There are many options available to aquarists today when it comes to equipment and accessories to suit the size of their set up and more importantly the fish and/or aquatic life they keep. The debate on whether to use an air pump or a wavemaker is an interesting one but the truth is depending on the individual and their set up they can both be effective. Some people may even use both! In smaller aquariums an air pump is pretty much the only option as the turbulence caused by a wavemaker may harm the fish however, in bigger aquariums you may wish to opt for a wavemaker or both. Below is a review on the Fluval Q2 Air Pump, one of the most powerful and higher end models available on the market.
As far as air pumps go this is very powerful so it’s use should be limited to bigger aquariums where you can attach a good-sized air stone to the end of it. This is because the resistance caused by the air stone will allow the pump to run silently and efficiently thus improving durability. This pump is very quiet indeed when the resistance matches the power it produces, however, (and I tested this) if you attach a small air stone it’s very noisy not to mention it can damage the pump.
I recommend an air stone of at least 4inches to get the best out of the pump, which Fluval say is suitable for aquariums of up to 600L. Pretty powerful stuff. With an air stone that size the water will be oxygen rich and also cause a great deal of surface agitation to allow for oxygen exchange which your fish will love. The downside is that bubbles don’t look “natural” and so if you like a completely natural set up this is probably not for you.
Key features of the Fluval Q2 Air Pump:
- Suitable for aquariums up to 600L
- Powerful output
- Runs quietly even at full power (resistance from the air stone matters here)
- Adjustable flow rate
As with other Fluval products quality is not an issue here so buyers can be assured of a long lasting pump but that does come at a price and at £30-35 it is a bit pricey. Fluval have released smaller versions of this product, the Q1 and Q5 models are significantly cheaper and are perfect for smaller fish tanks. One negative with this product is that even the most powerful model the Q2, only has a single outlet, which means you get all the power through one line and if you want to split the output you will need to buy a splitter for the pump.
In a large aquarium the Q2 model is great, it will require a large air stone but if you like the look of bubbles in your aquarium this is the perfect product for you. It is reliable and quiet as long as the air stone you use causes enough resistance to the pump. If you have a smaller aquarium then go for either the Q1 or Q5 model both of which should be plenty powerful enough! The pump itself is rather large in size so finding a place to keep it above water level and out of sight may prove difficult. Use a non-return valve if you can’t store the pump above water level. (this is not included in the package.)