Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Quiet Air Pump Comparison Test Who makes a quiet air pump?Eheim, Whisper, Aquatop, Finnex Air Pumps

Quiet Air Pump Comparison Test Who makes a quiet air pump?Eheim, Whisper, Aquatop, Finnex Air Pumps


– Hey everyone this is
Cory from Aquarium Co-Op and today I’m going to compare four major brands of air pumps to
see how loud they are. They all claim to be silent or very quiet, but we’re gonna find out who’s the winner. Who was most expensive. Who was cheapest. Who performs well for your money That type of thing, and to set up the experiment I have basically set up a 100 gallon stock tank. We’re gonna go outside here. It’s got a Kaldnes media
and a sponge filter. We’ve got equal lines running into this room that will be much quieter. So then, we’re gonna compare the Eheim pump that just came out. Which is a roughly 50-60 dollar pump. We’re gonna compare, I went and bought this one even though I didn’t need it, but this one is I would say popular. A lot of people own them, so the Tetra Whisper. Then we have the Finnex P-9000 and we have the Aquatop AP-100. Now to be fair, let me
cover all disclaimers here. This pump has been running
for, lets say, six months. Maybe eight months. This one’s probably over a year old. This one’s brand new in the box and to be fair and honest, this pump was sent to me for free to do a review on. Now that being said, the numbers aren’t gonna lie. So I’m not gonna tell if
this thing is the loudest. I’m not gonna tell you it’s the quietest. You’re gonna see it, but just full disclosure here. I thought if I can get
four pumps of major brands here in the same room,
under the same conditions, with relatively the same specs, we should be able to
determine something, you know. So this one right here is
rated for 120 gallons of water. This one’s rated for a
100 gallons of water. So is this one, so is this one. So they’re all larger air pumps and, you know. ‘Cause I feel like the larger
ones are gonna be the loudest where a small pump sometimes companies have a small pump that’s really quiet and the next size up is a chainsaw. So lets just go ahead
and test the big ones. We all already alll know that
all diaphragm pumps like this will get louder as time goes on typically. So, you know, we may need
to work in a little room for error here on the two used ones. I don’t have brand new ones here to shoot the video with me, versus these, but we can compare prices and
product and things like that. So, lets go ahead and get started. I’m gonna get hooked up now to, you know, the real microphone. The tripod and everything and
we’ll do an actual test here. So if you wanna know who
makes the quietest air pump, stick around and we’ll get to it. Alright, so to run these tests
I’m just using a free app I was able to download on my phone and it’s a DB meter here and I’ll put it on the screen and as I talk it is changing. So you can see we have somewhere around a base line of 30 DB. It’s not the most quiet. I’ve got a little bit of sound going on over in the other room. It could be a little quieter. If you were running this in
a really, really quiet room you’d have a little less leeway there, but that’s the baseline
and so what I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna read out the numbers that each pump puts out. So I’m gonna start with the used ones, because I have them ready to go. So what we’re gonna do, everyone of them is gonna
be hooked to the same two airlines and so it’s as close to, not ideal conditions but same conditions for each one. I can’t think of, well, I’m
not gonna say I can’t think of a better test, but this is
what is practical for me to do. This is the best thing I can
do for comparing real life scenario, they all go the same tank, they’re actually hooked up,
’cause pumps are much louder when they don’t have tubing on them. So, we’ve got one right here. This is the Aquatop. We’re gonna make sure
they’re all turned up to high and we’re gonna play
with that a little bit. So I’m gonna go ahead and plug it in. (machine humming) Alright, we’ll make sure
that they’re all sitting on their rubber. (machine humming) You know this one, let me
go ahead and pull it out. You can probably already
hear it on the mic. Meter at 70DB. Maybe a little more. So yeah it’s at 65. So we’re at 65DB. Lets see what happens if I turn it down. Does it get any quieter? If I turn it all the way down, which I don’t know if that
