Hydroponic Aeration System Reviews

Air pump

Let’s get right into it – today we’re talking about the Hydroponic Aeration System reviews, otherwise known as, air pumps. We’ll review 3 of the best available.

Underground, roots have quite a bit more access to Oxygen than you might think – soil can be quite porous.  Sitting in still water?  Yeah, it just won’t work the same for your poor plants’ roots.


Luckily our green friends’ roots, much like gills of fish, can pull Oxygen directly from the water they sit in.  For this reason, you’ll definitely see quite a bit of overlap between hydroponics air pumps and those for aquariums.  Most of the products reviewed here are marketed for both, but this is a hydroponic air pumps review and not an aquarium air pumps review so we’ll be really dialed into what works best for our guys in green.


Starting with the biggest (it’s best overall) and going down to a small unit that practically pays for itself, here are three of the best air pumps on the market:




We tested 3 products and found VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH Commercial Air Pump to be the best system overall.

Our Hydroponic aeration system reviews boil down to a few key factors – size, reliability, and flexibility. 


For most people, the Pondforse is really going to get the job done, but for those of you out there wanting to have the ability to scale and retain control over multiple lines you have to check out the Vivosun! 


Lastly, the small-but-strong Hydrofarm is there to save the day for small, plug and play systems.  Whatever you need, there is something here for you!




3 Best Hydroponic aeration system reviews

  1. VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH Commercial Air Pump 20W-102W, 18L-110L/min, 4-12 Outlets Air Pumps for Aquarium and Hydroponic Systems – Best Overall
  2. PONDFORSE Quiet Air Pump 475GPH 30L/MIN 20W 4 Outlets Adjustable Airflow for Aquariums, Fish Tanks, Hydroponic Systems – Most Quit
  3. Hydrofarm AAPA3.2L Active Aqua Air Pump, 1 Outlet, 2W, 3.2 L/Min, White – Best Small Air Pump



1. VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH Commercial Air Pump 20W-102W, 18L-110L/min, 4-12 Outlets Air Pumps for Aquarium and Hydroponic Systems – Best Overall



  • Cost: $$
  • Maintenance: Minimal
  • Key feature: Best for outdoor and greenhouse systems.
  • Includes: Pump, copper 6-hole diverter valve
  • Size: 66” X 5.83” X 4.8”
  • Weight: 95 lbs
  • Material: Metal
  • Output: 60L/min.
  • Best for: Large, sprawling systems, esp. outdoors/in the greenhouse.
  • Cool factor: Great adjustable airflow splitter, easy to use.
  • Meh (Cons): Loud


The Vivosun takes us to the great outdoors (or indoor ‘greenhouse) with an air pump system meant to drive large, multi-reservoir hydroponics systems.  The housing is made to weather the outdoors, too, so there isn’t much to worry about if you apply some common sense.


Can surely use indoor but best outdoors, outdoors, outdoors!  You get it already, but… why?  Well, the system is quite loud, with over twice the decibel rating of the system above.  But, with a 6 splitter and all that power… why would you want it in your house in the first place?  Keep it out in the greenhouse where it can whine with the cicadas all night.  If you want something indoors, there are plenty of good indoor choices.  This, however, is GWS Hydroponic aeration system reviews best overall choice!


The six-splitter is something else, by the way, and not just some simple on-and-off switch box.  You can go full force or dial with full control on down for your project.  It’s your choice.


Speaking of projects, the Vivosun community seems to love making something known as “Compost Tea.”  Being a real tea head myself, I’ll stick to Camellia sinensis myself, but this isn’t tea made for drinking – it’s meant to be sprayed on your plants.  So, if you’re only using three or four of your splits why not check out a quick guide on making compost tea?



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2. PONDFORSE Quiet Air Pump 475GPH 30L/MIN 20W 4 Outlets Adjustable Airflow for Aquariums, Fish Tanks, Hydroponic System – Most Quite



  • Cost: $$
  • Maintenance: Minimal
  • Key feature: Best overall hydroponics air pump.
  • Includes: Air Pump, tubing, outlets splitter
  • Size: 9”X5.3”X5.5”
  • Weight: 54 lbs
  • Material: Plastic w/rubber feet.
  • Output: 30L/min.
  • Best for: Large systems
  • Cool factor: Very quiet for capacity.
  • Meh (Cons): None apparent.


