Even though it might be something as simple as just choosing between a submersible pump or an air pump, there are actually quite a few things to keep in mind when making your choice.
Whether you’re adding a new tank, recommending a gift for someone with an aquarium, or looking to upgrade your old equipment, it helps to have a good idea of what to look for in a fish tank pump and how to narrow down your choices.
Check out our fish tank pump buyer’s guide for a look at all of the top options on the market today along with a comparison of some of the best options for various needs.
All of our links are non-affiliate and below our top picks.
|400 GPH Submersible Water Pumps||Best Overall|
|Homasy 80 GPH||Budget Pick|
|Reeflo Snapper Aquarium Water Pump||Upgrade Pick|
1. 400 GPH Submersible Water Pumps
The very first things that impressed me about this product was the fact that it came with two nozzles. This made it incredibly easy to switch from a stream to a spray.
The Flow curve allows the pump to operate on a lower/maximum capacity of 50%. In turn, saving on energy costs.
The pump is very quiet. This quietness is due to the pressure sensitive pump basket.
2. Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump Dual Outlet
The Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump is a dual outlet air pump style that operates on a preset time cycle. It’s quiet, easy to use, and easy to maintain. Its compact size makes it perfect for use in smaller, medium, or large tanks.
The pump itself has two separate plugs. One for the pump and the other for the light. The pump itself rests on the suction cup.
The pump is pretty silent, however, the noise from the air stone is noticeable. It also has a fairly long air cycle on the preset setting.
3. hygger Quiet Mini Air Pump
For Water Siphon, Bubbler and Aerator.
This pump is nearly silent when operating. It won’t disturb you and your family as you go about your day-to-day lives. And, this pump is a fraction of the cost of similar pumps. This great deal makes it a top choice product and our best aquarium and fish tank pumps of 2019. Most customers agree that it is indeed the best aquarium and fish tank pumps that are available.
This pump comes with accessories: air tubing, air stone, and porous stone. Thee accessories make this pump excellent for an aquarium, water siphon or an aerator.
4. boxtech 264-1057 GPH Submersible Water Pump
- GPH Pump system that delivers 242 GPH, 1/5HP and 1000W motor
- Super quiet
- Has a 3 mode adjustment switch
- Pump Submersible up to 33 feet
- Power: 1000W
- No pump guard
- No warranty
We were impressed with this smaller but still powerful submersible aquarium water pump by Boxtech. We can see why this got over 1000 very happy Amazon customer reviews. The great thing about this pump is that you can set it up both on a desk and in a fish tank. You won’t be able to put it in a pond, but it can reach a depth of 33 feet submersed.
The pump itself is made from very high quality external materials. When you first see the pump, you get the sense that you’re looking at a far more expensive water pump.
The pump has 3 different settings, so if you want to you can set it up without the fish tank growing loud. For most people it’s only the highest setting that will be of any use.
5. Homasy 400GPH Submersible Pump 25W Fountain Water Pump
- Takes up little space – only 6.4 inches
- Comes with two nozzles – a stream nozzle – great for aeration
- Offers precise flow rate
- Not the most powerful reef pump
- Could be louder
This aquarium pump from Homasy offers great value for money. At 400 gph, it’s powerful enough to aerate a large tank. It comes with two nozzles – a stream that works well for aeration, as well as a bubble jet that creates a gentle oxygen flow.
The pump is submersible. Its operation is easy to adjust via the control knob. The cord is quite lengthy, so you won’t have to worry about it stretching short.
6. KEDSUM 800GPH Submersible Water Pump(3000L/H,60W)
Ponds, Waterfall, Wet Dry, Indoor or Outdoor Use.
The KEDSUM aquarium/ pond is ideal if you’re looking for an efficient water pump for your aquarium, fountain or pond. It’s made from stainless steel, with a submersible motor, allowing it to run quietly. Furthermore, the pump comes with a 10ft cord which means you can position it wherever you like.
This unit is ideal for indoor and outdoor use as well. It can be used for fish tanks, water fountains, aquariums, fresh water, ponds, aquarium, ponds, waterfalls, water, fall, outdoor and indoor use.
7. Reeflo Snapper Aquarium Water Pump
Looking for a top performing aquarium pump? If so, look no further than the Reeflo Snapper.
The Reeflo Snapper is a solidly built pump that comes with 3 powerful settings.
Its 3 different settings are perfect for aquatic plants, heaters, filters, and waterfalls alike.
