air pump for fish tank

Air Pump For Fish Tank: Everything You Should Know

The air pump is a mechanical water circulation system that runs on electricity. It can be run off batteries or a wall outlet. The fish tank decorations are then inflated with air that is produced by the pump and forced through airline tubing. The air bubbles stir things up and promote gaseous exchange. As a byproduct of breathing animals and aquatic plants, they also remove potentially toxic carbon dioxide.

What is a Fish Tank Air Pump?

An air pump is a mechanical device that sits outside of the fish tank and pumps air into the aquarium using electricity (either from a wall outlet or battery power). Through the use of airline tubing, the air is transported from the air pump to the fish tank accessory or device. The air produces bubbles that float to the top of the water and pop once it has entered.

The rising bubbles contribute to surface agitation and movement in the water. Proper gas exchange in the aquarium depends on surface agitation, which ensures that waste products produced by your fish, such as excess carbon dioxide, are released into the air and that fresh oxygen from the air dissolves into the water for your fish to breathe. Read this article to learn how to increase the oxygen level in the water if your fish are gasping at the surface by using an air pump and a straightforward air stone.

How Does An Aquarium Air Pump Work?

Airline tubing is used by aquarium pumps to inject air into a tank’s water. In order to provide fish with the oxygen they require, surface agitation is essential. Your fish are less likely to have enough oxygen to breathe when the water at the tank’s surface is stiller. Air pumps create bubbles that agitate the water’s surface and cause more CO2 to escape and oxygen to enter.

Air pumps function best when used in conjunction with other equipment. For instance, biological filters use the pump’s bubbles to filter contaminants out of the water. A typical aquarium accessory called an air stone reduces pump noise and enhances filtration overall when used in conjunction with a filter. Aquarium water pumps can also aid in raising the oxygen content of water, but they won’t oxygenate it as much as air pumps.

air pump for fish tank

How Much Oxygen Do Fish Need?

For healthy fish life, the water’s dissolved oxygen concentrations should be between 5 and 7 ppm. Fish are immediately in danger at concentrations below 2 ppm, so the water needs to be aerated right away. A dissolved oxygen meter can be used to measure oxygen levels to make sure your fish are getting enough to breathe.

If exposed to too much oxygen, fish will grow bubbles in their skin and around their eyes. Every fish species has different safe oxygen levels in their water. For every gallon of water in your tank, there should generally be 1 gallon of air flowing through it every hour. The desired air output can be easily set because air pumps have adjustable outputs.

What is An Aquarium Air Pump Used For?

Air pumps are used in conjunction with many fish tank decorations and devices, such as:

  • Air stone or aquarium bubbler – creates smaller, finer bubbles from the air pump for decreased noise, improved filtration (when used with a filter), or decorative appearance
  • Sponge filter, under gravel filter, or corner box filter – uses the rising bubbles to draw in water through the filter and strain out floating particles
  • Moving bed filter – uses air to churn the biological filter media and grow beneficial bacteria
  • Fish tank decoration – uses bubbles too, for example, open and close a treasure box ornament or mimic a little scuba diver
  • Breeder box – increases flow inside the box to prevent stagnant water and improve oxygenation
  • Egg tumbler – uses air to direct water flow onto fish or shrimp eggs, gently tumbling them to decrease fungal growth and increase hatch rates

How to Install An Aquarium Air Pump?

Air is pumped into a submerged aquarium apparatus by an air pump, which draws air from the outside of the fish tank. Therefore, a few air pump accessories are required to direct the airflow in the proper plane and at the proper pressure. For the majority of newcomers, we advise purchasing an airline tubing roll and a check valve. Depending on your specific application, the other items are optional.

  • Airline tubing – directs the airflow from the air pump into the aquarium equipment or ornament
  • Check valve – prevents water from leaking out of the fish tank if the air pump turns off or loses power
  • Air valve – controls the amount of airflow coming from your air pump into the aquarium
  • T splitter – splits one airline into two channels, allowing a single air pump to run two devices
  • Gang valve – splits and controls the airflow from a single air pump across four different aquarium devices
  • Airline holder – uses a suction cup to hold your airline tubing in place, either inside or outside the fish tank
  • Airline connector – connects two pieces of airline tubing together to reach longer distances

Once you have purchased the air pump, aquarium device or decoration, and necessary accessories, follow these basic instructions to install the air pump:

After setting up the air pump in its final position outside the aquarium, cut the airline tubing to the correct length, allowing it to connect the air pump to the aquarium component there.

