11 Best Aquarium Air Pump – The Ultimate Review & Buying Guide

Best Aquarium Air Pump by Aquarium Tales

Aquarium air pumps play a crucial role in ensuring an adequate oxygen concentration by bubbling the air through the tank. But the quality of the aquarium air pump that you purchase matters a lot. If you want your fish to thrive in the aquarium, you have to buy the best aquarium air pump.

But with so many aquarium air pumps on the market, finding one that suits your needs can be a daunting task, especially if you buy one for the first time. Fortunately, today you have landed in the right place.

I have researched on your behalf and compiled a list of the best aquarium air pumps on the market. I have also included a buyer guide to help you make an informed decision when you go shopping.

Now without wasting more of your precious time, let’s get into the review.

What Exactly Is An Aquarium Air Pump?

An aquarium air pump is an electrical device used to improve oxygen concentration in the aquarium tank. It works by bubbling air through that tank, thus improving oxygen concentration. It is also used to drive air-powered equipment such as bubble decorations, air stones, and sponge filters.

This electric device is usually installed next to the aquarium and is connected to the tank via a long hose known as airline tubing. Most aquarium air pumps are not waterproof and must be well protected to prevent them from getting wet. Aquarium air pumps can be used for both freshwater and saltwater.

Types Of Aquarium Air Pumps

Based on power options, primarily, there are three types of aquarium air pumps. They include:

Plug-in Air Pumps

Just as its name suggests, plug-in air pumps operate by plugging on the wall socket. In other words, this type of air pump depends on electricity to function. All you need to do is plug it into the wall sock, then turn it on. The pump will continuously pump air into the tank.

However, it is important to note that plug-in air pumps don’t have the on/ off button, as is the case with other types of aquarium air pumps. Once you plug it in, it will operate continuously until when you plug it off from the power socket.

Battery Operated Air Pumps

Battery-operated air pumps run on battery. Unlike plug-in air pumps that don’t have an ON/off button, battery-operated air pumps have this crucial button, meaning you will have more control over the air pump.

The fact that they operate on batteries makes them portable. They can be used anywhere provided they have batteries. Their lightweight and compact dosing also make them an ideal choice for those looking for a portable air pump.

They come in handy, especially when transporting your fish tank. The only disadvantage of this air pump is that you will have to keep changing the battery once depleted.

Battery Backup Air Pumps

Battery backup air pumps is a hybrid meaning it contains some features of the plug-in air pump and battery-powered air pump. When you purchase a battery backup air pump, you will never again have to worry about the power outage or changing batteries, as is the case with other types of air pumps. In case of a power outage, this air pump will switch to battery power, thus ensuring continuous operation.

Best Aquarium Air Pump Review

Here I included the 10 best aquarium air pumps in my list. You will be able to know highlighted features with the pros & cons of all of these. Keep reading.

My top pick for the best aquarium air pumps is Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump. This air pump is my top pick because it is super quiet, durable, versatile, and easy to use. If you are tired of using an air pump that produces annoying sounds when operating, then this is the right air for you. It is super quiet but delivers incredible performance.

This air pump featured a sound dampening chamber and patented dome shape that enables it to produce a smooth and quiet air stream. Its wide rubber feet and suspended motor also help to eliminate sound-producing vibration. This pump is fitted with two air outlets for more versatility.

Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump also does not disappoint when it comes to power. In fact, if you compare this air pump power with others of its size, you will discover that this air pump delivers twice as much power. This air pump is available in a range of sizes to meet the aeration of different aquarium sizes, from 10-100 gallons. You can choose one that fits your size.

Pros

  • Whisper quiet.
  • Smooth operation.
  • Powerful motor.
  • Provide oxygen and water moment.
  • Non-UL listed.
  • Affordable.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • It cannot operate in case of a power outage.

If you are looking for the best aquarium air pump for your large tank, look no further than the Tetra Whisper AP150 Aquarium Air pump. This air pump was specifically designed for larger tanks with significant backpressure.

Tetra Whisper AP150 Aquarium Air pump is the most powerful air pump line and is highly recommended for those with large tanks. It can pump down air to 8 feet deep.

