What is the difference between the filter from the compressor for the aquarium

Aquarium pump. types, operating principles, nuances of choice

Oxygen is a substance that is essential for the life of all living organisms. Even the fish in the water consume it in large quantities. Some aquatic species can take up oxygen from the atmosphere by gulping for air at the water surface. Others. release oxygen (O2) from the water using special organs. gills. Since the volume of liquid in the aquarium, as an isolated container, is fixed, the amount of O2 in the water is limited. To avoid pollution of the aquarium and fish death, it is necessary to use special equipment for oxygenation: pumps and compressors.

Aeration. oxygenation. Aeration is a basic requirement for fish in aquariums. The more living organisms, the more oxygen they need for a comfortable existence. Proper aeration mode of the aquarium creates a favorable environment for all aquarium inhabitants.

What is better and what is the difference between a pump-filter and a compressor

Aquarium compressor. a pump that saturates the water with oxygen by feeding air under the water level. The pump creates a decorative effect by forming a bubble elevator.

A filter pump is a compressor with a built-in water filter.

Pump or compressor for the aquarium, which is better? Many people ask this question when installing an aquarium and changing its “occupants”.

For tanks up to 50 liters it is recommended to use compressors. Their power is enough to saturate the volume of liquid with oxygen. In the case of the need to install the device in a tank or reservoir volume of 50 to 200 liters, it is recommended to use a pump-filter. The filter pump cleans the water from food leftovers and fish waste. The pump consists of:

Aquariums. containers that do not have a constant supply of water. Water in aquariums is not enriched with oxygen and quickly polluted. Watch from minute 3 if you want a specific answer to what the difference is.

There are two main ways to oxygen in the aquarium:

  • Air from the surface enters the water by itself, but the medium is not mixed and the oxygen concentration may be unevenly distributed along the depth. This method is not effective and the disruption of oxygen balance is easy to diagnose by the behavior of fish: swimming at the surface. To establish a uniform mixing it is necessary to install the equipment at the bottom of the tank. The direction of medium movement should be such that the current does not interfere with the free movement of fish.
  • The principle of diffusion from bubbles. The stronger the current created by pumps or compressors, the more air is “sucked in.

How to extend the life of the filter equipment?

To extend the life of the filter equipment, carry out the following measures:

  • All elements and components are cleaned in accordance with the recommendations in the instructions.
  • So that the fish, mollusks and plants do not absorb toxins, harmful substances, the units must work constantly.
  • Starting the devices is carried out only if there is enough liquid in the tank.
  • Cleaning of the unit is carried out after the power supply is discontinued. The wiring is disconnected neatly.
  • Study the instructions, which spelled out how to properly install the equipment.

Which aquarium filter is better to buy

There are two types of filters. internal and external, the first option is preferable if you want to save money. However, it is not suitable for large aquariums, the maximum allowable volume here is 500 liters. To remove phosphates, ammonia, chlorine and to eliminate the bad smell most often perform chemical filtration, different impurities get rid of biological treatment, and debris in water. mechanical.

The best choice will be the one that meets the needs of customers:

For waste removal in tanks of 60 to 120 liters choose Tetra EX 600 Plus. With a capacity of 10-40 liters cope model Aquael Versamax Mini. If it is necessary to treat 120 to 350 liters, Eheim Classic 350 or Juwel Bioflow 6 are chosen.0. With a volume of 10-100 liters works well Hagen Fluval 106. If the capacity does not exceed 20 liters, it is quite enough to Barbus WP-300F. The owners of the tank at 300 liters is worth paying attention to Sera F 1200.

Both external and internal aquarium filters remove organic and inorganic impurities from the water, waste fish, various debris. The choice therefore depends primarily on the budget.

According to what parameters to pick up the pump for the aquarium

There are criteria by which to choose this type of devices.

