5 Best Air Pumps for Guppy Fish

An air pump is a very useful albeit not indispensable aquarium accessory. Its job is to produce a powerful airflow that breaks water surface tension. As the air circulates and agitates the water, oxygen can enter the water more easily.

In a small aquarium, up to 10 gallons, oxygen circulates much quicker. However, the larger the water volume, the harder it is for this oxygen exchange to take place efficiently. That’s why you’ll often see large aquariums with air pumps.

An air pump isn’t mandatory, but maintaining suitable oxygen levels in the water is. Without proper water oxygenation, your guppies will get sick and die. That’s why I recommend installing an air pump even for smaller aquariums, especially if you keep many guppies together.

In this article, I’m going to talk all about the best air pumps for different aquarium sizes, how to choose the right air pump for you, and all the extra preparations you might need to make for your air pump.

Best Air Pumps for Guppy Aquarium

There are lots of great aquarium air pumps on the market. With so many options to choose from, it’s obvious that you’ll need to do some research first. The good news is that you don’t have to buy the best most expensive product. You just have to buy the one that’s right for your tank.

For example, depending on your aquarium dimensions, water volume, and the number of fish, you can get away with a weaker air pump. I’ll talk more about this in another section of this article. For now, just know that choosing an air pump doesn’t have to be a quest for perfection. I’ve also compiled a list of the best air pumps I’ve tested so far. Hopefully, this list will help you find the perfect product.

1. Tetra Whisper Air Pump

Starting with my top pick, the Tetra Whisper checks all the boxes for the perfect air pump. This pump is not only powerful but also highly versatile. You can use it for small as well as large aquariums, and everything in between. In fact, this pump can work even for aquariums up to 300 gallons.

This pump creates bubbles like nothing else. It does a stellar job keeping the water oxygenated, and also makes for a nice visual effect. Also, as the name suggests, the Tetra Whisper air pump is as silent as a… well, a whisper. You won’t have to deal with irritating background noise, which is great if you spend a lot of time around your aquarium.

If your guppy aquarium holds no more than 10 gallons of water, you can also opt for the lower-powered Tetra Whisper Air Pump 10. The product comes with a limited lifetime warranty, but there’s also a downside. If you purchase this pump, you won’t be getting any other components or accessories. Any tubes, sponges, or air stones, you’ll have to buy separately.

All in all, this is a high-performance pump suitable for basically any type of tank. You can opt for different models, depending on your aquarium capacity, and the pump is easy to install and operate.


2. Mylivell Aquarium Air Pump

Next, we have an affordable, energy-efficient air pump for small to medium aquariums. The Mylivell Aquarium Air Pump is a foolproof device perfect for beginner aquarium hobbyists and well-versed fishkeepers alike. This small, compact pump consumes no more than 1.0W, being an economical alternative to the popular electromagnetic pump. This device uses a piezoelectric ceramic plate.

Basically, it converts mechanical stress into electricity, so there’s less need for energy consumption. Thanks to its simple mechanism, this pump needs no bulky motor and no shaft. As a result, the Mylivell Aquarium Air Pump is a silent, space-saving device. It has a flow rate of 240 ml/min and it’s perfectly suitable for tanks up to 13 gallons.

This pump is also incredibly user-friendly. It works straight out the box, and there are no complex instructions to follow. The pump comes with all the accessories you need, it installs in less than one minute, and it attaches to the aquarium almost instantly thanks to the suction cup. I wholeheartedly recommend this pump for small to medium-sized guppy tanks. It works great to keep the oxygen levels constant, all while not being too powerful for the fish.


3. Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump

Hydrofarm Active Aqua is another high-performance, low-noise air pump that comes in multiple sizes for various tank capacities. This 6-watts air pump has minimal energy needs and goes no louder than 45 dB.

The Hydrofarm Active Aqua air pump has a flow rate of up to 15 liters per minute and it comes with a dial for easy pressure adjustment. Thanks to its design, which includes a special synthetic rubber diaphragm, this air pump runs smoothly, maintaining steady airflow. This pump is great for a variety of uses, including aquariums, aquascaping, or hydroponic reservoirs.

You get 4 sizes to choose from, each with a different number of outlets. Sadly, the pump kit doesn’t contain other accessories such as tubes or air stones, so you cannot install the device right away. You’ll have to buy the other components separately.


4. Fluval Q1 Air Pump

This pump works great for various aquarium sizes. It comes in multiple models with different specifications so that you can choose the perfect one for your tank. The Fluval Q1 is designed for any aquarium holding under 50 gallons. For aquariums over 50 gallons and up to 160 gallons, the Fluval Q2 is a perfect choice.

This pump is sound-proofed thanks to the thick outer cover and the noise-suppressing baffle chamber. There’s no need to worry about background noise because you won’t hear a thing! Another feature you’ll love is the functional design, which works to maintain smooth, consistent airflow.

This pump works well to oxygenate the water in tanks up to 160 gallons as well as under 50 gallons, being a great affordable choice for any type of aquarium. Additional accessories necessary to install the pump aren’t included in the kit, so you’ll have to make an additional purchase.


5. Eheim Air Pump 400

The Eheim Air Pump 400 is a high-flow vertical hanging air pump specially designed to reduce vibration. The product comes with integrated rubber suction pads that absorb vibration and reduce noise. As a result, this air pump reaches around 48 dB at most.

