HOW AQUARIUM PUMP WORKS – types, setup & uses

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25 Best Aquarium, Fish Tank Pumps of 2020 (Air & Water) - Pet Life ...

To ensure that your aquarium water stays healthy for your pets and does not become a stagnant pool – you need an aquarium pump and learn how aquarium pump works.

Aquarium pumps are used to move the water to the surface, which allows it to interact with the air (aeration). When you Circulate and filter your the water in your aquarium tank you are obviously ensuring that the water stay does not become a stagnant and unhealthy for the inhabitants.

This is important because the interaction provides an opportunity for the release of carbon dioxide (the bad stuff) into the air and the absorption of oxygen (the good stuff) into the water. Carbon dioxide sits below the surface and needs to be stirred up to rise. Aquarium pumps also create circulation which eliminates stagnation.

Types of Aquarium Pumps

Air pumps work by displacing the water. Air pulled through the pump creates bubbles when released into the water. Bubbles displace the water, stirring it and sending the carbon dioxide to the surface. External pumps move the air via a hose attached to the pump that is dropped into the water. Water pumps are submersible and work by creating a current, or movement, in the water.

Aquarium Pumps

The use of the term “aquarium pump” is a generic reference. Aquarium pumps are also called water pumps, air pumps or powerheads. In the spirit of becoming more efficient, manufacturers have in some models included the pump and filtration system within the same unit.

Air pumps are great for smaller tanks (below 50 gallons), providing proper gas exchange but very little circulation. Tanks at 50 gallons or more need a water pump that is submerged into the tank. A water pump does not deliver a strong current but does circulate the water well.

Powerheads create strong current and are not appropriate for all fish or environments. Product failures and filter clogs can block aeration and circulation. Having an extra air pump on hand is a good aquarium safety measure.

Aquarium Pump Ratings

Aquarium pumps are rated by flow rate and according to the per gallon size of the tank. Matching the size of the tank to the information about the pump is usually the best way to begin choosing a pump. Other items you decide to include in the tank may require a larger pump purchase.

Plants and additional items make the need for a larger pump necessary. Choose a pump for a larger tank if the aquarium will be home to other oxygen lovers like plants.

There are many great water pumps that will work with any size aquarium.
By taking the time to research your water flow needs, you avoid selecting a pump that disappoints.
Compare several similar models and don’t forget to check the warranty.
High-quality water pumps come with at least a one-year warranty.
Some aquarium pump manufacturers even stock repair parts so you won’t have to buy a new water pump if a single component wears out. HOW AQUARIUM PUMP WORKS

Use this check list to make sure you have all the bases covered before buying your next water pump.

  • Determine if the water pump will be used externally or submerged
  • Measure where the water pump will be mounted or submerged.
  • Determine the desired flow rate and height you plan to lift the water.
  • Compare pump dimensions and flow rates at the desired head height.
  • Decide if you want a DC pump with wired or wireless control
  • Compare warranties of similar water pumps


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