I have a 55 gallon long community tank with an angelfish, five giant danios, three black skirt tetras, a pair of kuhli loaches, and a trio of cherry barbs. While the tank has room for a pair of hang on the back filters, I run a single TopFin Power Filter 60 in the aquarium and have been for the last 15 years. I believe the filter is capable enough to handle the bioload so I keep the system with the single HOB filter. However, because the tank is a long 55, the other side of the tank doesn’t have enough water movement, so I added an air pump and a donut-shaped airstone to that side of the tank. The current pump in the system is fairly loud and its a new pump. Lowering the air output didn’t help with the noise so I returned the pump. At the time, Hagen introduced its Fluval Q series and sent a Q2 for review. The Q2 is the biggest in the family, designed for aquariums up to 160 gallons. It differs from that of the Q.5 (good for tanks up to 50 gallons), and the Q1 (good for tanks up to 80 gallons) in that it features a completely adjustable air flow dial that enables you to tweak the air coming out of the pump based on how much air you want to push into the tank. The adjustment knob sits flush on top of the pump. Simply turn the knob with your fingers to make adjustments to the airflow.
The company touts the Q Series air pumps as quiet and efficient. I have to agree. The pump is built with double walled construction and features a baffle chamber that helps to mitigate noise. It uses what the company calls an advanced swing-arm design and diaphragm that produces consistent airflow. The rubber feet serves as shock absorbers and prevents the pump from moving about. To test this, I placed the pump on the cover of the tank and ran the air wide open. Not only was the pump fairly quiet, but it also didn’t move from its original location. And it generated plenty of flow in what is a dead spot in the tank. In the video, when you increase the air output, you can hear the pump, but this is due to the fact that it is sitting atop the cover on the aquarium. When I moved the pump inside the stand, I could not hear it. Pretty nifty. The Q2 works in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums and has an MSRP of $48.99.