Growing weed itself can be quite a complex process if you are new. However, when it comes to growing weed hydroponically, things can get slightly more complex. Growers need to be a little more well-versed with all the techniques and they also need to be a little more alert and perceptive to changes in their plants. There are a number of things that need to be taken care of – and providing air to your water is one of them. The nutrient reservoir in which your water rich in nutrients is stored needs to be oxygenated properly to provide best results. For that, you will need to make use of air pumps. In this article, we shall explore some of the best air pumps for hydroponics that make it easy to grow weed.
Besides the list of the best air pumps, we shall also be taking a closer look at what air pumps are, why do you need them – as well as a dedicated look at how to choose the best air pumps for growing weed. Post that, we move to the top 10 list of the best air pumps, where we have provided a detailed analysis of all of these pumps – it will help you determine whether or not you should be choosing that particular pump. All ten of these have been curated based on a detailed analysis, which you can read in our reviews. We have also highlighted their key features up top for you so that you can know in one glance if the pump is right for you. We have analyzed the pros and cons of each of these air pumps so that you get an unbiased opinion from us.
In addition to providing you with the review and the details of what air pumps are and how they function, we have also curated a list of some of the most common and frequently asked questions about air pumps so that you get an all-round picture about it. Let us now start off by understanding the basics of hydroponics – and the importance of why we even need an air pump to begin with. Post that we shall examine quite a few different aspects of air pumps before looking at our top-10 list.
What Are Air Pumps? Why Are They Important?
To understand why air pumps are important for growing marijuana, you need to understand that all plants need oxygen to grow. Oxygen helps the plants break down the sugars present in their system and allows them to make use of the stored energy present in their body. While it is easy for the green areas (leaves) to get hold of sunlight and produce oxygen, it is harder for the roots and they need to depend upon their surroundings. Plants that grow in the soil get this oxygen via airy gaps in the soil. This is why too compact a soil is bad for your plants’ growth.
Let us now come to hydroponic plants – where the roots are submerged in water. How do these plants get Oxygen? Especially when you are growing your plants indoors. This is where air pumps come into the picture. However, one might wonder – if water is chemically H2O, it means there’s already oxygen present in that water. Why then do plants require an external source of air such as an air pump to provide the plants with oxygen. The answer to this is simple – These atoms of Oxygen are bound together to the Hydrogen atom and cannot be used for the plants to absorb in them. However, apart from H2O, water also carries dissolved Oxygen in the form of O2. This is what the aquatic forms of life make use of to breathe. Ensuring higher aeration of water ensures that there’s a high amount of dissolved oxygen present in your water.
Air pumps provide this ‘higher aeration’ to the water in your nutrient reservoir. This oxygen helps the roots of your plants get all the oxygen they need and helps them thrive better. Besides that, there are a number of other advantages of using air pumps too. First off, providing fresh air to the water will make sure that your plants are safe from algae and other pathogens that are present in water. The airflow also ensures that a nicer temperature is maintained than what would otherwise be in the stagnant water. The movement of water is beneficial in another way as well – it makes sure that the nutrient solution is evenly blended and that all the nutrients present in the solution get dissolved properly. All of this put together (with the most important fact being oxygenating the water) – is the reason why we need air pumps to grow hydroponic marijuana.
Best Air Pumps for Hydroponic Weed in 2021
Here’s a closer look at ten of the best air pumps you can buy off Amazon right away and start growing your hydroponic weed! Do note that these are only the pumps and you will still require the air ducting as well as air stones in order to get hold of the complete setup. However, the air pumps form the core and the most important part of it all. More details on the other accessories in the FAQ section towards the end of this article.
Hydrofarm is one of the most popular names when it comes to buying air pumps and you’ll see it again soon on our list. This is quite a powerful pump from the company, which can pump up to 7.8 liters of air per minute. There’s a knob on top of this pump which allows you to control the amount of air that is coming out of the nozzles. There are two nozzles on this machine. Among other great features, one of the best parts about this device, which makes it one of the best air pumps for hydroponic cultivation of weed is the fact that it consumes only about 3 watts of power.
This is a great air pump for growers who want to introduce dissolved oxygen into their reservoirs for the betterment of their roots. Another key feature of this air pump is the fact that it operates relatively silently when you compare it with many other air pumps that are available in the markets these days. This air pump generates only about 40 decibels of sound, which is quite acceptable to most growers, making it a very strong contender among its competitors.
Anyone who has been looking around the indoor growing industry for some time now is bound to have come across Vivosun products. A name that has impressed millions of growers all over the world, Vivosun also makes some of the best air pumps that you can find in the markets. This air pump from the company comes with four nozzles and can pump out about 18 liters of air per minute. This air pump comes with a motor that consumes about 9.5W of power, and can easily produce an air pressure higher than 0.035 MPa, which is ideal for hydroponic growers.