Place the aquarium device inside the fish tank after attaching one end of the airline tubing to it. Finally, join the air pump to the airline tubing’s opposite end.

You can skip this step if the air pump is installed higher than the aquarium’s top. If the air pump is positioned lower than the top of the aquarium, you need a check valve to prevent water leakage through the airline tubing. Between the sponge filter and the aquarium device, cut the airline tubing, then attach the check valve so that the flapper end (which typically resembles a colored or horizontal bar) is facing the air pump. Just flip the check valve around because if it is installed backward, there won’t be any airflow when the air pump is turned on.

air pump for fish tank

To stop water from getting into the wall outlet, make a drip loop with the air pump’s power cable before plugging it in. You should start to see bubbles coming from your aquarium device shortly.

How to Make An Aquarium Air Pump Quieter?

The air pump you likely purchased from the pet store is a diaphragm air pump, which draws air from its surroundings and then pumps it into your fish tank using a diaphragm that rapidly vibrates back and forth. Unfortunately, as time passes, this vibration can get quite loud. Try these solutions to make it quieter:

  • To reduce vibrations, place a small towel, block of foam, or other soft material underneath the air pump.
  • Make sure the air pump (and its cushion) are resting on a stable surface that won’t vibrate and increase the noise.
  • Hang the air pump up by the power cable if it isn’t too heavy to avoid having it vibrate or touch anything.
  • Your air pump may have become clogged with debris or algae growth, so clean the aquarium accessory or decor attached to it.
  • Think about switching to a smaller, quieter air pump, such as the USB nano air pump, to replace your current one.
  • If possible, try adding an air stone to the aquarium device if the bubbling noise is too loud. The air stone produces smaller bubbles that, when they pop at the surface, don’t make as much noise. To see how to install an air stone in a sponge filter, for instance, refer to our article.

What Fish Should Live With An Air Pump?

Fish don’t all require air pumps. Your tank will hold more oxygen if it has more surface area. Smaller fish are more likely to require an air pump. Additionally, fancy goldfish are frequently maintained in warmer water, which has less oxygen than cooler water. An air pump can assist in avoiding this. But not every fish requires it. Make sure to select a reputable brand and read online reviews before buying a pump for your fish to make sure the investment will be worthwhile.

Molly fish are an excellent addition to your tank. These fish are simple to care for and will eat nearly any food you give them. Because they require little maintenance and develop into healthy, content fish once you place them in their tank, these fish are also suitable for beginners. You must be sure to give them enough time to get accustomed to the air pump in their tank.

When it comes to the question of what fish should coexist with an air pump, Kuhli loaches have entered our minds. Kuhli loaches are an example of a type of tropical fish that typically consumes oxygen; if they are not given enough oxygen, they will quickly become stressed out and eventually perish from oxygen deprivation. The best way to ensure that your Kuhli loaches live a healthy and happy life is to install an oxygen pump in your aquarium.

air pump for fish tank

What Are Tips About Using An Air Pump in a Fish Tank?

To avoid health issues brought on by a lack of oxygen, think about moving your fish to a larger tank if their current one is too small. Try using a battery-operated air pump with an airstone if you don’t have a 4-watt model.

Pay Attention to the Noise Level

If you decide to use an air pump in a fish tank, you should be aware of how loud it is. Your fish will become distressed if the pump makes noise while operating. Make sure to choose an air pump with a lower voltage rating. Regular pump cleaning is also a good idea. Last but not least, before using your pump in the fish tank, make sure you frequently check the rated voltage of your pump.

The air pump is the main source of noise in your fish tank. Ensure that the air pump is positioned in a suitable cabinet with minimal noise. Put it higher than the level of the aquarium’s water. Your fish tank will stay clean and free of clogged accessories and equipment if the air pump is kept on a stable surface. A noisier air pump can also take the place of your old one.

Appropriate Connect Airstone

When you have bought an air pump, you should select the right connection. A sponge filter or airstone should be attached to it. You can use airline tubing to join the pump to the airstone if the airstone is attached to a sponge filter. To prevent water from being siphoned back into the pump from the airstone, be sure to install a check valve between the two. If you don’t, the air pump might stop working and drain the tank of water.

Should I Keep My Air Pump on All Night?

Generally speaking, to ensure that your fish have good water circulation and an abundance of oxygen to breathe, you should always leave the air pump on. See the section below for potential solutions if you are concerned about an air pump’s nighttime noise.

Can An Aquarium Air Pump Be Adjusted?

You may want to adjust the airflow if the aquarium bubbles excessively or insufficiently. A dial that can be adjusted to change the flow rate is included with some air pumps. You can also attach an air valve to control the airflow if your air pump isn’t movable.

