fill it with water, hold it high above the aquarium and slowly pour the water back into the fish tank. Do it several times to increase oxygen in the water.
  • Another effective way to add oxygen to the fish tank is by inserting some plants into the water. The plants you add will eat up carbon dioxide and produce oxygen at the same time. Plants repeat this process, called photosynthesis, to live and continue using carbon dioxide to release oxygen in the water. Again, using an air pump is always the better choice because plants can't produce any kind of water flow. Still, you can get good results by spreading out plants along bottom of your aquarium.

The Best Aquarium Air Pump to Buy

Besides oxygenation and water circulation, an aquarium air pump is necessary for many other reasons too. Be sure to select the best air pump only, and that is when you can put your money on Tetra Whisper Air Pump, which is amongst the most reliable pumps and is capable of handling the aeration needs of larger air tanks as well.

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