Best Aquarium Water Pumps in 2022: Reviews with Comparisons

Best Aquarium Water Pumps in 2022: Reviews with Comparisons

A well-kept aquarium is both beautiful and tranquil. It can provide a focal point for a room and offers parents a way to teach children about nature and caring for pets. However, every aquarium requires specific equipment if the fish and aquatic plants are to survive and thrive. No aquarium can do without a water pump; this simple and relatively inexpensive device provides agitation to increase the water surface. This allows more oxygen to dissolve in the water and releases carbon dioxide from the water. There is a vast array of aquarium pumps on the market for various applications and at reasonable prices. However, choosing the right one for your aquarium can get confusing. We will discuss the five best aquarium water pumps across various sizes and price ranges.

Best Aquarium Water Pumps: Reviews

Comparison Chart

Preview
Best Price
Pawfly Aquarium 40 GPH Compact Air Pump Quiet Oxygen Aerator Pump with Air Stone Airline Tubing and Check Valve Accessories for 5 - 20 Gallon Buckets and Fish Tanks
Uniclife Aquarium 2 Outlets Air Pump 4 Watt 4-LPM Adjustable Flow Rate Oxygen Pump for 10-100 Gallon Fish Tank Hydroponic Systems
KEDSUM 1000GPH Inline/Submersible Water Pump(3800L/H, 72W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 9.8ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 6.5ft Power Cord, 5 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium (580GPH)
Best Choice
KEDSUM 880GPH Submersible Pump(3500L/H, 100W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 11.3ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 5.9 ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank , Pond , Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics
hygger Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit Small Fish Tank Air Pump 1W for 1-20 Gallon Fish Bowl with Air Tube Air Bubbler Stone Check Valve (1W)
Title
Pawfly Aquarium 40 GPH Compact Air Pump Quiet Oxygen Aerator Pump with Air Stone Airline Tubing and Check Valve Accessories for 5 - 20 Gallon Buckets and Fish Tanks
Uniclife Aquarium 2 Outlets Air Pump 4 Watt 4-LPM Adjustable Flow Rate Oxygen Pump for 10-100 Gallon Fish Tank Hydroponic Systems
KEDSUM 1000GPH Inline/Submersible Water Pump(3800L/H, 72W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 9.8ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 6.5ft Power Cord, 5 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium (580GPH)
KEDSUM 880GPH Submersible Pump(3500L/H, 100W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 11.3ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 5.9 ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank , Pond , Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics
hygger Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit Small Fish Tank Air Pump 1W for 1-20 Gallon Fish Bowl with Air Tube Air Bubbler Stone Check Valve (1W)
Customer Rating
Prime
-
Price
$8.99
$13.98
Price not available
$33.99
$13.99
Best Price
Preview
Pawfly Aquarium 40 GPH Compact Air Pump Quiet Oxygen Aerator Pump with Air Stone Airline Tubing and Check Valve Accessories for 5 - 20 Gallon Buckets and Fish Tanks
Title
Pawfly Aquarium 40 GPH Compact Air Pump Quiet Oxygen Aerator Pump with Air Stone Airline Tubing and Check Valve Accessories for 5 - 20 Gallon Buckets and Fish Tanks
Customer Rating
Prime
Price
$8.99
Details
Preview
Uniclife Aquarium 2 Outlets Air Pump 4 Watt 4-LPM Adjustable Flow Rate Oxygen Pump for 10-100 Gallon Fish Tank Hydroponic Systems
Title
Uniclife Aquarium 2 Outlets Air Pump 4 Watt 4-LPM Adjustable Flow Rate Oxygen Pump for 10-100 Gallon Fish Tank Hydroponic Systems
Customer Rating
Prime
Price
$13.98
Details
Preview
KEDSUM 1000GPH Inline/Submersible Water Pump(3800L/H, 72W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 9.8ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 6.5ft Power Cord, 5 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium (580GPH)
Title
KEDSUM 1000GPH Inline/Submersible Water Pump(3800L/H, 72W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 9.8ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 6.5ft Power Cord, 5 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium (580GPH)
Customer Rating
Prime
-
Price
Price not available
Details
Best Choice
Preview
KEDSUM 880GPH Submersible Pump(3500L/H, 100W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 11.3ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 5.9 ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank , Pond , Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics
Title
KEDSUM 880GPH Submersible Pump(3500L/H, 100W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 11.3ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 5.9 ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank , Pond , Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics
Customer Rating
Prime
Price
$33.99
Details
Preview
hygger Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit Small Fish Tank Air Pump 1W for 1-20 Gallon Fish Bowl with Air Tube Air Bubbler Stone Check Valve (1W)
Title
hygger Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit Small Fish Tank Air Pump 1W for 1-20 Gallon Fish Bowl with Air Tube Air Bubbler Stone Check Valve (1W)
Customer Rating
Prime
Price
$13.99
Details

