Getting a larger air pump gives you some options:
- You can use two-way valves if you want to split the tubes and have multiple air stones.
- You can use larger stones, sponge filters or pneumatic decor.
Tetra Whisper 20-40 Gallon Aquarium Air Pump Unboxing & Sound Test
Keep in mind the depth of your tank is the most important factor when selecting an air pump.
As an example: the deeper it is to the bottom of the tank, the harder the pump will need to work to push the air down to the stone.
If you plan on having a taller tank you may need a pump with a higher rating due to the increase in depth.
Also, the more you split your tubing, the less air will reach each stone.
If you’re like most, you likely have a typical 5-gallon tank and plan on running only one air stone and/or Sponge Filter.
If that is the case, my personal favorite is the Tetra Whisper Air Pump series.
They are quiet and in my opinion one of the best air pumps for a 5-gallon tank.
However, they are not as silent as the name would suggest, but they are quieter than most other air pumps.
Tip: If you find that you still hear vibrations or noises from your pump, try placing a hand cloth underneath the pump, this will help dampen the noise/vibrations.
Further Reading: If you want to compare a few other aquarium pumps check out our full detailed reviews to help you find the Best Aquarium Pumps. Also be sure to check out Does My Fish Tank Need A Bubbler.
Does a 5 gallon tank need an air pump?
A 5 gallon tank doesn’t actually need an air pump if you have a filter or source that is causing enough water agitation to allow oxygenation to take place.
That said, a 5 gallon tank should use an air pump that is rated for 10 gallons and should have an air flow of about 0.5 L/min.