Furthermore, this air pump is built using a steel engine cylinder as well as piston, which makes it extremely reliable as well as durable for a long term. Even when functioning for 24/7, the manufacturer has rated it to last you for one full year without any hassles. It generates a noise of under 60 decibels (a little loud for some but still less noisier than many other options out there). This air pump also features a long 1.4m cord which is quite comfortable to use while growing your weed indoors!
As we’ve pointed out in the list of features above, this is perhaps the only air pump in the world that has been manufactured specifically keeping in mind the needs of hydroponic growers. This is a pump made specifically to be used in nutrient reservoirs. This is a dual-diaphragm pump, which means it makes use of two diaphragms that move forward and backwards to create a pressure zone which then propels the air outwards.
There are four nozzles in this air pump and it can be used to oxygenate large air tanks. The manufacturer claims that upto 8 WaterFarm units can be oxygenated using this air pump. This is a high-output pump from General Hydroponics. We know this company to be one which manufactures some of the best nutrient solutions for growers – including the GH Box Kit, where you get eight nutrients including two packs of macronutrients and six packs of micronutrients. Nonetheless, this air pump from the company is also very reliable and one of the best options at a somewhat higher price point – but one that will last you for long too!
4. EcoPlus 728450 Eco Air1 Commercial Air Pump 1-18 Watt Single Outlet, 6 Valve Manifold For Aquarium, Fish Tank, Fountain, Pond & Hydroponics, 793 GPH, Silver
Much like Hydrofarm and Vivosun, EcoPlus is also a very well-established name in the industry and is one which you will see making a second appearance shortly. This air pump right here is a six-valve pump from the company which is very popular among two sets of users – hydroponic growers, as well as owners of aquariums. This air pump is good enough to sustain a lot of aquatic life form – not just limited to hydroponic plants! In the pump’s main body, there’s only a single outlet, but you get a manifold valve with six nozzles, effectively making it a six-nozzled pump.
One drawback that you are bound to face when you make use of this air pump from EcoPlus is that there will be quite a bit of noise. You might want to avoid using their pumps altogether if you are planning on growing your weed in the same room in which you spend a lot of time. However, if you have a dedicated grow room, this might just be one of the best air pumps for you, especially at this price point. Priced in below $50, this is one of the most affordable options that you can purchase off Amazon.
And we are back with another air pump from Hydrofarm! The company makes some really great air pumps and this one is another good example of why they are among the market leaders. This air pump from Hydrofarm, just like the one we’ve seen above, features a knob that allows you to control the force with which the air enters your nutrient reservoir. This is a pretty handy feature to have and gives you quite a bit of control over the amount of oxygenation you provide to the water.
One of the best things that we really love about Hydrofarm and what makes this one of the best air pumps for hydroponics is the fact that the company makes use of all the premium quality parts and materials that they can find and the product lasts really long! Again, as seen in the earlier product, this air pump too is very silent in terms of operation and creates only about 45 decibels of noise – the ideal limit which seems bearable for most growers. The motor here consumes about 6 watts of power and is able to pump out about 15 liters of air every minute. All of this put together makes this air pump from Hydrofarm one of the best options for growers who wish to grow hydroponic weed.
6. AQUANEAT Aquarium Air Pump 300GPH, for up to 200 Gallon Fish Tank, Powerful Hydroponic Aerator Pump, Adjustable Oxygen Bubbler
Among one of the best hydroponic air pumps that you can find on Amazon today is this product from Aquaneat. A very popular name for those who wish to supply oxygen to their aquariums, this has also been found to be extremely efficient by hydroponic growers while oxygenating the water in their reservoirs. This is a 4 nozzle air pump which can provide air to a reservoir as big as 200 gallons of water. Interestingly, this one also comes with a knob on top which allows the growers to control the flow of air that goes into their tanks. This is a very handy and useful feature to have in an air pump!
Below the pump, there are four rubber stabilizers placed in a strategic manner which ensure that the pump stays firm in one place and does not move too much, causing noise. This air pump consumes about 8.5W of power and is a very power efficient device too. It is so powerful in terms of output that the manufacturer even claims that this device can be used to oxygenate small lakes as well! Lastly, there’s a 4.5ft power cord which comes with the pump making it even more convenient to use.
7. EcoPlus HGC728457 Eco Air5 Commercial Air Pump 5-80 Watt Single Outlet, 8 Valve Manifold For Aquarium, Fish Tank, Fountain, Pond & Hydroponics, 1300 GPH, Silver
- 8 Nozzles
- Very durable and long lasting
- Pumps about 1300 gallons per hour
EcoPlus makes a return to this list (and not for the last time!). One of the strongest contenders here for people who have a very large setup – this one can pump upto 1300 gallons of air per hour into the system and is one of the most reliable air pumps that you can purchase at this price point. This air pump costs you less than $70 (under discount right now) and is a clear winner for growers who have large tanks. This is also a great choice for people who have large aquariums, or for those who have to manage large water bodies like ponds or even fountains.
