Choosing aquarium air pump

Many species of aquarium fish will not survive without aeration. The only exception is fish that can breathe air from the surface. The main disadvantage of aerating devices is the noise they produce. Experienced aquarists have come up with many ways to reduce the buzzing level of the unit. Many people immediately buy a silent air pump for an aquarium.

How to use

In the operation of air pumps, disputes often begin. Some do not turn off it, others turn it on only after the feeding process. But more comfortable for the fish will be the mode of alternating on and off at regular intervals: work 2/2 hours (that is, the air is supplied for 2 hours and the device is off for 2 hours) or 3/3 hours. But you should not take too long breaks, because the oxygen in the water decreases. Turn on the aerator after feeding – fish need a lot of oxygen to digest their food.

Air pump types

All quiet compressors for aquarium are divided into 2 types by internal mechanisms: membrane and piston.

Membrane type releases air through several internal moving membranes. The air flows in one direction and does not suck water into the device. Membrane compressors are distinguished by low energy consumption and operate almost silently, apart from the splash of water. But this type is only suitable for small tanks with a small population of fish, the volume of which does not exceed 150 liters. Valued as an inexpensive but durable air pump.

Piston compressors operate by an internal piston that pushes air streams through the tube. This species is not so quiet and emits a slight buzz, which is not very noticeable. They differ in a higher price, but they are able to enrich much larger volumes of liquid with oxygen. Low-cost piston devices are often not of good quality. They get quite hot, which will have a bad effect on fish.

There are commercially available devices that do not release air bubbles from the underwater tube, but are located on the surface. They create ripples on the water and constant movement of water, during which the water is enriched with oxygen. But this species is not suitable for keeping bottom fish.

Aerating devices are powered from the electric socket, but there are also batteries. Battery operated aerators are used to transport fish.

An alternative to the silent aerator for the aquarium are oxidizers. These devices are absolutely silent, because the process of enriching water with oxygen occurs due to chemical reactions. The device contains hydrogen peroxide, which decomposes into water and oxygen due to the action of catalysts – metals.

Aquascapers also use aquarium pumps. This collar pump combines the functions of aerator and filter – enriches the air with oxygen and purifies the water. It is most commonly found in large-scale aquariums. The aquarium pump makes little noise due to being completely submerged in water.

For aquarium small volume

Aquael OxyBoost 300, Aquael, Triton, Sicce and DoPhin AP 1301 are considered suitable for tanks with small volumes.

Aquael OxyBoost 300 is a fairly inexpensive and practical air pump. Rubber mounts are available to reduce noise and vibration. Energy consumption is 2.5 W, and the amount of distilled water is 100 liters per hour. Differs in small size. Disadvantage – rubber feet don’t always reduce noise.

DoPhin AP 1301 is a miniature device that produces up to 95 liters per hour and consumes 1.7 watts of energy. The maximum aeration tank size is 125 liters. The noise level is low. The kit does not include additional equipment. If necessary, you will have to buy it yourself.

Sicce is a low power aquarium equipment and is therefore well suited for small tanks. When mounted in an upright position, vibrations are minimal due to the special feet. It is possible to customize performance. Suitable for aquariums up to 100 liters.

Triton is a micro-compressor manufactured by a Chinese company. The power is 3 W and is suitable for tanks up to 150 liters.

Aquael is produced by a Polish company. They create a minimum amount of noise and are unusual new appearance.

For aquarium large volumes

For large tanks, Schego Optimal and COLLAR are suitable.

Schego Optimal is designed for capacities up to 300 liters and is capable of pumping 250 liters per hour. Consumes 5 watts of energy. Vibrations are weak, so they generate almost no noise. With the help of a splitter, the tubes from the apparatus can be led to several aquariums. The aquascaper chooses the position himself: the compressor can be suspended in the air or attached on legs. The aerator has a high-quality membrane, there is a pre-filter; all this protects the device from dirt and damage. Long service life.

COLLAR is suitable for tanks of 200 liters and is suitable for large aquariums, although it is small in size. The tube height is 80 cm, and the power of the device is 3 W. The model has a long service life and quality parts. Suitable for all aquariums.

High power

Powerful devices provide a sufficient amount of oxygen every day. This is especially important in densely populated reservoirs. The most common brands are Eheim, JBL ProSilent.

Eheim is produced by a German company and is of recognized quality. The device pumps 400 liters of water per hour. The device is suitable for all aquariums. The kit also includes a spray bottle and a long hose. Power consumption 5 W. The aerator is quiet and almost invisible. The owner of the underwater inhabitants is able to adjust the spray and flow power he needs. The disadvantage is the high cost.

