Finding the Quietest Aquarium Air Pump

If you’re a newbie aquarist, you’re probably starting to feel overwhelmed with all the equipment you have to buy. The good news is that on this website we provide you with all the info you need so you can get the best equipment for your budget.

But the bad news is that you need to invest money to have the best aquarium air pump.

A crab needs an air pump, be prepared!

What Is an Air Pump?

Uses and Benefits

Placing Your Air Pumps

Types of Air Pumps


Air Pumps Reviews

Now that you have a clear idea of what types of air pumps are available, let’s take a look at some of the top rated aquarium air pumps you can get online these days.


1. Tetra Whisper

Let’s start with a really quiet one. This Tetra Whisper lives up to its billing, and that’s partly because it’s so small.

It only measures 3.9 x 2.8 x 5.5 inches and weighs a paltry 12 ounces. It’s rated for 10 gallon tanks.


  • It really is quiet. It’s shaped like a dome, and that means it traps much of the sound within its shape so not much of it escapes. You don’t really hear much of a hum or buzz at all.
  • It already comes with a plastic air valve.
  • It’s very economical.
  • It comes with a lifetime limited warranty.


  • It doesn’t include tubing, so you’ll have to buy some for this to work. But you’ll just need the standard 3/16" I.D. tubing.

2. Fluval Q1

This one may be comparatively noisier than the earlier Whisper on this list, but then again it’s rated for tanks measuring from 50 to 160 gallons. It measures 3.2 x 7.8 x 6.4 inches and it runs at 3.4 psi.

Fluval really worked to combine power and low noise with this contraption.

The low noise is due to several factors. It features double wall construction and the pump well is integrated in the design. It also has a baffle chamber specifically designed to suppress the noise.


  • Despite its power, it’s really is still quiet. It’s quieter than most of its comparable competition.
  • The flow rate is adjustable.
  • You can use it for several purposes.


  • There’s some concern about its build quality and durability, with some complaints about wear and tear for some parts.

3. Tetra Whisper for Deep Water Applications

Unlike the earlier Tetra Whisper on this list, this one is UL listed. It measures 3.2 x 7 x 4.8 inches and weighs just 1.5 pounds.

Its 3.5W pump is rated for 150-gallon tanks, as well as for tanks that are up to 8 feet deep.


  • Again, it has a dome shape with rubber feet like all Tetra Whisper air pumps. The shape helps minimize the noise, as the sound waves are kept from reflecting off other surfaces like your shelves and tables.
  • It offers use for very deep tanks that standard air pumps can’t provide.
  • It has enough power for multiple air stones and protein skimmers.
  • There have been some massive discounts for this lately, so the price is incredibly low.


  • You’ll need to buy the accessories like the tubing yourself.

4. Hydrofarm AAPA15L

This air pump measures 6 x 4.1 x 9.4 inches and weighs 3.1 pounds. Its 6W motor can offer 15 liters of air per minute, and that’s about 240 gph.

It’s also rated for up to a maximum level of 45 decibels.


  • Even with its power, at the most it's as noisy as bird calls. Part of the reason for this relative silence is that it features a multi-level muffler.
  • ​It comes with 4 outlets.
  • ​The air flow is steady due to the special rubber, but the air flow can also be adjusted.
  • It doesn’t consume much power.


  • There’s really nothing much wrong with this, although in some rare instances you can read about some malfunctioning parts after just a short while.

My Pick

Of all the air pumps we’ve listed here, I would recommend the Hydrofarm AAPA15L.

It has a decent low noise level and it’s very powerful. Its 4 outlets also enable you to power more devices than with just one outlet.

Then you can use the air line tubing and valve we’ve listed and you can also choose between the air stone or the air diffuser (or both) and you’re good to go.

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