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Owning your own pet fish takes more than just putting it in a fishbowl, feeding it once or twice a day, and calling it quits. There is, perhaps surprisingly, a long list of ways to accommodate your small gilled friend, particularly when it comes to the actual tank/aquarium that you’re holding them in. Surprisingly — and perhaps contrary to popular belief — your fish’s setup needs its own supply of air to keep them healthy and safe. Just because they can’t breathe out of water doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t need some air. But how, exactly, do they receive the additional oxygen? The best way to get your fish some quality air is through an aquarium air pump. The problem is, high-quality air pumps can be hard to come by. Whether they’re super loud, inexplicably inefficient, or just simply not powerful enough for your tank, buying the wrong air pump can instantly nix any of your aspirations of efficiently running your own at-home aquarium. Purchasing a high-quality pump, however, can make all the difference in the world — especially for your fish. So let’s take a look at some of the best aquarium air pumps, so you can give your fish the life it deserves, and perhaps more importantly, a quiet environment for both you and your family.

Quietest Air Pump

If your biggest concern is noise — something lower-quality air pumps certainly produce — then you should opt for the Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump, which certainly lives up to its moniker. This pump is driven by a thin piezoelectric ceramic plate and requires no EMI, motor, shaft, or any other troublesome mechanisms. Simply stick the suction cup air pump on the side of the tank and feed the tube into the top of the tank to produce, ultra-quiet, high quality air for your fish. This pump consumes hardly any energy, as it only runs at 1.0W with a flow rate of 240 ml/min. It’s suitable for small and medium-sized tanks up to 13 gallons and can provide a wide-ranging spread of bubbles at a pretty good pace. This air pump is compact, lightweight, stable and long-lasting, providing both quality and efficiency for your fish’s ever-important oxygen supply.

Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump Ultra Silent High Energy Saving Oxygen Air Pump Aquarium fo… Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump Ultra Silent High Energy Saving Oxygen Air Pump Aquarium fo… $17.99 Available from Amazon
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Best Air Pump for Large Aquariums

For larger fish tanks, opting for something like the Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump is definitely the way to go. This adjustable aquarium air pump is great for either freshwater or marine aquariums and at 4 Watts, 4-LPM, and providing 0.016Mpa of pressure, this lightweight air pump can provide a smooth and steady oxygen supply for tanks up to a whopping 100 gallons. Simply choose between the pump’s two outlets, fit for fish tanks from 20 gallons to 100 gallons, and you’ll have a whisper-quiet, wide-ranging air supply stream for your fish in seconds. At its lowest flow rate, you can barely hear the powerful air pump going. Of course, it will grow a bit louder for the higher settings. The air supply is also super easy to adjust, with an intuitive one-touch dial to change airflow instantly. The entire set comes with two return valves, two air stones, a 2M airline, and two connectors that make for quick and easy setup time.

Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump 4 Watt 4-LPM 2 Outlets with Accessories, Adjustable Oxygen Pump for… Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump 4 Watt 4-LPM 2 Outlets with Accessories, Adjustable Oxygen Pump for… $17.98 Available from Amazon
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Best Value Air Pump

In terms of value, the Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump for Aquariums is an absolute home run. This is certainly on the inexpensive side of fish tank air pumps, but it certainly serves the purpose for smaller fish tanks up to 10 gallons. Of course, Tetra also offers iterations for bigger fish tanks, between 20-40 gallons, 40-60 gallons, and 60-100 gallons, for varying prices. In addition to being ultra-affordable, it’s also whisper-quiet, powerful, and highly efficient. The patented dome shape, suspended motors, and sound-dampening chambers all contribute to its soundless ability to produce air, and it even features reduced vibration noises for an overall quieter operation. And for first-time fish owners and veteran aquatic connoisseurs alike, the Tetra even comes with a free app that allows you to simplify water care, set helpful reminders, and keep track of new products that will help give your fish a high-quality of life for years to come.

Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump for Aquariums (Non-UL), Up to 10-Gallons Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump for Aquariums (Non-UL), Up to 10-Gallons $7.99 Available from Amazon
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