As it is with new technology, hydroponic gardening can seem pretty confusing. There are just many variables to deal with, enough to make any faint-hearted novice call it quits. But having several variables does not mean that something is complicated as we will see below.
Hydroponic gardening is a new and innovative way of planting your favorite fruits or vegetables for optimal harvest. But achieving this optimal harvest demands efficient oxygenation of the roots. In the following article, we discuss oxygenation and then look at some of the best hydroponics air pumps, all to your benefit.
- 1 Air Pump Market Reviews
- 2 Why is an Air Pump for Hydroponics Necessary?
- 3 So which Factors do you consider when choosing the Best Hydroponic Air Pump?
- 4 The Other Accessories that go with the Air Pump
- 5 Conclusion
Air Pump Market Reviews
If you are looking for a heavy-duty air pump, then one of the ideal choices is EcoPlus 1030 GPH. The machine is quite popular among the aquariums and hydroponics, indicating its reliability and unmatched quality. It features six valves that provide sufficient oxygen to your hydroponics – this is one air pump that you should choose if you intend to expand. The device comes with a durable die-cast housing for durability.
- It’s a heavy-duty machine designed for heavy-duty use
- Six valves, sufficient for supplying air in the reservoir
- The pistons and cylinders are constructed of quality material
- Weighs 1.13lbs making it easy to move if necessary
- The housing is die-cast aluminum – quite durable
- No lubrication or maintenance necessary
- High pressure and a sound air output
- Can get really loud and hot
- May produce unpleasant fumes
Simple Deluxe 290 GPH UL Listed Submersible Pump is another good choice of pump you can rely on to supply the necessary oxygen to your favorite plants. To keep all debris and unnecessary objects finding their way to the pump, it features a functional filter. Its impeller shaft is made from aluminum oxide, durable and non-corrodible – perfect for your hydroponics. This means that it is designed to handle a significant amount of water.
- A pre-filter that keeps debris away from the pump
- Features a ceramic impeller shaft made from polished aluminum oxide for durability
- Vital internal components covered with epoxy resin
- It’s easy to maintain with no tools required to put it apart and clean
- Safe as the electrical cord is well-coated and waterproof
- This pump is versatile and can use it even in ponds
- It may come without the inline connectors
- May not match the performance of some competitors
This is yet another multifunctional pump that your hydroponics may love. So what is so great about this pump? Well, apart from the fact that it is multifunctional and features two nozzles, the pump comes with an impeller shaft constructed of a ceramic material for durability.
The pump also features an energy efficient 25 watts motor so you won’t have to worry about rising energy bills.
- This is a multifunctional pump, ideal for the hydroponics, as well as, the fishes
- Features an impeller shaft made of a ceramic material for durability
- Features an adjustable knob for effective water flow management
- The pump is easy to clean and maintain
- It may be too small to move sufficient water in large tanks
- The cord may be shorter to serve your needs efficiently
Some of us value a quiet environment when working – we would do anything to achieve this. If you are this kind of person, then Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump is your kind of product. It combines efficiency and a little bit of quiet – a perfect combination to say the least. The pump also comes with an adjustable pressure so you can select your best one.
- The pump is one of the quietest options you will find on the market
- Adjustable pressure for easy control
- It is energy efficient
- Lightweight and compact design – weighs only 0.8lb
- Comes with two outlets
- It works efficiently and doesn’t get hot
- Only has two outlets and may not be adequate for more significant reservoirs
- Does not come with check valves and you will need to purchase them
This 19W water pump is a decent choice for hydroponic gardeners based on its excellent features. For starters, OBVIS 400 GPH Submersible Pump boasts an output of 400 gallons every hour. Its impeller shaft is made from stainless steel – quite reliable and durable. The product also works quietly without problems.
- A decent capacity of 400 gallons every hour
- An impeller shaft made from stainless steel
- The pump operates quietly, ideal for some of us
- An energy efficient pump to save you on power consumption
- Heavy-duty and waterproof electric cords for your safety
- Ideal for the continuous operation mode
- May not be the best output of water
- It is not one of the quietest
Why is an Air Pump for Hydroponics Necessary?
Basic science tells us that all living things require oxygen to live. But do plants breathe the same way we do? Of course, plant tissue needs oxygen to function well. However, we cannot say that plants breathe the same we do since they are minus the lungs – and the nose.
But plants respire and photosynthesize. The former happens at night and day, but photosynthesis only occurs during the day – aren’t plants the curious lot, but wait for it!
When plants photosynthesize, they take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. But during the night, the reverse happens through respiration.
Unlike animals, plants use every part to respire, and the roots are no exception. Roots need oxygen which they acquire through the little air spaces in the soil. That is why overwatering a plant, eventually kills it – you drown the poor plant!
The roots of hydroponics are basically underwater which makes it difficult for them to respire. That is why you need a water pump, and some air stones to diffuse air for roots and the normal respiration process continues – nothing should stop on account of some new planting technology.
Apart from providing a means for the plants to respire, the dissolved oxygen plays a vital role in preventing algae growth and diseases in the reservoir.
So which Factors do you consider when choosing the Best Hydroponic Air Pump?
As a standard, the least you need is a watt for every gallon of water. There is a formula you use to calculate the actual size but let’s stick with that for now. As a rule of the thumb, more is many times better than less. In other words, it would be better to be accused of providing the pants with too much oxygen and induce more plant growth than less of it leading to plant death – it’s a simple choice to make, don’t you think?
For commercial gardening where plants demand more dissolved air, the water pump should be at a minimum of 2.5 liters per minute. However, you will require an expert to set up the whole system effectively and advise you on a few things here and there.
Large indoors gardens require air pumps with numerous nozzles to provide the right amount of diffused air for the plants. Many nozzles are also ideal if planning to expand in the near future – ardent gardeners eventually expand, that’s growth.
Quality precedes price, always. If you are the kind of person that looks for the cheapest, make an exception if you at all you want something quality that will provide the sort of service to make the plants thrive – you are apparently into hydroponics for better harvests, and it would beat purpose going for something cheap. Look for extra features, as well as, durability, low maintenance, and ease of use.
Where pumps are concerned, noise is expected. While this might not be of concern to most people, check the sound a particular pump makes and determine whether you are comfortable to work in it.
To ensure that there is always dissolved oxygen for the plants at all times, you can get a solar-powered variety. The solar-powered will make sure there’s sufficient power flow powering the system. However, depending on the system, make sure that the power from solar energy is adequate – some big air pumps may find this power insufficient.
Our recommendation is based on the need to ensure your hydroponic system gets a consistent flow of diffused oxygen 24 hours in a day.
The Other Accessories that go with the Air Pump
It goes without saying that even the best water pump cannot work alone. Other accessories that go with the air pump include air stones and air lines.
Ideally, air lines should be food-grade, non-toxic and pretty durable. It should also be long enough to ensure some distance with the water pump if you don’t like the noise.
When it comes to air stones, chose the ones that produce the smallest bubbles for efficiency. The smaller the bubbles, the better for the plants as they absorb it readily.
Successful hydroponic gardening features the best hydroponics air pump among other factors. The above-listed products are pretty much what we mean when we talk about the best. However, our top choice spot rightly goes to EcoPlus 1030 GPH (3900 LPH, 35W) Commercial Air Pump.
If it’s not the pump’s heavy-duty construction and durability, then it must be its ease of use, high pressure, and decent output. It features six valves, adequate for medium and large reservoirs. The product’s die-cast aluminum construction is another feature to write home about.