This air pump is incredibly versatile and can also be used to power other accessories. If you purchase this air pump, you will never again have to worry about not have enough oxygen in the water tank.

This air pump is also made of high-quality and durable materials and can be used both in freshwater and saltwater.

Pros

  • Incredibly powerful.
  • Versatile.
  • Affordable.
  • Non-UL listed.
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee.
  • It is reliable.
  • Designed with tanks with significant backpressure.

Cons

  • Some customers complain that it does not last for long.

If you are looking for the best beauty backup air pump, then the Cobalt Aquatics DC USB air pump is the best choice. This hybrid air pump is equipped with incredible features that make it deliver excellent performance.

This battery backup air pump is a low voltage (5V) DC pump fitted with an internal battery that provides up to 24 hours of operation during emergencies, power outages, fish transportation, or fish collecting trips.

This means that you will never again have to worry about power outages when purchasing this air pump.

Cobalt Aquatics DC USB air pump also comes with a USB power bank that comes in handy when conducting more extended operations such as transporting fish. It also comes with a complete air stone and airline.

A substantial output of up to 19GPH and up to 60-inch depth will meet even your most demanding air requirements. This air pump can run in two modes. They include running in 10 seconds On and Off and running in constant mode.

The On and Off mode is highly recommended when the air pump runs on battery mode because it helps extend battery life.

Pros

  • Provide up to 24 hours of operation during a power outage.
  • Delivers a healthy output of up to 19GPH.
  • Up to a 60-inch depth.
  • Single output connection.
  • Portable.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • Some customers complain that it breaks down fast.


This is arguably the best air pump for hydroponics. It is made of durable, premium-grade materials. This air pump is also very effective at dissipating heat while operating. It is fitted with aluminum alloy heat radiating plates that ensure efficient heat dissipation.

This means you don’t have to worry about overheating, as is the case with other hydroponics air pumps. The outlet nozzle is made of 100% copper.

VIVOSUN Air Pump 950 GPH commercial air pump is equipped with a powerful 32W electromagnetic motor that produces incredible air pressure of over 0.02 MPA, thus sending a huge air volume to the six adjustable valve outlets.

This commercial air pump is super energy efficient and highly resistant to wear and tear. All you need to do is set it and leave it. It can run 24/7 without consuming a lot of power.

Although this air pump is fitted with a powerful motor, it operates quietly. You will not know that the machine is operating unless you are very close to it. This means that it will not disturb other people while it is operating.

The 1.5 power cord that it comes with makes it the ideal air pump for oxygenating a fish tank or plant roots in a hydroponics system. This air pump can pump up to 60 liters of air per minute.

Pros

  • Made of premium materials.
  • Efficient heat dissipation.
  • Equipped with a powerful 32W electromagnetic motor.
  • Energy-efficient.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Incredibly powerful.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • Some customers complain that it is quite bulky.

Looking for an air pump that operates quietly? If yes, the Boxtech Quiet Air Pump for Aquarium is the perfect choice for you. This air pump is perfect for small fish tanks of between 3-30 gallons. It is whisper quiet and can be placed in your living room, office, or even bedroom.

In addition to operating quietly, this air pump is energy efficient. It features a 2W motor with a flow rate of 0.5 gallons per minute. This is strong enough to ensure that your fish tank is supplied with enough oxygen.

Unlike most traditional air pumps, this air pump adopts all copper movement that reduces resistance loss and prevents the air pump from overheating. This not only helps to increase efficiency but also reduces noise levels to less than 40db. The thickened sealed inner compartment and 4mm thick shell also help to reduce noise.

Pros

  • Super quiet.
  • Having a built-in full copper motor that is super-efficient.
  • Shockproof and stable performance.
  • Compact design.
  • Easy to use.
  • Portable.

Cons

  • Not ideal for large fish tanks.

Hydrofarm AAPA15L Active Aqua is ideal for oxygenating aquariums of all sizes, and this aquarium is silent yet powerful. The silent operation is achieved by the use of a multi-level internal muffler.

The powerful motor that features consumes low power. This air pump delivers a strong output of up to 240GPH.