Pawfly MA-60 10 Gallon Aquarium Water Pump

Sale
Pawfly Aquarium 40 GPH Compact Air Pump Quiet Oxygen Aerator Pump with Air Stone Airline Tubing and Check Valve Accessories for 5 - 20 Gallon Buckets and Fish Tanks
3,139 Reviews
Pawfly Aquarium 40 GPH Compact Air Pump Quiet Oxygen Aerator Pump with Air Stone Airline Tubing and Check Valve Accessories for 5 - 20 Gallon Buckets and Fish Tanks
  • Compact & Light: Measures 3.3" L x 1.8" W x 1.6" H. Ideal for those who are tight on space. Suitable for 5 - 20 gallon fresh and marine fish tanks and aquariums.
  • Steady Output: Max air flow rate: 40 GPH; Pressure: 0.012 MPa; Power: 2 W. A strong aerator which withstands long-time use to promote oxygen supplement constantly.
  • Quiet Aeration: With diaphragms inside and 4 shockproof rubber feet to reduce noise and vibration, the pump gives out noise less than 45 dB like the hum of a refrigerator.
  • 1 Air Stone Ball: 0.8" D x 1.35" H. Small size to be easily driven by nano air pumps. Produce lots of medium bubbles to aerate your tanks and enliven the aquatic lives.
  • Other Accessories: Include 5-foot airline tubing with standard 3/16" inner diameter and a check valve to prevent back siphoning of water. All help build the basic aeration setup in your fish tank.

The Pawfly water pump is a complete pump system and includes the air stone, check valve, and a five-foot airline. This compact water pump will suit both freshwater and marine aquariums of up to ten gallons. It has a flow rate of around 24 gallons per hour.

The pump runs quietly, never exceeding 40 dB because it is equipped with four rubber pads to reduce resonance. It also has a check valve to ensure that the water doesn’t siphon back into the pump in the event of a power failure.

The pump fits into a regular two-prong wall fitting and has a generous four-foot mains cable.

This aquarium pump is energy efficient and so compact it will fit into the palm of your hand, making it very discreet.

Uniclife Aquarium 20 to 100 Gallon pump

Uniclife Aquarium 2 Outlets Air Pump 4 Watt 4-LPM Adjustable Flow Rate Oxygen Pump for 10-100 Gallon Fish Tank Hydroponic Systems
332 Reviews
Uniclife Aquarium 2 Outlets Air Pump 4 Watt 4-LPM Adjustable Flow Rate Oxygen Pump for 10-100 Gallon Fish Tank Hydroponic Systems
  • Uniclife Adjustable aquarium air pump is suitable for both Freshwater and Marine Aquariums.
  • 4 Watt, Exhaust: 2.0L/min X 2, Pressure: 0.016Mpa.
  • Adjustable flow rate with 2 outlets, fit for fish tanks from 10-gallon to 100-gallon.
  • Ultra silent, Minimum 25dB (sound like rusting leaves, ticking watch) in lowest flow rate.
  • Comes with 6 ft. long power supply cable. Buy with confidence, if Not, Please contact us for a FULL REFUND.