can still do it out there, but at the quietest… we’re at 58 DB. So if I crank it up again, the Aquatop 100 used for about a year is at… 63DB. Alright so that’s our baseline now. So now we know we’re somewhere between 55 and 65DB for this pump. Next up we’ve got the Finnex P-9000. We’ll start it in the high mode. We’re gonna plug it in. This one’s also been
used for like six months. (machine humming) We’ve got a hum going here
’cause that’s what they do. My app crashed, got to
open it back up but… So we are at 62DB, full running. Lets turn it down to low. At low we’re at 57. So we’re somewhere between 57… and 62. This one has more rubbery
feet so it can move, maybe it’s absorbing it a
little bit more, you know. So lets go ahead and try the next one. Here we go this is, you know they claim, this is the shape of silence. So they’re not even claiming it’s quiet. They’re just claiming it’s silent. It doesn’t sound silent, but lets see what the meter says. So we have 62DB. I feel like that was the same
as the other pumps roughly. I mean the Aquatop one
was a little louder, but it’s also been used the longest. So to get a fair test I
feel like I would have to get a brand new one there, but yeah we’re definitely running at 62DB and I can’t get it any quieter. So that’s where the Whisper 100’s at. Lets move on to the Eheim. I’m really hoping, and I
literally haven’t opened it, I’m really hoping it is quiet, because it is a very expensive
air pump in my opinion. Wow! So just so far, it does sound quieter to me. Okay? I have no idea. So it’s between 49 and 50DB and if we know the other pumps
were running at like 62DB and this is the loud setting
so let me turn it down, like if I wanted to turn the
air down it’s got little… (machine quietly humming) So 49-50DB even if I turn it down. I think at like right there
it’s a little louder halfway, so lets take a look at that. It’s all in my imagination. So 49-50DB is what that’s doing. Hopefully long term it stays super quiet. That’s the thing is that we
don’t have longevitiy on this. So lets talk about a few things. Let me un-plug, well I can
leave it going whatever. Lets talk about a few things here about these air pumps. So at the loudest one,
was the Aquatop one, 72 or something like that, okay? The quietest one is at 50Db. Now the problem is, DBs
don’t mean a whole lot, because maybe this free
app isn’t that accurate on what the DB rating is. But, I feel like even
when something is kind of inaccurate you can use it to
compare it to other things. So, you know don’t take
my word for it that that was exactly 49DB, but know that is was probably 12DB quieter than the Whisper air pump for instance, and the Aquatop, and the Finnex pump. So they do make a claim it’s ultra quiet. I don’t know if that’s ultra quiet, but it is quieter. Yeah, so lets do some comparison here. So all those pumps I showed you, the Aquatop one and the Whisper one, they are under 20 bucks or 20 bucks something like that, okay? To save 12DB, I wanna say this one on Amazon is like 55 bucks. So its almost, lets
round to simple numbers, almost three times the cost and it probably is because
those ones were actually less than 20 bucks on Amazon. So, it’s three times the cost to save… 1/6th the sound. Now for some of you, completely worth it. If it’s a problem where
it’s in your living room and it’s ruining movie night and the wife hates you, 10DB is probably a difference for you. There are some people
that want the quietest air pump money can buy. That, from this test of these four pumps, is this Eheim pump and I would wager, and I don’t have these air pumps, but I would speculate that
probably the two smaller Eheim pumps would be quieter. I would speculate on the other
pumps that the smaller ones would be quieter as well. That being said, we haven’t
tested it here today. So I don’t know that to be a fact, but what we can conclude
is Eheim was the quietest. Also was the most expensive. I don’t think that shocks many people. Eheim make great products, they just cost a lot. The Finnex one, kind of
expensive at 40 bucks. Not any quieter than the
ones less than 20 bucks. So I feel like that’s
why that one is getting price cut on Amazon. People are trying to unload
inventory ’cause it’s not a better air pump, even
