Best aquarium air pump for your fish tank and choosing guide

Using an aquarium air pump in your aquarium will increase your water circulation and the surface area for proper gas exchange. Aquarium air pumps are used to power other aquarium filter, such as undergravel filters, corner (box) filters, sponge filters and protein skimmers to name a few. They will also create a dynamic look when used with such items as a bubbling air stone or an action ornaments. Always choose a fish tank air pump that's a bit more powerful than you think you need as in future you can add additional tank accessories later.

Choosing the Right Air Pump

There is no fixed rules to selecting an aquarium air pump. Some air pumps are rated for different sizes of tanks, but these ratings are quite irrelevant for choosing the correct air pump for your fish tank.

If you are using the air pump only to operate an under gravel filter, and your tank is a standard size, then the tank size ratings on an air pump are probably relevant. However, if you are doing anything else with the air pump the rating is irrelevant.

Here are a few guidelines for choosing an air pump for your aquarium:

  1. Choosing one rated for your aquarium size.
  2. The more things you are running from your air pump, the larger air pump.
  3. If you tank is more than 18-20" (46-51cm) tall, you should look for a special deep water air pump designed to push air that far below the water surface.
  4. The more resistance the things you are pushing air through the larger an air pump you will need

Best aquarium air pump for your fish tank


Tetra Whisper air pumps: there are various sizes for different aquarium sizes up to 100 gallons. These air pump the best and cheapest one on the market today.


If you have many filter to run with an air pump, you may need one with many outlet like the previous.


If you have a large fish tank, the Fluval air pumps may be the best ones for your choice. They are designed to perform best on large aquariums.