* Prices may differ from that shown
When I lived at home I always kept an aquarium in my bedroom, but I stupidly sold it when I moved out. I've always regretted this and recently my fiancé and I decided to get a new one for our lounge.
Its only a small tank so I didn't need to buy much. My dads fish are breeding like mad so he gave me some fish. We really wanted this nice little cave ornament we saw. It was very sweet and it had the option to blow bubbles through it. Hence we also bought a Super fish mini Airpump.
Power 1.8 watt
Output 1.3 l/min
The air pump us a small little blue motor a bit smaller than a mouse (computer). it's a similar shape to a mouse too. It comes with a plug already attached but you will need to buy a return valve and some thin plastic tubing.
There is a small nozzle on one end of the pump to attach the tubing to. Its very easy you simply push it on.
How much tubing you need will depend on the size of your tank and where you are going to keep your pump. We keep ours on the window sill just behind the tank. It should never be put in or too near the water for obvious reasons. The pumps cable is approximately 1.5 meters.
*Using the Airpump*
To install your air pump is quite easy. All you need to do is attach the return valve, this stops any water creeping back up the pipe to the electric motor. This needs to be attached near to the pump and out of the water. Then push the plastic tube onto the nozzle on the pump and attach the other end to what ever you are using it for. In our case it was a little cave ornament. You can use them with just an air stone to create a few bubbles in your tank it doesn't have to be anything complicated or expensive. On the other hand they can be used to power little moving ornaments as well.
Then plug in and sit back and admire your new feature.
Airpumps are simple little devises yet they can create all sorts of fascinating effects in your aquarium. The fish seem to love all the little air bubbles and it certainly adds more interest to the tank.
I do have one little gripe though, they can be very noisy. We found the pump kept vibrating and buzzing which was really annoying. However we solved this problem in the end by standing the pump on a duster and hiding it behind the curtain. I think the vibration depends on the surface you have the pump standing on.
The Super Fish Air Pump costs anything from £5 to£7. They can be found on e bay, Amazon and in most garden centres. They come in several sizes too.
This week my fish are starting to look happier I thought that today I would review the air pump that until this week as operating the Spongebob air ornament in the tank.
The tank when it was moved in to my Dads house had the seriously overpowered Rena 301 powering the ornament which was causing my Dad to complain about the noise as it rattled on the sideboard (even when sat on a mouse mat it was very loud).
A quick mention should be made of the safe siting of an airpump, since water and electricity really sont mix air pumps should be fitted with a one way valve to stop water flowing back in to them if they are located below the water level, or ideally should be kept higher than the water level, of course to keep it higher is a challenge unless you are able to keep it on the lid of the aquarium, so I prefer to have a valve fitted and a drip loop created to make sure water cannot run in to the plug from the hose connection.
So I had a quick rummage and found this Superfish air pump in my box of spares. It is the first air pump I bought when I started taking my fish keeping seriously, and was used to operate a plastic rocking 'wreck' in my 20 litre tank.
It cost me a mere £5 since at the time I was financially challenged (yup same reason as for the visitherm heater), and for the money has been a fantastic purchase. The box it came in had no mention of the power of the pump, most are labelled 50watts. 100 watts etc to give you an idea of how much air they will pump. That this range doesnt is an annoyance but for small items the air pumped is more than adequate, the version I bought is apparently the least powerful single outlet version and details from a website I found claims it has a power of 2 watts and an airpressure of 1.6l/min.
The asthetics of the item are much better than many similar items, most of the pumps I've seen seem to be square boxy looking things which generally seem to be drab dull colours, this is a bright blue colour and molded with curves. Personally I think it could be a good choice looks wise of a childs tank since they are usually brightly coloured and fun looking which this item would fit with. Its base is black and it stands on four rubber feet which are designed to reduce the noise from it vibrating as it pumps, but as with most pumps this noise is still there though it has been by far the quietest of the three pumps I have when simply stood on a solid surface. But it is best to be further quietened by either hanging it (some pumps come with a small plastic loop for this purpose but this model does not), or and the method I use is placing the pump on a material which deadens sound, for example a neoprene type mouse mat.
This air pump as mentioned has been used to power a rocking wreck ornament, the rocking action of the plastic wreck was rather violent due to the volume of air being pumped through it and generally the fish avoided it as there was a danger of it jerking towards them and causing them damage. Also the light plastic needed gravel putting in to it to weight it down because of a combination of the ornaments light weight and the amount of air trapped under it from the pump, so wasn't the best option with hindsight.
But when attatched to the Spongebob ornament which is made of much heavier plaster the floating issue became negated but the sheer amount of air being pushed through the narrow hole meant that the noise from the rattle of the pump is drowned out by the extremely noisey bubbling and fizzing as the air hits the water surface.
In a bid to reduce the noise I split the air hose in to two but this reduced the air pressure through the hoses so much that the ornament no longer had any air passing through it.
As airpumps are an item which will rarely if ever be switched off they have to run without over heating, and I think that this pump has for the longest period been in use continuously been used for over three months it did get hot at times but never dangerously so, and that period was over the summer so I would expect that as long as the ambient temperature wasnt too high there is no danger of the item becoming unsafe due to heat.
So the limitations of this pump are clear, I think that if you want to power more than one item you need to buy the dual outlet version or a higher powered air pump. But to power a single item it is more than adequate, if alittle overpowered at times!
Since the noise from the air was more annoying than the noise from the previous pumps rattling I have recently changed it for a different one of my spares (the beauty of aquiring second hand aquariums is the sheer number of spares that come with them!), but the Superfish airpump has been replaced in the spares box ready for the next time a pump fails or I need to use my hospital tank, and should I ever need to buy another spare or cheap pump I would have no qualms about getting another from this brand.
But I would query the claims of the airpressure since the pump I am using currently is a RenaAir 50 which has the same wattage and virtually the same claimed airpressure yet creates almost no bubbles through the water.
Air pump has two outputs to connect airlines to along with a knob to adjust the airflow.