What is the purpose of an air pump in a fish tank?

The air pump helps to agitate the water and the exchange¬†of air into water becomes easy. Fish need air that is dissolved into water for breathing and for that purpose it’s necessary that air gets mixed easily in water and this is possible if there is a big surface area on top of the tank.The best way to help mixing of outside air into fish tank water is to stimulate the surface of the water using an air pump so that your fish get good supply of oxygen and they enjoy a healthy habitat.

Is it possible to get oxygen into aquarium water without using an air pump?

It is possible to get oxygen inside the aquarium water by using aquatic plants. Like all other plants, aquatic plants survive on carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. In your fish tank if you place aquatic plats, the oxygen released by the plants will be consumed by fish.

The only disadvantage of this is that plants will occupy your tanks volume and provide less space for the fish. But there also the advantage is that if you want to breed fish then plants form an excellent ground for laying eggs.

How to How to reduce noise of a fish tank air pump?

If the quality of the fish tank air pump is cheap, then it makes lots of noise which can be annoying. If your fish tank is in your bedroom then this can be a trouble for you, as well as the person who shares the room with you. (your wife/husband/kids etc)

The first thing you can try is place your air pump on a sound absorbing surface like a simple mouse pad, towel, foam, rubber matting, sponge and see the difference.

Another idea is to suspend the air pump so that it does not touch any solid object beneath it and the vibration noise will reduce greatly. But this is not recommend as it will require you some extra skills of hanging and can be a tedious task. Also aesthetically it will not look good.

I have read of another cool idea but not seen anywhere. This includes using a bottle in between the air stone in the end and the air pump. The bottle will use as a buffer zone in reducing the humming sound of the air.

All in all you won’t be able to completely reduce the noise of the air pump because it has vibrating parts inside of it that push the air through the tubing into the fish tank. That is why before you buy an air pump do not compromise on quality and only buy best selling one because it is going to sit in your home and be a part of all your other household object.

Which are some of the popular brands of fish tank air pumps?


  • Tetratec
  • Eheim
  • EcoPlus
  • United Pet Group, Inc.
  • Hydrofarm

Fish tank pumps will cost you from under $10 to above $200. Before you finalize on any model make sure to read detailed reviews written by real customers and pick one based on your budget.

Amazon.com has some good ratings and comparisons for several models. Click Here to read reviews

Do I need an air stone at the end of the air pump tube?

No, the use of the air stone is just for decorative purposes. You can hide the end of the bare tune under a stone or also in gravel and control the flow of the air.

There is misconception that the air coming out of the air stone will mix into the water. But the truth is air bubbles coming out from the air stone will stimulate the surface of the water in the fish tank and at this surface level the exchange of the oxygen takes place, so if you don’t want to use an ait stone then it’s perfectly fine.

Where can I place the air pump as it vibrates on the surface?

The first thing you avoid is to put the air pump on the tank because it can continuously vibrate the fish tank glass and water inside causing your fish lots of trouble.

You can place it at a distance between the electrical supply and the tubing that goes inside the tank. Another important point is place it above the water level so that theater inside the tank does not flow back into the air pump.

Should I turn off the air pump at night?

Yes, You can turn them off at night and turn them on the other day. You don’t have to run the air pump 24 hours.

But in order to do this you must have a good quality water filter installed into the tank. A good filer will circulate water and help mixing of air from the surface.

Image credits

The Fish Tank Air Pump – FAQ

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