Looking for the Quietest Water Pump

Some of my friends have bought an aquarium because having one in the home is supposed to enhance relaxation and help give you a good night’s sleep. But many have told me this isn’t really the case. That’s because when you finally get to bed, you’ll hear the annoying sound coming from your water pump for fish tank and it’s loud enough to keep you from sleeping!

I used to have this problem and my wife would complain every night about the noise. So that’s when I made the decision to find the quietest aquarium water pump I could possible get.

If you are looking for a more advanced setup check out my return pumps guide.​

My pick is the EcoPlus Submersible, continue reading for more choiches.

What Is a Water Pump and Why Do I Need One?

Where to Place It?

What Size Do I Need?

Water Pumps Reviews

So now that we know why we need a water pump, let’s pick one that’s not so darn noisy. And that means mainly going with the submersible model. And here are some choices.


EcoPlus 396 Submersible Pump

This is a versatile pump that can be used in-line. But since our point is to find a quiet one, we can use it as a submersible.

We have lots of GPH models to choose from, ranging from 75 gph up to 7400 gph. If you’re a beginner, then the 39 gph model should suffice, as it can work for a tank up to 99 gallons in size.

This comes with a 36W motor, and it measures 8.6 x 5.7 x 4 inches with a weight of 2 pounds. Its power cord is 69 inches long, so you have that distance limit to a power outlet.

It also includes various fittings you can screw on the pump, which you can then use to accommodate tubing of various diameters.


  • It’s extremely quiet.
  • It’s very reliable, with some users reporting that it’s been used for years.


  • There may be some complications when you use it in-line.

Eheim Compact Water Pump 600

This is another submersible pump, but it’s a small one. It only measures (H) 3.3" x (W) 1.8" x (D) 2.6”. And it hardly weighs anything.

Yet despite its tiny stature, it still delivers an impressive flow rate of 158 gph.

That “600” in the name refers to liters (it’s made in Germany, where they use metric) so that’s 158 gallons.


  • Its small size means that you can easily hide it, so it won’t distract from the beauty of your aquarium. It also means more space inside the tank for other items.
  • It’s quiet too, unsurprisingly.
  • Its German-made, so you can rely on its reliability.
  • ​You even get a 3-year warranty.
  • You can also adjust the water flow if you have a smaller tank.


  • It does have some exposed steel parts, which may not be the best idea for saltwater use. On the other hand, the Eheim website insists that it’s also suitable for saltwater.

Aquatop NP-302 Submersible Pump

Once again we have a tiny pump at 2.2 x 1.8 x 2 inches at 9.1 ounces in weight.

This is meant for nano tanks or even medium-sized aquariums, as it offers a flow rate of 130 gph. But that’s adjustable.


  • Again, it’s small so it doesn’t take up space and you can easily hide it.
  • The flow rate is adjustable.
  • It works for both fresh and salt water.
  • It’s designed to make very little noise.


  • Some people have trouble with the setup and attachments.

Aqueon Quietflow Submersible Utility Pump 1200

This one is a bigger model at 6.2 x 4.4 x 6.5 inches, with an adjustable flow rate from 317 to 608 gph.

That’s enough for a 152-gallon tank.


  • For its size (meaning, don’t compare it to the smaller units), it’s quiet.
  • The flow rate is good for larger tanks.
  • It even looks great, and that’s good because it’s difficult to hide it.


  • You know how some motors need a break-in period? This one does, too, and it’s this that has caused a lot of noise complaints from users. You’ll need a few weeks for it to quiet down, although you may think that it’s only because you got used to the hum.

Super SunSun Aquarium Power Head

This one has an 8W motor, but that’s enough for a 158 gph flow rate. That’s enough for a 40-gallon tank.

It’s also a bit small, and it only weighs 13.6 ounces. The diameter is 5/8".


  • It’s very quiet.
  • The installation is somewhat easy.


  • The flow rate supposed to be adjustable, but this can stand some improvement.

My Pick

I’d pick the EcoPlus because if your priority is to eliminate the noise it’ll have to be submerged in water. And that means any issues with in-line use aren’t really a problem for me. But these issues can be easily resolved with some tenacity and experience, and that will make it more useful for ponds and fountains.

Anyway, it’s not just quiet. It’s also extremely reliable, so it doesn’t add to my maintenance chores. You also have a lot of gph options to choose from, so you can get one regardless of the size of your tank.

And I’m not the only one who likes this water pump either. It has a solid rating on Amazon, which means many aquarists consider it the best aquarium water pump available today.

For more options check out our selection of quiet wave makers or return pumps. ​