JBL ProSilent features full performance adjustment. The device is capable of pumping from 50 to 400 liters per hour with an energy consumption of 2.2 to 5.5 W. Aerators vary in type depending on where they are located in the aquarium. Silent operation is ensured by soft feet and a built-in silencer. Quite high cost.


Portable devices are needed during periods of fish transportation or during power outages. These compressors do not work from the electric socket, like most devices, but from the batteries located inside. The most common device is the Hagen Marina air pump. The device pumps 50 liters per hour and has a low price.

Install the silent compressor correctly

Before installation, find a location for the compressor and read the instructions. Some models sit directly in the water, others above the surface. External air pumps are attached to a table, aquarium lid or special places – shelves. Place at such a distance that the length of the underwater tube extends to the bottom of the aquarium. The lower the spray point is, the better the water is enriched with oxygen.Instances with suction cups are attached directly to the walls of the aquarium, and the outer tube is on the surface.

It is better to place the underwater tube next to the heater. Air bubbles will immediately mix layers with different temperatures, which will have a beneficial effect on fish, because the same temperature throughout the aquarium is more useful for them.

Remote compressors are the solution to the noise problem for some. The device itself with a long tube is placed away from the aquarium, sometimes even in another room. This provides complete silence if other noise reduction methods fail.

DIY silent compressor

It is possible to make a quiet compressor on your own, and not to purchase it in a store, where the prices for devices are very high.

It is important to understand how the device works before operating. During operation, the aerator must first accumulate air, and then release it under pressure through the tube in the aquarium. The place for the accumulation of air is most often the chambers of balls, cars, balloons. Usually these are objects made of rubber, which has a slight stretch. In addition to a rubber tube, you will need a small hand pump from a car or bicycle.

To connect, you will need to purchase a three-way valve. These faucets vary in size. You need a small faucet, used for heating systems, and miniature products, for example, for medical purposes. You will also need a tube from the dropper, at the end of which there should be a clamp.

How to make a silent compressor for an aquarium with your own hands:

  • Attach 3 thin tubes to the pump, rubber bladder, and the third will supply air. Connect everything and ensure tightness.
  • Glue the free end, and make several small holes in the tube.
  • Pump up the rubber bladder with a hand pump, then block this path.
  • Open the passage from the chamber to the free tube.
  • Adjust the tube diameter with the clamp.
  • Experiment with the amount and rate of air that is appropriate for your fish.

The primitive air pump is ready. But consider the need to constantly pump up the chamber with a pump so that the air does not run out. This should be done 2 times a day, approximately every 12 hours, so you cannot leave the hand-held device for a long time.

The best air pump model for quality and price

The leader among other silent aerators is Tetra APS. The pump is powerful enough to operate in both small and large aquariums ranging from 5 to 100 liters. It is noted for its high performance, because in 1 hour Tetra APS pumps up to 100 liters. Power consumption is low – only 2.5 watts.

Quietness is achieved through rubberized feet and mounts that suppress any vibration and noise. Even more of the emitted noise is reduced due to the structure of the apparatus.

The aquarist is able to independently regulate the amount of incoming air.

The low price further increases the popularity of the compressor. You can buy Tetra APS pretty cheaply.

Noise reduction options

Even initially silent air pumps may begin to emit an audible hum and noise after a while. This is especially troublesome when finding an aquarium in living rooms, bedrooms, or in large aquariums that require powerful devices. You can also reduce the noise level at home.

If the source of the noise is the buzzing of the aerator against objects, glass, then the solution to the problem will be placing a soft dish sponge under the compressor. The sponge will absorb noise and buzz.

For the compressor, boxes for partial insulation are made of wood or plastic, and inside with foam rubber.

If this does not eliminate the noise, then open the device without damaging the parts. Usually, the noise is emitted by the operation of the membrane pressing on the air. Carefully cut or saw off the interfering parts of the diaphragm and the noise will disappear.

Excessive sounds and poor performance of the aeration device are often caused by contamination of internal parts. To prevent contamination, clean the aquarium monthly. Loose parts also make noise. To stop the noise, simply twist the loose parts.


The silent aquarium compressor is considered a simple device, but without it the maintenance of an aquarium is unthinkable. This device must be purchased before purchasing fish. Pay great attention to the quality of the device. You also need to take into account the power, volume of the aquarium and the number of underwater inhabitants. Therefore, the compressor is invaluable in maintaining a comfortable living environment for fish.