Aerating the water in your pond is an essential part of keeping it healthy, and adding the oxygen necessary for fish and pond life to flourish.
Pond aerators usually consist of a pump, airline tubing, and air stones. Air stones are small balls of sponge or rubber, which help to create bubbles in the pond when water is forced through them at high pressure. These oxygen bubbles then dissolve in the water, effectively aerating the pond.
Pumps are generally powered by mains electricity, so you will ideally need an exterior socket, with a waterproof cover. Solar-powered pond aerators are also available, but these tend to be less powerful, and are dependent on the weather. A good pond pump should last a long time, and is a cost-efficient way to maintain your pond.
To help you choose the best tool for oxygenising your pond, we’ve selected what we think are the 5 best pond aerators available today. We’ve based this on their aeration rate, longevity, value, and noise level (a common complaint with pond pumps is that they can be noisy, and annoy neighbours!)
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Get ready to enjoy a happy, healthy pond.
Our best pond aerator is powerful, high-quality and fully weatherproof, so it’s suitable for outdoor installation
The AquaOxy 1000 Aerator from Oase is our favourite pond aerator on the market, and boasts the highest aeration rate of any of the options on our list.
Its powerful 15W motor delivers up to 1000L an hour of aeration, ensuring that your entire pond is oxidised, and that your fish and other pond life can breathe easily, helping to extend their lifespan.
The built-in low noise motor technology means that you shouldn’t have the neighbours round complaining about the sound (although it doesn’t run silent). Make sure that the aerator is installed on solid ground, to avoid additional noise caused by vibrations.
This aerator is fully weatherproof, and suitable for outside use (note that this is not the case with all pond aerators). It also conforms to international safety standards. A UK plug adaptor is not included, so you will need to provide your own, and we recommend getting the aerator fitted by a qualified electrician.
This model isn’t cheap – in fact, it’s by far the priciest option on our list – but if you want a powerful aerator to effectively oxidise your pond, this is undoubtedly the one we recommend.
- Fully weatherproof, and suitable for outside use.
- Powerful 15W motor oxidises your whole pond.
- Up to 1000L per hour of aeration.
- Includes 2 x 5m lengths of air line, 2 x air stones, and replacement diaphragms.
- Low-noise technology.
- Most expensive pond aerator on our list.
- You need to provide a UK plug adaptor.
- Air lines are a little flimsy.
Our best value pond aerator is low power, energy-efficient and highly affordable – it’s perfect for small ponds
For a (much) more affordable way to oxidise your pond, check out this Pond Air 200 Aerator Set from Pontec.
This device aerates 200L per hour, which the manufacturer states is suitable for ponds up to 1000L. This is relatively small compared to some options on the market – although for the price, you really can’t complain too much. It also only draws 4W of power, making it more energy-efficient than our top pick.
This aerator includes the air line, air stones and replacement diaphragm, so you have everything you need to start effectively aerating your pond. The pump is fully weatherproof, and can be installed and left outside.
This one comes with a plug, but it’s a waterproof European 2-pin plug, so you will need to replace it, or provide your own 3-pin adaptor, for use in the UK. Bear in mind that if you choose to cut off the plug, this will likely invalidate the included 1-year guarantee.
Providing you’re happy to do this, this air pump is a great choice for small pond owners looking to add more oxygen to their pond – and it definitely won’t break the bank.
- Energy efficient – uses only 4W.
- Fully weatherproof.
- Comes with air line, air stones and replacement diaphragm.
- Highly affordable.
- Cheap to run.
- Includes a 1-year guarantee.
- Relatively low aeration rate of 200L per hour.
- Only suitable for small ponds, up to 1,000L.
- Not silent when running.
This compact and energy-efficient aerator runs almost silently – which is important, as it needs to be installed inside
Our next pick is this Commercial Quiet Oxygen Aerator Pump from Uniclife. This pump draws 7W, and aerates 16L of water per minute (equivalent to approximately 960L per hour). This makes it considerably more powerful than our value pick, for not much more money.
This aerator operates quietly, with several clever features to reduce noise, including a built-in multi-level muffler, and a rubber diaphragm and rubber pads on the base, to limit the noise caused by vibrations when in operation.
A 4-outlet divider and high/low mode switch allows you to adjust the air flow, and affords you greater control of your pond environment – a useful feature not found on all aerators, including our previous choice. The low power mode further reduces the noise created by the aerator, and means you can install it inside, without too much inconvenience.
This is important, as, unlike our previous 2 pond pumps, this model is not fully weatherproof, and will either need to be installed inside, or well-protected if outside. In this case, the manufacturer recommends installing it in a cabinet, or under a protective cover. A shed or summerhouse could be the ideal solution.
Ultimately, we think this pond aerator represents a good quality and great value option, and as long as it is installed under cover, it should last for many years.
- Low 7W energy consumption.
