Where to Place Air Pump in Fish Tank in Aquarium

The air pump is a common and familiar equipment for those who have a hobby for aquariums. Though an air pump is not necessary for all types of fish, most aquarium fish need the air pump for breathing. Initially, it’s confusing for the new fish tank owner where to place the air pump in the fish tank

Besides, how to install it properly, which tools are needed to set up the air pump etc are the commonly raised questions. 

So here we are going to clear all your confusion as well as give step-by-step guidelines about installing air pumps in your aquarium perfectly.

What is an Air Pump

An air pump is a small electrical or battery-powered device that is able to pump air in the fish tank. When the air enters the tank, it creates water bubbles floating to the surface and top.

Air pumps are 3 types such as battery-powered, general-purpose electrical power, and high output air pumps for large-sized aquariums.

Moreover, air pumps produce water movement and surface agitation. The surface agitation helps in gas exchange. As a result, necessary oxygen dissolves into the water and carbon dioxide is released into the air. Fish can breathe without facing any trouble.

Where to Place Air Pump in the Fish Tank

The air pump is placed outside of the fish tank and produces water bubbles inside by airflow using battery or electrical power. The air pump is small, placing it on a flat surface. Some air pumps vibrate and rattle after turning on, you need to use additional accessories or padded foam to make a silencing barrier. 

Can an air pump be placed below the aquarium?

An air pump needs a flat surface to ample space around or keep underneath the fish tank. Also, make sure, there are additional power outlets for the aquarium.

Does an air pump have to be higher than the tank?

You can place the air pump at a higher position than the aquarium. It should be placed higher than the top of the fish tank.

If you keep it below the top of the tank, there is a possibility of water leakage. You should check the valve to protect the air pump from leakage through the airline tubing.

Does an Air Pump Go Inside The Aquarium? 

The answer is a big NO! You should keep the silicon pipe inside, not the sir pumping machine. You can keep it either underneath your fish tank, its side, or behind the tank. Or whatever you prefer except inside the tank.

Can an aquarium air pump be adjusted?

Yes, you can adjust the air pump if your aquarium bubbles too little or too much. Almost all types of air pumps have adjustable dial or options to increase or decrease the airflow. 

Again, if your pump does not feature the adjustable option, you should attach an air valve for airflow controlling purposes.

How to Install an Air Pump in the Fish Tank?

An air pump flows air in order to dissolve necessary oxygen for aquarium fish. You have to place it properly. Otherwise, it will make a mess which may cause fish illness.

Before installing the air pump for the fish tank, you need some necessary accessories. So that the air flows at the right pressure as well as in the right direction.

The size of the air pump and types of the accessories depend on the aquarium size, types of fish, the quantity of fish, etc.

Necessary Accessories for Air Pump

Among various items, airline tubing and check valves are crucial. Other following accessories are optional for fish tanks.

Airline Tubing 

Airline tubing is an essential tool for an air pump that flows air from the air pump to fish tank water. 

Check Valve 

Check valve helps to protect the air pump from leaking in case the air pump loses power or turns off.

Air Valve

The air valve is responsible for controlling airflow from the pump into the aquarium.

Airline Holder

That is able to hold the airline in the right position either inside or outside of the aquarium.

Airline Connector

The airline connector keeps two airline tubing together to reach long distances.

T Splitter

You need a T-spitter if you want to run two devices by the sir flow of a single pump. It helps to split an airline into 2 sections. 

Gang Valve 

Gang valves are able to divide as well as control airflow to four different fish tank devices from a single airline. In case the pump should be a high output air pump. 

Installing Air Pump

After purchasing the air pump and above accessories, you can install your air pump by following these steps –

  1. Keep the air pump at your preferable place then cut the airline tube to the proper length in order to connect the aquarium device inside the fish tank
  2. Then connect the aquarium device with the one end of the airline tubing and place it inside the tank. You need to connect the other end of the airline tubing with the air pump.
  3. You should keep the air pump on top of the tank. Then cut the airline tubing somewhere to attach the check valve in between the aquarium device and sponge filter. 
  4. Step 3 should be done in such a way that the check valve with the flapper is faced towards the air pump. If you set up the check valve backward, it will not provide any airflow even after turning it on. So you have to flip around the check valve.
  5. Now you should make a drip loop with the power cable that ensures the prevention of water into the wall outlet. 
  6. Finally, turn on the air pump by plugging on or turning on the switch. The tank water will start making bubbles within a few seconds.

How to Make an Aquarium Air Pump Quieter

Most of the air pumps are diaphragm pumps so that they produce vibration continuously when it turns on. And become noisier over time. That will hamper your sleep or concentration as well. But to get rid of this problem without turning the air pump off?

Try these following hacks to make it quieter-

  • Use a block of foam. Padded or soft material, small towel under the air pump. That will work as a cushion and help to reduce noise.
  • Make sure the air pump is placed on a flat and solid surface that can’t amplify the noise.
  • If the bubbling sound is so loud, you can use air stones in the fish tank. They will create small bubbles not creating any sound or vibration.
  • If needed, you can replace and buy a small and less vibrated sir pump instead of large one.
  • If possible hang the air pump by the cable so that it won’t touch anything. Noice will be reduced. For hanging, the air pump should be small.
  • At night, the sound of vibration will disturb your sleep. You can turn it off as running for 4 to 6 hours every day is good enough for the aquarium fish.

Does Your Aquarium Need an Air Pump?

Your aquarium either needs an air pump or not, the answer is it depends on the tank size, fish size, fish types, fish numbers, other aquarium accessories, etc. 

Some fish don’t need an air pump, they can breathe in less oxygen. Like Betta fish, Ember Tetra, Blind Cave Tetras, Pea Puffer Fish, etc have labyrinth organs that help to absorb oxygen from the air.

Though under certain conditions like using the medicine, bladder disease, you also need to install an air pump to help them out from breathing problems. Addition machine may reduce the oxygen level, so running for the next 24 hours is good for fish health. 

Again some fish must need an air pump for breathing purposes. Besides, a single fish tank doesn’t require an air pump, if your tank size is large and has multiple fish, it’s essential to install an air pump.

In addition, if you use air stones, you don’t need to use an air pump in a small fish tank. 

Now you need to decide whether your aquarium needs an air pump or not.

Hence, air pumps are beneficial for fish to prevent breathing problems and keep them healthy, playful.

Final Verdict 

An air pump is an efficient investment for your fish tank. If you install it properly, it will dissolve oxygen for the breathing of fish. At the same time, the bubbles keep them joyful.

Hopefully, you don’t have any confusion about placing and installing the air pump properly.

So keep the air pump at the right place and set up by following the above steps. Your aquarium fish will be more playful and stay healthy for years to years.

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