Air pump is making fish tank vibrate. Help?

Discussion in 'Air Pumps' started by Uriel01, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. Uriel01New MemberMember

    Hello everyone, I'm fairly new to this forum and was hoping someone can help me solve my issue.
    I recently purchased a new fish tank for my fish, but when I added the air pump and plugged in my airstone (with suction cups to the aquarium wall) this annoying vibrating sound started. I'm worried that the vibrations can stress the fish, and it's also very annoying to listen to it. The pump is elevated higher then the tank, and only makes the sound when the airstone is attached to the wall of the aquarium or touching any part of the aquarium. Why is this and how can I fix it?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to Fishlore :)
    Try just resting the airstone on the substrate & see if that helps.
    As long as your filter flow is rippling the surface of the water then you really don't need an airstone.
  3. Et tuValued MemberMember

    If you have a hob ( hang on back) type filter you may not even need to run a airstone. The waterfall from the filter is more than enough for gas exchange. Do you have an adjustment valve to fine tune the air output?
  4. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    You can build an expansion chamber to act as a "filter capacitor" to lessen the pressure pulsation amplitude in the tubing. Connect it between the pump and the tube to the tank.

    All you need is a sealed chamber with fittings for the air tubing for an inlet and an outlet. The larger, the better, but it doesn't need to be too big.

    I've done this using 1.5" PVC pipe about a foot long with end caps glued on, and barbed tube fittings threaded into the ends. I used a pipe tap to thread the holes. But you could probably glue rigid air line tubing into tight drilled holes.

    This really quieted things by keeping the pulsations from the pump from turning the aquarium into a large humming speaker. :)
  5. KarenLMWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the forum.

    I just rest the airstone on the substrate or loosely bury it under the gravel. Having it on the glass will increase the vibrations.
  6. Et tuValued MemberMember

    You are my people! :;alien
  7. Uriel01New MemberMember

    Thanks everyone! I was able to remove the vibrating by switching air stones and placing it under my sand substrate. I might go with an expansion chamber later on, thanks again everyone
  8. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Sometimes the problem is that any length of flexible air tubing that is in the water is caused to expand and contract with each pulse of air pressure from the pump. With that pulsating tubing in the water, the sound is transmitted into the water which, being incompressible, transfers the pressure waves to the sides of the tank. They, in turn must flex, and that turns the whole tank into what amounts to a speaker.

    It may be subtle, but if you're trying to keep things quiet, eliminating this will really make a world of difference.

    We had a 55 gallon tank in our stereo listening room years ago. The room was in a basement and was otherwise extremely quiet. The sound of the tank humming was rather annoying. The in-line "muffler" eliminated the issue. :)

    Another thing that will often help is to make sure to use only rigid air line below the waterline. It flexes less, and thus, transmits less sound into the water/tank.

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