The best aquarium pumps in the UK 2023

You have an aquarium, but you miss the pump to provide a healthy living environment for your little fish? You can perfectly buy a self-contained pump that will oxygenate the water inside the tank. Air, water, submerged or external... there are many models on the market. We will help you find the best aquarium pump for your needs through this guide.

Tetra APS 50 1

Best value for money

Tetra APS 50

The best aquarium pump in 2021

It is a high-performance model that is easy to use thanks to its adjustment tap. Ultra quiet design, it is equipped with a triple anti-noise system. The pump ensures a powerful and constant air flow for an optimal oxygenation.

11,46 £ on Amazon

The Tetra APS 50 air pump is designed to optimally oxygenate an aquarium from 10 to 60 liters. With its adjustable flow rate of 50 liters per hour, it ensures a high and even air volume. The integrated control valve makes it easy to regulate the air flow in your aquarium.

The Tetra APS 50 is an extremely powerful model with an innovative design. It has 3 noise reduction systems consisting of a thick wall, a noise reduction chamber, and rubber feet. The low noise level makes this aquarium air pump very comfortable to use. In addition, it comes with an air hose to prevent back-drafts that could affect its operation.

SunSun HJ-931 ECO 2

Best value for money

SunSun HJ-931 ECO

The best entry-level aquarium pump

This pond pump is an ultra efficient and energy saving model. Its synchronous motor is capable of delivering a maximum flow rate of 800 l/h. It is equipped with an overheating protection.

5,56 £ on Manomano

The SunSun HJ-931 ECO pond pump is equipped with a high efficiency motor for high delivery capacity. It delivers 800 liters of air per hour with a power consumption of only 16 watts. This model has a maximum delivery height of 1.3 m.

The versatile SunSun HJ-931 ECO can be used as a submersible or non-submersible pump. This model has an integrated thermal protection for safe operation. In case of overheating, the protection is automatically activated and the unit restarts once the motor has cooled down.


Best value for money


The best high-end aquarium pump

This is the ideal pump if you have a large aquarium. Exleco is powerful, robust and versatile. Your small fish will have a healthy and well oxygenated environment at all times.

48,72 £ on Amazon

This Exleco aquarium pump is suitable for all types of ponds and has an extremely powerful flow rate of 4500 l/h. Easy to use and install, it also serves as a filter to prevent any dirt from entering the aquarium. It is equipped with a 2.5 m cable, making it easy to connect to a power source. It is a quiet and very economical pump.

This Exleco Super Eco model is very robust and has an effective, corrosion-resistant motor protection system. It can be used either outdoors or directly immersed in water to maximize its performance. The copper wire coil ensures a long life, regardless of the conditions in which it is used.

JBL ProFlow u1100 4


JBL ProFlow u1100

The best mid-range alternative

This water pump model can be used inside or outside the aquarium. It provides a powerful flow of 1200 L/h to oxygenate the water efficiently. Its suction cup mounting system guarantees a stable installation.

26,28 £ on Amazon
Buying guide • November 2023

Best aquarium pump

Any specific needs?

The best aquarium pump in 2021

The best entry-level aquarium pump

The best high-end aquarium pump

The best mid-range alternative

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best aquarium pumps

Top Inexpensive Top of the line Excellent
Tetra APS 50 5
SunSun HJ-931 ECO 6
JBL ProFlow u1100 8
Tetra APS 50
SunSun HJ-931 ECO
JBL ProFlow u1100
It is a high-performance model that is easy to use thanks to its adjustment tap. Ultra quiet design, it is equipped with a triple anti-noise system. The pump ensures a powerful and constant air flow for an optimal oxygenation.
This pond pump is an ultra efficient and energy saving model. Its synchronous motor is capable of delivering a maximum flow rate of 800 l/h. It is equipped with an overheating protection.
This is the ideal pump if you have a large aquarium. Exleco is powerful, robust and versatile. Your small fish will have a healthy and well oxygenated environment at all times.
This water pump model can be used inside or outside the aquarium. It provides a powerful flow of 1200 L/h to oxygenate the water efficiently. Its suction cup mounting system guarantees a stable installation.
Air pump
Water pump
Water pump
Water pump
Flow Rate Max
50 l/h
800 l/h
4000 l/h
1200 l/h
For Aquariums
100 L
120 L
From 100 L
300 L max
2 W
16 W
30 W
12 W
14x7x13 cm
12.2x10.2x8.2 cm
22.4x18.8x15.2 cm
7.91 x 4.55 x 8.25 cm

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Report an error, request the addition of a feature to the table, or suggest another product. Thank you for your kindness!

