5 Best Aquarium Air Pump of 2019 Reviews | More oxygen for your fishes and plants

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Although air pumps are not essential, they are highly recommended accessories. The best aquarium air pump can be as important and useful as any other accessory in your fish tank.

air pump improves air circulation

The fact is that even without an air pump, your fish and aquatic plants may still get enough oxygen naturally. However, the truth is that an air pump helps a lot with water circulation and with the release of carbon dioxide from the water. It also facilitates the intake of oxygen from the air for your fish.

In addition, if you have an air filter installed, the best aquarium air pump will help a lot with the process of filtering, especially in the starter fish tanks which easily get cloudy.

What is the best aquarium air pump for my needs?


  • Surprisingly quiet
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Very good air flow


2. Hygger 16L/min Oxygen Pump


  • Suitable for small and medium-sized tanks
  • Quiet in comparison to the pump output
  • The case within a case for hum reduction


  • Lightweight, portable and quiet
  • Very good air flow 
  • Great for small aquariums

Apart from improving the water circulation in your aquarium, the best aquarium air pump for your purpose may be necessary based on that very purpose: for example, some filters need an air pump to operate and since the filter is essential for your fish and plants to thrive, an air pump becomes a must.

There are also accessories and decorations which need an air pump. A few examples of these are protein skimmers in saltwater tanks, any spin wheels used for decoration, or any other decorations that need to lift objects or turn valves, like air stones which create tiny underwater bubbles.

What sort of aquarium air pumps are there?

The aquarium air pumps can, in fact, be categorized in several ways, depending on their purpose and functionality features.

Air pumps which are needed for undergravel filter – these are a must if you need an aquarium air pump to power your undergravel filter inside your tank. You should choose the model based on the size of your tank so that the pump fits the rating appropriate for the size of your aquarium.

Air pumps relative to their own size - aquarium air pumps can be categorized by the size of the pump itself, rather than the size of your fish tank. This is because of the number of the accessories the pump needs to power: the more accessories your tank has, the larger pump you will need.

The best aquarium air pump makes those pretty bubbles

The best aquarium air pump for deepwater application - although aquarium air pumps are designed for standard purposes, not all of them will meet the needs of your aquarium if it’s, let’s say, at least 18 to 20 inches high. In such cases, you will need a special deepwater air pump.

If you have a regular air pump but a rather deep aquarium, you will probably have an uneven distribution of oxygen in the tank.

Air pumps based on the power source – while most standard air pumps need to be plugged into a power outlet, there are also the battery-powered types of air pumps. These are more portable but require external battery packs.

In quite a few cases, air pumps offer dual power options, plug-in and battery powered. This dual-power option is very convenient when there’s a power outage: your external backup battery will keep the pump working till the power is back.

What to look for in an aquarium air pump?

First off, you need to consider your tank size: the bigger the tank, the more powerful air pump you should get. Check the pump specs against the size of your aquarium to see whether the pump is powerful enough.

fish in aquarium might need more oxygen

How about the purpose of the pump? Well, if you are using an air pump only to operate an under-gravel filter, then an air pump which is too strong might blow the floor gravel out of place. Check the pump to see whether it’s suitable to operate your under-gravel filter.

If you have a lot of accessories which the pump needs to power, go for the more powerful pump. The same goes if you have a large but a non-standard fish tank. Read the reviews of other users to compare the experiences.

Also, it’s not all about the number of the accessories: there’s a lot to do with the actual size of individual additions to your tank. This is why you should also think about the resistance coming from the accessories in your aquarium: a bigger air stone will pose more resistance than a smaller air stone.

Another thing to have in mind is positioning the pump. They tend to vibrate, you know. This may cause the pump to fall off whichever surface you put the pump on. Don’t put it in a spot where the vibrations might cause the pump to fall into the aquarium.

Also, remember to put it somewhere where the vibrations will not be passed onto the aquarium as that would stress your fish.

Finally, air pumps tend to be noisy, so make a note of the less noisy models in the reviews you’re reading.

