Published: November 8, 2021 - By: - Categories: Equipment

If you are having trouble finding the best mini aquarium pump for your fishbowl or nano fish tank, you have come to the right place. We understand that it can be hard to find an ideal pump for your aquarium that properly aerates the water and freshens up the tank environment. And the market is filled with countless options to confuse an average consumer further. So to help you out, we compiled our favorite ones in this list. Our picks have been judged based on quality, the relevance of their features, and cost-effectiveness to give an overall rundown of each product.

Best aquarium pumps for nano fish tanks

Model Our rating Flow rate Application Outlets Wattage Noise Accessories
AQUANEAT Aquarium Air Pump editor's ratingAQUANEAT Aquarium Air Pump #ad 40 GPH up to 10 gallons 1 4′ tubing, air stone, check valve
Hygger HG-811 Quiet Mini clip-on Air Pump editor's ratingHygger HG-811 Quiet Mini clip-on Air Pump #ad 6.6 GPH (adjustable) 1-15 Gal 1 1.5 W 35 dB tubing, air stone, sucker, clip
Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Air Pump editor's ratingPawfly MA-60 Quiet Air Pump #ad 28.5 GPH (adjustable) up to 10 Gal 1 2 W 40 dB tubing, air stone, check valve
Tetra Whisper 10 Air Pump editor's ratingTetra Whisper 10 Air Pump #ad 7.9 GPH up to 10 Gal 1 2.5 W
U-Picks Mini Air Pump Kit editor's ratingU-Picks Mini Air Pump Kit #ad 7.1 GPH up to 15 Gal 1 1 W 35 dB tubing, air stone, check valve, adaptor
Fluval Q5 Air Pump editor's ratingFluval Q5 Air Pump #ad 31.5 GPH 10-50 Gal 1 3.7 W 45 dB tubing, air stones
Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump editor's ratingMylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump #ad 3.8 GPH up to 13 Gal 1 1 W 33 dB tubing, air stone, suction cup
Eheim Air Pump 100 editor's ratingEheim Air Pump 100 #ad 26 GPH (adjustable) up to 30 Gal 1 3.5 W tubing, diffusor, check valve
Hagen Marina 50 Air Pump editor's ratingHagen Marina 50 Air Pump #ad 13.2 GPH 5-15 Gal 1 3.2 W
Skywin Fish Aerator Pump editor's ratingSkywin Fish Aerator Pump #ad 22.2 GPH up to 30 Gal 1 32 dB tubing, air stone, check valve, adaptor

Review of the best mini aquarium pumps

Let’s get started with our list of the most popular air pumps for nano fish tanks:

Aquaneat aquarium air pump

The Aquaneat air pump is one of the finest choices you can go with to aerate your aquarium. It is a small device designed for 10-gallon fish tanks and provides a robust flow rate of 40 GPH. We were surprised to see that Aquaneat has managed to install such a powerful motor in a tiny pump that is only 3.75×2.5×1.75 inches in dimensions.

You might think that a powerful air pump will be a noisy addition to smaller aquariums. However, Aquaneat has tackled this issue by adding four rubberized feet to the pump’s chassis. These feet keep the sound and vibration level as low as possible and make it easy to place this device in your tank for steady performance.

Another notable feature of this pump includes a safety check valve that prevents the backflow of water when you turn it off. It makes routine maintenance easier as you won’t have to worry about any spillages and mess. Additionally, you get a 4ft airline tubing and a 1-inch air stone to make its operation more accessible.

The Aquaneat air pump is an overall great device that ensures your fish tank is properly aerated. It can be used to run small sponge filters, air bubbler decoration, air disc, or other air-driven ornaments, making it a versatile addition to your aquarium. However, the package does not include any instructions, which can make the installation and maintenance confusing for beginners.

Hygger HG-811 Quiet Mini Air Pump

Large air pumps can take up valuable space inside your aquarium. If you have a small tank crowded with fish, you should consider Hygger’s HG-811 mini air pump. It is perhaps the tiniest device on our list that is ideal for freshwater tanks with up to 15-gallon capacity. Its body has a compact diameter of only 2.4 inches and houses a thin piezoelectric ceramic plate.

Unlike traditional air pumps equipped with motors, the HG-811 utilizes this ceramic plate to function ultra-silently. It delivers a moderate flow rate of 6.6 GPH that helps dissolve air in your tank’s water at under 35dB. You also get to save on your electricity bill as this pump only takes up 1.5 watts of power while still providing ample aeration and movement in your aquarium.

If you are a beginner, you will find great value in this air pump. It is very straightforward to install as it comes with a clip-on attachment and double-sided suction cups to stick to your tank’s wall. Additionally, you get a 3.6ft airline tube and a 0.9-inch air pump to make its operation more manageable.