Suitable for marine and freshwater aquariums, the Uniclife Aquarium 4-watt pump runs at a flow rate of four liters per minute. At its lowest flow rate, this 20-watt pump is ultra-quiet, measuring 25 dB. At maximum flow, the pump runs at 40 dB.

It is compact and lightweight and rated for tanks of up to 100 gallons. The pump also has an adjustment valve, so you can use it to aerate an aquarium as small as 10 gallons.

Use the rotating dial to increase or reduce the flow of water through the dual output valves. The pump comes with a T connector to connect the twin ports to create a single flow of water. The mains cable is six feet long.

KEDSUM 320GPH Submersible Water Pump

KEDSUM 1000GPH Inline/Submersible Water Pump(3800L/H, 72W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 9.8ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 6.5ft Power Cord, 5 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium (580GPH)
533 Reviews
KEDSUM 1000GPH Inline/Submersible Water Pump(3800L/H, 72W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 9.8ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 6.5ft Power Cord, 5 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium (580GPH)
  • 【Submersible/Inline Pump 2in 1】Suitable for AMPHIBIOUS use. It can be submerged in water as a submersible pump or connected to a pipe for use as an inline pump. Perfect for water change, water circuration, hydroponic system, fountains, fish tanks, aquariums, etc. (Note: Make sure to POUR WATER into the pump before EXTERNAL USE)
  • 【Specifications】Dimensions: 6.7x4.7x5.3inches. The 6.5ft long power cord offers convenient installation. Max Flow Rate: 1000 GPH (3800L/H), Max Lift height: up to 9.8 Feet. Watt: 72W; Voltage:110-120V.
  • 【5 Optional Nozzles】It comes with 5 optional nozzles to create different water flow effects, 4 outflow nozzles: 6/7inch(22mm)×2, 1inch(25mm)×2, 1 inflow nozzles: 1inch(25mm).(PLEASE NOTE inline and outlet nozzles has different thread size)
  • 【Detachable & Cleanable】This profile size water pump is easy to hide or disguise. No need any tools to detach it, easy to seperate, easy to clean. 4 rubber suckers on the bottom, can adsorb on the glass surface and reduce noise and vibration
  • 【Warranty】: The relible and duarable motor does not produce much noise, giving you quiet environment. Super durable & reusable; Comes with 1-Year warranty; Any problems with the item you received, please contact us without hesitation

The KEDSUM submersible pump is suitable for small to medium-sized aquariums, water features, and ponds. You can also use it like a fountain. It is small and easy to hide. With a flow rate of 320 gallons per hour, the KEDSUM 320 has a maximum lift height of four feet. At 20 watts, this is an energy-efficient unit.

It has a three-pronged plug on a 6.5-foot mains cable. The pump is equipped with two different outlet adaptors, so you get to choose what flow you want. Then, attach the pump to the aquarium by the glass suction cups.

Pump parts are easy to dismantle and reassemble for cleaning as all parts clip into place. It has no seals or messy oil as it is water-cooled.

KEDSUM 880GPH Submersible Pump (3500L/H, 100W)