  • Type of installation. There are pumps for outdoor and indoor installation. Many people prefer pumps that are mounted outside, explaining that in this case the appearance of the aquarium does not marred, not violated its harmony. There are also universal pumps that are installed both outside and inside.
  • Material of construction. Affects the ability to operate the pump in salt or fresh water. For freshwater, more materials are suitable, including stainless steel. One has to choose carefully for salt water, since even steel alloys have a destructive effect on sea salt. In pumps that are focused on this environment, metal parts are replaced by ceramic.
  • Power. To determine the optimum, take into account the size, volume of the aquarium. The smaller it is, the less powerful the pump needs to handle the volume of water. If we are talking about large-sized aquariums, which are installed in large houses and non-residential areas, then the pump must also be more powerful.
  • Performance. In combination with the power determines the ability of the pump to cope with the volume, so it is measured in liters per hour. For residential, industrial, exhibition aquariums is the norm capacity of the order of 3-5 volumes per hour. If the pump fills the aquarium with water, then additionally take into account the height to which the water is able to rise during pumping. This parameter depends on the size of the pump itself and also plays a role in creating artificial waterfalls, streams.
  • Noise level. Mechanical operation always creates a sound load. The bigger the pump, the more noise it makes. Although many manufacturers optimize technology so that the pump makes less noise. Some models are even chosen for the aquarium, which is installed in the bedroom or living room. they do not interfere with daily activities and rest as a result.

Each manufacturer tries to make the design of the pump some features to make it more efficient, aesthetically attractive, easy to use.

How to choose?

On sale is a wide range of pumps for aquariums of Russian and foreign production. When choosing, you should pay attention to the following aspects.

Installation method

All aquarium pumps, as previously stated, are divided into 2 types: external and internal (submersible). The former are positioned outside the aquarium and usually fixed to the outside walls of the aquarium. The most common type is the internal pump in the interior of the aquarium. In fact, any aquarium compressor, practiced for pumping liquids, equipped with suction cups or specialized locks at the bottom of the body, it can be easily installed on the walls of the aquarium as externally, and internally.

Flow capacity

In any pump data sheet indicates the cubic capacity of the pumped liquid. liters / time (productivity). When selecting a pump for a particular aquarium should be multiplied by its cubic capacity of 3-5 times, the resulting number should coincide with the passport data capacity of the pump, measured in liters per hour.


The aerator works non-stop, so in order to save electricity, you need to choose samples with the lowest value, which varies from 4 watts to 35 watts or more. Under otherwise identical conditions, it is recommended to choose the pump with the lowest power, as this indicates that the efficiency of the pump is higher. Higher power consumption means higher power dissipation and no redundant thermal emission source in the circuit.

When selecting a compressor, not only the cubic capacity of the aquarium, but also its local climate: the number of living inhabitants, vegetation, the presence of decorative objects.

The most powerful unit in a small aquarium or vice versa can lead to malfunctions and have a detrimental effect on the microclimate.

Lifting height

One of the characteristics of electric pumps noted in the data sheet is the water lift height, which is directly related to the power and efficiency of the pump. This value can be fundamental in the case of a compressor for gradational filling with the rise of liquid or pumping it out of the tank. The bigger the tank, the more powerful the pump. The productive one is the one that pumps 3 to 5 volumes per hour.

Noise level

If the basic technical parameters are actually similar for all manufacturers, the noise level of the leading companies are superior to their own competitors. Choose a pump with a low noise level from a reputable manufacturer. In the case of the location of the aquarium in the bedroom, the quiet operation of the pump is ideal.


Typically, either 220 volts AC or 12 volts DC. The devices we are considering powered from 220 volts. 12 volt pumps are used more in proprietary systems. Even though they are less productive, they can be connected directly to your computer’s PSU.

material of construction

The housings of all pumps are made of plastic, the only difference between them all is the motor shaft. In freshwater aquariums, a pump with a metal shaft is practiced; for saltwater, it is produced from ceramics.

External aquarium filter

The name suggests that these external filters are attached to the outside wall of the tank. Most often these devices are installed in large aquariums with a volume of at least 150 liters. Robust, airtight hose draws in the water and conveys it to the external filter. The water flow after passing through the cleaning system is returned by means of a second hose.

When choosing an external filter, the following advantages are decisive factors:

  • reliability and performance of external filters allows for multi-stage water purification;
  • they are designed for a long service life and do not require frequent filter changes;
  • They are silent, without disturbing the aquarium inhabitants;
  • three-stage water purification: chemical compounds, biological components and mechanical particles are removed from the tank;
  • do not reduce the volume of the aquarium.

