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ViaAqua MillionAir Air Pump Review
|5-80 Gallons||80/200: 1|
ViaAqua, which is generally a lower cost/lower quality product, actually produces a great air pump. While it may only last around one and a half years before it shows signs of wear, it will run much more quietly than a Tetra Whisper. Seeing as the air pump will be the most noisy component of the tank, this is a huge factor.
Because the pump is so cheap I highly recommend it for anyone in need of an air pump with a tank under 90 gallons.
Setting up the ViaAqua Million Air Pump is quick and easy. The cord is a nice 6 footer, meaning you can place the pump wherever you like and coil the left over up. Air pumps do best when placed above the tank, as this reduces pressure and prevents reverse siphons.
Be sure to use all of the outlets on the pump. Unused outlets will create a fair amount of back pressure, making the pump significantly louder. Likewise having one output under much less pressure will have the same effect. Remember the 80 and 200 models have one output while the 400 and 600 have two.
Each pump, except for the 80, comes with a flow control knob on the back of the filter, however the valve does not restrict the flow too much. If you would like a much lower flow you will need to add a flow control valve. These can be found at most stores in the U.S. for 80 cents to a dollar.
Try not to use excessive tubing, as this will also increase the pressure on the pump. I had the best results with leaving just a few extra inches on my tubes, allowing the air stone a bit of freedom. Too little tubing and they kept coming to the waters surface, making a foamy bubble noise.
If you order a pump from amazon do not throw the box out! Instead drill/cut a small hole in it on both sides. Place the pump inside the box, with the tube and cord going through the holes, and seal it shut for a noise reducing barrier. I did this with both the pumps box and amazons box, all underneath a towel. This became so quiet I couldn’t hear the pump even with the cabinet door open.
Some owners will try to cut corners on the previous method, simply wrapping the pump in a towel. This will cause the pump to heat up, shortening the lifetime of the pump. The box set up only takes a few minutes longer so please give it a try. It may even save you the trouble of having to buy a new quiet pump in the first place!
After running for a few months, air pumps can create a few issues.
- Despite the rubber footing, air pumps will still move around. Ensure they are not against any surfaces so the vibration does not transfer.
- The vibration will also produce a fair amount of heat. Avoid covering the pump if possible.
- Securing the pump in place with holes in the stand is helpful. Mine is held in place by the silicone tubes in the box set up.
- After a few months the screws may be vibrated loose, creating a rattling noise. Tighten the screws if you think this has happened.
- Dust can create unwanted heat, shortening the pumps life. Dust it off every once and awhile if it is uncovered.
- Air stones, bubble wands and air tubing can all deteriorate. Combat this by having two sets of air stones/bubble wands. Clean one and allow it to rest and dry for a month before swapping the two and repeating the process. Remember no soap!
Warranty & Lifetime
The ViaAqua Million Air Pump should last over two years if you take all the steps above to reduce pressure, one year if you don’t. This isn’t too long but certainly more than enough for the low price point and quiet operation.
The pump is covered by a one year warranty from any and all manufacturers defects. This does not cover any damages caused by the user, such as reverse siphons, drops or attempted repairs. The pump must be returned and be accompanied by $10 for shipping and handling. Overall it is far less hassle to just buy a new air pump.