How to Ditch Your Aquarium Air Pump

This week I show you how to oxygenate your aquarium without using an air pump. Please note my recommendation at the end of the video to proceed with caution as every tank is different.

My aquarium gear recommendations:






Günter TV says:

finaly someone who thinks like me.
i like my aquariums to look just like in the nature

TheOpelkoenjas says:

Indeed, those air pumps or whatever are not needed with fish. It’s cute for some people, I understand that, I’ll admit that I still use them in some of my aquariums, but a good surface movement is plenty enough in combination with a good amount of plants that produce a good bunch of natural oxygen. Now on the other hand, if you have a lot of shrimps in your tank then it might be a wise idea to add some extra oxygen, because shrimps do not like too much water turbulence but do need good oxygenated water. Something that isn’t always possible with just surface movement. That’s the only reason when you actually might need one: just to add that little extra for your (hundreds of?) shrimps.


【Arachno Skull】 says:

..or you can put the air pump in the sump no one will ever see it

Richard keith says:

I like bubble’s, I think it adds a certain ambience to the aquarium

kelly anderson says:

I hate air pumps I leave a 2 inch gap between the water and the flow as long as the water is hitting the air before interning the tank water you don’t need one..

TV Sucks says:

Great video… many others you have.
Thank you for (not), promoting (Aquarium Coop).
In my opinion, the guy is a total (ass-clown).

Heather Davies says:

Great advice. I have a Fluval 206 and decided to leave the outlet part half in/half out…lots of agitation on water surface. I’m a novice so hope I’m doing ok

Jorge Chinchilla says:

Me parece muy útil tu aporte. Gracias !!!

Matthew A says:

I use plants for my tank

Mbuna Marcus - Aquariums, Cichlids and More says:

What air pump would you recommend for about 14 tanks?  Thinking of getting rid of all my little ones

jhgannon1 says:

Good points Steve. I run a similar setup as you with the vast majority of my tanks running sponge filtration with a central air pump. I was never big on cheesy fake decorations or air stones that looked unnatural in the tanks. With show tanks I prefer to make use of hiding as much gear as possible so using a canister or power filter will look nicer then a huge sponge filter. Hoping to see you this week at the ACA.

eyeonlife says:

Damn Bro. You look Baked.

I'm smarter than you says:

Right… but how do I increase oxygen without adding an extra power head because that would be to much current and without an air pump coz the thing is louder than my fridge??

dtip4life 8472 says:

I have a planted tank .30 minutes before I turn the lights I turn on the air pump. I like the look. The air pump stays on until I turn the lights on. I heard in a planted tank the planets release carbon dioxide in the night. A air pump replaces the reduced air.

Brenda Morris says:

I use natural looking items in my aquarium, ie, live and live looking artificial plants, stones and brown gravel, haven’t had the nerve to do the sand yet, but i do have a dolphin figurine in my goldfish tank. Can I use pond algae in my goldfish tank?

Gurney Harrell says:

I like the look of bubbles 😉

Roger Nevez says:

Ok, it seems that the air pump is not necessary for a ‘natural’ aquarium.
And a filter? Is it necessary?

Aquatic Logic says:

That tank you showed when you were cleaning the gravel had some mad Eheim filtration. How big is the tank, and what type of canisters are on it?

Taylor McNee says:

Very informative! I’m not a fan or air stones either so this is a great video! – anything that reduces noise and wires is right up my alley

Paul Sam says:

i just subbed to ur channel
I think i saw u on KG Tropicals and enjoyed ur speaking on cichlids. about the video i have my spray bar pointed to the surface and I also have a power pump also pointed at the surface. but i like to have extra media around so I have a couple of sponge filters in my 75 g tanks without them i can’t set up a quick QT tank or hospital tank if needed. any suggestions. wish i had room to keep a QT tank going.. looking forward to more videos and learning more about African cichlids. would love if i had the room to set up a shell dwellers tank like the king did just awesome.

Fish Behind Glass says:

Great vid and tips. I don’t mind bubbles, and I have both bubble and non bubble tanks. It depends on what conditions I have in a particular tank. Spreading the word on their purpose is key, which you did. It’s not the bubbles, it’s what happens at the surface. It’s something that I’m surprised some just get their head around.

Michael Lou says:

Yeah but the sponge filters are the best and most cost effective filters…….

Thomas O says:

Helpful video. I am going to get a circulation pump now. And I also like he natural landscape feel and look.

Danny Hoogenboom says:

explained very well , airpump doesn’t really do its job. just put you’re filter output on the surface.

Loreal L. says:

Gee Steve, the more I watch and read, I get confused. Ugh. I acquired 50-gal tank with Fluval 306 filter in anticipation of betta sorority with many medium light plants. Do I really need air stones? I may want one for fun as a backdrop or ornament only on a switch/timer. What do you think?

Joricano says:


Clem Mahabir says:

keep going to help others in the hobby, your advice is very good!
I believe we share knowledge and we ourselves can’t know all, so learning is the great thing in any hobby, and the study of fish, plants , water, and biotopes, as well as places of origins. where in a hobby you can get all this from..too bad they don’t teach kids more about nature in school and how important the lakes, rivers, and oceans are so important to mankind. This is an important IMO in how to understand and appreciate how important this hobby is to us, and not just in keeping the fish but how it all works, and how it applies to the real world we live in!!
Thanks, Steve for your time and effort to teach and share..nice tanks and fish BTW!!!

Briar Fox says:

I oxygenate the water by aiming my filter’s output nozzle towards the surface. I like the sound of running water, water gets moving, at night when the lights are off and the night colors are on it has a shimmer effect. Love the fish hobby. Keep rocking your vids.

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!