How to Quiet an Aquarium’s Water Pumps?

If you’re a nature or science lover who gets easily mesmerized by nature even to the tiniest bit, then most probably, you already have your own aquarium, if not then having your own aquarium (and fishes most obviously) is a must.

Aside from making your home much more attractive, an aquarium filled with tiny yet attractive sea creatures can be quite a wonderful sight to ponder upon, even more so if you add extra peripherals such as led lights, rocks, corals and other creative designs.

Imagine this. It is 3:00 in the morning and the room is dark, you start your weekly existential contemplation and stare blankly into the aquarium’s light, passively observing with unfocused eyes those swiftly versatile movements of your precious underwater friends. Thinking “Hmmm… So these are my ancestral origins…

And containing them inside some kind of transparent box would prevent them from evolving into land monkeys. Nice…” Even just the thought of it can be quite mesmerizing.

Having a small and contained space of a small water ecosystem is great, however, things like regularly cleaning the tank or preventing your cat from eating your precious underwater friend can be somewhat annoying.

Most especially that noise your aquarium water pumps is constantly making (While some people find background or static noise like this relaxing).

This article will mainly guide you on how to quiet an aquarium’s water pumps while including interesting science facts

Why Are Water Pumps Needed?

Well, fishes need oxygen to live. Thanks to our leafy friends, Earth manages to maintain  oxygen in our atmosphere.

Oceans, rivers, streams and other bodies of water obtain oxygen from the atmosphere when oxygen dissolves and mixes into the water’s surface, or when fast-moving streams and rivers help oxygen mix in, as well as underwater grasses and algae that produce oxygen. But your aquarium does not exhibit all three, and thus, will need an air pump to pump ir’ into your tank.

Do you know that dolphins and whales cannot breathe underwater? They regularly go to the surface to breathe air.

Dolphins can hold their breath for 8 to 10 minutes while whales can last up to an hour and a half. If you think about it, that can be quite a hassle for these sea creatures.

Steps and Methods in Quieting Your Aquarium’s Water Pumps

Gathering Materials

First things first, the only things you will need are just a few silicone pads or foam pads (noise-reducing mats) and a bunch of zip ties. You can buy them online or probably a store near you. Very straightforward isn’t?

Place Those Mats/Pads

Place the pads and cover the surface area which where your water pump makes contact with the tank. The concept is pretty simple. You are preventing noise to travel into your tank.

Vibrating objects of a certain frequency will make noise, for example, is your speakers. Studios use this concept to achieve excellent acoustics. They cover the room with objects that absorbs vibrations such that their sound recording would be clear.

Or Wrap Them Around

Some air pumps might be in contact with another area than the bottom. For this, you can wrap those pads around your water pump and hold it in place with zip ties. Make sure you reduce as much contact as possible to have a silent aquarium for your house.

Habitually Clean Your Water Tank

Aquarium water pumps or air pumps have filters to prevent debris from entering its system. However, it will gradually accumulate dirt and particles that may cause it to make irregular noises.

You can prevent this from happening by regularly cleaning your tank, although you should already be cleaning your aquarium regularly without having this guide mentioning it.

In case your air pumps are clogged, you should take it to the manufacturer for some cleanup, and if you know what you are doing, then you can take it apart and do the job yourself, though that may void your warranty

Replace Your Pump

Well, if nothing avails and your water pump still makes irritating noises then you should consider replacing your pump for a new and better one. There are a lot of available water pumps with pre-built silencing system such as foam-based stands and floaters. Some are specially engineered not to make noise when pumping.

Best Quietest Aquarium Water Pumps

To provide your aquarium fish with a good environment, you have to choose a quiet pump. A good pump will prevent the growth of bacteria and build-up of dangerous residues in the tank.

However, getting a pump that matches all your needs can be tricky, particularly if you are setting up a new aquarium tank.

Fortunately, we have reviewed some of the best aquarium pumps in the market to help you with your selection. Here are the ones to try.

Tiger Pumps 120GPH Submersible Water Pump

The Tiger Pumps Submersible Water Pump is made to work underwater and you can place it either horizontally or vertically in your aquarium water tank.

It is an ideal choice for people to need a pumping rate around 120GPH or 550 Litres per hour and one that is easy to install and detach when it comes to cleaning the shafts and the filters.

One of the benefits of this water pump is that the manufacturer offers it with a money-back guarantee. Therefore, if it does not work as you expected, you can return for a full refund.

On the downside, the pump will need monthly maintenance to continue running properly. So, you have to set aside enough time for that each month.


