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Best Air Pumps for At-Home Aquariums

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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.

You’ll barely hear this

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.

Key Features:

  • Consumes hardly any energy
  • Medium-sized tanks up to 13 gallons
  • Compact, lightweight, stable, and long-lasting
Quietest Aquarium Air Pump Ultra Silent High Energy Saving Oxygen Air Pump Aquarium for Fish Ta… Price:$16.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Keep more of your area covered

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.

Key Features:

  • Provides steady oxygen supply for up to 100 gallons
  • Whisper-quiet air supply stream
  • Two return valves, air stones, and connectors
Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump 4 Watt 4-LPM 2 Outlets with Accessories, Adjustable Oxygen Pump for… Price:$16.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Keep your wallet full

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.

Key Features:

  • Smaller one works for 10 gallons
  • Free app
  • Patented dome shape
Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump for Aquariums (Non-UL), Up to 10-Gallons List Price:$10.99 Price:$5.85 You Save:$5.14 (47%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Work with many kinds

Best for Multiple TanksImage source: HIRALIY/Amazon

The HIRALIY Aquarium Air Pump has dual outlets for multiple uses. This offers three watts of power and there are two pieces of 6.6-foot silicone tubing that are easy to insert into multiple fish tanks. This is widely suitable for both freshwater and marine aquarium fish tanks. This has an adjustable flow rate that is suitable for an 80-gallon tank. It is minimally noisy and has 20 dB at its lowest flow rate. The shockproof and stable performance is aided by four solid rubber feet on the bottom.

Key Features:

  • 6.6-foot silicone tubing
  • Widely suitable for both freshwater and marine aquarium fish tanks
  • Adjustable flow rate
HIRALIY Aquarium Air Pump, Fish Tank Air Pump with Dual Outlet Adjustable Air Valve, Ultra Sile… Price:$16.98 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Fit it in easily

Most DurableImage source: VIVOHOME/Amazon

The VIVOHOME Electromagnetic Commercial Air Pump puts a great output. This pushes 950 gallons per hour to deliver lots of airflow. This has six outlets, making it ideal for running several water farms or multiple airstones at one time. The electromagnetic air compressor is in an aluminum alloy case with cylinders and pistons that are made of premium materials. This is strong and durable and ready to use as soon as you get it. The pump is heat-resistant and makes sure there is plenty of ventilation.

Key Features:

  • Six outlets
  • Electromagnetic air compressor
  • Works as soon as you get it
VIVOHOME Commercial Air Pump 32W 950GPH 6 Outlets for Fish Tank Aquaponics and Hydroponic Syste… Price:$39.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

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