Interestingly, this air pump also comes with a one-year warranty period, which is very rarely seen on most such pumps today. Another key highlight of this air pump is that it is made out of some very premium, long-lasting and durable materials which are bound to last the growers for a long time. Given that this is a pump that has to deal with a lot of water around it, it needs to be quite a performer. This is a commercial-grade air pump and is mostly seen in action by large-scale growers who grow weed at an industrial scale.
8. EcoPlus 1030 GPH (3900 LPH, 35W) Commercial Air Pump w/ 6 Valves | Aquarium, Fish Tank, Fountain, Pond, Hydroponics
And here it comes! A third and final appearance for EcoPlus on our list of the best air pumps for hydroponic growers. There’s a single brass output nozzle on one end of this pump, but it comes with a chrome manifold which has six nozzle-valves on the other end, effectively increasing that number by six times. The device, just like the previous two EcoPlus air pumps, is very durable and sturdy and made out of the best possible materials – and stays firm for quite a long time. Just like the one above this, the EcoAir 3 too comes with a 1-year warranty period. The pump consumes about 35 Watts of power.
All said and done, this is one of the best options for any grower who is looking forward to growing in a large scale (yet smaller than the one above this). This is ideal for industrial growers too as it can pump out as much as 3900 liters of air per hour, which is enough to oxygenate some really large indoor water bodies or even small outdoor ponds. The manufacturer also notes that this air pump can conveniently operate for a long time without any need to oil this and the decibel levels are quite low. Nonetheless, we’ve heard feedback from most growers that this pump (much like most other EcoPlus pumps) does create quite a bit of noise!
9. VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH Commercial Air Pump 20W-102W, 18L-110L/min, 4-12 Outlets Air Pumps for Aquarium and Hydroponic Systems
Vivosun makes its final appearance in this list. A brand that has been around for really long and has been known for making some of the best products for growers, Vivosun’s Air Pumps have proven to be quite effective and are used by tens of thousands of growers all around the world. The air pump consumes about 32W of power, and has six nozzles out of which air comes out. These nozzles, much like some pumps above, are a part of a manifold which split the air coming out of one nozzle into six. It has quite a portable design and can easily be carried around from one place to another.
This air pump from Vivosun can pump 950 gallons of air per hour, which suits the needs of almost all personal scale growers and most mid-scale growers too. Vivosun has made it a point to also focus on their heat control technology and have stated that their air pump tends to heat up quite less in comparison to most other competing brands. Vivosun’s motor can generate about 0.02 mpa of pressure, which is quite impressive too! The air pump operates at a relatively low noise, never exceeding 60 decibels (which might be a little loud for some growers but is acceptable to most). All said and done, this product truly ranks among the top names in this list of the best air pumps for hydroponic growers.
10. VIVOHOME Electromagnetic Commercial Air Pump, 20W-102W, 317/950/1110/1750 GPH, Outlets for Aquariums, Fish Tank and Hydroponic Systems
The Vivohome air pump is quite similar to the Vivosun air pump. It operates at the same 32W of power, pumps out the same sixty liters of air per minute, has the same six nozzles and even has pretty much the same name! However, it undercuts the Vivosun pump by about $5 to $10 depending on where you are buying it from. This pump uses an electromagnetic motor, and pumps out 950 gallons of air per hour – something that most personal scale growers are very happy with. The pump is quite simple to operate as well and is surrounded by an aluminum alloy casing which gives it strength and durability without adding to the weight.
Heat control is another feature which Vivohome’s air pump focuses on, (again much like the Vivosun pump above it). Most users who have been using this pump for some time now have complained that it causes quite a bit of noise that is really disturbing for them, and is noisier compared to most other air pumps on this list of ours.
How to Choose the Best Air Pump for Hydroponics?
Now that you know which the ten best air pumps out there are, and what their benefits and disadvantages are, you must also know what all you need to check before you buy an air pump. Here’s the complete checklist which will help you make a better choice while buying an air pump for growing your hydroponic weed:
- Size – No matter what anyone tells you, size matters. That cheeky little insight aside, we really mean it! Size matters when you are buying an air pump. Generally, the larger your reservoir filled with nutrient-rich water is, the larger your air pump needs to be as well. For every gallon of water in your reservoir, add 1w to your pump’s total power. Generally speaking, we suggest getting a pump that is slightly stronger than the total gallons present in your reservoir.