  • Comes with a money-back guarantee
  • It offers a good water flow rate


  • You have to be ready for a monthly maintenance schedule
  • Apart from the good water flow rate, it does not offer a dry burning function

KEDSUM 550GPH Submersible Water Pump

The KEDSUM 550GPH Submersible Water Pump is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater tanks. Moreover, you can install it with its suction pumps horizontal or vertical on the tank’s sides or the pond’s walls.

Despite the small size, the submersible water pump comes with many benefits. That because it functions at a very powerful rate of 550GPH or 2500 litres per hour.

It is energy efficient and suitable for aquarium tanks and ponds because its small size allows the user to hide it or place it where the fish cannot see it.

Unfortunately, the pump might not be an ideal choice for highly sensitive fish. That is because it needs lubrication to run optimally. If your fish are sensitive or very young, you will have to watch them during the first few days to be sure they are safe.


  • Runs quietly
  • You can install it either horizontally or vertically
  • It is energy-efficient


  • Its inner shaft requires lubrication and therefore not ideal for the sensitive fish
  • It will demand regular maintenance

Uniclife UL400 Submersible Water Pump

If you need a versatile submersible water pump for your aquarium tank, the Uniclife UL400 Submersible Water Pump is a great choice. The water pump runs at 400GPH rate or 1800 litres per hour as the maximum.

You can use the pump both outdoor and indoor in your fountains, ponds, tanks, and any other hydroponic system.

One of the things that make it user-friendly is the easier installation, detaching and easier to follow instructions when it comes to the cleaning and maintenance part. The water flow is also controllable.

However, during your purchase, you have to remember that it is among the many pumps that cannot run without an adequate amount of water.

Dry running will cause early malfunctioning in addition to reducing the product’s lifespan. If you are one of the people who travel more often, you will need a different product – one that allows dry running.


  • Runs quietly
  • The water flow is controllable
  • It is user-friendly


  • Dry running is not recommendable
  • Requires regular maintenance

Homasy Upgraded 400GPH Submersible Water Pump

The Homasy Upgraded Submersible Water Pump is another very powerful pond pump. It runs at a rate of 400GPH or 1800 litres per hour. The pump is an ideal choice for fountains, tanks, hydroponic systems and spouts.

The manufacturer offers a 12 months guarantee and most of the users love it because it runs efficiently including when the water level is very low.

Actually, it will run with dry burning for around 48 hours so you do not have to worry about it malfunctioning when going on a vacation.

On the downside, the pump gets blocked or clogged by debris easily. That is the reason you will have to detach its filter and shafts each month for cleaning. And because it uses lesser power to pump the water, you should expect weak flow and water currents.


  • Drying burning capacity
  • Comes with a 12 months warranty


  • Weak pumping power
  • Requires monthly maintenance

FREESEA 160-1100GPH Submersible Water Pump

The FREESA 160-1100GPH Submersible Water Pump comes with a good flow rate of 660GPH or 3000 litres per hour. Even though the pump is small compared to the others on the list, with its GPH, it offers the power to expect with any large pump. You can use it in any setting – whether it is a pond or tank.

Due to the bottom suction training, the submersible water pump is submersible and you can attach it to almost any surface.

Moreover, the manufacturer offers a 12 months guarantee that can be of benefit if you find any defects or problems. On the downside, the pump will not work properly if it runs dry. So, you have to add enough water.


  • Offers a strong GPH rate
  • It comes with 12 months warranty
  • Offers bottom suction


  • Dry running or little water is not recommendable

Choosing A Good Aquarium Water Pump

When choosing an aquarium tank pump, you have to think of what you need it to do. The main purposes of pumps include moving the water around the filtering system, filling the water tank, draining it and making waves inside the tank.

Consider the size of your aquarium tank and water quantity you want to be pumped.

Generally, the pump should rotate the water in your tank around five times within one hour. So, if you have a 10 gallons aquarium tank, you have to go for a pump rated 50GPH as the minimum to ensure thorough and efficient cleaning.

The other thing to keep in mind is the quietness of the pump during operation because you do not want to disturb your fish. So, if you choose a submersible water pump, ensure that it is of great quality.

Read more: Top 5 Best Pressure Switches for Well Pump: 2020 Reviews and Guide

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I am a homesteading enthusiast, a published writer, and director at FROMSCRATCHMAG. My experience in areas such as brand management, graphic design, and photography are valuable additions to our writing team. When I am not writing or publishing anything, I am out gardening in my small farm or cooking. I am also an herbalist, an experience I use to spread the word about sustainable living.

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