A noisy aquarium water pump can be irritating, especially when it is in the same room as your television or stereo - you are forced to crank up the volume. There are several reasons which cause an internal water pump to be noisy and most are easy to fix.
Add Noise Reducing Mat
When a submersible water pump vibrates against the bottom or sides of a wet dry filter, sump or other surface is can produce any annoying loud hum. Most pumps come with hard rubber feet or a self-sticking foam pad to reduce the vibration. This helps but a more effective way is to use a 100% silicone mat to absorb the vibration. Good Grips Square Silicone Drying Mats - normally used in the kitchen - are ideal for reducing noise and is fish-safe too. These mats are available in several sizes and are easy to cut to your desired needs. Simply place a mat under the pump with the ribbed side down. The ribs elevate the mat allowing water to circulate. Since these mats are thin you may need to use two stacked on top of one another. These mats can also be placed under other equipment like a protein skimmer's internal pump to dampen sound. They are available in 17 x 6 x 0.2 inches called Good Grips Silicone Drying Mat and 16.9 x 12.5 x 0.2 inches called Good Grips Large Silicone Drying Mat
Most internal water pumps have an intake strainer to keep objects from getting pulled inside the workings. Overtime these strainers can get clogged with debris, algae or calcium build up. Most strainers are easy to remove and can be cleaned with a small brush such as a tooth brush. To remove calcium deposits follow the steps in this article Coralline Algae: Tips to Easily Remove from Equipment. A clogged strainer will make a water pump work harder which can cause an increase in noise. Once the strainer is clean and if the noise still persists you may need to take the pump apart and clean the impeller assembly by following manufacturers cleaning recommendations.
A Quiet Pump
After you have tried the above methods and your pump is still not as quiet as you like then it may be time to replace it. My personal favorite is Sicces's Syncra Silent water pump which is easy to install, energy efficient, and very quiet. They are available in flow rates from 185 gph to 1321 gph. Here are a few popular sizes: 568 gph - Sicce Syncra 2.0 Aquarium Pump, 714 gph - Sicce Syncra 3.0 Aquarium Pump and 951 gph - Sicce Syncra 4.0 Aquarium Pump, Use one all of these methods to reduce or eliminate most of your water pump noise. A final way to further reduce general aquarium noise is to add a 100% silicone mat between your wet dry filter or sump and aquarium stand.
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