The aqua lifter pump system has been a huge hit within the fish keeping community and although it is a relatively reliable pump for its price, it does have drawbacks with many people who use aqua lifter pumps often looking for a replacement that requires less cleaning. This has resulted in a spike in the number of people reaching out and asking for an aqua lifter alternative recently with more and more people looking for something that will not need cleaning as much to maintain the same water pressure levels that the pump usually has.
There are a number of suitable aqua lifter alternatives on the market with any cheap diaphragm pump usually being able to be used in place of an aqua lifter pump. The Rio Plus 800 PT Venturi Water Pump and the Gikfun Mini R385 Water Pump are both two of the more popular alternatives for aqua lifter pumps on the market right now with both being very budget friendly too.
The Gikfun Mini R385 Water Pump uses a very similar diaphragm setup to the aqua lifter meaning that it will usually need to be cleaned just as much as you current pump though so keep that in mind. This can help to push the Rio Plus 800 PT Venturi Water Pump in front for anyone looking for an aqua lifter alternative and although it will still need cleaning and servicing, the pump tends to perform better between cleans than an aqua lifter pump.
The Rio Plus 800 PT Venturi Water Pump!
The Rio Plus 800 PT Venturi Water Pump is often considered to be the best aqua lifter alternative pump on the market due to its similar functionality and low price tag. The Rio Plus 800 PT Venturi Water Pump is also widely available too making it very easy for most people in North America or Europe to find with ease where as some of the other aqua lifter alternatives can be a pain to source.
Most of the Rio Plus 800 PT Venturi Water Pumps will come with the power supply unit you need for your region as well as all of the pipe that you require to fit the pump to your tank too. The pump has a proven track record in both freshwater and saltwater tanks with it rapidly building on its already excellent reputation amongst the fish keeping community as more and more people give the pump a try.
One advantage of the Rio Plus 800 PT Venturi Water Pump over some of the other pumps on the market right now is that it has been specifically designed to be as energy-efficient and as quiet as possible even when being used at high water flow rates. The pump is small so it takes up minimal space in your tank be it your main tank or an overflow tank while also being light so it is unlikely that the suction stickers will give way during use and this can be a common problem for some other pumps at this price point in the market.
The Gikfun Mini R385 Water Pump
The Gikfun Mini R385 Water Pump is commonly used as an alternative for aqua lifter pumps with it performs well while also having a low price tag. The two main things that hold the Gikfun Mini R385 Water Pump back is that it will usually need cleaning just as much as an aqua lifter pump and it is popular so commonly out of stock due to various supply chain problems.
Still, if you are able to find a Gikfun Mini R385 Water Pump then they can be excellent alternatives to a aqua lifter pump depending on what you need your pump for. If you do find yourself having to clean your aqua lifter pump frequently then there is a high chance that the same will be true for this pump though so if you are looking to switch your current pump out due to how much cleaning it requires then this is not the pump for you.
One of the main advantages of the Gikfun Mini R385 Water Pump over other pumps at this price point is that it is able to pump 1.8L/Min offering one of the highest water flow rates of the budget friendly pumps on the market right now. Just keep in mind that the Gikfun Mini R385 Water Pump can have issues with overheating when ran consistently at these higher water flow rates though so if you do need a high water flow pump then you should be looking at pumps that are over the $50 price point as an absolute minimum.
What Other Pumps Will Works As An Aqua Lifter Alternative?
There are a number of suitable pumps on the market that can be used as an aqua lifter alternative but many of them will have the same problems as an aqua lifter pump, especially if it uses a diaphragm pump system. You also have to factor in that many of the cheaper pumps on the market can have problems with overheating or maintaining a steady water flow rate too.
We are aware of a wide range of other pumps that may be suitable for some peoples requirements if you are looking to swap out your current pump but you should be looking to stick with either of the two pumps covered above, ideally the Rio Plus 800 PT Venturi Water Pumps as it is the better pump in our opinion. Not only do both of the pumps covered above have excellent reputations in general within the fish keeping community but they are both being used as alternatives for aqua lifter pumps too.
If you are specifically looking for an alternative in the sub-fifty dollar price bracket then you will usually be limited to a diaphragm pump system or something that uses a very similar design. As many of the people that we see asking for advice on an aqua lifter alternative pump are specifically wanting something that will require less cleaning or be more reliable, you are usually going to have to look at increasing your budget to get a more expensive pump.
That brings our article going over the two best aqua lifter alternative pumps on the market to an end. Both of the alternatives that we covered have their advantages and disadvantages over each other and both can work very well depending on exactly what you need out of your pump. Different people have different requirements depending on their setups and what they keep in their tanks so this will heavily play into the best alternative to your aqua lifter and the right option for you moving forward.