The aquarium air pump is, hands down, one of the most underrated fishkeeping accessories today. It is actually comparable one of the things that usually do not make it to the list of fishkeeping essentials. However, like most experienced aquarists and fishkeeping experts know, getting the best aquarium air pump is so vital for your fish tank.
While it is rarely used nowadays, it is still a dynamic and handy accessory that significantly benefit your aquatic friends.
For starters, a fish tank air pump improves the aquarium’s overall air circulation. From the air pump, the air, with the pressure, circulates, ensuring that your tank gets more circulated oxygen.
And, with a little help from an air stone, an air pump can also create those lovely tiny bubbles, which make your aquarium even more visually appealing.
Finding the best aquarium air pump for your tank, however, is not a cakewalk. With tons of options available, you might find the whole buying experience overwhelming, especially if you are a fishkeeping newbie.
Fortunately, I am going to make things a lot simpler on your end by sharing my top picks for the best aquarium air pump models.
I have used and evaluated dozens of aquarium air pumps throughout the years. And guess what? I am going to share a heap of tips to you so that you can score the best aquarium air pump.
Table of Contents
Types of Aquarium Air Pump
Before I reveal my pick for the best aquarium air pump, let us firstly discuss the different types of air pumps. That way, you can find the fish tank oxygen pump that suits perfectly to your tank, preferences, needs and even budget.
You may choose aquarium air pumps based on their power source. Air pumps are mostly standard, meaning you just have to plug them in a typical power outlet.
There are a few air pumps, though, that are battery-powered as well. Usually, these air pumps have dual options. You may still plug them, but they likewise have an option for battery power that certainly comes in handy whenever there is an outage in power.
Aquarium air pumps are typically engineered for standard purposes. However, if you have a deep or high aquarium that is around 20 inches high, you likely will need a special variation: the deep-water aquarium air pump.
This type of air pump has features and functions that are perfect for pumping air that is much farther below the tank’s water surface.
Air pumps are sometimes categorized by their dimensions. Not only the actual size of the tank, but also the pump’s capacity itself. If you have tons of objects, fish, or accessories inside your tank, you will need a larger aquarium air pump.
Additionally, you will need a larger pump if you are using bigger air stones since these things have strong resistance.
So, if you are using it for a couple of things and just using smaller air stones (or nothing at all), a smaller air pump will do the trick.
Under Gravel Powering Filter
Planning to buy the best aquarium air pump to power the tank’s under gravel filtration system? Then, make sure to find out what tank size is the aquarium air pump rated explicitly for.
Aquarium Air Pump Devices Comparison Chart 2020
Excited to buy the best aquarium air pump for your tank? Here is a comparison chart that will help you pick the best and quietest aquarium air pump.
|Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump - Best Overall||3.9 by 2.8 by 5.5 inches||0.16 inches||10 to 100 gallons|
|Mylivell Ultra Silent Aquarium Air Pump - Best Quietest||5.7 by 4.6 by 2 inches||4.8 ounces||13 gallons|
|Hygger Quiet Aquarium Air Pump - Best Powerful Pump||5.9 by 5.1 by 4 inches||3 pounds||30 to 600 gallons|
|Tetra Whisper for Deep Water - Best for Deepwater Applications||3.5 by 9.6 by 5.6 inches||2.6 pounds||Up to 300 gallons|
|Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump - Most Versatile||5.1 by 2.8 by 2,5 inches||1.2 pounds||20 to 100 gallons|
|JW Pet Fusion Aquarium Air Pump - Best Budget||4.8 by 3.2 by 2.2 inches||8 ounces||10 gallons|
|EcoPlus Commercial Air Pump - Best for Large Aquariums||7.2 by 3.8 by 4.5inches||2.45 pounds||Can handle over 1,000 gallons|
|Penn Plax Battery Operated Air Pump - Best Battery Operated Air Pump||2 by 3 by 5.5 inches||8.8 ounces||29 gallons|
|COLLAR Quiet Aquarium Air Pump||2 by 2 by 1 inches||8.8 ounces||Up to 50 gallons|
|Fluval Aquarium Air Pump||3.2 by 7.8 by 6.4 inches||2 pounds||50 to 160 gallons|
|Eheim Air Pump||8.8 by 5.8 by 3.3 inches||1.9 pounds||Up to 120 gallons|
|Active Aqua Aquarium Air Pump||7.1 by 11 by 5.5 inches||2.6 pounds||Not specified|
|VicTsing Aquarium Air Pump||4.7 by 0.3 by 2.2 inches||12.8 ounces||Up to 45 gallons|
|Sun YT-304 Aquarium Air Pump||5.9 by 8.8 by 4 inches||2.3 pounds||60 to 120 gallons|
|Aquaneat Air Pump||Not specified||3.6 pounds||Up to 300 gallons|
What is the Best Aquarium Air Pump to Buy?