though it costs more money. The Whisper is probably the gold standard. It’s been around for a million years and that’s probably the bar. Now lots of people in the
comments are gonna go, “Well the Whispers get
sold out after awhile.” Yep, most diaphragm air pumps will, because of the way they wear. Eheim probably should do the same thing. To be fair, I haven’t opened
it up and taken a look at it to make sure that it is a diaphragm pump, but I really think it
is at that price point. Then you’ve got the Aquatop one. Which the Aquatop one is,
you know, the cheapey. The cheap one. We do sell it in the store. After this video, I’m gonna
bring in some Eheim air pumps ’cause there is a clientele
that wants the quietest. I carry the Aquatop because
I knew, you know without running the DB tests, just
audibly to my own ear, they we equivilant to all the other pumps and they were cheaper. And, you know, I can attest to this. The reliability on those
Aquatop pumps is amazing. I love them. I’ve used them a ton. We’ve sold a ton. Customers like them. Lots of good things about them. The Whisper ones, I’ve
never really sold them in a retail store so I can’t tell you, “Out of a thousand air pumps,
how many were defective.” or how long they last. That type of thing. I’ve only ever had one
other, I think, Whisper pump and it was when I was
brand new to the hobby. Like 15 years ago. So, when you’re brand new
you don’t know how good or bad a product really was. So, it just, it is. Then the Finnex one, you
know, don’t get me wrong I am a Finnex fan boy. I love Finnex lighting. I like their canister filter. I like their hang on back filter. I’m gonna go out there and say, I don’t like their air pump. It’s just too costly. You know, I can get two of an Aquatop or a Whisper pump and they’re just as loud. I mean, to be fair, we did not compare stength in the tanks. That being said, in my personal experience using all of these pumps, which some of these I used
in my fish room or on ponds. They all run very similar. So yeah, that’s all I’ve got on that. So that should tell you right there what air pump to buy and I’m gonna put links to
all of those down below. I’ll probably put a link or
two in this video to say, “Hey, here’s the Eheim one,
here’s the quietest one.” If you like seeing videos like this done, if you click on the link
down in the description or on the video here and you
buy one of these air pumps. It gets me a tiny little bit of money and what that does is
I put it back in to it. Like this. I can order this wholesale for my store, but I wanted to get this video shot today and so I went to Petco and I bought one. So I bought an air pump from my competitor to make you guys a video, ’cause I didn’t want
to leave this one out. I thought, “Hey, I got three
air pumps, I could do it.” but, everyone’s gonna go, ‘How quiet was the Whisper?
That’s the one I own. Dang it!” So, you know, when you
guys buy these air pumps and I get, you know, I
get like 1% or something. So it’s like, “Oh good!” You know, I get 50 cents. Well, if you know, if 50 people buy that all of a sudden I’ve got 25 bucks. That paid for the air pump. I don’t lose any money, you know. So that allows me to do the next project. So, hopefully you guys found this useful. Link it around. Pass it around. You know, if there’s a forum ask in your, if you find someone on
your Facebook groups going, “What’s the quiestest air pump?” You can at least link this. This is some decent data. It’s not scientific, but the hobby really isn’t. Make sure you check out
all our other videos. We do stuff like this all the time and I’m not afraid to tell a company that I don’t like their product. They are afraid of me, to send me stuff. (laughs) Because they know if it’s bad, I’ll tell you it’s bad and Eheim, you know, I felt confident it would
probably do pretty well, because there’s not
too many Eheim products that I’m not in love with. I can tell you one I hate right now. I don’t like the battery
powered gravel vac, ’cause I think it’s a scam, you know. So Eheim is going, “Oh how dare you. We’ll never send you a product again.” That being said, almost everything else from Eheim I do like. Their heater is also a little wonky. I don’t like the calibration system. Customers don’t like it. They still work well, but it’s finnicky. So anyway, we’ll see
you in the next video. Thanks for watching. Hopefully this helped you make a decision and you know, we’ll see you later.