8. EcoPlus 728450 Eco Air1 Air Pump 1-18 Watt Single Outlet
This is a great pump for smaller water features or to transfer water from one fish tank to another. It’s quiet enough to run in a bedroom and runs on 120 volts, 60 hertz.
The pump will provide a flow rate of 793 GPH. It’s air-powered, meaning there’s no wasteful dripping into your water reservoir. The water that comes out of the pump is clean and clear and smells fresh. If you’re not looking for a pump that will power a significant amount of water, this is a great choice for you. It’s ideal for ponds, dwarf shrimp tanks, automatic air stones, small hydroponic systems or to transfer water between fish tanks.
9. Eheim AEH1001310 Compact Water Pump 600
- Comes with a large assortment of adaptors for connecting to different aquariums
- Will automatically turn on and off with your aquarium
- Maximum flow rate of 5.5 gallons per hour
- Surprisingly quiet; 24 dBA at the 25% maximum output
- Due to its small size, it won’t be able to support a large aquarium
- May be pricey for a budget buyer
/Fish Tank (up to 50 u.s.g)
If you’re looking for a water pump for your low maintenance aquarium, the Eheim Compact Water Pump is a great choice.
The LS120 is a compact and quiet water pump which will function as a primary or secondary water pump system for aquariums up to 50 U.S. gallons (200 liters) and an external filter in up to 60 U.S. gallons (240 liters).
10. Uniclife DEP-4000 Controllable DC Water Pump 1052 GPH
While there are many other pumps that are more powerful, the Uniclelife DEP-4000 is claimed to be the most popular pump. One of the main reasons why it’s so popular is probably because of its versatility.
This is because you’re able to adjust the flow rate from 400gph to 1052gph. The ideal flow rate for a Betta fish tank is 800gph. Therefore, you can choose from 2 flow rates that give you the perfect flow for your tank.
The Uniclelife DEP-4000 is completely submersible, so it will be easy to set up. In addition, the submersible pump is more energy efficient.
11. AquaTop Maxflow Submersible Nano Pump
The AquaTop Maxflow Submersible Nano Pump certainly doesn’t sound like one of the best aquarium pumps, it’s so quiet that you can barely tell it’s running.
Where many pumps don’t last long, this one certainly does, and that’s thanks to its solid design and superb quality materials.
The pump itself is very small and compact, and has a suction cup for easy installation. This gives you more freedom to design your tank however you want it.
12. Homasy 80 GPH
- Small, efficient, and cost-effective tank … only 6 inches long
- Works as a fountain or pump
- Very easy to clean and maintain
- Water usually back flows into the pump
- The cord is about 75 cm long
- Uses a magnetic start instead of a switch
With the Homasy aquarium and fish tank submersible pump, you will save a lot of space and money because this product can pump both air and water. With its high performance, you can make a waterfall, fountain, tornado, or any water feature.
This product is bigger than you imagine. The base is 4 inches in diameter and 6 inches long. It provides reliable, 24/7 circulation of the water for your aquarium and fish tank.
High-quality resin suction cups and flexible rubber joints are included for easy installation. It is very quiet to give you a nice and quiet environment to sleep. In addition, it gives an extra edge to your fish tank because it provides many bacteria and oxygen into the water for the fish, so your fish can live a healthy life.
13. Danner Supreme Aqua-Mag Magnetic Drive Water Pump 700 GPH
- This pump comes with two nozzles; a 3-inch, and a 4-inch nozzle
- The Danner water pump is very portable and perfect for travel
- The Danner Aqua-Mag water pump comes with a one year warranty from the manufacturer
- The manufacturer recommends a Gator brand hand pump to save electricity costs
- The electrical cord is only six feet long
- The Danner Aqua-Mag water pump is a bit louder than other pumps
The Danner Aqua-Mag water pump is powerful yet convenient pump. Ideal for any kind of aquariums, ponds, or lakes.
This pump has a strong magnetic drive with a high quality casing. This pump also comes with a 90-day back guarantee, you can try it risk-free.
The one-year warranty from the manufacturer is a nice bonus. This gives you more assurance that the unit you’re buying will last a long time.
14. KEDSUM 550GPH Submersible Water Pump(2500L/H,40W)
- Quiet, 2W per running watt
- Low energy consumption, only consuming 40W, among the best in its class
- You can use the pump to move water both vertically and horizontally; this gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility and water movement options.