This air pump features adjustable airflow. This is important because it allows you to set the right pressure that is ideal for your fish tank.

The tank diaphragm is made of a special synthetic rubber that provides consistent airflow output. It also allows you to adjust the air pressure. This air pump is also compact and lightweight.

Pros

  • Whisper quiet.
  • Unique artificial rubber keeps steady airflow output.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Adjustable airflow.
  • Easy to use.
  • Available in four different sizes.

Cons

  • Some customers complain that it is quite noisy.

EHEIM Air Pump is one of the bestselling air pumps on the market. It provides aeration to your aquarium, thus enhancing the health of your fish and other aquatic habitats.

This air pump can be used on aquariums of different sizes. Its compact and lightweight design allows easy portability. EHEIM Air Pump is perfect for up to 30-gallon aquariums.

One of the key selling points of this air pump is its quiet operation. This air pump is arguably the quietest on the market. You can place it in your bedroom, and it won’t disturb you while sleeping.

The pump corners and feet are made of rubber that ensures whisper-quiet performance. It also comes with a check valve and a diffuser. The 100W motor that it features delivers an incredible flow rate of one gallon per minute.

Pros

  • Whisper quiet.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Powerful motor.
  • Comes with a check valve and diffuser.
  • Energy-efficient.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • Warranty information not clear.


If you are looking for a powerful, versatile, durable, and energy-efficient air pump, Marine Metal 110 Air dual A-2 is the perfect choice for you.

This air pump has all the features you would wish for in an air pump.

Marine Metal 110 Air dual A-2 produces 99.5% saturation of dissolved oxygen, thus keeping your fish and other aquatic life in the aquarium healthy. The powerful motor that it features can meet the aeration of different aquarium sizes, from 10-70 gallons.

Every unit of this brand is tank tested and proven to deliver incredible results. Additionally, this air pump does not require the use of batteries. All you need to do is plug the power cord into the wall socket. Additionally, no assembly is required.

This unit comes already assembled. Weighted glass bead air stones and silicone airline tubing are included in the package.

Pros

  • Complete ready-to-use system.
  • Tested for quality assurance.
  • No battery required.
  • Easy to use.
  • Exceptional performance.
  • Produces 99.5% saturation of dissolved oxygen.
  • Durable.
  • Compact and lightweight.

Cons

  • It cannot function in case of a power outage.

Danner Aqua Supreme AP-8 Air pump does not disappoint when it comes to performance. It is equipped with an energy-efficient yet powerful motor that delivers incredible performance.

This air pump features an energy-efficient 8-watt motor that keeps the air moving and air flowing, thus keeping your entire fish tank well aerated.

It also operates quietly and won’t cause any disturbance even when you are close to it. Additionally, this air pump is easy to use. It is equipped with 4 outlets and can accept the standard airline tubing.

Pros

  • Energy-efficient motor.
  • Easy to use.
  • Quiet operation.
  • It accepts standard airline tubes.
  • Ideal for fish tanks of different sizes.

Cons

  • Some customers complain that it gets damage fast.

UPETTOOLS aquarium Air pump is a perfect choice for aquarists looking for a powerful but affordable air pump for fish tanks. This air pump features a 4W motor that delivers air into the aquarium, keeping it well aerated.

This air pump can support air stone and add oxygen into the fish tank at a depth of up to 6.5 feet. The dual outlets that it features allow you to use this air pump on multiple aquariums.

Another key feature of this air pump is the adjustable oxygen pump. You can adjust the airflow of this pump to suit the needs of your fish tank.

UPETTOOLS aquarium Air pump is equipped with four solid rubber feet on the bottom that absorbs shock and reduce noise generated by friction. This air pump can be used for all types of fish tanks with a capacity of 20-120 gallons.

Pros

  • Adjustable airflow.
  • The powerful motor is suitable for all types of tanks with a capacity of 20-120 gallons.
  • Whisper quiet.
  • Durable.
  • Easy to use.
  • Dual outlets.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Some customers complain that it comes with missing parts.