The kit includes multiple accessories, such as an air tube, an air stone, and a special hook for attaching the pump in the aquarium. While this product might be a bit pricier than others, it also comes with a 3-year warranty included.

This pump also has two dial-controlled outlets and a 4 watts voltage. It’s best suited for large aquariums of up to 120 gallons, so I wouldn’t recommend this for small tanks. But if you have a large guppy aquarium, this might be a great option.


Choosing the Right Air Pump

I have included options for all price ranges in my list, but you don’t have to limit your choices to these 5 brands by any means. There are plenty of high-performance air pumps for any type of aquarium or price.

You just have to know what to look for when choosing the perfect air pump for your set-up. So, if you see a great pump and you’re wondering if it would work well for your guppy tank, always remember to consider the following factors.

– Tank Dimensions

The first and most important factor to consider is aquarium size. I would add the aquarium shape and dimensions here as well. The larger your aquarium water volume, the stronger the air pump must be. That’s because the pump must provide suitable air circulation.

Most air pumps have recommendations for the best tank capacity, so you’ll have to thoroughly read the product information before making a purchase. If you have a small tank (up to 13 gallons) with a complex shape or very tall walls, you should also opt for a stronger air pump. In such cases, a lower-power air pump might not be strong enough to circulate the air due to the wider distance between the tank floor and water surface.

– Number Of Outputs

For a small to medium guppy tank with standard dimensions, you can get away with only one output, but up to two would be just as good. You should opt for air pumps with multiple outputs if you have a large or tall aquarium.

The more the air has to travel to the water surface, the higher the output you’ll need. Additionally, a higher output is also necessary if you intend to use the same pump for multiple devices or connected aquariums.

– Background Noise

There’s no benefit to having a loud air pump, so always look for the lowest-noise product you can find. The fewer decibels, the better. After all, an aquarium should be a serene, relaxing sight.

There’s no place for an annoying buzzing sound anywhere in this image. And not only is a silent pump more pleasant for you, but it’s also better for your fish. Just as you can get stressed by constant background noise, so can your guppies.

Additional Equipment You Might Need

Many pump kits contain nothing else besides the air pump itself. You have to pay attention when reading about the kit and its contents. If your air pump doesn’t come with any accessories or additional equipment, you won’t be able to install and run it straight out of the box. You’ll have to look for these products to complete your air pump setup.

– Sponge Filter

A sponge filter is as basic a component in an aquarium as the water itself. It works together with the air pump to trap debris without hurting the fish in the process. Typically, sponge filters have a heavy base to ground them in the water, as well as a strainer and an opening where the pump tube connects.

The air pump creates a powerful flow that forces water through the sponge. As feed leftovers, fish waste, and other sources of pollution move around, they attach to the sponge for easy disposal and clean-up.

– Air Stones

Air stones come in a variety of sizes, each creating a different effect. They’re typically round or cylindrical objects with a porous texture. They can be made from a variety of materials including stone, plastic, wood, and more.

Depending on the size and distribution of these porous spaces, these air stones can create different types of bubbles. You can get a light stream, a heavy stream, as well as tiny or large bubbles. These air stones connect directly to the pump air tubes.

– Airflow Regulator

Airflow regulators, as the name suggests, help regulate the pump’s airflow. An airflow regulator is especially important for smaller tanks. If the air pump flow is too strong, you need a way to turn it down to accommodate your aquarium’s size and volume.

Check the product information for your air pump. Many air pumps come with a built-in airflow regulator, usually controlled through a valve. If your pump already has one, you don’t need to buy anything extra.

– One-Way Air Flow Valve

Airflow regulators are very useful, especially for smaller aquariums. However, they can often increase the backpressure in your air pump, leading to faster wear and tear. This happens often when the air pump doesn’t have any airflow control function.

Enter the one-way airflow valve! This add-on helps solve the issue of airflow regulator pressure. It does so by allowing the flow to go in one direction while also impeding backflow.

– Silicone Airline Tubing

Airlines are part of the pump’s air tubing. They connect the pump to the air stone, and they help the air to travel from the pump into the water. Most airlines are made from vinyl, a rigid, translucent material.

The problem with vinyl airlines is that they’re not durable. With frequent use, they tend to become fragile and even more inflexible. That’s why it’s best to replace them with silicone airlines. These are highly flexible and keep a lot better long-term. Luckily, all airlines come in standard sizes, so you won’t have to worry about mismatching pieces.

– Airline Tubing Connectors

Airline tubing connectors are an easy solution that helps you connect multiple tubes to the air pump, thus customizing the directions of the airflow. These connectors come in a variety of shapes, with different numbers of openings.

You can have simple, straight connectors, L-shaped connectors, three-way connectors (either T-shaped or Y-shaped), and four-way connectors. They’re all equally easy to use, and you can modify the tube set-up at any time.


An air pump might not always be necessary, especially if you have a small fish tank. However, you can always install one in a small tank, just to make sure that the water stays properly oxygenated. There are lots of options for any tank size and price range, so you’ll undoubtedly find something to suit your needs.

I hope this article will come in handy for you. When in doubt, always remember to look for an air pump that’s compatible with your aquarium. You don’t always have to buy the best air pump on the market, especially if you don’t need a huge output.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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