Need more tips before you make the final decision? Here are some of my picks for the best aquarium air pumps in 2020.
- Best Overall – Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump
“Engineered to perfection, the Tetra Whisper is exceptionally effective, silent, efficient, and so easy to use!”
- Best Quietest – Mylivell Ultra Silent Aquarium Air Pump
“With its super silent pump and no-motor technology, Mylivell is unlike any other aquarium air pump to date.”
- Best Powerful Pump – Hygger Quiet Aquarium Air Pump
“With its incredibly quiet and bearing less motor, Hygger is, no doubt, one of the most potent air pumps on the market today.”
- Best for Deepwater Applications – Tetra Whisper for Deep Water
“Not only is it versatile and powerful, but it is also designed specifically for deep-water applications.”
- Most Versatile – Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump
“Perfect for both marine and freshwater aquariums, Uniclife has adjustable features that make it become the most versatile aquarium air pump.”
- Best Budget – JW Pet Fusion Aquarium Air Pump
“Inexpensive and amazingly quiet, this air pump boasts a powerful airflow and a sophisticated baffle system.”
- Best for Large Aquariums – EcoPlus Commercial Aquarium Air Pump
“Made of premium quality materials, this device has strong and durable pistons and cylinders to provide the best pump for large tanks and ponds.”
- Best Battery Operated Air Pump – Penn Plax Battery Operated Aquarium Air Pump
“Portable and surprisingly powerful, this battery-operated air pump is your fish’s life insurance in case of a power outage.”
Top 15 Best Aquarium Air Pumps Reviews 2020
One of the best ways to score the finest and quietest aquarium air pump is to read a ton of online reviews. So, to help you pick the best aquarium air pump for your tank, I have rounded up a few reviews that come in handy in your quest for the best aquarium air pump.
1. Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump
Tetra Whisper’s pumps are by far the most popular and powerful models you can get in today’s market. And, this Tetra Whisper model is no exception.
The Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump is my favorite, thanks to its power, reliability, durability, and efficiency. And, trust me, it also has the charm and appeal to steal your feeling because it is so effortless and easy to use.
Often ranked as the best aquarium air pump, this Tetra Whisper model ensures that your aquarium gets the maximum airflow while producing least noises.
The pump is domed-shaped designed to flatten frequencies of sound wave, resulting in its rather silent operation. Furthermore, the aquarium air pump has sound reducing chambers that create a quiet and smooth air stream.
- Easy to use
- Minimal noise
- Gorgeous underwater bubbles
- Excellent warranty coverage
- Vibrations are powerful
- Extraordinary design
- It tends to produce sounds as its ages
2. Mylivell Ultra Silent Aquarium Air Pump
(Quietest Air Pump)
They don’t call Mylivell as the quietest aquarium air pump for nothing. Perfect aquariums in the bedroom, this aquarium air pump barely produces any sound at all.
As a matter of fact, this aquarium air pump is so silent that you literally have to hold it up close to your ear to notice any sound at all.
Unlike other aquarium air pumps, this one has no electromagnetic system, shaft or motor.
Instead, the pump is driven by a remarkable ceramic plate that makes its lightweight and compact. Of course, this piezoelectric plate is also responsible for its silent operation.
On top of it all, its performance is stable and the unit has lower power consumption compared to other aquarium air pump models.
- Practical design
- Efficient air stone
- Stable performance
- Silent operation
- Superbly quiet
- Can be placed outside the aquarium to save more space
- Comes with an air stone and air tube
- Easy to set up
- Power cord is just 3 feet long
- Expensive compared to other aquarium air pumps
3. Hygger Quiet Aquarium Air Pump
(Most Powerful Pump)
When it comes to sheer power, the Hygger Aquarium Air Pump is simply unbeatable. Truthfully, it is so powerful that is not as suitable as small tanks below 30 gallons. On the bright side, it is ideal for tank sizes between 30 and 600 gallons.