HIRALIY Aquarium Air Pump is equipped with a powerful 3 watts motor and dual outlets that allow you to insert multiple fish tanks simultaneously. This air pump is ideal for both fresh and marine fish tanks.

It is suitable for air tanks with a capacity ranging from 10-80 gallons.

HIRALIY aquarium Air Pump allows you to adjust the flow rate manually to suit your fish tank’s needs. When it comes to quiet operation, this air pump does not disappoint. The full copper motor and built-in piezoelectric ceramic plate work more efficiently, reducing noise levels while operating.

This air pump produces a low level of noise of about 20db. The four solid rubber feet on the bottom of the air pump absorb noise and friction, thus ensuring quiet operation.

Pros

  • Adjustable flow rate.
  • Powerful copper motor.
  • Silent operation.
  • Easy to use.
  • Shockproof and stable performance.
  • Dual outlet.

Cons

  • It is quite bulky.

Benefits Of Using An Air Pump

Though many aquarists do not prefer using air pumps, there are several benefits of using them in the aquarium. It helps to create healthy water conditions for fish tanks, which is your utmost priority.

1) Increased Oxygen Levels

Aeration of the fish tank is the primary purpose of an air pump, and it oxygenates the aquarium water through this process. Oxygen is the most critical item for the survival of every living being.

Well-oxygenated water is healthy for fish, and if the dissolved oxygen levels go down, fish die. You can understand how crucial it is to maintain a steady oxygen level in the aquarium water.

2) Continuous Water Movement

Keeping a continuous water movement in the aquarium is also very important for fish’s health. It promotes several processes that improve water quality. Water movement promotes gas exchange, supplement filtration, and helps to maintain an even temperature. Additionally, the water current brings joy to your fish!

Decoration And Play

Bubbles in the aquarium water add aesthetic pleasure that none can deny. It is the safest way to make your showpiece cool-looking as air bubbles do no harm to fish. Fish love playing with the bubbles.

Besides, the air supply can operate many air-driven toys and decors to beautify the fish tank.

What To Look for In An Aquarium Air Pump When Buying

Buying is your own choice, but my buying guide intends to help you pick the right product. Consider the below points before buying an air pump and thank me later.

Consider Noise Level

One crucial thing you need to consider when buying an air pump for your aquarium is its noise level. This factor is important, especially if the fish aquarium is placed in the living room, bedroom, or office.

Buy an air pump that produces a low noise level. According to experts, the noise level should not exceed 40db. Buy an air pump that delivers excellent performance quietly. For further tips, you can read my article about how to make an aquarium air pump quieter

Consider Capacity And Compatibility

Another critical feature to consider when buying an air pump for your aquarium is capacity and compatibility. If you purchase an air pump that is too small, it won’t aerate the tank properly.

Additionally, if the air pump is not compatible with your aquarium, it will not perform effectively. Before you make your final decision, double-check to ensure that the air pump you have chosen is of the right capacity.

It should also be compatible with your tank and other accessories inside, including the sponge filter and air stone.

Consider Power Option

This is a very crucial factor that most people usually overlook when buying an air pump for their aquarium. Air pumps are available in three different power options. They include plug-in air pumps, battery-operated air pumps, and battery backup air pumps.

However, all power options have their pros and cons. For instance, battery-operated pumps are portable but require you to change the battery after a while. Sometimes the battery may go low without your knowledge, causing inconvenience.

On the other hand, battery backup air pumps are not affected by power outages but are expensive than other power options. Ensure that you choose an air pump equipped with a power option that will suit your needs.

Wrapping Up

Air pumps play a crucial role in keeping your fish tank well aerated, thus ensuring that life inside the tank thrives. But the quality of the air pump that you choose matters a lot. If you want to get excellent results, you need to purchase the best aquarium air pump.

The aquarium air pumps listed above are among the best on the market. They are equipped with great features that enable them to stand out from the rest. Some of these features include a powerful motor, super-quiet operation, compact design, and much more. They also have excellent reviews and ratings from genuine buyers, indicating that they deliver outstanding performance.

Let me know your feedback about my review article. If you have experience with aquarium pumps, let my readers know which one is the best aquarium pump, in your opinion. Please feel free to put a comment below.

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