Air Pump Selection Guide
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Air pumps have many different uses. Once you decide what you need an air pump for, selecting the right pump for your application is easy. If you have any questions about which pump makes the most sense for you, feel free to call our customer service department at 1-800-381-7179 for assistance.

Decoration or oxygenation
With a medium-pressure air pump, such as the Whisper Air Pump, and an airstone or bubble wand, you can add a decorative bubble backdrop in your aquarium that also helps remove unwanted gases. Surface movement caused by the bubbles also adds oxygen to your aquarium. For best results, choose an air pump rated one tank size larger than your tank.

Undergravel filters
Air pumps with medium to high pressure designed to work at a substantial depth also power undergravel filters. Azoo Air Pump

Foam and corner filters or "action" ornaments
Foam and corner filters and some ornaments are run by a small, low-pressure air pump such as the Azoo model 2500.

Wood airstones
Wood airstones, often used with protein skimmers, require high-pressure air pumps such as Tetratec Air Pumps and the Luft Pump. Tetratec Deep Water Pump

Installation/Operation Tips
Air pumps, installed outside the aquarium, should be kept close to the aquarium with the shortest possible length of airline tubing for optimal performance. You will also need an air control valve, and a check valve. To maximize your air pump's efficiency and longevity, clean or replace airstones as necessary.