And since it is made from a well-known brand, it is, as you might have expected, durable and long-lasting. I, for one, am impressed with its sturdy design and exceptional performance.
The aquarium air pump operates quietly as well. It has magnetic bearings that control the pump’s vibration, ultimately reducing the sounds it produced.
Additionally, the pump has a steel, stainless inner case that reduces the sounds that most pumps made.
- High quality
- High output
- Perfect for large fish tanks
- Stainless insulated case that minimizes noise
- Energy saving
- Manual is precise
- 1-year warranty
- Not submersible
- A bit costly
- A little louder compared to smaller aquarium air pumps
4. Tetra Whisper for Deep Water
(Best for Deepwater Applications)
If you want to add more visual appeal to your aquarium, you should opt for the Tetra Whisper for deep water. Not only is this Tetra air pump highly powerful, but it adds some dramatic bubble effects to your tank as well.
But, make no mistake about it. Visual appeal is not the attribute that this Tetra air pump provides to your aquarium.
Built for tanks with high backpressure, this model can pump air even at incredible depths of 8 feet.
Plus, it is reliable and powerful enough to deliver air to each powered accessory. To top it all off, it is long-lasting, meaning it is an intelligent and fruitful investment.
And, did I mention that its operation is reasonably quiet, thanks to its dome design?
- Designed for deepwater functions
- Lifetime warranty
- Produces enthralling bubbles
- Powerful vibrations
- One-of-a-kind dome design
- Ideal for deepwater applications
- It comes a bit noisy as it ages
5. Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump
Uniclife is, without a doubt, the most versatile aquarium air pump available today. After all, this fish tank oxygen pump is suitable for both marine and freshwater aquariums.
Not to mention, it has a couple of outlets that let you adjust the pump’s flow rates. It is indeed an excellent option for tanks between 20 and 100 gallons.
As far as the noise goes, this pump, at its lowest flow rate, produces a minimum noise of 25 decibels. And, usually, they label it as ultra whisper quiet.
Furthermore, the aquarium air pump comes with a variety of accessories, including two connectors, two air stones, and two return valves.
- Silent operation
- Adjustable flow rates
- Suitable for saltwater and freshwater tanks
- Sturdy design
- Powerful pump
- Airflow is adjustable
- It tends to get noise when the flow rate is higher
- The hose is rather bulky
- Not absolutely silent, but reasonable quiet
6. JW Pet Fusion Aquarium Air Pump
Looking for a budget-friendly aquarium air pump? Then, make sure to consider JW Pet Fusion as one of your top options when looking for the best aquarium air pump.
Not only it is amazingly inexpensive, but it also comes with a bunch of cool features. For instance, it has a powerful airflow and a robust baffle system that enhance the movement of water. This, in turn, provides fresh air inside the tank, which improves the health of the aquatic life inside.
Furthermore, the air pump is easy to handle and lightweight. As for the operation, the pump can handle up to 9 air stones, filters, and air-operated ornaments.
Another attractive feature that I really love about it is that it produces low noise compared to other aquarium air pumps. But, there is no aquarium air pump to date that is 100% silent, and this one makes a tiny buzz when in operation.
- Strong airflow
- Beautiful design
- Outstanding baffle system
- Silent operation
- Strong pressure
- Not ideal for tanks over 55 gallons
7. EcoPlus Commercial Aquarium Air Pump
(Best for Large Aquariums)
Want a super-powerful aquarium air pump for a large tank or pond? Known for its immense strength and durability, EcoPlus is truly a powerhouse and easily one of the best aquarium air pump models in the market for now.
This proficient and beloved aquarium air pump is widely used to provide quality oxygen to hydroponic systems, fish farms, and aquariums. Ideal for commercial use, it also commonly used in large fish ponds.
The materials used in the product’s pistons and cylinders are premium quality, making it incredibly durable and strong. Another key feature of the aquarium air pump is its efficiency.
The pump does not produce a great deal of noise and requires low oil amounts.