To decrease the noise, you can put the pump in a closed cabinet. You can also put something soft, like a thick foam, sponge or rubber mat under the pump. This will reduce the vibrations as well as the overall noise.

Best aquarium air pumps thoroughly reviewed

Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump features unique dome shape and sound dampening chambers to minimize turbulence and produce a smooth, quiet stream of air. Its overall design works to eliminate sound producing vibrations.

Tetra has been catering to the needs of fishkeeping enthusiasts for the last 50 years. And their Whisper Aquarium Air Pump is another example of a well-made and reliable product. It's one of the most powerful pumps available on the market today. It’s 7.5 inches long, 4.5 inches wide and 3 inches high.

It's suitable for use in deep tanks and tanks with a lot of demanding accessories, such as air stones. Oxygen and water movement will be beneficial to your fish tank by helping to keep the water clean and also improving the overall well-being of your aquarium fish and plants.

The Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump produces bubbles which enhance the appearance of your fish tank. Your aquarium will look great with your favorite decorations, fish, plants and suitable lights.

The interesting arch shape of the air pump is attractive in appearance and design and the elastic feet on the base keep the pump from sliding around.

In addition, the arch shape flattens the frequencies of the wave, preventing the air pump from creating a reflection on the furniture around such as shelves and tables. This also means reduced air pump noise so it does not disturb your fish or anyone in the room where you keep the aquarium.

The Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump has 2 outtakes and comes with the following: the pump, instructions, 1T-adapter and 2 knobs/valves that help regulate the number of bubbles you feed into the aquarium by increasing/decreasing air flow. This is perfect for those of you with a smaller tank which doesn't need to have bubbles at full blast.

This aquarium air pump by Tetra is backed up with a lifetime limited guarantee for your peace of mind.

Things We Liked

Surprisingly quiet

Lightweight and compact

Very good air flow

Includes an air valve

The arch shape flattens the frequencies

Emits more than enough fine bubbles

Things We Didn't Like

The tubing is not included so you’ll have to buy some

Hygger 16L/min Oxygen Pump is so quiet that you can even put your aquarium in your bedroom. What's more, it's so powerful that it can supply air for several tanks at the same time. It performs well up to 3-foot deep water while maintaining the low power consumption even at its maximum flow rate of 960L/H.

The Hygger air pump comes with two air outlets which can supply air and the much-needed oxygen to two or more aquariums at the same time. You can also assemble them in one aquarium to deliver more bubbles based on your preferences.

Hygger 16L/min Oxygen Pump air pump is specifically designed for aquariums of small to medium size, regardless of what sorts of inhabitants your aquarium has, seawater and freshwater.

The sound is extremely low but there is a vibration that can still be felt. From five feet away, a hum is distinguishable, yet the bubbles are considerably louder. This is one of the highest-volume air pumps. Fortunately and more importantly, it's also one of the quietest.

The dark external covering encases another container inside which shelters the 12v air engine, so it is a container inside a case, which is probably the reason why this pump is so quiet.

You will hear some murmur from this air pump but for most fish tank owners it should be acceptable if not even barely noticeable. If you are looking for an air pump which can push the volume down to an extremely low noise level, this model might be one of the best options.

To sum up, Hygger 16L/min Oxygen Pump is built for ultra-quiet operation and reliability to provide years of service. It features quiet but powerful drive and comes with a 30 days money back guarantee and 12-month support warranty.

Things We Liked

Suitable for small and medium-sized tanks

Quiet in comparison to the pump output

The case within a case for hum reduction

Excellent performance

Definitely worth the money

Things We Didn't Like

No major cons so far

Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump has a unique and most appealing design at least for me. It is built with a dark stingray-like frame and has a suction cup on the back. The function of this suction cup is to help keep the air pump safely attached to your tank.

One less thing to worry about is installation: his air pump is very easy to install so there's no hassle whatsoever.

In addition to having this interesting and cool design, Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump is also one of the quietest air pumps on the market. This is because it is built with a special material to achieve almost no noise operation.