Assemble and start the external aquarium filter

Assembling and running an external aquarium filter

And so, before you a new and the best external filter for your favorite aquarium! But how to assemble and run it?! In general, everything is described in the instructions that come with the filter. But sometimes, it happens that seems to be all assembled, but “it does not run,” begins to hit psychosis. “it must burn, bought the company, and it does not googoo” =) No need to panic! There are nuances that will help you.

First, about assembling. Think everyone will be able to connect the hoses. But to follow the correct sequence of stacking of fillers not everyone. Properly stack the fillers in the following order. First you put ceramic/biochar on the very bottom of the canister, then sponges, then mechanical cleaning/syntepon, then charcoal or what.

Secondly, about starting it up. When everything is assembled. Lower the intake tube into the aquarium, and keep the outlet so that the outlet is in the air. this makes it easier to start, pushing air out of the filter. Sometimes (rarely) you should even lower the outlet hose below the level of the aquarium (in a basin, for example), which significantly helps the filter run. Plug into the socket and press the “Start” button! Important. It is important to press the button until the water runs through the intake tube, no more. Waiting! Everything is bubbling and gurgling, one second and a little more, a moment and water is coming out of the inlet tube. Cheers, comrades! We dip the output tube in the aquarium, put on a flute, clean up.

At last note that the first startup, the button “Start” in many filters stuck. not pressed. The first time, it should be pressed with moderate force. And better yet, before starting up, dry a couple of times squeeze.

That’s all, we wish you a successful and long life operation of an external aquarium filter!

All of the above. only the fruit of observation and collecting various information from aquarists. We would like to share with our visitors not only information but also live emotionally, allowing a more complete and subtle insight into the world of aquaristics. Register on. take part in discussions on the forum, create profile threads, where you will be the first to tell about their pets, describe their habits, behavior and content, to share with us their successes and joys, share experiences and learn from others. We are interested in every bit of your experience, every second of your joy, every realization of your mistakes that allows your friends to avoid the same mistakes. The more of us, the more pure and transparent drops of goodness in the life and society of our seven billion people.

Video about the external aquarium filter

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Function and description

As anyone interested in aquariums knows, it is axiomatic that aquarium water should be cleaned. And if the water in a river or lake is purified naturally, this method is not applicable in the aquarium industry. Therefore, the water in the tank should be cleaned artificially. The quality and purity of the water in the tank directly affect the normal existence of all aquarium inhabitants, be they ornamental fish or plants, molluscs or crustaceans.

For growing in medium to large tall aquariums Cattail is excellent. It is one of the most popular aquarium plants.

The best aquarium filter must meet certain criteria:

  • Be relatively small in size;
  • Be easy to maintain and high quality;
  • the efficiency of the clarifier should be determined by the amount of water purified.

Did you know? The most expensive aquarium in the world was designed by Stuart Hughes. It costs more than 5 million and is called the Golden Dragon.

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Aquarium water purifiers come in different types, they operate on different principles and are filled with unique components. Maintain the ecosystem in the aquarium in different ways.

By type of filtration

There are biological, chemical and mechanical types of aquarium water filtration.

This classification divides aquarium filters. There is also a water purifier that uses all three types of purification at once. This is an external canister filter. But it is not necessary to use all kinds of purification at once. One type of filtration is sufficient for the aquarium. Let us have a closer look at the types of filtration.

Mechanical filtration cleans the water with a filler. Dirty water enters the filter, particles of debris and dirt settle in the pores of the filler, and the output is water, purified of debris. Thus the filler collects in itself particles of debris. The filler can be a sponge or a bundle of tangled fishing line. This type of filtration is suitable for aquariums with goldfish and cichlids. Biological filtration is no less important for an aquarium. By using it, the aquarium gets rid of toxic substances that are formed by fish and plants. This type of filtration makes it possible to keep the aquarium with healthy fish and vegetation.

Biological filtration is done by special bacteria that live in the ground. There are also biological filtration products for water purifiers. There are colonies of bacteria in these fillers, which clean the water from toxins.

Chemical filtration makes it possible to remove waste substances from the water using activated charcoal. Water passes through the carbon filter and absorbs phosphates and other impurities and minerals. This filtration takes ammonia and bad smells out of the water. This type of treatment is very effective and helps to get a high degree of water purification.