Does My Aquarium Need An Air Pump?

No, some filters—like hang-on-back and canister filters—use an electric motor to move water instead of an air filter. However, air-driven filtration tools, like sponges and undergravel filters, use air to move the water; as a result, they need an air pump. In case you are still unsure, check the directions to see if an air pump is required for the operation of your decoration or piece of equipment.

Is It Okay to Turn Off the Air Pump at Night in a Fish Tank?

You may be wondering, “Is it acceptable to shut off the fish tank’s air pump at night?” This section ought to assist in resolving your query. You might need to shut off the air pump entirely at night or for a certain amount of time each day, depending on the kind of fish you have and the size of the tank. Yet many fish keepers continue to leave their air pumps on at night despite the fact that they are too noisy.

air pump for fish tank

You need to be constantly aware of how much CO2 is in your tank, regardless of the kind of air pump you have. For adequate oxygenation, this is critical. In addition, if you add CO2, you must stop the pump. As a substitute, you could set a timer to run the air pump in the evening and at night. Just keep in mind to keep the aquarium light on. You can use an automatic bubbler connected to the air pump to provide your fish with a freshwater environment.

By severing the air pump’s connection to the filter unit, you can safely turn it off at night. You can turn it off for a few hours and leave the water unattended if you are worried about the noise. Remember that the fish must have access to enough dissolved oxygen for breathing, which is why the air pump is necessary. Keeping this in mind, larger fish require more oxygen than smaller fish.

Why Turn Off Air Pump at Night?

You can always unplug the pump from the aquarium filtration system if you’re worried about its impact. Disconnecting them from one another, however, is not a good idea. Turning off the air pump for a few hours is acceptable if you use a different filter. If your fish tank’s water is adequately oxygenated, you can leave it off at night. To prevent overheating your tank, turn off the air pump at night.

The air pump should be turned off at night for noise reduction purposes as well. Your fish will become distressed by the noise produced by air pumps, which can have a high-pitched sound. Additionally, an air pump makes a loud humming noise that the fish may find annoying. It is preferable to use a soft object to absorb the vibrations and make the air pump noiseless.

Before starting the air pump, be sure to check the water level in your aquarium. Your tank’s moisture content has a big impact on the humidity in the space.

Are Aquarium Air Pumps Necessary?

Air pumps are not necessary for all tanks. In tanks without an air pump, fish can live long, healthy lives, and they will exhibit symptoms of oxygen deficiency. In fish, some signs of oxygen deprivation can be a sign of other problems. If your fish, for instance, comes to the surface of the water, it may be lacking oxygen or the water may be too nitrate-rich. To correctly identify your fish’s symptoms, you must test your water. Common symptoms of oxygen-deprived fish include:

  • Resting more than normal
  • Seeking oxygen at the top of a tank
  • Fast-moving gills

Even though they are not always required, air pumps are still generally advantageous for tanks. The presence of an air pump can agitate fish that prefer still water, such as bettas. However, most of the time, air pumps help fish because they give them more oxygen to breathe.

Are Air Pumps Good for Fish Tanks?

Although air pumps aren’t always necessary, there are very few situations where a tank wouldn’t benefit from having one. A fish that prefers still water, like bettas, may become agitated by the air pump’s presence. However, in most situations, air pumps help fish by enabling them to breathe in more oxygen.

air pump for fish tank

Do I Need An Air Pump If I Have a Filter?

If your tank maintains adequate water movement and surface agitation, an air pump is NOT needed for this purpose. Typically, if external filters are employed, this is the case. Second, air pumps can be used to force water through a filter

Should You Leave Air Pump on at All Times in Fish Tank?

To help your fish get good water circulation and plenty of oxygen to breathe, you should typically leave the air pump on constantly.

Conclusion on Air Pump for Fish Tank

A tool that adds air to a tank’s water is an aquarium air pump. Oxygen enters a tank’s water at the top, and surface agitation causes carbon dioxide to be released. Carbon dioxide must leave the water in order for oxygen to enter, which cannot happen without agitation. By dispersing air bubbles in the water, aquarium pumps affect agitation. No matter what, including medication in the water or photosynthesizing plant life, air pumps make sure fish have enough oxygen to breathe.

In conclusion, the oxygen pump is a very small but crucial component of the aquarium as a whole. It is preferable to add an oxygen pump to your tank if you want to maintain the health and order of your tank, especially for some fish with high oxygen requirements that you may not be familiar with. This will save you a lot of time and energy.