Hydroponics is a revolutionary new method in the recent century where plants may now be grown without the need for soil. Instead, soil is replaced with a mineral nutrient solution to provide sustenance to the plant’s roots. Moreover, it’s been discovered that a specific group of plants — terrestrial plants — are more accustomed and thrive under this method’s conditions.
In the realm of hydroponics, there are several methods involved. The flexibility in altering and choosing the hydroponics method best suited to your gardening/farming style is what appeals to most people. In comparison to traditional farming, it’s massively easier and less labor-intensive because manual hard labor like plowing and water fields have either become redundant or automated.
Amongst the various methods available, the most popular is probably “deepwater culture” hydroponics in which it utilizes an air pump from the water tank that transfers diffused oxygen directly to the submerged roots of plants through pipes. It also maintains the flow of channeled water and prevents stagnation within the pipes. This step of including an air pump is highly recommended to all aspiring hydroponic farmers in general regardless of whatever method you opt for. Hence, here is a list of reviews and suggestions on what to look out for when you’re shopping for your air pump.
1. Natural Waterscapes PowerAir 2 Pond Aerator
First up, we have the PowerAir Pond Aerator Kit. It’s 20 by 20 by 16 inches and has a total shipping weight of 66 lbs. It comprises a ¼ Rocking Piston Compression specially made in the USA, two weighted powder-coated steel base air diffusers, and EPDM rubber diffuser disks. This air pump has the capacity to aerate 2 ft³/min of air into ponds up to 1-acre via pushing air from the compressor through an airline tubing before the compressed air gets channeled out into the water through the air diffusers. Throughout the process, it has a lifting rate of 2100 gallons/min while only consuming 1.6 running amps.
It helps with pond maintenance by facilitating the decomposition of unwanted pond muck and dead vegetation along with reducing quantity levels of nitrate and phosphate responsible for triggering algae growth.
2. Air Force Pro 80 Linear Air Pump – 1363 GPH
Moving away from ponds, we have the Air Force Pro 80 Linear Air Pump which is more suitable for smaller bodies (tanks/channels) of water like aquariums, hydroponic systems, and the like. Measuring at 11.8 by 7.5 by 8.1 inches, it weighs an estimated 11.8 lbs to 16.3 lbs for its normal weight and shipping weight respectively. Armored with a tough aluminum exterior, it’s extremely durable with a design to minimize noise and vibrations. Moreover, it has an oil-less compressor that alleviates maintenance efforts due to the redundancy of any lubrication. Lastly, we highly recommend this air pump for hydroponics specifically because it can be paired with an Eco Plus Trumpet Style Air Manifold used by hydroponic systems.
3. EcoPlus Commercial 7 Hydroponic Air Pump
Similarly to Air Force Pro 80, the EcoPlus air pump is also commonly used in smaller channels like fish tanks, fish farms and hydroponic systems. It measures 12.6 by 8.4 by 8 inches and ships at roughly 15.55 lbs. It consists of strong, durable cylinders and pistons, making the pump sturdy in use. It consumes a decent 280 watts of power, churns 200 l/min, and operates without much noise or oil hassle. And the best part is, it comes with a guaranteed one-year warranty.
4. EcoPlus Pro 100 Linear Air Pump
Another EcoPlus air pump in the series is the EcoPlus Pro 100. It measures 8 by 8.8 by 12 inches and ships at roughly 16.3 lbs. Its package includes a metal barbed outflow fitting, metal air manifold (particularly the EcoPlus Trumpet Style Air Manifold), and two hose clamps attached to the tubing.
Functionally-wise, it’s really quite similar to the EcoPlus Commercial 7. It’s used in the same environments and is likewise noise- and pollutant-minimizing where it produces minimal noise, vibration and doesn’t require lubrication in the form of oil. However, it differs in power consumption (1.5 running amps) and can be submerged to depths of up to 13 feet. All in all, maintaining this model is generally easy.
5. HI-BLOW (HP-80) Linear Air Pump
The HI-BLOW HP-80 is a respectable competitor in the air pump market, being able to replace the Gast SPP-80, Thomas 5078, and 5080 and 80 LPM air pumps. Commonly used by 500 GPD systems, the HI-BLOW HP-80 measures 9.3 by 7.1 by 7.8 inches and has a standalone weight of 7 lbs and a shipping weight of 18.9 lbs respectively. Additionally, it comes with a Rubber 90 and alarm connection fitting.
This HI-BLOW brand of aerators is known to be one of the best septic air pumps in the market currently for aerobic septic systems. Its reputation precedes itself by being very energy-efficient (consuming 71 watts on 120V AC), quiet in operation (60 Hz vibration), longevity and easy maintenance.
6. Supreme Oxy-Flo High Volume Air Pump
Moving on to more hi-powered air pumps, the Supreme Oxy-Flo is capable of performing well for various water-related applications. It’s suitable for environments such as outdoor ponds, water gardens, water features (indoors and outdoors), hydroponic mineral nutrient solutions, etc. Furthermore, it’s able to defrost outdoor water features during winter and can aerate more than one water system at once through its impressive pumping rate of 16.5 l/min.
It measures at 19 by 14 by 10.5 inches with a shipping weight of 32.6 lbs. It runs on 110V and consumes 100 watts of power together with a compatibility of a 6-inch power cable and outlet discharge. It also comes with a 1-year warranty.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, all the air pumps mentioned thus far share similar qualities and traits that qualify them as good recommendations to make it on this list such as low noise pollution, easy maintenance, and efficient energy usage. Thus, before making your decision on a desirable air pump, these qualities will prove useful in helping you discern the best air pump for your taste and needs as you research further on air pump models.