Guppy aquariums require various additional equipment to recreate the natural habitat of these fish as closely as possible.
An air pump is one such piece of equipment that should be in your arsenal when setting up a guppy fish tank. Although not always compulsory, I do recommend one for the best results.
The primary purpose of an aquarium air pump is to facilitate the oxygen exchange in the aquarium. Like all living things, guppies also require oxygen to survive.
When oxygen levels in the aquarium drop, it exposes your fish to diseases, infections and even death. Therefore, if you want to drive more oxygen into the aquarium, an air pump is the best way.
If you’re looking for a high-quality air pump for your guppy fish tank, the air pumps I review below can be a great option for your fish tank.
Top Air Pumps for Guppy Fish
An air pump will create bubbles that agitate the surface of the water, allowing oxygen from the atmosphere to get into the water.
1. Tetra Whisper Air Pump
The Tetra Whisper is a powerful, yet silent air pump that offers air pumps suitable for small to large aquariums up to 300 gallons, adding a dramatic bubble effect to aquariums as high as 8 feet.
It keeps oxygen levels high in the aquarium, creating a healthy and beneficial environment for your guppies or for fish in your community aquarium.
It can deliver air up to 10 powered accessories and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. For smaller aquariums of up to 10-gallons, you can buy the Whisper Air Pump 10.
The product includes the pump only, tubes, air stones, etc. are sold separately. One of the main selling points, however, is the fact that the pump works at greater depths without being noisy.
Although not advertised as such, air pumps in the Tetra Whisper line can be used even in outdoor ponds with the same success as indoors.
Overall, this product is a reliable choice for whatever aquarium you may have and stands out from the rest through its performance and reliability.
The downside is that it doesn’t include the full kit needed to work out of the box, so you must buy tubing and air stones separately.
2. Mylivell Aquarium Air Pump
If you want something different from a traditional electromagnetic air pump, this aquarium air pump driven by a thin piezoelectric ceramic plate is both economical and silent.
It has a consumption of only 1.0W and a flow rate of 240 ml/min. It has no complicated mechanisms – no motor, no shaft, no EMI, making it a compact and space-saving air pump.
The Mylivell air pump is suitable for the oxygenation of small to medium-sized aquariums (up to 13 gallons), which makes it an excellent choice for a 10-gallon starter aquarium for guppy fish.
It installs in seconds and attaches to the side of your aquarium with a suction cup that’s included in the kit, taking up hardly any space in your guppy tank.
What’s more, the Mylivell air pump kit also ships with air tube and air stone included, which means the pump works out of the box without the need for additional equipment.
I recommend this air pump for smaller aquariums up to 13 gallons. It’s great for beginner aquarists as it is an energy-saving and affordable alternative to traditional electromagnetic air pumps.
3. Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump
Suitable for hydroponic reservoirs, outdoor ponds and aquariums, the Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump is a multi-purpose oxygenating pump, which is rated high for performance and silent operation.
It’s fitted with a special synthetic rubber diaphragm for steady airflow output. The pressure can be adjusted freely via a pressure dial fitted onto the top of the pump.
It has low power consumption and operates at a maximum of 45-decibel noise levels. Make sure to place the pump on a flat surface, preferably on the ground as it will vibrate.
This 6-watts, 15 liters per minute Hydrofarm air pump is suitable for a range of applications, where oxygen-rich water is required.
The pump comes in 4 different sizes based on the number of outlets, so you can choose the right size for your aquarium.
The kit does not include air stones or tubing, these should be purchased separately.
4. Fluval Q1 Air Pump
The Fluval air pump is available in multiple sizes and it’s suitable for small to large aquariums. The Fluval Q1 Air Pump is suitable for aquariums under 50 gallons, while the Q2 option is designed for aquariums between 50-160 gallons.
The novelty of this air pump is the advanced swing-arm and diaphragm design, which allows consistent airflow production.
The system is rated high for its silent operation that’s achieved due to the thick double-wall outer casing coupled with the noise-suppressing baffle chamber and integrated pump well.
As with many air pumps, tubing and air stones are not included, so make sure to add them to your order when purchasing this item.
I recommend the Fluval air pump for guppy aquariums or community aquariums that are up to 160 gallons as an affordable and reliable choice.
5. Eheim Air Pump 400
The Eheim air pump is a silently operating pump that’s installed hanging vertically (a hook is provided).
The rubber suction pads dampen vibration, making this product an excellent choice for high performance and silent operation.
It has a 4 watts voltage and it includes air tube and adjustable Eheim air stones. The sound is about 48 db. The pump has two outlets, both of which can be separately controlled via the dials on the side.
Eheim a German-made air pump that comes with a 3-year warranty. It’s suitable for larger, 100+ gallon aquariums too, although the product is rated for up to 120-gallon aquariums.