100 comments on “Quiet Air Pump Comparison Test Who makes a quiet air pump?Eheim, Whisper, Aquatop, Finnex Air Pumps

  1. I have had NO problems with my air pumps as far as being loud, or noisy. That being said it might be that I put an old paperback book under it instead of just being on the floor or a shelf to absorb the sound and vibration.

  2. no need to try the fluval q.5 air pump; i got it, tried a hamburg filter setup and couldnt do it because the pump was just way too loud. ended up with a eheim 2215 instead; i trust eheim products, they rock. had i known eheim made an air pump i may have retried the hamburg filter setup but meh..

  3. I've been looking for a super quiet air pump to use for a new set up in my living room….thanks for the comparisons.

  4. hey great video I recently bought the (apump) for a quarantine tank on Amazon the thing is absolutely tiny and does not make any noise I was pretty amazed you should check it out

  5. had anyone bought the commercial air pump on amazon?
    And if you did do you think it will work for 4 tanks

  6. Thank you Cory! I really appreciate your out front comparisons! I am just setting up a 55 gal and will have a sponge filter in addition to the HOB. The sponge filters have been added to my two previous tanks based on your video with Lamont.

  7. Cory I'm running a 55 gallon community tank ….what kind of filter would you recommend other than a sponge filter for this setup, also is a 55 to small to run a canister filter???

  8. dB isn't linear. 3dB is a doubling. So a 12dB difference is 1/4 of the volume. Place the louder pumps on a piece of filter foam and redo the test.

  9. Nice Vid Cory. I love my Whisper pumps! They're really quiet and I like the price point.

    I also really don't like the Eheim heaters. I don't find the temp setting dial very intuitive at all…

  10. Right on Cory great video. That Eheim pump is really quiet. Which one throws out more air. They are rated at the same thing but does one work better? I am just a bit curious. Im half deaf so sound is no issue for me lol

  11. good job. I have the whispers, great initially, slowly they pump less and less. maybe I expect too much, lol. I have 10 ebo jager heater, 2 original and 8 made by ehiem. the originals are 17-years-old. still going strong. the ones made by ehiem are much less impressive, but time will tell.

  12. i watched this and then i thought my air pumps are no where near that loud "Aqua Culture: 20-60 Gallon, Double Outlet Aquarium Air Pump, $10.99 " got them from wal mart 3yrs? ago. i do not even hear them when i clean the tanks.
    perhaps the surface you used to test them acted as a sound board. any way still some good info and as always
    stay well

  13. i use marina air pumps and fusion air pumps my marina i use for my 20 gallon air filter sounds like a chainsaw at night but the one i use for my 30 gallon sponge filter isnt that bad

  14. there are some more quiet pumps like the Collar aPump Silent Aquarium Pump or the dutch version Superfish smart air 35

  15. Nice review, however for the future take this into consideration:
    1) don't put the phone on the table, you want the sound to travel through the air, not the wood. Well at least you did this in a consistent way.

    2) decibells are measured on a logarithmic scale. So a 10dB difference is actually 10 times more quiet. Or a 20 dB difference would imply a 100x louder. Its really astounding how large the range is between barely audible and painfully loud.

    Also, I have my airpump suspended from a cord. that makes a huge difference. Most surfaces amplify the sound produced by these airpumps.

  16. dbs are messured in logaritmic scale + 10db = twice the experienced sound lvl so the eheim pump makes less then half the sound of the others

  17. great idea great video and thank you.. please do one on nano tanks be cheaper and lets face it.. nanos are getting popular ;o)

  18. Hi Cory well.. guess what after having and using many Tetra / Apump and TMC air pumps after watching your video I went and got an Eheim 200 and wow is quiet twin out let and love the variable dials .. So many thanks for the in depth video and one happy customer here look forward to more product reviews…

  19. I've just bought the Fluval Q2 and it is disappointingly loud…I'm probably going to have to rig something up to house it in the cabinet so I can live with it…

  20. Just ordered the Eheim 400, thanks for the test. My Tetra is getting loud enough at this point to where it's annoying. Hopefully the Eheim works out well.

