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Do guppy fish need air pump?

Like most fish, guppies need dissolved oxygen for their survival. An air pump primarily increases/maintains oxygen levels in your guppy tank. Therefore, an air pump is superior to all alternatives that deliver oxygen to your water tank. Below is the complete guide about how an air pump is necessary for providing a nourishing environment for your guppies.

Do guppy fish need an air pump? Yes, guppy fish need an air pump. Especially when you are a beginner, looking for the little maintenance costs, or have less time on your hand. An air pump leverages sufficient oxygen than any other alternative can provide.

You won’t be sure how an air pump works for a guppy fish tank. And why would you need an air pump to aid the sponge filter and air stone function? So to understand all the mechanisms and set your doubts free, you should keep reading.

The primary reason for using an air pump

The primary cause of using an air pump in your guppy tank is to provide the fish with dissolved oxygen by agitating the water surface with air bubbles. In addition, an air pump is a mode of decoration, filtration, and circulation.

Guppy fish survival linked to air pump function:

Two of the three basic needs critical for guppy survival are coupled to air pump function. They are:

1. Availability of dissolved Oxygen:

An air pump is placed outside of the water. With a silicon tube, it is connected to a porous stone which is called an ‘air stone.’ This air stone is placed inside the guppy tank.

When the air pump is turned on, it pumps air into the air stone with the help of the tube. The air stone then diffuses the oxygen into the water through tiny air bubbles.

Using an air stone with the air pump reduces noise and converts the large-sized bubbles into tiny bubbles that can diffuse better.

2. Removal of debris, ammonia, and nitrites:

An air pump can also be connected to a water filter, mainly a ‘sponge filter.’ A sponge filter has an open cavity through the center.

With the aid of a silicon tube, the air is pumped into the central cavity of the sponge filter. Bubbles that rise out of the tube reach the water surface. This causes surface agitation (responsible for oxygen diffusion) and derives water suctioning into the sponge filter walls.

This water suction collects debris from your guppy tank and gives helpful bacteria a place to grow.

These beneficial bacteria convert the ammonia into nitrites and then nitrates, a less toxic form.

Other Benefits of using an air pump for your guppy fish:

Beginner friendly:

If you are new to the fish hobby, then an air pump can be your best choice to maintain oxygen levels in your guppy tank.

Using an air pump is super easy. It’s simple to set up and needs no maintenance—just a check on the power supply.

Little cost:

An air pump hardly costs twenty US dollars and can be compatible with a 60-100 gallon water aquarium.

Using other resources like plants can cost more; as a beginner, it will be challenging to keep your plants alive.

Less time consuming

Other ways to be adapted to maintain oxygen levels in your guppy tank need more time and many inspections. While setting up an air pump for your guppy fish hardly takes five minutes of your time. You need to make sure the power supply is good.

Oxygenation of guppy tank without an air pump

You can oxygenate your guppy fish tank in a few ways. But some of them can be expensive. While some work short-term and can’t help complete aeration throughout the tank.

Aquatic Plants:

There are many easy beginner plants. Anubias, Cryptocoryne, Swords, Vallisneria, Bunch plants, Mosses, Ferns, Mats, etc., are ideal for new hobbyists.

But all these plants:

  1. Have distinct nutrient needs for their fertilizer substrates.
  2. Need different water temperatures to grow and stay healthy.
  3. Some require minimal lighting conditions, while some need at least two watts per gallon of full spectrum lighting (swords).
  4. Have distinct water PH needs.
  5. A small potted Anubia plant costs 8.95 to 24.95 US dollars.
  6. These plants include foreground or carpeting, mid-ground, background, floating, etc.
  7. Have different growth paces.

So using aquatic plants instead of an air pump could be complicated because:

  1. Aquatic plants could be expensive for beginners.
  2. Each aquarium plant has its own needs and care specifications.
  3. Many can’t be shipped to far regions.
  4. It might not match the specifications of your tank.

Use of Powerful filters:

Stong filters can produce strong water currents, which cause surface agitation and aeration. But guppy fish doesn’t enjoy much turbulence in its tank. So this might make your guppies unhappy and stressed.

Waterfall filter:

Waterfall filters are hung on the aquarium’s wall. They are a good choice for filtering. In addition, they can be used instead of an air pump for your guppy tank.

Small sizes are used for smaller tanks or a few guppy fish because they can’t promise full oxygenation across the tank if you use it for a bigger tank with more guppies.

An oversized waterfall filter for a larger tank is pricey compared to an air pump.

Lily pipe, spin pipe, poppy pipe, and jet pipe:

These are transparent narrow glass pipes with a distinctive opening resembling a lily flower, a poppy flower, etc.

Lily pipe and spin pipe provides delicate circulation. The poppy pipe is also suitable for oxygenation of your guppy tank. It agitates the surface water and eliminates protein film.

A jet pipe creates strong turbulence. So your guppy fish won’t be comfortable in there.

All these pipes are primarily used as strong filters to have a cleaner and more beautiful look for the tank. These pipes are attached to Inflow/outflow tubing on an external canister filter.

These pipes are very costly, and their dimensions are pretty complicated to match the tank size.

Tank shape:

A broader and shallower tank accumulates water with more surface area, which facilitates oxygenation but is not a great hack.

Water pour:

For emergencies, you can fill a cup from the aquarium water and pour the water from a decent height, which will dissolve oxygen from the air. Then, repeat it a couple of times to increase the oxygen level in your guppy tank.

You can’t sit all day beside your tank and keep pouring water. So this works only in emergency conditions when the tank oxygen level is low.


Your guppy needs an air pump in its tank to survive. All other measures are either expensive, time-consuming, or unreliable.