Buying guide - aquarium pump

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How to choose your aquarium pump

The choice of an aquarium pump depends on several criteria, the most important of which are the size of the tank, the expected flow rate and the power of the device. These and other factors will ensure that you find the right model.

#1 - The flow

The flow rate of an aquarium pump is the volume of water it can handle in one hour. It varies from one model to another. You can choose the flow rate of the unit according to the population of your aquarium. For example, if you only have shrimp, a low flow rate will be perfect. This is because they are less polluting than other aquatic species. If the flow rate is too high, small shrimp and larvae may be sucked into the filtration system. For cold water fish, however, an aquarium pump with a high hourly flow rate is essential. This is because these fish are big eaters and therefore eliminate a large amount of waste.

#2 - The power

Aquarium pumps run on a battery or a mains connection. They usually have low power consumption so you can plug them in all the time. This means you can choose a powerful pump without risking your electricity bill. It's best to choose a model with more power than the volume of your aquarium. This will allow the unit to provide optimal water circulation without compromising on efficiency. In addition, the power and flow rate of an aquarium pump are closely related. In fact, a pump with a power of 20 W offers a higher flow rate than a device with 5 W.

#3 - Noise pollution

The noise level of a device is measured in decibels or dB. It is best to look for aquarium pumps that have a noise level below 40 dB. This is because a water pump that makes too much noise when it's running is detrimental to your peace of mind and the well-being of your aquatic animals. You should therefore choose a quiet pump if you want to install an aquarium in your home. Most fish are sensitive to noise. So you need to provide them with a quiet environment. In this case, devices with motors to be installed outside the tank are to be avoided since they emit vibrations that are dangerous for aquatic animals.

#4 - The volume of the aquarium

The volume of your aquarium influences the flow rate of the aquarium pump needed. Indeed, the latter must be proportional to the volume of the tank. In most cases, it is advisable to opt for a pump that has a flow rate equivalent to three times the volume of your aquarium in one hour. This ensures that the pump will not wear out prematurely. Also, for large aquariums, it's best to consider two filters instead of one. This will allow you to alternate cleaning for optimal results.

#5 - The installation

The type of installation of your aquarium pump is also an important consideration. In fact, a water pump can be submersible or in-line. An in-line aquarium pump must be placed out of the water unlike submersible models. The latter have the advantage of being silent. As for the external pumps, they are known to be efficient. In addition, the fact that they are placed outside the water allows you to access them more easily.

What is an aquarium pump and how do I maintain it?

An aquarium pump is an essential accessory for your fish tank. This device is designed to purify and stir the water. It is therefore used to remove the dirt that has accumulated in your aquarium. You can also find pump models that create currents to help your animals move around.

It is important to clean your aquarium pump regularly to ensure its longevity. If your pump is a filter model, it combines a filtration function with a pump function. This system captures all the suspended elements in the water such as fish droppings, food scraps and vegetation debris. You should therefore clean the pump and impeller at least once a month. You can use a special cleaning kit for this purpose.

As for the filter system, maintenance is manifested by recurrent cleaning or by rinsing the foam/filter mass as soon as you observe saturation. It is also advisable not to use tap water as it contains chlorine. This product can kill the bacteria that purify the pond. If you have no choice but to use tap water, you must remove the chlorine with a conditioner. You should also change the water in the aquarium periodically, i.e. every week. Indeed, polluted water is dangerous for your fish.

The different types of aquarium pumps

There are several types of aquarium pumps. You can find a non-submersible water aquarium pump, a non-submersible aquarium pump and an air aquarium pump on the market.

The non-submersible aquarium pump

A non-submersible water pump is the ideal solution for you if you have an XXL aquarium. It has all the power needed to handle a large volume of liquid in a very short time. In addition, this type of pump is easier to maintain because it is more accessible than a submersible model.

