Even though fish live in the water, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need oxygen in order to breathe. This is why you may need a pump for your aquarium. But, you also need to make sure that you have the right pump for the tank you are using.
Pumps are made for different sized tanks, and if you have a large aquarium, a pump for a 20-gallon tank isn’t going to do a whole lot of good.
Or, maybe you need something to use while transporting fish.
We are going to take a look at a few of the best aquarium pumps for various sized aquariums and uses, so you can get an idea of what you need to look for.
- Our Picks
- Best Aquarium Pumps – Summary Table
- Best Aquarium Pumps Reviews
1. Best for 10 Gallon Aquariums – Tetra Whisper
The Tetra Whisper is ideal for use with 10-gallon aquariums. The Whisper pump is reliable and ensures that your fish will get the proper amount of oxygen. It’s efficient and easy to use, and unlike other aquarium pumps, this one is actually relatively quiet. The overall design helps to eliminate any external noises.
2. Best for Transporting Fish – Marina Battery Operated Pump
The Marina is the ideal pump for fish in transit. If you need to move your tank from one home to another, this is the gear you need to have. It is portable, and as well as being great for transit, it also makes a great backup pump if your regular one should conk out on you.
3. Best Low Power Consumption – Sun YT-304
The Sun YT-304 has a feature not found in many other pumps: specially designed rubber feet that keep it from traveling. These feet also help to ensure a steady air flow output and pressure, which can be easily adjusted. This unit is low in power consumption, and it pumps 18 liters per minute, so it is powerful enough for tanks as large as 120 gallons.
4. Best for Fresh and Saltwater Tanks – Quiet Bubbles
The Quiet Bubbles aquarium pump can turn any tank, bucket, or other container into a portable live well. It operates on D cell batteries, and it is portable and lightweight. This is ideal for anyone who uses live bait, and it will aerate up to 8 gallons of water, so it is meant for smaller tanks.
5. Best Performance – Mylivell Quietest
If you are looking for a powerful aquarium pump that is super-silent with no motor or other mechanisms, check out the Mylivell Quietest. This pump will help to add plenty of oxygen to aquariums up to 13 gallons, and it has a long service life. It spreads bubbles at just the right pace, and is ideal for bettas and shrimp.
Best Aquarium Pumps – Summary Table
Best Aquarium Pumps Reviews
The purpose of this article is to give you some general information about various aquarium pumps, so you can be sure that you get the right pump for your needs. We are discussing aquarium pumps, travel aerators, and even pumps that are ideal for keeping fresh bait alive.
1. Tetra Whisper
The Tetra Whisper has a unique dome shape that along with sound dampening chambers makes it very quiet. It is powerful and reliable, and you never have to worry about it overheating and shutting itself off. It will help to create an environment for your fish that is clean and clear, so your aquarium will always look great, and your fish will be healthy and happy.
- Powerful enough to aerate a 10-gallon aquarium
- The design makes it quieter than other pumps
- Reliable and will not shut down
- Screws may come loose and cause noise
- Some units stop working after a few months
- Not as quiet as manufacturer claims
If you are looking for a good quality pump for a smaller aquarium that isn’t going to cost a lot of money, the Whisper is a great option. Costing less than $10, it is perfect for a 10 gallon or smaller tank, and it is going to provide your fish with the oxygen they need.
If you need a pump for a 5-gallon tank or less check out this post.
2. Marina Battery-Operated Air Pump
The Marina is a portable aerator for fish that are in transit. But, it can also be used as a backup pump if yours should stop working until you can get another traditional pump. Because it is battery operated, this is the ideal aerator to use if there are power outages. It is equipped with an air stone and 18 inches of tubing.
- Ideal as a backup aerator in power outages
- Works with D size batteries
- Comes with an air stone and tubing
- Poor construction quality
- Some units stop working after just a few uses
- Will often make noise without pumping air
If you have an aquarium of any size, it is always a good idea to have a backup pump that runs on batteries in case of a power outage. The Marina is just what you need, and it will work until the power comes back on, as long as you have D cell batteries.
3. Sun YT-304
If you are looking for a reliable pump for your aquarium that also isn’t going to cost a lot, the Sun YT-304 is a good option to consider. It is efficient, pumping 18 liters per minute, and it is very easy to use. Simply hook it up, plug it in, and it’s ready to start giving your fish the oxygen they need to survive. It is meant for aquariums ranging from 60 to 120 gallons.
- Tends to be quieter than other pumps
- Easy to use, pressure can be adjusted freely
- Low energy consumption
- Some reports of weak output
- Doesn’t seem to work for more than a few months
- Makes more noise than manufacturer claims
For a tank that is 60 to 120 gallons in size, you need a pump that is going to work hard. This pump from Sun is ideal for larger tanks, providing plenty of aeration to fish, plants, and other creatures living in your tank.
4. Quiet Bubbles
The Quiet Bubbles air pump is perfect for smaller tanks (less than 10 gallons), including tanks for keeping live bait fresh. It is also good to use as a backup for your aquarium if there happens to be a short power outage. It has a stainless steel clip to attach it to tanks, buckets, etc.
- The dry box keeps pump dry while in use
- Perfect for keeping bait alive
- Individually tested for quality control
- Batteries not included
- Flimsy construction
- Instructions difficult to understand
While this is not a pump that should be used regularly for aquariums, it is ideal for transporting fish, and for use with live bait. It can be attached to buckets or other containers, and it is easy to use. It will pump 1.4 STL per minute and has a space-saving design.
5. Mylivell Quietest
The Mylivell Quietest pump offers stable performance, and is ideal for small tanks, providing just the right amount of oxygen. It has a practical design, with a suction cup that will hold it in place while it is running so it doesn’t travel.
- Very quiet unit
- Provides oxygen for tanks up to 13 gallons
- Low power consumption
- Not submergible
- Problems with tubing and air stone
- Louder than manufacturer claims
If you have a small aquarium and want a quiet pump, the Mylivell Quietest is a great option. It provides plenty of aeration for smaller tanks, and it won’t move around, thanks to the suction cup that holds it in place.
These are just a few of the best aquarium pumps that you can get for smaller tanks, as well as for transporting fish from one location to another.
Our top pick will have to be the Tetra Whisper. The price-value ratio you will get from this pump makes this one of the best. It is quieter than most pumps in a similar price range and doesn’t require much maintenance so you won’t need to keep replacing the pump.