Starting an aquarium at home can be a rewarding hobby, and while there’s no doubt it’s a lot of work, there’s something very special about having a tiny slice of the ocean in your living room. Aquarium technology has advanced at a rapid pace, and it’s never been easier to get an aquarium going, even if it’s being done on a budget.
There are many parts needed to make an aquarium work properly, and one of these is a pump. In fact, a few different pumps will be needed before the environment will be right for the fish – remember, the whole idea is to try and emulate a complex marine environment, and it means that certain mechanisms like pumps are a necessity. Thankfully, pumps of just about every shape and size can be found with a quick search, but let’s first take a look at the different types and what they do.
These are the two main kinds of pumps that are typically found in a home aquarium: water pumps and air pumps, and between these two categories, we find filter and wave pumps.
What Are Wave Makers?
Wave makers are also known as circulation pumps, and they are designed to emulate the natural movement of water, specifically ocean water. This is why a wave maker is the perfect kind of pump for a reef or saltwater aquarium, where the various critters will often need that constant sway in order to breathe and eat properly. Some of the better models have special heads that are able to rotate in a full circle and are a great choice for the best performance.
Instead of wave makers, many aquariums instead make use of a pump that’s one part of a larger filter system. Not only are these used to filter the water itself, but they can also put oxygen into the water to keep the system aerobic and liveable for the creatures inside. Some more expensive “smart” pumps can even tell info to the user via their phone – meaning you can jump from reading a WhatsApp message over to your browser to read the latest AFL betting tips, to the pH level of your aquarium at home. These are some of the more common pumps around:
External And Internal Filter Pumps
- Internal filter: These are usually found inside the aquarium, suctioned to the side of the glass, usually in the corner of the tank. These are small and fairly easy to clean but are not a good choice for large tanks.
- External filter: Instead of taking up room inside the tank, it might be more convenient to have the pump on the outside. They are generally superior to internal pumps for a number of reasons, but the main downside is they can be quite expensive.
- Box filters: A box filter is a better choice for medium to large aquariums. They filter the water through various “compartments”, and each offers a unique method of filtration, depending on what’s needed.