When a water pump is non-submersible, it necessarily takes up space next to the tank. This means that you will need a large space to install your aquarium. In addition, it produces noise pollution that could disturb the peace and quiet of your home.

Submersible aquarium pump

A submersible water pump is suitable for small aquariums. It works underwater therefore, it produces low noise pollution. In addition, it is extremely easy to install.

If you have a large aquarium, you will probably need two submersible pumps to get the best results. This is because this type of pump has a reduced efficiency. In addition, submersible water pumps tend to get hot. The air pump ensures oxygenation of the water by sending air in the form of bubbles into the tank. It therefore forces air into the aquarium. This system creates a movement in the water that offers a soothing spectacle in addition to offering your fish all the oxygen they need.

There are two drawbacks to using an air aquarium pump. First, when it is too powerful, it could saturate the water with oxygen. However, CO2 is essential for plants to grow. Secondly, the motor of air pumps is usually shiny because it emits vibrations. And if you want to have a silent bubbler, you have to invest a lot of money.

The air aquarium pump

Internal or external aquarium pump?

Internal aquarium pump

Internal aquarium pumps work by stirring the water. The first advantage of the internal aquarium pump is that it offers you the possibility to optimize your space since it is placed in the tank. In addition, it saves you money because they are less expensive than external models. In addition, to repair a breakdown, you usually only need to replace a small filtering part.

However, aquarium pumps also have their drawbacks. For a start, they make a lot of noise when they are running. This means that you and your fish are exposed to a lot of noise and vibration. In addition, they are less efficient than external aquarium pumps because they have smaller filter parts. As a result, water filtration is never optimal, especially since the flow rate cannot be regulated.

External aquarium pump

Aquarium pumps are used to improve the exchange between air and water. As the name suggests, an external pump is connected to the aquarium, but is placed outside. This configuration allows you to keep the inside of the tank free of clutter. This gives your fish and aquatic plants more room to grow. In addition, this type of pump is more elaborate since it is less compact than the internal models. As a result, external pumps are extremely quiet. They also offer increased filtration performance since they have a high flow rate.

But these many advantages come at a price. External aquarium pumps are more expensive than internal pumps. In addition, they require more space for your aquarium as they are placed outside the tank.


The most important thing when choosing an aquarium pump is that it can perform its function for as long as possible, whether it is external or internal. However, you should note that external aquarium pumps are more suitable for larger aquariums as they are more powerful than internal ones. In addition, external pumps do not have to take up much space, as today you can easily find smaller models that take up little space next to your aquarium.

Why buy an aquarium pump?

To oxygenate the water

Aquatic plants and animals need oxygen to survive. The aquarium pump ensures oxygenation by stirring the water in the aquarium. This system is essential for keeping the water healthy at all times, whether it is fresh or salt water. Furthermore, you should know that your aquarium must be purchased and installed at the same time as your aquarium.

For easy aquarium maintenance

The fish that live in your aquarium produce excrement that is poured into the tank. The water must be cleaned to provide a healthy environment for your aquatic animals. Plant debris and food scraps also pollute the water in your aquarium. An aquarium pump is therefore necessary to avoid manual cleaning. This accessory lifts the waste that accumulates at the bottom of the aquarium. The dirt is then removed via the filter.

To maintain a reef aquarium

A reef aquarium is a marine aquarium designed to house corals. This type of tank requires a specific investment since corals are a special form of life. If you wish to have a reef aquarium, you must absolutely have a stirring water pump. This device reproduces the movements of the waves by stirring the water in the tank. Stirring is also essential to get rid of the mucus produced by the corals. Thus, the water pump avoids the self asphyxiation of the aquatic population.

To promote the exchange between gases

There are several types of aquarium pumps. For example, you can buy a bubbler. This is an air pump that diffuses bubbles. These bubbles promote gas exchange between the surface of the aquarium and the air. As a result, the amount of oxygen in the tank increases considerably. For best results, you should ensure that the bubbles are directed towards the surface.

To have a multifunctional device

You can find multifunctional aquarium pumps that are coupled with filtration. These devices are called "filtration pumps". They circulate the water while filtering it. Filtration pumps come in different models. You can choose between compact internal filtration, internal filtration with decantation or external filtration.

