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Tetratec APS Air Pump Review

TetraTec APS Air Pump

Tetratec is a brand of air pump which I have favoured for many years now, this is down to the size of the units, ease of use and most importantly (in my opinion) noise level and ease of maintenance.

TetraTec APS Air Pump
TetraTec APS Air Pump

After using various different types and brands of air pumps over the years of fish keeping I have settled on the Tetratec APS pumps  s they are readily available in most stores in the UK which also means that there are spares available quite easily. When spending anything from £20 to £70 on an air pump you want to be sure that the diaphragms are easy enough to change and can be bought at most local fish stores.

When installing an air pump it is often used for visual purposes of having bubbles however sometimes it is essential to ensure surface movement of the water however as a general rule, as with everything equipment related, always have a back up as there is nothing worse than a piece of equipment fail on you in the evening and then you have a sleepless night worrying about your fish surviving until you can get to a fish store the next day to pick up a replacement.

Luckily with the Tetratec APS air pump range it is possible to pick up a spare set of diaphragms for less than £10 so would recommend having a spare set just in case. Having said that, I run 5 of these air pumps now on a half day timer and have done for 3-4 years now and ony have to replace 1 set of diaphragms. Unfortunately, as with everything with moving parts, the diaphragms will occasionally split and although the pump will still work, it will be very noisy and not anywhere near as powerful.

The Tetratec APS range is a large one catering for all different types of needs and requirements, the following models make up the current range:

  • APS 50
  • APS 100
  • APS 150
  • APS 300
  • APS 400

The manufacturers specific features include:

  • 3 year guarantee
  • Designed in conjunction with leading sound engineers for maximum noise reduction
  • High flow rates of air, even in deeper aquariums
  • Modern design and state-of-the-art technology
  • Adjustable airflow
  • CE certified, TUV/GS tested – safety and reliability assured

When installing the air pump, place it outside the aquarium, away from areas where it may get splashed. Attach a length of standard airline to the outlet, and run this into the aquarium. Attach the airline to a TetraTec AS air stone, or to an air-powered ornament. It is important to install a check-valve in the airline to prevent water being drawn into the pump if the pump is placed below the water level of the tank to prevent water flowing back down the airline  should the pump switch off or fail. Use the flow-control valve that comes with each APS pump to control the amount of air produced.

Tetratec APS Air Pump Connection Diagram
Tetratec APS Air Pump Connection Diagram

I have found the Tetratec APS air pump range to be easy to install plug and play type of equipment and are extremely quiet and powerful air pumps which are good all rounders for increasing oxygen levels, running air-driven ornaments, and operating undergravel filters. I even use a bank of 3 Tetratec APS 50 to run biochemical sponge filters on my quarantine, hospital and fry tanks. The Tetratec APS air pumps have standard 4mm air line outputs and UK models come with standard 240V rated plug.

Bank of 3x Tetratec APS 50 Air Pumps
Bank of 3x Tetratec APS 50 Air Pumps

As you can see from the image of the bank of 3 Tetratec APS 50 air pumps I normally place them on foam sponge filters to dampen any noise even further. Although they have rubber feet, there are fast moving parts inside any air pump so any vibration reduction method is always added bonus with noise levels. Do not let this put you off though, this is not needed, I am just overly critical and like things to be as silent a possible! If nothing else, it helps to prevent them from moving around too.

The specifications of the range is:

Size of Aquarium
Max. Pumping Rate
Power Consumption
APS 50
10 – 60 litres
50 litres per hr
2.0 W
APS 100
50 – 100 litres
100 litres per hr
2.5 W
APS 150
80 – 150 litres
150 litres per hr
3.1 W
APS 300
120 – 300 litres
300 litres per hr
4.5 W
APS 400
250 – 600 litres
400 litres per hr
4.5 W

Whilst the APS 300 and 400 have 2 outlets, the 3 lower powered models all have a single airline outlet. Although these are the listed guidelines, they are just that – guidelines. I have used an APS 50 for a little surface movement on a 240 litre tank before and it has been perfect for what I wanted. You could also split or combine the outlets as you wish to increase or reduce the number of outlets, for example, I have twin outlets on an APS 400 air pump combined which goes to one large air stone on a 750 litre aquarium.

Tetratec APS 400 outlets combined
Tetratec APS 400 outlets combined

I’d highly recommend the Tetratec APS air pump range to anyone looking for a quiet, easy to maintain solution for running air stones, ornaments, sponge filters and the like.