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Aquarium Air Pumps 

Air pumps are used in aquariums to circulate air into your tank. Air pumps move air into a tank through a pressure system or via electromagnetism.

Why do I need an air pump?

Air pumps have many uses:

  • They can create a current in the water which can stop the tank from stagnating.
  • Some semi-aquatic animals require air to be pumped in to provide fresh air for them to inhale. Animals such as crabs, newts and frogs will require some fresh air.
  • Some aquarium ornaments will look better with moving parts such as spinning wheels or turning valves.
  • If you have certain air filters in your tank you may be required to have an air pump.
  • Air pumps can run ‘air stones’ which create a cascade of bubbles for decorative purposes.

Types of pump

There are two main types of pump:

  • Compression pumps – use a pressurised system to move air
  • Diaphragm pumps – these use an electromagnet which vibrates a rubber diaphragm at high speed to move air

What to consider when purchasing an air pump

When purchasing an air pump it is important to choose a pump that is large enough for your tank’s needs.  

It is worthwhile picking an air pump slightly larger than you think you need in case you have underestimated your calculations but also gives you room for expansion in your tank.

Features of air pumps

There is a variety of air pumps on the market that can provide different features such as:

  • Silent pumps – all diaphragm pumps will naturally make noise due to the rapid movement of the diaphragm, there are now many pumps that promote a silencing feature to reduce this noise.
  • Deep water pumps – if your tank is taller than 50cm you will need to purchase a deep water pump that will drive the air further down the tank.
  • Serve more than one tank – some air pumps have multiple vents which mean you can serve multiple tanks with just one air pump.
  • Battery air pumps – air pumps that can operate without being connected to a mains power source. These can be very useful for peace of mind as a backup source if you experience any electrical power failures and can be useful if your aquarium is in transit.