Pawfly MA-60 Aquarium Air Pump

The Pawfly MA-60 aquarium air pump is ideal for 10-gallon aquariums and provides a robust flow rate of 28.5 GPH. Even though it has a powerful motor that can displace a lot of water at once, the device is still very silent and produces only 40 dB of noise. If you have a bedroom or office aquarium, we highly recommend installing this air pump for its silent functioning.

This air pump is excellent for people on a tight budget, and you get to save some money on its operating cost as well. That’s because the Pawfly MA-60 only consumes about 2 watts of power while still providing a high enough flow rate. It is made possible via special synthetic rubber diaphragms that keep the power consumption low while offering an efficient output.

To top things off, you will receive a 5ft long airline tubing, a 0.8-inch air stone, and a well-constructed check valve to prevent the water from running back into the pump. All these accessories make it easier to install, operate and maintain this air pump.

It is a robust device that measures only 3.3 x 1.8 x 1.6 inches, so you can easily install it in small 10-gallon aquariums. It is perfect for sponge filters, and you can use it with small fish such as betta and goldfish.

Tetra Whisper Air Pump (Non-UL)

If you are on a tight budget but still looking for a decent aerator, we recommend checking out the Tetra Whisper air pump. Similar to the Aquaneat air pump, this device is also designed for small 10-gallon aquariums. It has a mid-range flow rate of 7.9 GPH, enough to provide oxygen to nano aquariums or fishbowls.

What makes this pump unique is its innovative dome-shaped design with a suspended motor. Since the motor isn’t directly in contact with the surface, it produces minimal vibrations. And the special sound dampening chambers are great at reducing the sound levels to almost non-existent. Moreover, it is equipped with rubber shock mounts that keep it fixed and stable.

When it comes to functioning, the powerful diaphragms of this device work perfectly to aerate your tank’s water. And the control valves on its chassis allow you to alter the flow rate according to your preference. What surprised us is that this pump is able to achieve all this while consuming only 2.5 watts of power, making it a highly budget-friendly choice.

This pump is available in multiple sizes ranging from 10-40 gallons, but if you want a more robust pump for larger aquariums, you can go for the bigger sizes with dual outlets. However, the airline tubing does not come included in the package.

U-Picks Mini Aquarium Air Pump Kit

The final entry on our list, the U-Picks Mini Aquarium Air Pump, is exactly what its name suggests. It has a highly compact form factor that is ideal for small and crowded aquariums. It only consumes 1 watt of electricity and puts out a flow rate of 7.1 GPH.

The output may be slightly underwhelming for aquariums bigger than 15-gallons, but you will find good use of its flow rate in nano fish tanks. Since it does not include a high-powered motor, you can expect the pump to function whisper-quiet. It produces less than 35 dB of sound, making it ideal for bedroom or office aquariums.

You will get an invisible air vent, suction cup attachment mounts, two outlet hoses, and two tiny pore stones included in the package. Although it is a basic kit for beginners, you can avoid the trouble of making external purchases with this filter.

Fluval Q5 Air Pump

If you have a slightly bigger fish tank that is 50 gallons in capacity, you should check out the Fluval Q5 air pump. It is equipped with a powerful motor, an advanced swing arm, and diaphragms to pump out a consistent airflow of 31.5 GPH. This pump takes only around 3.7 watts of power, so you get to save some money on the electricity bill.

What makes this air pump unique is how it handles noise suppression. To start things off, it has a thick double-walled outer casing with an integrated pump well. This design ensures that the sound produced stays inside the device itself. Furthermore, it is equipped with noise suppressing baffle chambers that eliminate the sound and keep it under the 45dB limit.

Fluval is one of the most trustworthy brands in the market, and it is reflected in its Q5 aquarium air pump. You can use it for operating sponge filters, sponge walls, air stones, etc., but it has a bulky design, so it might not be ideal for crowded aquariums.

Mylivell Quietest Aquarium Air Pump

If you were impressed by the Hygger HG-811, you might also like the Mylivell aquarium air pump. Similar to its Hygger counterpart, this air pump also ditches the traditional electromagnetic motor design for a thin piezoelectric ceramic plate build. It keeps the device compact and silent while keeping the operating cost minimum.

It has a durable chassis, which is only 5.71 x 4.61 x 2.01 inches in dimensions. You can easily install it in your small 13-gallon aquarium and take advantage of its 3.8 GPH flow rate. However, we found the flow rate to be a little underwhelming as compared to the HG-811 air pump. Rest assured, you will get a decent device that is very silent and produces only 33 dB of noise.

The Mylivell quietest aquarium air pump is a decent mid-tier choice for tanks with up to 13-gallons capacity. Even though it has a slightly underwhelming flow rate, it makes up for it by being ultra-silent, compact, and energy-efficient. You will also receive accessories such as tubing, airstone, and suction cups to make the most out of this pump.