KEDSUM 880GPH Submersible Pump(3500L/H, 100W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 11.3ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 5.9 ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank , Pond , Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics
2,368 Reviews
KEDSUM 880GPH Submersible Pump(3500L/H, 100W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 11.3ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 5.9 ft Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank , Pond , Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics
  • 🐳Powerful Speed Flow: The rotor is made of hard polyacetal material, which pumps water faster and more. Max Flow Rate: 880 GPH per hour(3500L/H), Max Lift Height: up to 11.3 Feet.(Length of power cord:5.9ft)
  • 🐳Ultra Quiet: This pump adopts a ceramic shaft, which is more wear-resistant, high temperature resistant and quieter than steel shaft. And it is equipped with one more steel shaft as a replacement shaft, which has a long service life, energy-saving and low power consumption. (Power: 100W, Voltage: 110V)
  • 🐳Perfect size: This profile size water pump is great to hide or disguise (Dimensions: 5.1"(H)*5.1"(L)*3.9"(W)). It is made of epoxy resin, no seals or messy oil, the suction cups mounting feet for either vertical or horizontal mounting.
  • 🐳3 Outlet Adapters: Equipped with 3 Outlet Adapters, one is 0.51inch,one is 0.63inch, and the other is 0.75inch, providing a different water flow as you desired.This submersible pump is ideal for fresh-water, salt-water, can be applied in aquariums, fountains, spouts, hydroponic and ponds.
  • 🐳Detachable and Cleanable: The water pump is easy to detach to clean. [NOTE: This water pump is metric threads. Pump metric threaded fit for vinyl tubing, need a 13mm metric to 0.5" NPT Adapter to fit for standard 1/2" threaded PVC fitting.]

This powerful pump is designed for large freshwater or marine aquaria, outdoor ponds, or hydroponics. It also makes a great water fountain. This is a submersible unit, so it has no seals or oil to worry about.

At max, the flow rate is a powerful 880 gallons per hour. An adjustment valve allows for flow rate control. It has a lift height of 6.5-feet.

The pump has three outlet valves of different sizes, allowing you to choose your flow. Mount the KEDSUM 880GPH vertically or horizontally using the suction cups for glass mounting. The pump has a generous 5.9-foot mains cable.

The pump has an aluminum oxide ceramic impeller shaft. This material is considerably stronger than stainless steel, so it is made to last. In addition, an epoxy resin coating protects all the working parts from corrosion, and it has a durable ABS plastic shell.

The pump has a thermal cutout to protect it from overheating should it run dry. In addition, it is easy to clean and maintain as the components easily clip off and on again.

hygger Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit HG949

hygger Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit Small Fish Tank Air Pump 1W for 1-20 Gallon Fish Bowl with Air Tube Air Bubbler Stone Check Valve (1W)
1,707 Reviews
hygger Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit Small Fish Tank Air Pump 1W for 1-20 Gallon Fish Bowl with Air Tube Air Bubbler Stone Check Valve (1W)
  • Nice Bang for Your Buck — Hygger provides a ready-to-go air pump kit for fish enthusiasts including HG-949 Air pump, 3.6 ft long air tube, 0.9 inch air stone, check valve and user manual (check valve prevent back siphoning)
  • Strong Airflow, Low Consumption — Our 1-watt small betta air pump is very energy saving with max flow rate up to 50 gallon per hours, capable of operating small sponge filter and large air stone, creates tons of tiny bubbles, increasing water movement and circulation
  • Widely Application — For use with air-driven aquarium accessories like air stone, ornaments and small sponge filters. Mini Aquarium Air Pump only measures 3.5 x 2 x 2 inches. Powerful, lightweight, low noise, along with long service life
  • Up to 20 Gal — A great small fish air pump for freshwater and saltwater aquariums and hydroponic systems up to 20 gallon
  • Easy to Install — Connect air pump with air tubing, check valve and air stone, less than few minutes installation and you'll good to go

Looking for a complete kit for your small freshwater or marine aquarium or hydroponics? The hygger air pump kit has it all. The energy-efficient pump comes with a 0.9-inch air stone and a 3.6-foot air tube. It also has a check valve to prevent back siphoning in the case of power failure.

The 1-watt air pump is energy efficient. It has a flow rate of 50 gallons per hour and can maintain a 20-gallon aquarium with a large air stone and small sponge filter. The pump emits less the 35 dB in noise, so it won’t keep you up at night.

Buyer’s Guide

The right choice of aquarium pump is essential for the health of your tank and its inhabitants. Several questions will help determine which one is right for you.

  • What is your tank capacity?
  • How many outlet ports do you need?
  • What is your budget?
  • How important is noise to you?