Compared to the pricing of the other pumps, this pump costs more, however, it can be operated out of the box.
It’s still on the pricier end of the spectrum, which may discourage beginners from getting this air pump, especially since it’s better suited for large aquariums.
Which One to Get?
If you have a small, up to 10-gallon aquarium, you don’t need to go for the high-power air pumps I recommended. Choose the ones rated for 10-13 gallons.
If you have a weirdly shaped aquarium or a tall aquarium, you may need a stronger air pump model so it can circulate the water efficiently.
Similarly, large aquariums require more powerful air pumps that will facilitate oxygen exchange.
I recommended air pumps for every price range, so you can buy the air pump most suited to your needs and budget, without having to forgo quality.
How to Choose an Air Pump?
There are various factors that go into choosing an air pump, factors that I’m going to discuss next:
– Aquarium Size
Air pumps are rated for different aquarium sizes, so make sure the air pump you’re choosing is powerful enough to circulate the water in your aquarium.
If you have an aquarium that’s not standard in size — let’s say it’s a taller aquarium — then make sure to account for that too when picking out an air pump.
Aquariums with a bigger depth, require a more powerful pump. Make sure to check if the air pump is suitable for circulating the volume of water your aquarium holds before making a purchase.
All air pumps will make some noise, but an aquarium that has a strong noise is not recommended for your fish as it can stress them out.
Plus, it’s not ideal for you either to constantly hear something humming in the background. So, check the product description for noise levels.
The less noise the air pump makes, the better, so buy the air pump with the lowest decibel output for its category.
– Number of Outputs
You only need a high-output air pump if you have very large aquariums that are deep or oddly shaped.
Alternatively, a high number of outputs will be needed if you intend to have multiple aquariums or devices connected to the air pump.
For small to midsize guppy fish tanks, one or two outputs are usually enough.
Equipment You May Need for Air Pump
As you may have noticed, some air pumps are sold without additional equipment that’s required for their operation such as air tubes, air stones and others.
To avoid disappointment upon opening your air pump order, check the product description for the following:
– Silicone Airlines
Airlines connect the pump to an air stone or decorations in the aquarium and deliver air from the air pump into the aquarium, creating bubbles that agitate the surface of the water.
Airlines are available in standard sizes, so size is really not an issue to worry about. However, what you should worry about is the material.
When it comes to air tubing materials there are two options — vinyl and silicone. Vinyl is shinier and more translucent, but rigid.
Silicone is flexible and easy to manipulate, which makes it my preferred choice. Plus, silicone will just age better than vinyl, which has a tendency to harden and turn brittle.
– Air Stones
The air tubes are connected to air stones and produce different types of bubble effects. You’ll also see them sold under the name aquarium bubblers.
Air stones can be made from any porous substance including stone, wood, sand or even plastic. They can be shaped differently and produce bubbles depending on their coarseness.
Those that are fine dispense tinier bubbles, coarser ones will dispense larger bubbles.
– Airline Tubing Connections
Tubing connections help you customize the flow of air in the aquarium when using multiple tubes.
They can be straight connectors, elbow-shaped connectors, 3-way connectors (Y-shaped, T-shaped), and 4-way connectors.
So really airline tubing connections are a simple way of delivering air throughout your aquarium without having to make weird kinks in the tube.
– Airflow Regulator
Some air pumps come with integrated airflow regulators, some don’t. Those that don’t will require airflow regulators that will help you control the level of airflow, especially if the default airflow is too strong.
The problem with airflow regulators, however, is that they can create backpressure, which will most certainly shorten the life of your air pump. A solution to this issue is the so-called one-way airflow valve described below.
– Air Flow Valve (one-way)
One-way airflow valves allow flow in one direction while automatically preventing backflow, thus, preventing air pump issues caused by backpressure.
They’re useful if your air pump doesn’t integrate airflow control and you’re worried you may damage the air pump if you get a regular airflow valve.
– Sponge Filter
Sponge filters are as simple as a sponge sitting in your aquarium and filtering your water. They have a base that weighs them down, so they sit in place.
They also feature a strainer and bullseye, which allows you to connect an airline tubing directly to the sponge, and a lift tube, which allows water to flow up and back to your tank.
Because of the way they operate, sponge filters are useless without an air pump, which forces water to be drawn through the foam sponge, trapping debris (uneaten food, decaying matter, etc.) inside.
They can also be used as pre-filters when attached to the intake of your filter tube. They can prevent clogging and small fry from getting sucked into the intake.
Air pumps may not be indispensable equipment for many aquariums, but they’re certainly beneficial, especially when your fish require well-oxygenated water or have a higher bio-load.
There are many types of air pumps and you have a lot of different choices when it comes to output, performance, installation and even price range.
Hopefully, my article has cleared up some of the things you must look out for when buying an air pump and you now have a better understanding of how they operate and help your aquarium.