  21. Another way to make the air pumps quieter is to place it on top of bubble wrap or something else that reduces the sound that comes from any vibration.

  22. Another way to make the air pumps quieter is to place it on top of bubble wrap or something else that reduces the sound that comes from any vibration.

  23. We own the Eheim 200 (similar, just smaller), and all i can hear from the aquarium is the bubbles. But it happens that it gets at noisy in periods.We run the pump at the lowest settings.

    Our local fishstore only sells Eheim, so we didn't have much choice.

  24. Hi Cory. love all your videos and thank you so much for doing it. can i completely shut off one air outlet on the eheim or just lower it?

  25. you are the MAN!! I have a 60 gallon tank, do I REALLY need that rating pump? I'm looking at quiet as possible, and hoping I can sneak by on Eheim 100. I'm returning my Tetra 60 thanks to your review!

  26. i have two tetra's up to 40g and when u first put it on it's a little loud not disturbing but u hear it. then after about 5 min u hardy hear anything. thanks for the review. i know this is a lottle older but u should do more reviews. hope the goldies are doing better. blacking looked bad hope he comes around.

  27. I have that last air pump from Eheim and it is amazing from all the 'silent' air pumps I ever had. On the right surface I cannot hear that air pump. I live in the quiet country side as well. I have had it for at least 8 months and its still quiet! I highly recommend it.

  28. He Cory. Love your videos. I was wondering if you know anything about some vintage Hagen Dynaflo Power Filters( the grandfather of the Aquaclear) These filters were made in I think the late 70s and use a strange magnetically driven impeller rather than the usual motor driven shaft. The Aquaclear Filter containers use the exact same design (not to mention the same manufacturer that also makes Fluval. Thanks, Cory (yes my name is Cory too 😄

  29. I want to set up a couple of tubs outside, which air pump do you suggest I should buy a fluval or top fin air pump, or do you guys suggest something else?

  30. biggest thing to remember is air pumps should not be rated at gallon size but tank depth because your not pumping against all the water in the tank but against the pull of gravity on the water above your air stone

    so you don't always need the biggest one

  31. For me I think there is a difference in the type of sound that the air pumps have. I prefer the Whisper pump of the cheaper ones because it has a lower sounding hum rather than a higher pitched hum which I find more annoying. I have a whisper and it has been acceptable. I have been looking to upgrade to a two outlet pump and I was looking at getting an Eheim, so I appreciate this comparison video.

  32. Thanks for the comparison. Got the Eheim 400. It's super quiet compared to the old two small ones I had! The only things that makes noise are the check valves.

  33. love your videos thanks for all the help. I'm setting up my fish room and will have about 15 – 20 tanks 29gal on the same shelving set up as your fish room.
    Do you have a video on how to pick or size an air pump for a central air system?
    this is where I'm stuck. thanks

  34. I have a very cheap Aqua Culture air pump that runs at around 58db as well. Seems that is the standard level to me.

  35. remember the dB scale is a logarithmic scale not a linear one. (10*log ( p1/p2)) as has been said 3dB is half or double. 1dB is significant. 12dB is an huge difference!

  36. So I just have to follow the link from this video and you'll get the commission?

    Also, have you ever used any Fluval airpumps? Specifically the Q1 or Q2?

  37. Thanks for doing the comparison test. I ordered the EHEIM air pump you reviewed to replace an existing one and love how quiet it is and the boost in the air output in the tank!

    Thanks again!

  38. Hi Cory love the videos and especially the podcasts your concentrating on, but would just like to point out that a difference of 10db is twice as loud, but that’s for the comparison

  39. I loved Eheim, but they closed all regional offices for Eheim support and now Big Al's has the monopoly on Eheim parts. They charge outrageous prices for parts now.