- Extremely strong pressure
- High quality materials
- Perfect for large tanks, ponds and aquariums
- 1-year warranty
- Heavy-duty and finely made
- Remarkable accurate valves
- Produces some noise
- The tubing provided is only 6 inches in length
8. Penn Plax Battery Operated Aquarium Air Pump
(Best Battery Operated Air Pump)
Is your city or area always dealing with power outages? Why not invest in a Penn Plax Battery Operated Air Pump?
With this battery-operated pump, you undoubtedly get some peace of mind every time there is a power interruption or outage. The portable pump is powered by a pair of batteries that provide around 48 hours of uninterrupted use.
And, when the AC power turns off, the aquarium air pump automatically switches to the battery-operated mode from electric.
Also, this battery-operated aquarium air pump can provide oxygen to tanks up to 29 gallons in size.
Noise-wise, it is not as silent as the Tetra Whisper, but at least it does not produce loud buzzing sounds and hums.
- Portable and compact
- Easy to handle
- Battery operated
- Perfect for transporting aquatic life
- Automatically switches to battery mode once it detects AC power loss
- Provides continuous tank aeration
- Safe for marine and freshwater environments
- Batteries are sold separately
- The pump is not as silent as the other best aquarium air pump models
9. COLLAR Quiet Aquarium Air Pump
Searching for an air pump with a blend of low-noise and high power? The COLLAR Aquarium air pump is perfect for small and medium fish tanks of up to 50 gallons. Likewise, it is, for the most part, used to supply aquarium water with O2, which is the most indispensable and essential component.
The pump’s strong pressurized flow makes it ideal for aquariums levels of water up to 25 inches.
Moreover, the air pump uses one of the least noise and smallest air pumps in the world. And, unlike other aquarium air pumps, this model does not use problematic components like EMI or motor.
As a result, the air pump provides noiseless and long-lasting performance.
- Uses sophisticated piezoceramic diaphragm
- Complete with accessories
- Quiet operation
- Controls the aquarium filter without issues
- Easy to use and install
- It does not have check valves
- Its suction cannot be easily attached to the aquarium
10. Fluval Aquarium Air Pump
Crafted to perfection, this powerful aquarium air pump is perfect for a large and perfect aquarium with a capacity of 50 to 160 gallons. With its advanced diaphragm design and swingarm, the pump’s airflow is consistent and simply unmatched.
Also, it has a sleek and fabulous design that enhances the aquarium’s appearance and appeal. It is engineered intelligently and wondrously to ensure smooth and top-notch performance.
Operation is rather quiet, offering an amazingly serene environment even during its operation. It comes with a 2-year warranty coverage and is long-lasting.
The only major drawback to this pump is that the noise gets louder as it gets older. In a positive point, it is an easy fix. Also, it is noisier and vibrates more often compared to its counterparts and rivals.
- 2-year warranty
- Operation is quiet
- Compact design
- Easy to use and install
- It gets noisy timely.
11. Eheim Aquarium Air Pump
Even at a full airflow, this Eheim air pump is still one of the quietest aquarium air pump models that I have ever tried. Toning it down makes it even more silent.
Of course, the Eheim air pump has a lot more to offer besides its quiet operation. Despite its silent operation, this one is quite powerful. And, it also has air diffusers that perform better than I expected.
I also love the pump’s capacity, which is over 100 gallons. With its powerful airflow and amazing features, this should keep your large tank aerated pretty well.
And, even with its construction and numerous features, the model is surprisingly lightweight.
To be honest, this Eheim air pump costs a bit more than my other fish tank oxygen pumps. Even so, it is definitely worth every penny.
- Made in Germany
- Can handle up to 120 gallons
- Quiet operation
- Adjustable airflow
- Long service life
- Great capacity
- Construction needs some improvement
12. Active Aqua Aquarium Air Pump
The Active Aqua Commercial air pump is an exceptional option and great value for the money. With its immense strength, the unit is perfect for powering a multitude of air stones and water farms at once.
Plus, it has an electric magnetic air compressor housed in a premium quality aluminum case. So, it is quite an impressive accessory when it comes to durability.
Additionally, the aquarium air pump uses sturdy and high-quality materials for its piston and cylinder.
One of the cool things that I truly love about this pump is that it provides high pressure. And with a multitude of muffler levels, the pump also operates quietly.