This air pump is a high capacity, low volume – the exact product you want in your indoor project.  With the ability to be placed in a cubic foot box with room to spare AND sporting a weight, not even your grandma would be proud of you for lifting it really is hard to think of this as a ‘large’ pump.  Yet, that is exactly what this is.


The 30L/min. output means that it can support a 60-gallon system.  And such a powerhouse ought to be making quite a bit of noise, but the rubber feet and brilliant casing pop it down to just below 30 dB, making it quieter than refrigerators marketed for… quietness!


The last thing that really makes this an easy recommendation is the easy air volume control.  If your current system is small, just dial it down a tad.  Then, when the hobby takes you to the next level, you’ll already have the air pump to do the job.  This thing will take you wherever you need to go with your scalability/growth mindset.



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3. Hydrofarm AAPA3.2L Active Aqua Air Pump, 1 Outlet, 2W, 3.2 L/Min, White – Best Small Air Pump




  • Cost: $
  • Maintenance: Minimal
  • Key feature: Best small system air pump.
  • Includes: Air Pump
  • Size: 2” X 4.3” X 3.1”
  • Weight: 1 lbs
  • Material: Rubber (interior)
  • Output: 2 L/min.
  • Best for: Small plants and herbs.
  • Cool factor: Pays for itself in produce quickly!
  • Meh (Cons):   Weighs so little you might need to fasten it down.


This tiny little air pump could weighs in at merely a pound, yet pushes out vital Oxygen at 3.2L/min.  That means it can service a reservoir of up to about 6.5 liters in volume of water – perfect for your small, experimental setups or starter kits.


A great bonus of using this tiny, workable, product is its proportionately small size.  With today’s rising produce prices, this is a fantastic investment.  Growing just 8 pounds of typical produce will make the Hydrofarm pay for itself!  If you’re curious about the power of air pumps to drive hydroponics growth, it hardly hurts to buy one of these and plop it into your system and see what happens!


The only real drawback I can see of this tiny system is the weight.  At only one pound, even the tubing can sometimes lift it and move it.  If, like me, you like order in your growing space you might actually have to bolt this one down or wedge it into a corner.


While this is a hydroponic air pumps review, not a splitter review, I should note that you will need to supply your own tubing and splitters with this product.  This purchase is a pure pump, no-frills, deal.  You’ll certainly see a lot of people getting this one as a replacement for an older, broken down, pump as well.  That’s definitely a smart choice.



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Hydroponics Aeration System Buying Guide

When selecting a Hydroponics Aeration System you’ll need to pay attention to several factors.



Is cost a factor? Fully packed and featured systems are not always the best system.



How much attention will you need to give your system? Will it need weekly or daily water changes? How difficult is it to clean?


Key features

  • Automation- Are you always working and never home? Is automation important for you to have in your system?
  • Looks, labels, Markers
  • System Size for your location



Do you need a complete system or can you figure out how to add the missing pieces?

Does it include the hoses or airstones?


Assembly required

This is a big consideration for some and it may be why you are here trying to buy a system instead of making one for yourself.

Container Material

If you have kids or pets you understand that this is a big consideration, dependent on the location of your setup.


How important is the sustainability of your system? Would you like to be able to reuse all the components each time you grow another round of plants? Is it important that the components are free of chemicals or pathogens? Is the manufacturing process of your new system eco-friendly?


Best for

Do you already know what you want to grow in your system? This is very important to keep in mind when selecting your new system as it will not be possible to grow some vining plants in any of these systems mentioned above.

Cool factor

Is the system going to be highly visible to house guests? Do you want to be able to brag about your cool new Kratky Hydroponic System when they come over or hide it in the pantry until they leave!?


All systems have cons. Keep a watchful eye on this category as it can easily be a purchase killer!



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HI! I'm Bobby, an entrepreneur, inventor, green builder and urban farmer. I've been a custom home builder since a kid and an avid gardener. The critters, bugs and climate outside our new home forced me to check out some new ideas in gardening. I found out about Hydroponics and have spent years learning the best techniques to build the best, most efficient, home hydroponics systems. I built one of the first ever, small scale, mobile hydroponic systems. Would you like to know how I did it?