Did you know.? The tiniest aquarium in the world is a tank 3 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. Oddly enough, it has a couple of small fish, plants and sand.

difference, filter, compressor, aquarium

According to the method of installation

By design format, there are several types of water purifiers:

External filter is placed outside the aquarium. Usually it is placed in the cabinet under the aquarium, or it can be attached to the side or rear wall. This arrangement makes it easy to care for and clean. The device is divided into compartments. Such a water purifier can combine all three types of filtration, as you can load different types of filler in different compartments. The internal filter is a small-sized structure with a pump and a filtering filler. The most common filler is foam rubber. Placed inside the aquarium, it is fixed with special suction cups on any convenient wall. Such equipment uses only the mechanical type of filtration and needs frequent maintenance. Very popular with home aquariums. The canister filter can be viewed as a subset of the external filter. They differ only in location. The canister water purifier is placed vertically and can be mounted on the floor or inside an aquarium cabinet. A canister water purifier provides all three types of filtration.

Learn how to care for guppies, swordtails, mollinets, violets, barbs, lulius, goldfish, gourami, aquarium catfish, astronauts, clownfish in an aquarium.

Bottom filter is quite unusual. It is a tube system that is placed under the ground. Ground is used as a filtering element. This type of filter helps prevent souring of the ground. The false bottom is used in addition to another type of filter. This equipment is hardly ever used by home aquarists.

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Types of compressors for the aquarium

One of the main classifications divides aquarium compressors into three main groups. diaphragm, piston and pumps. They differ in price, operating principle and noise level. A diaphragm compressor for fish is also called a vibrating compressor. It presses air by shrinking an elastic rubber diaphragm by transmitting to it the vibrations of a magnet inside the device. The piston type works with an electric motor that drives the piston. Pump is a universal device for aeration and filtration of water. It is suitable for large aquariums.


The principle of operation of this type of compressor is based on the movement of the piston that pushes the air. The rotational motion of the shaft is converted into an oscillating movement. This leads to achieving the necessary air power. If your fish live in a bedroom or rest room, then the ideal thing would be a piston compressor for the aquarium. It doesn’t make as much noise, but it’s not as cheap compared to a diaphragm. You can use both types of compressors at once. The piston pump is turned on at night and the diaphragm pump is turned on during the day. The latter consumes less energy.


Membrane compressor for the aquarium works differently. It makes the air move out of the chamber connected to the diaphragm. It is characterized by pressure fluctuations. They are created by oscillating a magnet, which is also betrayed by an elastic rubber membrane. Its advantage is the low power consumption. In addition, such a device can be repaired, although often it is not necessary to do. It is also a relatively cheap device and can serve more than one aquarium. The disadvantage is the low power and high noise level.

Compressor selection parameters

An aquarium compressor is a necessary attribute for the fish. Without this device water in the aquarium will become “standing”, will turn green faster.

To date, there are two types of devices that have their own design differences, pros and cons.

Types of compressors

There are two types of air compressor for the aquarium: diaphragm and piston-type.


Diaphragm compressor allows you to save electricity. over, it can be connected to two or more aquariums. This type of compressor is very reliable, it seldom breaks down and does not require systematic maintenance.

It has only one disadvantage. it is quite noisy. However, it is worth noting that completely silent compressors do not yet exist.

In this case, it is necessary to find a compromise between the noise level and the duration of operation.

Membrane type compressor is best to operate during daylight hours. There is good reason for this recommendation.к. daytime noises from the street will partly mask the operation of the device.

In some cases, it is practiced to remove the compressor from the living room into a hallway or corridor.

This will need to lengthen the tube, in addition, the flow of oxygen will be less intense, the longer will be the length of the tube.

However, for such manipulations requires a fairly powerful compressor, which is purchased under a large aquarium. In most cases, you can be limited to a piece of foam rubber.


If you need a silent compressor for the aquarium, it is definitely a piston-type model. In case you plan to choose a large aquarium model, you can use both types. In this case, the devices compensate for the disadvantages of both types of joint work.

Operating principle

The compressor for the aquarium is equipped with special tubes through which oxygen is supplied to the water. You can adjust the level of air pressure. This is done with the help of special clips and appropriate valves. For effective aeration of the working space at one end of the tube is put on a porous atomizer.