And, it is economical and energy-efficient too, thanks to its low power consumption.
- Has multiple level muffler to ensure silent operation
- Low power consumption
- Convenient thanks to its 8 outlets
- Premium quality aluminum case
- High output and high pressure
- Piston and cylinder are supremely durable
- It gets warm when using it for an extended period
13. VicTsing Aquarium Air Pump
VicTsing is not exactly a household name like Eheim air pump, Hygger, and Tetra Whisper. Still, it is an up and coming aquarium air pump with a whole lot to offer to aquarists.
As with most of the best aquarium air pump models, this unit brings some water movement as well as adds oxygen to the aquarium. Ultimately, it improves the conditions of your tank’s mini-ecosystem, making the fish feel so comfortable.
Also, the pump is built with a pair of air outlets. With that said, the pump can provide oxygen to a couple of fish tanks at once. Even better, the pump does not produce a great deal of noise when in operation.
- Works well on small and medium-sized aquariums
- Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater tanks
- Max capacity of 45 gallons
- Power saving
- Easy to use
- Low use
- Can be used simultaneously on two aquariums
- Air stones are low quality
14. Sun YT-304 Aquarium Air Pump
Searching for an affordable and reliable aquarium air pump for your tank? You definitely love the underrated Sun YT-304. With its small dimensions and lightweight design, this portable air pump is quite easy to handle.
Power consumption is low too, meaning it is an economical solution for your fish tank. The pump produces constant airflow, and it also gives you the freedom to adjust the pressure freely.
Since the pump is slightly big, it produces a ton of wondrous air bubbles. When it comes to power, this model is not to be outdoor by other premier brands and names.
All in all, it is a fantastic model that you should consider when looking for the best aquarium air pump.
- Low power consumption
- Steady pressure and output for airflow
- Great for hydroponics
- Superior frame
- Amazing build
- Impressive power
- Look is outdated
- Slightly noisier and louder than other models
15. Aquaneat Aquarium Air Pump
Like SUN YT-304, Aquaneat is not a well-known model or brand in the world of fishkeeping. But, slowly, it has been gaining popularity and momentum, thanks to its power and fantastic features.
Believe it or not, this model is also powerful and can provide oxygen to humungous tanks with a capacity of 300 gallons.
Designed with rubberized stabilizer feet and a dual case for sound insulation, this aquarium dramatically reduces the sound vibrations, making it incredibly quiet.
For me, the noise-reduction feature of this model gives it an edge over tons of other aquarium air pumps in the market these days. With an impressive pressure output, it also quickly provides a healthy dose of oxygen as well as tons of bubbles inside the tank.
Eventually, it will keep your aquatic friends healthy as well as allow them to behave more naturally.
- Silent operation
- Does not produce a lot of noise
- Produces tons of bubbles
- Easy to use
- Not waterproof
How to Find the Best Aquarium Air Pump for Your Tank
Still having some problems making a decision? Here is a shortlist of things to consider when looking for the best aquarium air pump for your tank and fish.
This rule is pretty simple and straightforward. Before you buy an air pump, make sure to check its tank size ratings and see if it fits your aquarium.
If you own a large tank, then you obviously have to opt for a stronger air pump or even have to buy more than one to deliver a sufficient amount of oxygen to the tank.
How many pieces of aquarium equipment are going to be powered by the pump?
The fewer accessories you are operating from your pump, the smaller the pump’s capacity you need. The more accessories you are running with your pump, the stronger and larger your air pump you need.
Always take note of everything that needs to be pushed or operated by the pump before deciding on the pump’s strength level.
As I have said, deep tanks usually require a special kind of aquarium air pump. If your tank is over 18 inches high, you will need a deepwater pump like Tetra Whisper’s version.
My Top Pick
There is nothing quite like the Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump. For years, it has been my go-to aquarium air pump, and also a favorite among aquarists. With its quiet operation and impressive features, it is often ranked as the best aquarium air pump to date.
It is efficient, reliable, and produces quality oxygen to your tank. Furthermore, it has a wondrous design that can add more visually appealing modern touches to your interiors.
Overall, it is a top-rated model that you should consider buying if you want to improve your aquarium’s oxygen quality and even tank aesthetics.