Flow Rate

The size of your tank should guide you on what size pump to buy. All aquarium pumps come with aquarium tank size specifications. If the flow is too high, you can add a valve to the pump and turn it down. As a rule of thumb, you should use a pump that can completely circulate your tank water five times an hour.

Establish your aquarium holding capacity and multiply that by five to get the flow rate required for your pump. Since other factors like plumbing can affect the actual flow rate, it is always better to buy one size up.

Noise Level

An aquarium is something that many households enjoy. It should be a place of tranquility, peaceful and quiet. Many of the best aquarium water pumps run at a very acceptable level of sound. If your pump is too noisy, try placing it on a mouse pad or a blanket to absorb the hum.

If the pump or air stone is dirty or clogged, the pump will have to work harder and make more noise; cleaning your pump and air stones might resolve the problem.

Types of Water Pumps

There are several different water pumps, but the two most popular are submersible and in-line pumps.

Submersible Pumps

Submersible water pumps are the most common and run entirely submerged in water. They often reside in the sump of the filtration system. Typically, they suck water from the filter and then pump it back into the aquarium, often through a UV light sterilizer.

Submersible pumps are quieter than in-line pumps. They are water-cooled, so they shouldn’t overheat, and installation is quick and easy.

On the downside, submersible pumps generate heat when operating and will heat the water around them, so these pumps are not recommended for cold water tanks.

In-Line Pumps

In-line pumps are installed outside of the tank. They connect to the filter inlet and outlet pipes. These pumps can be powerful and work well with larger aquariums. They are air-cooled, so they don’t heat up the water.

Battery Operated In-Line Air Pumps

Many aquarium owners buy battery-operated aquarium pumps as a precautionary measure in case the power goes out. They are also helpful in transporting fish.  Some in-line electrical pumps also offer battery backup systems to guard against electrical failure.

Installation

The installation of all of the reviewed pumps is easy and shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.

  1. First, collect all the components you need to install your pump. You will need a pump, an air stone, and tubing for the air.
  2. Measure the air tube from where you plan to place the air stone to the location of the pump. Ideally, you should put the air stone away from your filter intake. Make sure not to kink the tube; you need a free flow of air to the air stone. Cut the tubing with an extra foot or so in case you need to change the layout during installation.
  3. Attach the tubing, making sure that you have a snug fit. If the tube floats around in the tank, tuck it behind a rock, plant, or ornament. If you have a valve, install it and then check it.

FAQ

How Does an Aquarium Water Pump Work?

All living creatures, including your aquarium fish, need oxygen to live. An aquarium water pump helps to create enough oxygen to keep the fish and plants in your aquarium healthy. Gases, including oxygen, dissolve in water.

The surface area of the water determines the rate at which the gas dissolves. An aquarium water pump agitates the water increasing the surface area, which creates pressure in the water to keep it moving.

The pump draws air through a one-way inlet valve before ejecting it into the water via the outlet. This creates bubbles in the water.

Where Should I Place My Aquarium Water Pump?

The water should flow in the same direction as the filter to ensure optimum circulation in your tank. If you place your pump in any other direction, you will disrupt the circulation of the water. The goal is to increase the current in the tank, moving as much water as possible and creating fewer dead spots.

How Loud are Aquarium Water Pumps?

Aquarium water pumps are not very loud. Typically, they emit between 25 and 45 dB of noise: the higher the flow rate, the louder the noise. It is possible to dampen the sound by placing your pump on a blanket or mouse pad.

Also, ensure that the pump and accessories are kept clean. Clogged components will force the pump to work harder, which will create more noise.

Conclusion

Setting up an aquarium is an exciting project that could involve the whole family. However, choosing the right pump for your tank will ensure that you don’t suffer buyer’s remorse.

Match the size and flow rate with the size of your aquarium and set it up so that the water flows throughout the tank, leaving no dead spots.

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