- Nozzles – Nozzles are important for growers who are growing in a somewhat larger setup. The more the number of nozzles you have, the more better your air flow can split. Instead of pumping in all the air from one nozzle, you will have air being divided across different nozzles and coming in which will ensure that it is better spread out as well as does not enter the tank with excessive force.
- Durability – For a device that stays near water all the time, you need to make sure you are getting something that is strong and durable and is made out of elements that won’t just break off or get corroded after a while. Getting a strong pump is good for you as it will save you money in the long run.
- Noise – Noise is one aspect of air pumps that is absolutely unavoidable. Even the best of air pumps are going to create some noise and there’s actually nothing that you can do about it. However, when you are buying a new air pump, try and look for one which has the least decibel levels. Generally getting something that creates a sound less than 45 decibels would be the best suited for the needs of your plants. Sadly, there is no known way so far to completely remove the noise.
- Power Consumption – For any device that works on electricity, there’s always some amount of power consumption involved. You need to get a pump that consumes the least amount of energy while providing a high output in return. However, you also need to keep in mind the logic of getting a pump that offers at least one watt per gallon as mentioned in the size aspect above.
- Flow Rate – How much air flows into your tank is also important. The larger your reservoir tank is, the higher the air flow has to be. Similarly, if the number of plants that you are growing are higher, the flow rate of the air flow needs to be higher too.
- Warranty Period, Cost and Delivery – Last but not the least, you need something which offers a high warranty period. Especially for a device that stays near water for such a long time, there’s always a high chance of something going amiss. Hence, getting the maximum possible warranty period is important. Cost is another crucial aspect that growers need to keep in mind – an air pump should not be so costly that the cost of growing weed goes up drastically. Delivery with Amazon, as always, is very reliable.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Air Pumps
Besides what we have mentioned above, there are some other aspects of air pumps that also need to be talked about. Here’s a collection of some of the most common and frequently asked questions about air pumps that growers often want answers to.
1. Should my pump run all day?
While there is no hard and fast ‘rule’ that says you must do it in a particular way, but most growers generally allow their air pumps to run for 24 hours a day, particularly if their plants have their roots which are deep inside the reservoir. Using air pumps all day will also ensure that your plants remain safe from algae or other water-borne pathogens. This also reduces the stress on the roots and ensures that your plants grow healthier and have stronger roots. However, if you wish to do so, you can turn off the pump every now and then for a short duration.
2. How to choose the right size of the pump?
Now this is something that is quite important. Every grower needs to determine the right size of their pump. The size of the pump depends directly on the size of the reservoir that you have. The larger your nutrient reservoir, the larger your air pump has to be. However, calculating the exact size can be a tedious process. This is why most growers actually go by the unwritten-rule of choosing an air pump – they go for something that can provide their reservoir with about 500-600cc of air per minute. (For those new to growing, this is the same as about 500-600ml of water per min). This will suit the needs of most indoor growers. However, in case you are a commercial-scale grower, you might be looking forward to something larger and more powerful.
3. What other things do I need with the air pump?
Getting an air pump is extremely important as you need to oxygenate the nutrient reservoirs. However, getting only an air pump won’t suffice as you need a lot of other components along with it too. Primarily, you need to get airline tubing, as well as air stones in order to make any use of your air pumps.
The airline tubes that you need to buy should be made out of garden-safe plastic which is safe to use – many growers prefer buying aquarium tubing for these purposes which is black in color. Getting a dark/black color tubing has a lesser chance of catching algae. Besides this, the air stones are also very important and they need to be ones which create as small bubbles as possible! Smaller bubbles have a smaller surface area and can hence travel faster. These are a few things that you need to keep in mind while buying air pump accessories.
4. How to reduce the noise that comes from the air pumps?
While most growers want a noise-free indoor growing experience, the bitter truth is that there is no such thing as a noise-free indoor growing experience. Growers who have been growing weed for some time now will know that there is always some or the other sound that keeps playing around in the background. Air Pump is one of these unavoidable sounds that WILL be there and there’s practically nothing that you can do. At best, you need to look for a pump which has the least decibel levels. Anything lesser than 45 decibels should get the job done for you. To sum it up, get ready for some noise – but depending on the pump you choose, the noise might be lesser than other pumps.
We hope that by the time you reach this point in our article, you are well aware about everything that there is to know about air pumps. We have tried to throw as much light on why your nutrient reservoir needs to be oxygenated and what is the best possible way to provide that to your plants here. Besides that, we have also provided you with a buyer’s guide so that you know what all to look for before you buy an air pump. Our FAQs section also provides a detailed insight into various other aspects of air pumps that one must know about. If there are any more questions that you have related to air pumps for hydroponics, please feel free to send us an email or let us know in the comments section and we shall get back to you! Till then..
..Happy Growing! 🙂