Unlike conventional electromagnetic air pumps, this model utilizes a new technology which uses a piezoelectric ceramic plate. This plate creates a wind current which decreases the noise.

This air pump from Mylivell is highly energy efficient, with a power consumption of just 3.5W. It provides an air flow rate of about 24L/h and can be used for tanks up to 40 gallons. This makes this air pump perfect to use in aquariums of small to medium size.

Overall, Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump will add enough oxygen in a fish tank up to 13 gal and promises a long service life. With a good air stone, it will create a nice spread of bubbles at a pretty good pace while being small, lightweight and portable.

Things We Liked

Lightweight, portable and quiet 

Very good air flow 

Great for small aquariums 

Durable because of its piezo construction 

Emits enough bubbles for air intake 

Things We Didn't Like

Check valve not included

Tetra Whisper Air Pump for Deep Water Applications belongs to the most powerful and popular line of air pumps from Tetra. Their air pumps come in seven different sizes, making it easy for you to choose the one that best fits your tank size. This particular model comes in two sizes: up to 300-gallons tanks, and up to 150-gallon ones.

The Tetra Whisper Air Pump for Deep Water Applications will keep your aquarium oxygen level high and also helps keep your fish happy and healthy by producing water circulation and vibration. This will greatly improve the water condition in your aquarium. The underwater bubbles produced by the air pump will add a nice touch to enhance the look of your aquarium.

This air pump has a unique dome-shaped design and rubber feet to stick on the glass of your tank. Thanks to this convenient design, the sound wave frequencies created by the air pump are flattened. This prevents them from being reflected off your furniture and walls.

The feature will allow for the overall noise reduction so you will experience a minimal level of noise. As a result, you will like the very quiet functioning of this air pump from Tetra.

The main advantage of this air pump is that it's powerful enough to be used in deep tanks (up to eight feet deep). It can power huge decorative air stones or even multiple air stones at once. It's also powerful enough to activate protein skimmers for saltwater aquariums.

Even though this is a very quiet air pump, after a long time of use and even when the pump still functions properly, it can become a little noisier but still within the acceptable noise levels.

Things We Liked

Comes from a well-established and trusted manufacturer 

Unique dome-shaped design

Powerful but low-noise pump

Produces underwater bubbles

Comes in different sizes

Suitable for deep water tanks

Lifetime limited warranty

Things We Didn't Like

Becomes a little noisier over time

Active Aqua Air Pump comes in one universal size of 7″ length x 5.5″ width x 11″ height. It comes in several outlet options for your preferences, making it easier for you to choose an appropriate size aquarium air pump for your tank. With an eight-outlet size option, 25 liters (6.6 gallons) of water is cycled per minute and about 400 gallons per hour.

This air pump consumes little power. With many other electric-fueled accessories in your tank, an energy efficient air pump can save you money on the electric bill at the end of the month.

The Active Aqua air pump features a box-like design with special artificial rubber legs to keep a steady air flow output to the tank. The pressure delivered can be adjusted using the knob on top of the air pump.

This pump is designed to be extra quiet with a multi-level muffler, making sure it does not constantly make loud, inconvenient noises in the home or at the office.

The pump itself is powerful and strong enough to efficiently provide air and water circulation in a short period of time. With a pressure control knob on top, you can control how much air and how fast the air should be pumped into your aquarium. This way, you'll be in full control of the appropriate air pumping for your tank size.

There is one con with this air pump and that's the fact that it's not completely waterproof. So if you plan to use the air pump in the spot where there may be water splashes, remember to cover the pump to protect it from the water.

Also, the pump does not come with any tubing included, so if you don’t already have some tubing, you will need to buy the suitable tubes separately.

Things We Liked

Powerful and reliable performance

Extra quiet with multi-level mufflers

Pressure control knob

Many outlet options for convenience

Low energy consumption

Things We Didn't Like

No tubing included

Hear's a nice video about why you may need an air pump.


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