- The pump comes with a power cord that’s 5 feet long; this will allow you to move water wherever you need it without having to make a ton of electrical cords.
- The pump comes with 6 various nozzle sizes; which will give you the flexibility you need to move the water the way you want to move it.
- The pump will put out 550 gallons of water per hour and will go as deep as 4 feet below the surface of the water
- Excellent quality product that will last a very long time – even with the harshest conditions
- The pump comes with a 180 day warranty, which will keep you protected if you run into any issues during that time
- Easy to assemble
- Very easy to clean and maintain
15. EcoPlus Eco 396 Water Pump Fixed Flow Submersible Or Inline
Chief among the features of the Eco Plus Eco-396 pump is it’s three-way sealed pump. This ensures a level flow of water, and an optimum level of noise. This pump is somewhat unique as it is much quieter than most similar products, but offers the same flow of water as your traditional water pump. It also has a built-in thermal overload protection, which is perfect for smaller aquariums and ponds.
The product itself has an in-line design, so you can choose to run it directly through your filter, or you can attach it to the side of your tank. The pump is also very light, which is slightly better than others. Although the fact that it’s so light leads to the negative aspects we listed in the cons of this product.
16. Marineland Maxi-Jet Pro Pump
Growing Betta fish need a lot of oxygen to breathe and this pump can provide oxygen at 20X levels. There’s also a pulse action that simulates the movements of fish gills. The adjustable flow control will allow you to fine tune the water flow so your Betta can swim comfortably without the water flowing too fast or too slow.
The Marineland Maxi-Jet Pro pump is easy to use and easy to install. The pump is designed to handle water up to 2160 gallons. The full immersion pump is similarly suitable for saltwater or freshwater tanks.
17. Tetra Whisper Air Pump
- Exceptionally quiet, fits in any background noise
- Bigger air pump
- Can be used in deeper water
- Provides continuous oxygen flow
- Suited for tank sizes up to 20 gallons
- Clear filtering system to keep an eye on how well it can work
- Non-corrosive, includes a removable air intake pre-filter
- Back flow prevention to prevent the fish tank water from flowing back into the air pump
- Automatic shut off when the water surface drops
- Sometimes the screw breaks
- Sometimes it takes a while to start up
- Only comes with a one-year warranty
- The indicator light doesn’t stay on like some of the other air pumps on this list.
- It could be a bit pricey
The Tetra Whisper Air Pump for Deep Water Applications is best choosing for aquariums and fish tanks 10 to 20 gallons. It’s perfectly quiet for any background noise, providing continuous oxygen flow. It even comes with a 1-year guarantee to make sure it lasts for a longer period of time.
18. FREESEA 160-1100 GPH Submersible Water Pump
- Designed for aquariums, waterfalls, fountains, hydroponic systems, and ponds up to 1100 gallons.
Made of 100% stainless steel, fused together to ensure high quality and durability.
4 inch thick silicon rubber suction cups to attach to glass, and a protective safety plastic ring guard against any pump.
Perfect for home water features, ponds, fountains, hydroponic systems, filters, and aquariums.
19. Aqueon Aquarium Circulation Pump
The Aqueon is a powerful, inexpensive, strong aquarium pump with suction cups. This makes it easy to place this pump in the tank without any hassle.
The power of this pump is very impressive, it has up to 69 gallons per hour. It is very easy to clean it due to the fact that the motor is covered by a protective cap.
The length of the cord is really short, only being 2 feet or so, which means you can put this where you want (with suction cups). The flow rate is good, and it can go a long time without having to do any maintenance to it.
20. Odyssea WP Series Submersible Aquarium Water Pump
If you’re looking for a way to maintain your tank’s water level, then Odyssea WP Series Submersible Aquarium Water Pumps are an excellent choice. These are designed for aquariums of 50 gallons and up.
They provide a flow rate of around 980 gallons per hour. This pump also has a superior design and includes a metal ring that protects the motor from any water damage.
It’s also a bit more powerful than other models with a max power of 85 watts.
21. SUNSUN JP Aquarium Power Head
- Very durable and high quality
- Can easily adjust the flow of water
- Comes at a reasonable price
- Can feel a tad loud
- Not very easy to install
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There are many different ways on how to get rid of the fish tank odor. However, this is probably the easiest way on how to do it.
The Sunkiko Aquarium Air Pump is very easy to use. You only need to push it to the water so that it will pump the air into the water. This process will make it easier to get rid of the fish tank smell.