Sprayers for aquarium compressors are made of abrasives or ordinary stone for sharpening. Once submerged at the bottom of the aquarium, the atomizer begins to release oxygen in the form of many bubbles rising to the surface of the water.

Visually it looks quite attractive, and if you add to such aeration and lighting, the decorative effect will be much stronger.

The market offers many different models of compressors, and to get lost in their variety is quite easy. There are several points that are fundamental. These are the ones you should pay attention to first of all.

  • Power aerator. The higher its power, the greater the volume of the aquarium device can enrich the oxygen. However, here it is important to commensurate the size of the existing aquarium with the technical parameters of the device. Do not buy a powerful unit, designed for operation in a 400-liter aquarium, if you intend to use a small 50-liter instance. The optimal calculation parameter is 0.5 liters per hour per liter of liquid.
  • Working with different types of atomizers. If the device is productive enough, it can work with ceramic nozzles that release fine bubbles. This option is extremely useful for aquarium inhabitants.
  • Level of insulation. Of course, any aquarium compressor is built to operate near water and its vapors. But do not forget that the budget “noname” models may be deprived of even basic waterproofing of the wiring, which can lead to dire consequences. Choosing a compressor model, it is important to pay attention to this parameter.
  • Dimensions, shape and appearance. For those who care that any device in the house looks stylish, it is worth looking at the brands involved in the visual component of aerators. The size and fixation options are also important attributes of the compressor. In a small room where literally every inch is important, to place a bulky compressor. the real problem.
  • Vertical and horizontal operation. Most compressors can be operated either lying on their side or suspended from a hook. But not everyone knows that each model has requirements for the operation of the device. By ignoring this point, and hanging the device on the wall near the aquarium, you can save space. But such operation can cause the unit to break down. Before purchasing the unit, you should think in advance about how and where it will be attached.

Read more: Nymphaea in an aquarium planting and care

Criteria for choosing a compressor

But there are other criteria that influence the choice of a compressor for the aquarium:

  • Capacity is a parameter that is indicated on the box. This is calculated from the volume of water multiplied by the factor 0.8. The resulting value is the volume that will be handled by the unit;
  • Power. also specified by the manufacturer. This parameter is influenced by the electricity consumption and directly the performance.

You should not buy too powerful a device, if there are small fish swimming in the aquarium. Because small fish will “throw” from side to side and will lift the soil from the bottom of the vessel.

  • Size. it may be a mini compressor for the aquarium and larger in size units. But the size does not always affect the performance, as manufactured small, but powerful enough;
  • Price. If you buy a cheap model, you should be prepared that such a device will not last long. It is recommended to buy from well-known brands, for example. Schego Optimal, Prime, Prime, aPump. It is better to buy once a quality thing than to pay a second time.

It is recommended before buying to visit a virtual store or usual, if possible and study the proposed range of compressor in the aquarium. You can also visit websites or forums where aquarists share experiences where and how to choose.


After it was determined what compressor to buy, you should decide how to install the compressor in the aquarium. Before the process of installation must decide where it will be installed. above the water surface or in a vessel with water, in a special box. When you install the compressor in the aquarium must be taken into account and that it should be cleaned. Noise can occur during operation of the device. If possible, you should buy silent devices.

Noise. a factor that is not unimportant if the family has a small child. But it is not always possible to buy a silent compressor for the aquarium. You can reduce the noise level. If the cause of noise is friction with the vessel wall, you need to put a clean sponge (kitchen), which will “absorb” some noise. Experts create special boxes for the compressor. Also as the noise can be dirty diaphragm, which should be cleaned, and you get a silent compressor for the aquarium. Only disassemble the device if you know how to do it.

There is no algorithm or requirements in the process of installing a compressor in the aquarium. The main thing is to check that it is on a level surface. Since under a slope it can slip off the surface.

The best option is a quiet compressor for the aquarium, which does not create noise.

Compressors for the aquarium: top 5 best

Every aquarist knows a small, but indispensable aquarium device, under slight pressure pumping air into the aquarium water column. It is called a compressor.

Aquarium compressors come in several varieties. There are piston and diaphragm compressors. Not so long ago on the market appeared piezo compressors. In addition, the task of oxygenating the water can solve the problem of ordinary aquarium pumps or aerial filters.