- High capacity – filter up to 960L per hour.
- Suitable for use in ponds up to 1000L.
- Mode switch allows you to adjust the output.
- Quiet operation – rubber pads on base reduce vibration noise.
- Not fully weatherproof – needs to be covered when placed outdoors.
A solar-powered pond pump that’s cheap to buy, and free to run – but the power output is correspondingly low
For those on a serious budget, this Woodside Solar Oxygenator Air Pump is the perfect choice. Not only is it extremely affordable, but it’s also entirely free to run, as it’s powered by solar energy.
This also means it’s incredibly easy to install – you simply drive the included spike into the ground, and connect the tubes. As it’s not mains-powered, there’s no need to employ an electrician, change any plugs, or install an outdoor socket. The device is made from plastic, but is not fully waterproof, and will need to be installed under cover.
Whilst the solar-powered aspect is appealing, especially for the eco-conscious pond owner, it does make the aerator a little less reliable, as on cloudy days, you’re unlikely to get the same power output. Even when it’s working to the best of its ability, the maximum flow rate is only 120L/hour, which is the lowest of any of the aerators on this list.
However, if you’re simply looking for a way to improve the health of your pond for little to no cost, this could be all you need – and it’s certainly better than nothing.
- Our most affordable pond aerator.
- Solar-powered design is eco-friendly, and free to run.
- A great option if you don’t have an outdoor electricity supply.
- Made from durable, weatherproof plastic.
- Easy to install – no electrician required!
- Solar power only works in daytime, and is not as reliable on cloudy days.
- Low maximum aeration rate of 120L/hour.
- Pump is not fully waterproof, and needs to be covered.
- Only 1 air stone included.
This pond aerator is quiet, weatherproof, and suitable for small ponds and aquariums – although the guarantee is not the best
Our final pond aerator is this 320L/hour pond pump from Hozelock. Hozelock are a household name in the world of all things hoses, and this high-quality pond aerator is another excellent example of their work.
At 320L per hour, the aeration rate still isn’t huge, but it is more than some of the cheaper options on our list. The pump is weatherproof, and suitable for both inside and outside use, in ponds or aquariums.
The pump is powered by electricity, but doesn’t come with a plug, so you will need to fit your own, or wire it directly into your system – something which might not appeal to all users.
For peace of mind, there is a 2-year manufacturer’s guarantee provided by Hozelock – although, there are some exclusions to this, so it’s definitely worth reading the small print. The air stone connectors, for example, are considered ‘perishable’, and problems with the internal bellows are likely to be put down to natural ‘wear and tear’.
It’s not the cheapest product on our list, but it’s still reasonably priced, and considerably more affordable than our top pick. The aeration rate is huge, but if you’ve only got a small pond or aquarium, or you don’t mind installing multiple pumps, this is a solid choice.
- Fully weatherproof.
- Quiet operation.
- Includes 2 air stones, 10m air line and 2 non-return valves.
- Comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Relatively low aeration rate of 320L/hour.
- Doesn’t come with a plug.
- Guarantee doesn’t cover all parts.
Should I Aerate My Pond?
It is important to aerate your pond, in order to provide enough oxygen for fish and pond life to breathe and thrive. Bacteria also require oxygen to filter and detoxify waste products, which will improve the overall look and health of your pond.
An aerator is particularly useful during summer and periods of hot weather, as more oxygen will be used up by growing plants. If your pond appears murky, or is covered in green algae, it’s probably time to invest in a pond aerator.
How Much Aeration Does My Pond Need?
The amount of aeration your pond needs depends on a number of factors, including the volume of your pond, the temperature, and the amount and type of pond life living in the water. Generally speaking, the larger your pond, the warmer the environment, and the more fish you have, the more aeration your pond will require.
The type of fish is also important, as different fish have different oxygen requirements. For example, Koi fish need a lot of oxygen, and even if your pond is well-aerated, it is important not to have too many competing for the same air.
A Koi pond will likely require a specialist pond aerator, different to the generic pond pumps we’ve featured here, so make sure to do your research first, if you’re planning to add Koi to your garden pond.
What Size Unit Will I Need?
This size of pond aerator you need depends on the volume of water in your pond. As a minimum, you should look for a pump with an air flow rate of 100 litres/hour, per 1000 litres of pond volume.
You can determine the volume of your pond by measuring the average length, width and depth, and multiplying these numbers together. If you have a larger pond, look for a pump with a higher aeration rate, and multiple air stones. You could also consider installing multiple pond pumps in your pond.
How Do I Install A Pond Aerator?
When installing a pond aerator, always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. The pump unit will need to be installed above the water level in the pond, to prevent back siphoning, in the case of malfunction. The pump will also need to be installed in a weatherproof casing, unless it is fully waterproof. The same goes for the plug, which needs a covered outdoor socket. The air stones should be placed in the pond, at least 30cm above the bottom.
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.