22. MOUNTAIN_ARK DC 12V Mini Submersible Water Pump 63 Gal Pump
- Quiet and powerful. Noiseless during the operation (no rattling noise, quite smooth)
- Lightweight, compact, built-in switch, easy to control.
- Low Speed Mode:
- The pump is great! But it eats batteries like crazy! So maybe it should be labeled NOT for long-term use, or needs batteries to be replaced regularly.
- I used a 12V 8A (800mA) battery to power it. At max speed, it eats about 180 mA, which means it can be used for about 2 hours.
If 1 small air pump is in low speed mode, the air pump will produce the air flow 0.2m3/min (115L/H). With this capacity, it produces no sound, very comfortable.
This low-speed air pump is a good option for small household use, including aquariums, terrariums, waterfalls, fountains, etc.
High Speed Mode:
- This low-speed air pump is a good option for small household use, including aquariums, terrariums, waterfalls, fountains, etc.
23. Lyqily 210GPH Water Pump Ultra Quiet 15W Submersible Fountain Aquarium Fish Pond Hydroponic Pump
- It is quiet and won’t wake you up at night
- It is very easy to install
- Easy adjustable flow valve
- The screwdriver is made of stainless steel
- Five-year warranty
- Despite the high lift, it doesn’t really move that much water
- The cord is a bit too short
- Not rated for outdoor use
- It’s not very durable
If you’re after a quiet, low-maintenance pump for your fish tank, then the Lyqily is a solid contender.
It’s quite small although it has a high rated lift which is suitable for several uses. Just like with any pump, durability is a factor when it comes to long-term use.
According to reviews, most people are happy with the product, mainly due to its quietness and reliability.
24. Pawfly 2 Outlets Oxygen Pump
This aquatics pump from Pawfly has a quiet operation and can be used in smaller tanks – up to 30 gallons.
This compact oxygen pump is a 2-outlet venturi aerator that can be used for all types of aquariums. It’s a good choice for beginners looking for an affordable option to spread the oxygen around the tank.
It’s easy to assemble and doesn’t require any special tools. To use it, just simply plug it in and it’ll start pumping the air.
25. Hygger Powerful Dual Aquarium Air Pump 250GPH Quiet Fish Tank Air Pump Freshwater Saltwater Aerator Oxygen Pump
- Small and lightweight
- Easy to clean
- Can be used as an aquarium filter or air pump compatible with all sizes of fish tanks
- Provides a continuous air flow of 16 L/Min
- Built-in oxygen diffuser with adjustable air-inlet
- Drain valve and mosquito protection mesh
As we started to search for the perfect air pump for our fish tanks, we realized there were many limitations. That is until we found this Hygger Dual Aquarium Air Pump.
First off, we have to mention that it comes in many sizes. Their smallest aquarium air pump can support 2 tanks of 16 gallons. Their largest aquarium air pump can support fish tanks of up to 600 gallons.
Some of our customers bought this air pump because their fish were gasping for air. After a few weeks of using this air pump, the fish were completely fine.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best aquarium air pump?
How long do aquarium pumps last?
Aquarium pumps tend to last between 3-10 years.
The more you pay for your pump, the longer it will last!
This is because the more expensive pumps tend to be made from better materials than the cheaper ones. These materials are better suited to withstand a tank’s environment than the cheaper plastics.
Is a bubbler good for a fish tank?
It's a good question. Whether using a bubbler on a fish tank or aquarium is a great way to oxygenate and change the quality of the water. However, some fish don't respond well to larger vibrations, so it's important to rule out any possible effects before using a bubbler in your fish tank.
Which fish tank is easiest to maintain?
Discus fish are the easiest to keep because they are easy going. They are not picky eaters and they don’t spit up or regurgitate. The only thing you have to do is feed them regularly and keep the water clean (not to mention decorate your fish tank brilliantly!).
Popular or easy to keep tanks:
- Freshwater Coral Aquariums
- Discus Fish Tanks
- Freshwater Fish Tanks
There’s no denying that when it comes to aquarium and fish tanks, it’s pretty much installed correctly, a good circulation and filtration system is crucial or else you run the risk of having your fishy friends suffer from poor water quality. Before you start, you’re probably wondering which pump for aquariums is the best for you.
|400 GPH Submersible Water Pumps||Best Overall|
|Homasy 80 GPH||Budget Pick|
|Reeflo Snapper Aquarium Water Pump||Upgrade Pick|