Eheim Air Pump 100

Bubble diffusers are a nice inclusion to aquariums as they efficiently dissolve carbon dioxide in your tank’s water, making them perfect for growing plants. The Eheim Air Pump 100 is the only device on our list that includes a diffuser in the package. So if you have a planted tank, we highly recommend checking out this aquarium pump and diffuser combo.

The pump itself has a high flowing output of 26 GPH, which is ideal for tanks with up to 30-gallons of capacity. Moreover, it only takes up around 3.5 watts of power. So you can get an adequately aerated fish tank without spending a fortune on operating costs.

Additionally, you can adjust the flow rate according to your preference using the knob on its chassis. However, if you want to fine-tune the output further, you can use the CO2 diffuser to achieve that. The diffuser also allows you to add a bubble effect to the water stream, making it a great aesthetical addition to your tank. This pump also includes a 2ft airline tubing and check valve to make the operation more accessible.

Hagen Marina 50 Air Pump

The Hagen Marina Air Pump is an affordable choice for your aquarium. It has a mid-tier flow rate of 13.2 GPH to ensure that your fish tank is adequately aerated. Additionally, you will be saving a lot of money on your electricity bills as this pump only requires 3.2 watts of electricity to oxygenate the water.

This pump has a single outlet that can attach to different aquarium ornaments such as air stones, air curtains, bubble walls, etc. However, the package does not include any airline tubing, so you’ll have to make external purchases to utilize this pump fully. Also, it is perfect for tanks with 2-3 small fish, and you can even use it in reef tanks.

If you are running a low-cost fish tank, you should check out the Marina air pump. It is quieter than most alternatives in the market and comes with padded rubber feet to reduce noise and excessive vibrations.

Skywin Fish Aerator Pump

If you like to travel with your fish or live in an area with lots of power outages, you should invest in the Skywin Fish Aerator Pump. It is a unique pick on our list, as it is the only battery-powered pump suitable for keeping in your fish tank. The 1.5v batteries inside are rechargeable and provide 48 hours of backup before running out.

It has a highly compact form factor, and you can even fit it inside your pocket or use the clip-on belt attachment to carry it anywhere you go. Even though it is a tiny air pump, it provides a high flow rate of 22 GPH, which is ideal for 30-gallon aquariums. Moreover, it is very versatile and works in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

You can use this pump for outdoor fishing, transporting your fish, bait cooling, etc. That being said, since it’s battery-powered, we do not recommend using it as your primary pump. It works better as a backup pump for power outages or traveling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s take a look at some common questions people have regarding mini aquarium pumps.

Do Bettas Need An Air Pump?

Bettas can survive without an air pump. Unlike other fish, they have a special respiratory organ besides gills, known as the labyrinth. This organ allows them to breathe small amounts of air.

Do Shrimp Need An Air Pump?

Unlike betta fish, shrimps need a constant oxygen supply from an air pump to thrive. That is why we recommend always keeping shrimp in a planted tank to fulfill their aeration requirements.

Does A 3-gallon Tank Need An Air Pump?

Yes, a 3-gallon tank requires an air pump for aeration. If you have a 3-gallon freshwater tank, you will need an air pump with a flow rate of 1.5 GPH. For planted tanks, this number decreases to 1.2 GPH. And for saltwater tanks, you should look for an air pump with 2 GPH output.

Can Fish Sleep With The Air Pump On?

Fish don’t sleep, but they do rest from time to time. You can leave the air pump on, but make sure that the output is set to a calm flow otherwise, it will disturb the water and your fish.  You can use air stones to make the output stream a little gentle for your fish.

Do Air Pumps Help Aquarium Plants?

During the daytime, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. However, this cycle is reversed at night time when plants intake oxygen and release carbon dioxide. We recommend installing an air pump in your aquarium to fulfill the requirements of your planted tank.

How Long Can Betta Live Without Coming Up For Air?

As mentioned earlier, betta fish have a special organ besides gills that help them breathe. They often come up to the surface for some air, which is absorbed by the labyrinth. They do this often, but they can survive without coming up for air for 5-6 hours.

Conclusion

Having an air pump in your aquarium is very important. Not only does it keep your tank’s water aerated, but it also agitates the water surface to avoid the build-up of waste and debris. We hope you were able to pick out a mini pump for your fish tank. However, if you’re still confused and want our final recommendations, we are here to help.

Even though all the air pumps on our list are viable options, we believe the Pawfly MA-60 Quiet Air Pump #ad stands out. This pump is equipped with thoughtful features such as rubberized feet to reduce the sound and vibration levels, check valves to avoid the backflow of water, and much more. It can be used to run small sponge filters, air bubbler decoration, air disc, or other air-driven ornaments, making it a versatile addition to your aquarium.

Lucas has been keeping successful fish, planted, and reef tanks for many years. He loves to collect aquatic organisms and keep as many aquariums as he can.

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