How to Use an Aquarium Air Pump (and Make It Quieter)
Air pumps are commonly used with aquarium filters, decorations, and many other air-driven devices, but what exactly do they do and how do you know if your fish tank needs one? In this article, we explain when to use an air pump, how to pick the right one, and how to install it in your aquarium.
What is an Air Pump for Fish Tanks?
An air pump can be described as a mechanical device outside of the fish tank that pumps water into the aquarium using electricity. The air moves from the air pump to any decoration for the aquarium or device that uses airline tubing. Bubbles are created when the air enters water. These bubbles float to the surface, and then pop.
The rising bubbles help create movement in the water, as well as surface agitation. Good surface agitation is the key to proper gas exchange in the aquarium, so that excess carbon dioxide (a waste product produced by your fish) is released into the air and new oxygen from the air dissolves into the water for your fish to breathe. To increase oxygen levels in your water, you can add an air pump to your fish’s aquarium with a simple stone.
Does an aquarium require an air pump? Some filters, such as canister and hang-on back filters, require an electric motor to move water. These filters are not compatible for use with an air filter. An air pump is needed for air-driven filters such as sponge and undergravel. If you are still not sure, please read the instructions and find out if your equipment or decoration requires an air compressor to operate.
Sponge filters are made with air pumps that create bubbles in the sponge to pull water through it and remove any particles.
What are the uses of an aquarium air-pump? They can be used in conjunction with many fish-tank decorations and devices such as a.
Air stone, also known as aquarium bubbler, is a device that creates finer bubbles from an air pump. This can be used to reduce noise and improve filtration (when combined with a filter). – Sponge filter – uses bubbles to draw water through the filter to grow beneficial bacteria. Moving bed filter – uses air to stir the biological filter media. – Fish tank decoration: bubbles are used to open and close treasure boxes ornaments or imitate a little diver. – Egg tumbler – uses air to gently to turn eggs or fish eggs or shrimp eggs.
How to Install an Aquarium Pump
An air pump pumps air into an aquarium by sucking it in from the outside. A few accessories are needed to help guide the airflow in the right direction at the right pressure. To get started, most people recommend purchasing a roll of airline tubing with a check valve. Other items may be required depending on your application.
The air flow from an air pump is directed into the aquarium equipment and ornament by the airline tubing.
This black tube is used to direct airflow from the air pump to the sponge filter.
After you have purchased your air pump, accessory, or aquarium decoration, please follow these simple instructions to install it.
1. Next, place the air compressor in the final position outside of your aquarium. Then cut the airline tubing so that it is long enough for you to connect the pump to the aquarium. (Add some extra slack in the airline tubing just in case you need to move the air pump or aquarium apparatus in the future.) 2. Place one end the airline tubing into the aquarium and the other in the fish tank. Connect the other end the airline tubing to your air pump. 3. You can skip this step if your air pump is located higher than the aquarium’s top. If the air pump is positioned lower than the top of the aquarium, you need a check valve to prevent water leakage through the airline tubing. Attach the check valve between the aquarium device and the sponge filter. The check valve should be attached so that the flapper at the check valve (typically a horizontal or colored bar) faces the air pump. You can’t turn the air pump on if the check valve is installed backwards. Instead, flip it around.
1. To prevent water from getting into the wall outlet, create a drip loop using the power cable to the air pump. Then plug the pump in. You should begin to see bubbles from your aquarium device within a few seconds.
The user manuals usually contain detailed instructions on how to install your aquarium or air pump. Please refer to them for further details.
How can an aquarium air pump adjusted? Adjusting the airflow may be necessary if there is excessive bubbling. You can adjust the flow of some air pumps with an adjustable dial. An air valve is also available to control the air flow if your pump isn’t adjustable.
Should my air pump be turned off at night? To ensure that your fish have good water circulation and oxygen, it is a good idea to keep the pump on throughout the day. You can find possible remedies for noises from an air pumps at night in the section below.
How to Make an Aquarium Pump Quieter
An air pump that you purchased from a pet shop is likely a diaphragm pump. This pump uses a diaphragm to rapidly vibrate back and forth to pull in air from its surroundings, and push it into your fish tank. Over time, the vibration can become loud. These are some ways to make it less annoying:
To absorb vibrations, you can place a small towel or block of foam under the pump. Place the cushion and the air pump on a flat surface that doesn’t vibrate. Hanging the air pump up by the power cord is a good idea if it’s not too heavy. This will keep the pump from vibrating or touching anything. – Clean the aquarium device or decor attached to your air pump because it may have gotten clogged from debris or algae growth. You might consider replacing your old air pump with one that is quieter and more compact, like the USB nano-air pump. – If the bubbling noise is too loud, try adding an air stone to the aquarium device, if possible. The bubbles created by an air stone are smaller, and they don’t make as much noise when they hit the surface. You can read our article to learn how to place an air stone inside a sponge filter.
The bubbling noise from a sponge or air-driven filter is significantly reduced and the filter’s efficiency increased by adding an air stone.
What is the Best Aquarium Pump?
After testing hundreds of air pumps, we finally settled on three units that offer superior reliability, low noise and are affordable. Each pump works best in different applications. So choose the one that is right for you.
Recommendations for Air Pumps for Small Tanks, Fish Transportation, Power Outages
USB nano air pump
The USB nano air pump is well-suited for nano tanks, larger aquariums that need an extra air stone, and even outdoor mini ponds (if protected from extreme weather). It operates silently and consumes very little electricity.
You have a lot of options when it comes powering your air pump with the USB power cord. It can be plugged into any regular outlet (adapter is included), a car that has a USB outlet, cigarette lighter adapter or a USB battery pack to provide power for short drives and power outages.
Recommended Air Pump for Large or Deep Tanks