Air Pumps And Accessories - Ratings? (lph?)

Discussion in 'Air Pumps' started by Pescado_Verde, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. Pescado_VerdeWell Known MemberMember

    Probably ought to be in the noobs forum but here I am because it's air pump talk. Are pumps rated in liters per hour or some such? What about related accessories such as stones and ornaments? Is there some way to match them to ensure adequate air supply and proper functioning of the peripherals? Also how are they rated for the depth to which they can pump air? Atmospheres or millibars or something? And if so how does that translate to the real world?

    I'll hang up and listen, thanks.

  2. Zigi ZigWell Known MemberMember

    Air pumps can are adding oxygen by connecting to an air stone. They can also run sponge filters which can act as biological and mechanical filtration. In the most basic form, an air stone is connected to the pump through flexing tubing and placed in the tank. This produces a continuous stream of tiny bubbles that rise to the surface. This pulls water from the bottom of the tank up to the surface where both the bursting bubbles and associated current agitates the surface, encouraging gas exchange. This prevents stagnation and keeps the tank water well oxygenated. Air pumps are really not rated in liters per hour but only tells you it will fits for specific gallon or liters tank. Unless you looking to circulation pump?
  3. coralbanditWell Known MemberMember

    Depth is rated by PSI...
    Only good pumps will have this rating .Not many in LFS are to be considered good IMO.
    Here is an example of a good [pretty large] pump that I use in my fish room;
    The LPM is volume ,the PSI is in relation to the depth the pump can operate .
    I use no special accessories.Disposable airstones and sponge filters that are common.
    I run aprox 40-50 outlets off the one pump and still use a smaller [Alita 15a] for another 20+ airlines .
    Go Alita if you are looking for a serious pump !
  4. Pescado_VerdeWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you, this is the sort of information I was asking about though I appreciate the other response too. LPM and PSI makes sense now that I look at it. Like the 12V portable air compressors people keep in their cars, very low LPM but high PSI makes them useful for that application, though slow, whereas I'd imagine more of the opposite would be true when selecting an aquarium air pump. Especially if you're going to be operating a lot of stones/devices. You want to pump a lot of air but aren't really concerned terribly with the PSI.

    My reason for asking was I'm considering features I want in my tank and have thought about a bubble bar, just for the visual effect, but wasn't sure about mating it with a pump, or if that's even necessary. I don't want to get a 4 foot bar with 15 holes in it and then the air pump barely be able to supply enough to make it look the way I would hope it would.

    That said, I can see in your case where you're running so many stones/filters off of the pump you would need a fairly high volume unit.

    One thing I've noticed is prices on pumps seem to vary widely. Do you have any insight as to why and what the differences might be? Just overall quality or something else? Noise dampening?
  5. coralbanditWell Known MemberMember

    Longevity and noise are the difference between the $50 pump and the $115 pump.
    I have used the coralife super luft ,Ecos in the largest size and they both failed to pump as much as the 15a and neither were as quiet as A40. Both the cheaper units became very loud IMO.
    The Alita is the quietest pump I have ever owned even after a couple years.I have upgraded 3 times so now have 2 @15a ,1@6a and my latest 1 @40a.I would bet the 6a or 15a would do enough easily.
    No concerns of too much air as it is easy to bleed it off with gang valve which would allow you to run multiple devices anyways . The 6a ran about 20 tanks for me with either a sponge filter or air stone .
    I will never buy another pump besides Alita..Wish I had known years ago ,I would have saved hundreds on pumps....I am interested in the DC pumps [kind of new on the scene] as my main water pumps for my sumps are DC and they are the best/quietest I have owned also...
  6. Pescado_VerdeWell Known MemberMember

    Kind of on topic I guess, have you ever had need for a check valve? I'm certainly planning on using them, my concern is about quality of a device that hopefully never gets tested. Any experience good or bad?
  7. coralbanditWell Known MemberMember

    I don't use check valves.
    I run all my airlines to rise above the water line as high as possible .
    Having the air pump above the aquarium works best IMO.
    Most check valves work good enough IMO that I would not worry if the pump is going in stand but getting the air line as high as possible before running down is smart [like a reverse drip loop on electric wires …] .
  8. Pescado_VerdeWell Known MemberMember

    Unfortunately my setup is such that the air pump will be below the tank and the airlines will just clear the top rim and then down into the water. I'm also trying to find ways to keep the airlines from going every which way. I found some clear rigid tubing that Plaxair makes and I'm considering getting a couple pieces of that. They would help to organize things plus I think it will make the lines easier to hide under the substrate.

    I'm making every noob mistake that can be made I think. I'm finding questions to ask after I've made some purchases already. I've got a pump that I bought, I think it said 4 LPM. It's got two outlets at the pump and an adjustable flow rate. Them more I think about it, it seems like air stones and/air powered novelties are going to be a pain in the backside. If I was just using it for filtration it wouldn't be a bid deal, that would be easy to weigh down. Sigh. This is the fun part, right? Lol.

    Thanks for the thoughts and insight, much appreciated!
  9. PhillyKevValued MemberMember

    Fellow noob, but I have a few bubblers set up in the tank I'm cycling. I'm using a Fusion 600. It's pretty quiet, I have it in the cabinet below and am running a bubbling decoration, a fake plant with an airstone in its base, and a sponge filter off of it. Plenty of power, have it turned up about half way. This page lists their models with ratings for liters of air per minute as well as depth of tank and number of connected accessories.

    (I don't know what's going on but forum keeps changing above url. It should be   and then /FusionPumps.html but it keeps changing to   ????)

    ACCCKKK...i can't even type the first part of the website without it being corrected. Bizarre. Any way, maybe this will work Without the spaces it is "american aquarium products" dot com slash FusionPumps.html)


    It has 2 outlets, so to connect multiple accessories I got these

    The flexible tubing is hidden in the back by my background. For the inside I used a couple suction cups on the vertical going down in the corner of the tank behind a tall plant (the bubbling one). And the flex tubing was easy enough to just tuck into my gravel with my finger along the back and sides to run it around the tank. Pretty well hidden. And my bubbling decorations I made sure to bury them well in the gravel, no problems with floating.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  10. Pescado_VerdeWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks for the reply, Kev! After I started this thread I began to play with the pump that I have and I think I can live with it. It's a Uniclife 4w, 4LPH with 2 outlets on it. It came with some tubing and 2 round airstones. I can't even hear the pump when it's running so at least there's that.

    As I surmised the airlines do not want to cooperate and the suction cups that came with it aren't of the best quality and won't stay in place. I'm thinking of just gluing some rocks to the tubing near the airstone and along its length and then burying the whole setup under the substrate.

    As I mentioned the pump came with a bit of hose but it's not enough for what I have planned. I bought some extra tubing but it's virtually useless. Live and learn. It's clear vinyl and I should be using silicone (which is what the pump came with). I've found silicone tubing for cheap and will get some of that instead. Grrr...

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice