Along with air stones and airline tubing, and air pump is an essential component of a hydroponic system to ensure the plants receive sufficient oxygen. Clearly, without oxygen, your plants won't be able to grow, so choosing one of the best air pumps for hydroponics is likely of extreme importance to you.
We've put together reviews of some of the best air pumps for hydroponics in the sections that follow. Take a few minutes to read through our reviews to find the right air pump to pair with your hydroponic system and ensure your plants receive the oxygen they need to grow and thrive!
Top 7: Best Air Pump For Hydroponics
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This commercial air pump from Active Aqua is an optimal choice for individuals with a large hydroponics garden. It has 12 outlets that will help it run multiple air stones or water farms at the same time. This 120-volt, 1750-GPH air pump delivers consistent high pressure to deliver high levels of oxygen to plants.
The pump features an electromagnetic air compressor for optimal results. The compressor is safely housed in a durable aluminum alloy case to protect it against damage or wear and tear.
The Eco Plus Air 7 Air Pump is another top option to consider. This air pump offers 12 valve outlets to set up a large hydroponic garden. It also features a chrome air manifold.
This pump is also designed to be easy to operate. Compared with other options on the market it is relatively quiet as well.
High quality and durable materials were chosen for cylinders and pistons to ensure a long-lasting product. ½-inch and 3/8-inch fittings are included to offer flexibility for different setup needs.
This Dual Diaphragm Air Pump from General Hydroponics is the only pump currently on the market that is specifically designed for use with a hydroponic system. It offers a high output of 320 mph/24 and 800 cc/minute. The pump also has four ¼-inch adjustable outputs to oxygenate different nutrient reservoirs.
General Hydroponics took care in designing this pump. It is built to be a reliable solution that hydroponic gardens can trust to keep their reservoirs properly oxygenated.
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The HydrofarmAAPA25L Active Aqua Air pump features 8 outlets for setting up a hydroponic system to deliver oxygen to different nutrient reservoirs. This model is energy-efficient and consumes less energy than other similar models on the market. It also operates very quietly and features a multi-level muffler to ensure the noise produced is very minimal.
The airflow of each of the eight outputs is adjustable using the pressure dial on the top of the pump. This model also features a synthetic rubber diaphragm which ensures the air output is consistent through each nozzle.
Next, take a look at the Eco Plus Air1 Commercial Air Pump. This air pump features a chrome air manifold and 6 outlet valves. Each outlet valve offers an adjustable air flow to allow gardeners to customize the output based on the needs of their plants.
The 120-volt pump is ETL listed. It also includes two output nozzle fittings in ¼-inch and 3/8-inch sizes.
The housing of this pump is durable and designed to last a long time. The cylinders and pistons are also made using premium, top-quality materials to add to the pump's overall durability.
Setting up and operating this pump is simple and straightforward. It is also designed to run with minimal noise production.
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If you're looking for the perfect air pump for you small, in-home hydroponics set up, consider the Hydrofarm AAPA Active Aqua Pump. This pump features two outlets to deliver oxygen to two nutrient reservoirs.
It offers a synthetic rubber diaphragm that is easy to adjust using the pressure dial on the top of the unit. The rubber diaphragm is designed to deliver a consistent airflow to yield the best growth results possible from your plants.
Compared to large air pumps on the market, this model is also very quiet. It includes a multi-level muffler to further reduce the noise it creates and limit distractions. The pump also uses minimal amount of power to keep electric bills down.
Finally, consider this air pump from Yuting. The pump, which is an electrical magnetic air pump, is designed for use with hydroponic systems or fishponds. It can be used to run numerous water farms or air stones at the same time.
The electrical magnetic air compressor is housed in a durable aluminum alloy case. The cylinders and pistons are constructed using material that resists wear and tear to extend the longevity of this unit.
No oil is needed to operate this pump. Additionally, it is designed to operate at a quiet noise level to reduce disruptions and disturbances.
As you shop for a new air pump for your hydroponics garden, keep the features outlined below in mind. Each air pump is different and offers different features and specifications. Choosing the one that will best suit your needs is essential, otherwise you may be unhappy with the product you purchase.
First, make sure you choose an air pump that is appropriately sized for your needs. Many gardeners recommend purchase a pump that has a wattage that equals the gallons of nutrient solution you have. However, many other experts say that a pump that is able to provide between 500 and 600 cc of air each minute to the nutrient reservoir should be sufficient.
Commercial hydroponic gardeners will require even more powerful pumps with more complex garden setups. If you are a commercial gardener, or looking to become one, consider working with an expert to lay out the ideal setup for your needs before making any purchases.
Number of Nozzle Loadings
Some pumps offer more nozzles than others. The number of nozzles you will want will depend on the number of plants you are trying to grow. With multiple nozzles, you can run separate tubing lines to reach multiple reservoirs.
Noise is an important item to consider as well, especially if your hydroponic garden is in your home. If you purchase a really noisy air pump, it could become an annoyance, cause disruptions in the home, and make you question whether having an indoor hydroponic garden is really a good idea.
Thankfully not all hydroponic air pumps are loud. Check with the manufacturer's specifications and choose an air pump with a decibel level that is less than 45.
While you don't want to base your decision solely on price, it should still be a factor you consider as you're shopping. If you are torn between two different hydroponic pumps that both offer the features you need, comparing the prices could help make it easier to choose one.
Finally, consider if each manufacturer offers any warranties to protect your purchase. A warranty can give you peace of mind that if the pump you purchase malfunctions that you'll be able to get your money back or receive a free replacement.
After compiling all the reviews above, we selected the Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump as our top choice. It offers 12 outlets to oxygenate large hydroponic gardens and help gardeners grow a wide selection of plants.
It features a powerful electrical magnetic air compressor that is housed in an aluminum alloy case to offer protection and extend the lifespan on the unit. The cylinders and pistons are also made using durable materials that will resist wear and tear. This model offers high pressure and a high output to ensure optimal results.
The Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump also includes an air manifold with individually-controllable air units. The air manifold is made using stainless steel and copper to ensure quality and durability.
We are impressed with the Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump, and we think you will be too! However, we understand that everyone's hydroponic system, setup, and needs are different.
If your system requires a different solution, consider one of the other air pumps we reviewed in this article. We only selected top-quality options from trusted manufacturers, so you really can't go wrong choosing on that you think will offer the best fit for your system and needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hydroponic farming is a method of growing plants without using soil. Rather, the plants are grown in a very nutrient-rich water. To grow plants using hydroponics, there are a few essentials. These include fresh water, root support (such a vermiculite, peat moss, or perlite), oxygen, nutrients (like phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium), and light.
There are a few benefits associated with hydroponic farming. First, it makes it possible for food and plants to be grown in any part of the world at times of the year when it would otherwise be impossible to have an outdoor garden. Hydroponic gardening also requires less water than is needed to grow plants in soil and can produce a higher crop yield.
In order to do their job, air pumps need to be paired with airline tubing and an air stone. Airline tubing should be constructed from a plastic material that is labeled garden-safe. Ideally, look for black aquarium tubing as it less susceptible to growing algae.
Yes, in most cases you should let a hydroponic air pump run constantly. Doing so allows it to do a better job protecting against algae and pathogens. This can help your plants remain healthier.
When shopping for an air pump, compare the decibel levels of different products on the market to choose a model that is as quiet as possible. If you already have your air pump set up, and you still find that it is too noisy, you can consider using a sponge or towel to wrap the pump. This can reduce the noise it produces, but it may also result in more frequent replacements of the pump.
The right size hydroponic air pump will vary based on the size of your nutrient reservoir. Look for an air pump that is able to produce between 500 and 600 cc of air each minute. Some hydroponic gardeners recommend looking for a pump that offers a wattage that is the same as the number of gallons in the nutrient solution.
No, an air pump is not required for all hydroponic systems. A DWC, or deep-water culture, hydroponic system is the only system that requires an air pump. In this type of system, the roots of the plant are entirely submerged in the nutrient system.
Without an air pump, the no oxygen would get to the roots, and the plant would die.
However, even if you don't have a DWC hydroponic system, you may still decide to add an air pump to your set-up. Providing additional oxygen to plants won't hinder their growth.
No, most studies show that giving plants extra air with an air pump will not hurt their growth or cause them to be over oxygenated. One study did suggest that in theory the roots of a plant could be over-oxygenated, which could lead to stunted growth. However, the thresholds indicated in this study would be impossible to reach with a hydroponic air pump.
No, in most cases air pumps don't come with other accessories, such as tubing or air stones. Confirm before making a purchase, but you will likely need to purchase these items and other accessories separately from your air pump.