  40. Yeah I have never met the air pump that didn't annoy the heck out of me. The Whispres and Aquatops are noise makers for sure. But they do the job ok so that's all that matters. You just get used to dealing with the noise.

  41. Eheim boo!! Such poor costumer service I don’t use their products because of that and high price point. Great video!

  42. PLS HELP!
    I use an air pump on my aquarium, but my water keeps splashing out, getting everything around the aquarium wet. How can I fix it?

  43. All air pumps are incredibly noisy, even the very small Tetra Whisper 10 gallons make 10 times more noise than my 300 gph canister !!!

  44. I love my Eheim 100! I have it running two 10 gallon betta tanks. Each with the Deep Blue Pro 10 sponge filters with airstones inside. Each tank has one betta, and one female bristlenose pleco. The Eheim pump is powerful! Moves a lot of water and is practically silent! Best pump I ever bought at only $35 on Amazon.

  45. We gotta new Fluval here. I'm just concerned if the noise harms my juvenile ciclids cause they are so sensitive to noise, even after a day they are still scared of the bubbles like it's a monster. It is kinda funny but don't want to hurt my fish.

  46. No jo, ale takhle se decibely neměří. Jsou tam dvě chyby: 1) měří se na neutrální podložce, 2) ve vzdálenosti 1 metru.

  47. I know this video is 2 years old. But, I didn't notice an accurate comparison to noise reductionin the brief run through comments I viewed. 1st great review, but, 12db reduction in audio terms is significant. 3db change is noticeable to nearly all humans. 10db change equates to a 10x volume change. You're 1/6th comparison is not accurate. So for at 3x the cost you get more than 10x the reduction in noise. Ehiem all the way IMO.

  48. +Aquarium Co-Op I would really love to see the Hygger in this comparison! The only pump on all the web with perfect ratings all around. Just don't have the ability to test them all in one place.

  49. what if you put your airpump on a sponge so vibration is all but eliminated – probably a large source of noise…

  50. if it quiet its a junk pump and not putting alot of air , how making a video on pumps for fish rooms not for nano tanks

  51. I have the Eheim 100 and it's really quiet, for my little limewooden air bubble block that's on 24h a day.
    Though I purchased a noisy 240lph for my gravel vacuum rod for the extra oomph…

  52. What would be the most silent solution for pumping around 20-25 liters/min?
    I currently have a Hailea V30 (30 l/min), but it sounds quite a bit since I have it in an apartment. Is there any more silent pump if I dont mind paying a bit more? Or is trying to build a sound isolation box the way to go?

  53. Do you need an air pump? I’m buying a 100 litre tank, will be getting mostly small fish tetras and Bettas should I buy one

  54. Now, which one was the most powerful?? I wish I could have seen each pumps performance in the actual stock pond as I need to find one for this size pond.. Which one do you reccomend??

  55. I've been using the eheim pumps & needed to run out get a new pump for a new aquarium. The Tetra pump is a sub woofer pumping bass compared to eheim. Corey is COMPLETELY biased against eheim. Notice it was quieter and notice it's NOT 3x the cost but he "rounded up" I'VE GOT THE PUMPS- Get eheim

  56. don't forget sound pressure doubles every 3db. it's not a linear thing it's an exponential thing… the actual equation is a mind bender. short cut's good enough. the phone app is accurate enough. you can easily say that those other pumps are at least three times louder

  57. "next size up is a chain saw" really should go on a shirt or mug or something. Cory is super quotable 🙂

  58. 3 years late but better late than never. Of the above mentioned, i havent tried the exact same models, but i have messed with the brands, the Tetra has a very weak plastic connection to the air tube, and is the only pump i've had where that connection literally broke off, not from dropping it, but prolonged kink from the air tube.

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