Quality aeration must be present in any aquarium. It should not be discounted and underestimated. The presence of a proper concentration of oxygen is necessary for all hydrobionts. not only the fish and plants, but also useful microorganisms and nitrifying bacteria. We talked about all of this in great detail in this video. If you are a beginner aquarist. be sure to look at.

However, with all the variety, the disadvantage of all aquarium compressors is the noise they make. If your aquarium is in a room where someone is asleep, the quietness of the compressor. one of its most important qualities. Unfortunately there are no absolutely 100% silent compressors, i.e.к. the principle of their operation is based on vibration. One of the noisiest compressors is considered a diaphragm compressor. However, a diaphragm compressor will save you some energy costs, it has a long service life, it almost never breaks.

Piston compressors are quieter. All in all, they’re pretty noisy too.

Competition membrane and piston aerators, in terms of noise produced by piezo compressors. Today their choice is enormous. There are piezocompressors, both for small nano aquariums and for very large reservoirs. There are single-channel, there are dual-channel piezo compressors. And also. In the top selection, we’ll talk to you about all of these in more detail.

Next, another device that effectively solves the problem of oxygenation of the water in the aquarium is aerator type H2Show BubbleMaker. this device is installed inside the aquarium and works on the Venturi principle “sucking” air through the tube creating a powerful vortex of small bubbles through the rotor.

In addition, the usual aquarium pump, which is the basis of all modern aquarium filters, is also often used to oxygenate the water. Nowadays, there are very quiet pumps. However, the surface air suction pipe also makes a peculiar noise. slight whistling/rustling, which can irritate people with sensitive sleep. This problem, too, have learned to solve. In modern pumps, the tubes are equipped with a small plug. By changing the position of the plug, you can get rid of obtrusive noise, or at least significantly reduce it.

It is obvious that each of us wants to choose good quality equipment that would meet our needs and requirements. Based on our own experience and collected opinions from our forum members, we decided to make a TOP-best compressors for the aquarium. The purpose of this rating. to publish the opinions of aquarists, who have tested various aquarium compressors in practice.

At the same time, the taste and color of all the felt-tip colors are different. And everyone’s ears are different. Somebody and the tractor noise. caresses the ears. And someone takes the singing of cicadas in the night for the notes of the devil. All in all, friends, we’re doing the accents below from the heart. But you’ll see for yourself and make the right choice.

Description: A modern device that allows you to saturate your aquarium water with vital oxygen. Suitable for saltwater and freshwater aquariums. Thanks to its compact size, this compressor does not take up much space, and its convenient mounting form allows you to install it anywhere. Easy to adjust the airflow rate with a switch on the front of the unit.

4-Place: ATMAN AT/AP/PP Series

Below is a description of each compressor from the manufacturer:

Miniature compressors with classic design. Comes in both adjustable and non-adjustable models. Very good value for money. High quality membranes ensure a long service life. Sturdy rubber feet smooth out vibrations and make the compressor very quiet.

Compressors have a modern and bright design, thanks to which they will look great next to or at the aquarium. The special shape gives compressors a decorative look that will blend well with the interior. High quality diaphragms ensure long life of your equipment. Stable rubber feet smooth out vibrations and make the compressor very quiet.

Classic Atman compressors that have been around for years. These compressors have become prototypes and are the basis for many famous compressors in Europe and America. High quality components, high efficiency, silent operation and low price are the main features of this model range. The range includes both non-adjustable models and adjustable. Suitable for aquariums from 10 to 500 liters.

All those places and ranks are yours. conditional. Compressors under 5 and 4 seats cannot be called quiet. They have been noted by our FForum members as affordable, popular and reliable. It’s better not to put them in the bedroom. But at the same time they are quality and durable.

3rd 2nd place: piezo compressors

Here we get to piezo compressors. As said before they are really quiet. The noise from them is almost inaudible. Our advice is to take more expensive and branded compressors in this segment. For the Chinese counterparts from Aliexpress sometimes crumble before your eyes.

Choosing one or another piezo compressor, pay attention to its capacity. There are some weak ones. designed for nano aquariums. And there are very powerful piezo units. In addition, there are compressors with 1 channel, and there are with two, which allows you to blow simultaneously 2 aquariums.

difference, filter, compressor, aquarium

Next, we recommend two manufacturers, leave a description under the models. This way we think the difference and features of piezo compressors will be clearer.