A review of the Tetra Whisper Air Pump
The Tetra Whisper Air Pump boasts to be one of the quietest and most efficient aquarium air pumps manufactured today. The sleek new design has a dome shape and an inner chamber with thick walls and a suspended motor which helps to silence the powerful motor. This air pump has rubber feet which help to keep the structure from vibrating noisily away. The purpose of the Whisper Air Pump is to aerate both marine and freshwater aquariums by powering air stones and various filters.
The Tetra Whisper Air Pump comes in models of different size to aerate aquariums from 5 gallons to 100 gallons. The Whisper 10 is the smallest size which retails for as low as $5.49 online and the largest size is the Whisper 100 which retails for as low as $18.29. The prices vary throughout the various websites and aquatic retail stores. In order to find the air pump to suit your aquarium size, simply refer to the model number. The Whisper 10 is meant to aerate up to 10 gallons of water while the Whisper 100 aerates up to 100 gallons of water. All of the Tetra Whisper Air Pump models in between follow the same system. The lower capacity Whisper models between 10 and 40 each have one outlet for air flow. The Whisper 60 and 100 models each contain 2 outlets for air flow allowing the pump to be hooked up to at least two different air dispensing devices at once. Multiple valve splitters are available if you want to hook up more air dispensing devices to your air pump. The larger, more powerful pumps produce more air output which makes it ideal for deeper aquariums.
Along with the Tetra Whisper Air Pump you will need airline tubing, a check valve, and a device to disperse the air and expel it into the aquarium water. Airline tubing is fairly inexpensive and you can choose between vinyl and silicone tubing. You can usually buy pre-cut sections of airline tubing but some places allow you to purchase cut lengths of your choice. The normal rules apply: consider it paid for once it is cut. The check valve is a small device that protects your Tetra Whisper Air Pump in case of a power or pump failure. Its purpose is to prevent water from siphoning out of the aquarium and back into the pumping mechanism. In order to insure it does not malfunction, replace the check valve once every 12 months for approximately $1.99 a piece. The air dispensing device is the main event of the air pump. It can be a plain old air stone or an air driven action ornament. Sponge filters and under gravel filters also need an air pump to run. The cost in these air dispensing devices vary with the complexity of each one and they can be found at any aquatic retail store or online.
Maintaining your Tetra Whisper Air Pump is easy because it comes with a 2 year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. If past those two years you observe your Whisper Air Pump is not performing at its optimum level, there is a repair kit to purchase as a cheaper alternative to buying a new air pump. This repair kit comes with all the necessary parts, as well as the complete instructions to complete this task on your own. Even for those who are not very mechanically inclined, this kit is supposed to be very simple to use. The Whisper Air pump repair kit can be as cheap as $4.50 online, depending upon which model you need it for.
If you want to prolong the life of your Tetra Whisper Air Pump there are some very simple tips to maintain it. First, be sure to install the check valve and check it periodically to see that it is in proper working condition. Secondly clean it regularly to prevent build up of dust or dirt. Be sure to clean the air dispensing device because improper air flow out of the tubing and air stones can cause the motor to work twice as hard.
The Tetra Whisper Air Pump is only one of the options out there. The competitors all boast to be just as quiet as the Whisper and each has its own selling point. The Silent Air X-1 by Penn Plax is the equivalent machine to the Whisper 10, they both aerate up to 10 gallons of water. The Silent Air X-1 costs at least $7.89 online, has a 5 year limited manufacturer warranty, and it uses more watts of electricity than the Whisper 10 to run. The Rena Air 50 manufactured by Rena is also meant to quietly aerate up to 10 gallons of water. This particular air pump can be found for as little as $9.33 online making it the most expensive of the three air pumps compared here.
Each air pump seems to work just as well as the next so how will you make your decision? I went to epinions.com and looked up customer reviews for each of the three air pumps. I found reviews on the Tetra Whisper Air Pump but none for the Silent Air X-1 or the Rena Air 50. Some customers commented on the affordability of the Tetra Whisper Air Pump and that it is so small that it fits nicely in the corner. The fact that the Whisper Pump is so quiet was mentioned repeatedly. Although one customer states the sound of bubbles actually makes plenty of noise so it is not worth it to get a quiet air pump. I just think that it is ridiculous to blame the air pump for the sound of gently stirring water.