The best brands of aquarium pumps

In our opinion, the best brands of aquarium pumps in 2022 are :


The Tetra brand is renowned for the reliability and ease of installation of its aquarium pumps. Its products have considerable power, the flow rate of which can be adjusted according to need. The pumps designed by this brand are recommended for tanks up to 300 litres and can be placed underwater.

The brand is famous for its ergonomic pumps. These pumps take up little space, but still have considerable power. Indeed, a flow rate of up to 300l/h can supply a large aquarium. They are suitable for all types of environments, whether in fresh or salt water.

Aquarium pumps from this brand are multifunctional. They are designed to be small enough to prevent fish from getting into the water and dying. In addition, they are both quiet and environmentally friendly devices with replaceable foam.

Londafish is a brand that produces high-quality, easy-to-install external aquarium pumps with high power. The models designed by the company are also easy to maintain, as the parts can be dismantled with a simple turn of the hand. Thanks to their small size, Londafish pumps blend in with the surroundings and do not affect the living conditions of the fish.

Most Cadrim aquarium pumps are submersible and extremely powerful. Their flow rate is adjustable and can reach 1200l/h, ideal for a medium or small aquarium model. Cadrim's units are very compact, making them easy to install and maintain.

What is the price for an aquarium pump

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

5 £ to 10 £
10 £ to 50 £
more than 50 £
Price range diagram


Choose a reliable aquarium pump

To ensure the reliability of a pump, it is advisable to choose a powerful model from a well-known brand, as these elements play a role in its durability. Choosing a pump that is less than 40 dB quiet is also beneficial for both fish and humans. Apart from that, models containing easily replaceable parts avoid the purchase of a new pump in case of a defect.

Cleaning an aquarium pump

It is advisable to clean the pump monthly. This is done by rinsing it with warm water and going over every nook and cranny with a used toothbrush. Soaking the pump in white vinegar will dissolve any remaining residue. It is best to let it soak for an hour, and then rinse it thoroughly with warm water.

Installing an air pump

The air pump is placed out of the water, but near the aquarium. Using a hose connected by a check valve, the air pump is connected with the roller. The roller is placed in the water and has the function of producing the air bubbles. It is possible to adjust the frequency of the bubbles through a speed controller.

Installing a water pump

There are some internal and some external water pump models. Generally, the immersive models are attached to the wall of the aquarium with suction cups. The external models, on the other hand, have an adapter block that connects the pump and the discharge tube with a hose. The discharge tube is attached to the aquarium with suction cups.

Check compatibility with the aquarium

The larger the aquarium, the higher the pump's output. Because of the power required, the pump in a large aquarium must be installed outside the aquarium, unlike in small and medium aquariums. In the case of a saltwater aquarium, it is important to ensure that the pump is corrosion resistant. The water pump is essential in a large aquarium.


What is the ideal power for an aquarium pump?

In general, the power of aquarium pumps varies from 5 W to 20 W depending on the type of pump. The more powerful the pump, the greater its flow rate. However, it is advisable to choose a pump whose power is slightly higher than the volume of your aquarium. This way, the motor can move a large amount of liquid quickly. In addition, the power of a pump guarantees its longevity.

How to install an aquarium pump?

The installation of an aquarium pump depends on the model you choose. For a submersible air pump, all you have to do is stick the magnets or suction cups inside your aquarium. However, installing a non-submersible water pump presents some difficulties. You must first choose the ideal location for your pump to be protected from the water. For example, you can attach the pump to the filter through a hole in the filter.

How does an aquarium pump work?

Every aquarium pump has its own way of working. The most important thing is that it can fulfil its role of channelling the water out of the filtration systems. Pumps use an outlet and inlet pipe to ensure the filtration of water in the tank. In the case of a submersible model, the pump sends the water to a filter and then injects clean water.

What is the ideal size for an aquarium pump?

The size of the pump depends on the space where you want to install it. If you choose a submersible pump, it is best to choose a compact model so that your animals and aquatic plants have enough space to thrive. If you opt for a non-submersible pump, you must have enough space next to the aquarium for its installation. You should also consider that a large pump is more likely to perform well.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Tetra APS 50 9
Tetra APS 50
SunSun HJ-931 ECO 10
SunSun HJ-931 ECO
JBL ProFlow u1100 12
JBL ProFlow u1100


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