Why Your Tank Or Aquarium Needs An Air Pump

Last updated September 2018

How would you like to live your life in a closet? It doesn’t sound very inviting does it? That’s exactly how goldfish feel living in a small bowl. It’s cramped.


They can’t stretch and swim very far before they get to the other end of the bowl. I guess you could say it’s very uncomfortable for them. On top of that they can’t get enough oxygen in their small environment.


Oxygenated water is an absolute necessity if you want your goldfish to grow bigger and live longer.

First and foremost get rid of the bowl and buy your fish a tank or aquarium with an adequate air pump or air stone (or your might know it as air bubbles in the fish tank).

air bubbles in fish tank
air pumps are available in a variety of forms to suit your aquarium

In some form an air pump for a fish tank is necessary

Depending on your tank set-up and the type of filter you’re using you can choose if you need additional oxygenation and install an air stone or decoration that creates bubbles. ‘Hang on the back filters‘ and ‘canister filters‘ do create surface movement. Whereas ‘under gravel filters’ and ‘sponge filters’ need an air pump to function and produce surface agitatation


How bubbles oxygenate water

The bubbles created by the air stone or air pump in the fish tank burst on the surface of the water creating movement. The surface water is agitated promoting the exchange of gas between the water and atmosphere allowing oxygen to move into the water.

ultra quiet aquarium air pump
This is an ultra quiet aquarium pump unit

These are the 6 ways air pumps benefit fish tanks

1. Oxygen

An air pump enables fish to have a good flow of oxygen. Low oxygen in the water is evident if you notice your fish gasping for air or swimming near the surface.  This is an indication you need to increase the water surface movement with an air pump.

2. Movement

One of the functions of an air pump is to keep water moving. It’s necessary to have this activity in the water for a healthy tank because still water attracts mosquitoes and other impurities.


Moving water helps your goldfish to swim easily.

aquarium air stone setup
a simple, yet effective air stone

3. Regular cleaning of water

An air pump is necessary to keep water clean. According to research, goldfish produce more excreta than most other aquarium fish.


The water in the tank gets dirty very quickly. In addition, dirty oxygen gets depleted from the tank faster.

air pump

An air pump (incorporated with a filter system) keeps renewing water so that it always stays fresh. When you see your air pump releasing air bubbles it’s a clear indication oxygen is being circulated in the water. When this happens you know your fish are breathing easier.

cheap air pump

4. Size of the air pump

Size is a very important factor when choosing the best air pump for your tank or aquarium.


The rule to keep in mind is the smaller the tank the dirtier it gets … and faster.  As we also discussed, goldfish expel a lot of excreta.


The nitrogen and other toxic contents are released into the tank. Therefore choosing an air pump/ inc filter system of ideal size is important. You don’t want a pump that’s so powerful that your fish has to exhaust itself in the tank or it cause injuries.


Alternatively you don’t want tank water that barely rotates.


You need to find one that’s the perfect size for your tank or aquarium.

5. Reduce maintenance

When you have a goldfish air pump installed it keeps your water clean and oxygenated. It frees you from having to change the water every day as the air pump keeps water fresh. Additionally it increases the chances of longer life and better growth of your goldfish.

6. Aquarium decorations

Air pumps come in many forms. However these are much more than aquarium decorations. Although they’re designed to look decorative rest assured they’re helpful in maintaining your healthy aquarium environment.


Accessories such as air pipes, water tubes, air stones etc.


There are also filters and small feeding devices which can be installed. As an example I saw a cute one that had a marbles and treasure chest theme. The air water pump is inside the treasure chest and the door opens and closes at regular intervals all while purifying the water.

create air bubbles in fish tank