Mitigate vibration, reduce sound

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, then you’ve read some posts about sound in the aquarium and its effects on the inhabitants. I am a huge proponent of sound reduction in aquaria.

Quite simply, sounds are products of vibrations. Thus, anything that vibrates can create audible noise, depending on the frequency and the sensory capabilities of the recipient. All power filters produce vibration, hence sound. This continuous sound propagates but can’t dissipate in closed systems like fish tanks. So whether you use sponge filters, canisters, sumps, or HOBs, you’re generating noise in your aquarium.

As I previously posted here and here, you might consider how much noise you’re introducing into your tanks.

For filtration, I prefer canister filters. Since I also utilize pre-made wooden tank stands, my canisters reside inside the stands, which means they sit on top of wood. The mechanical operation of the canisters creates vibrations that transfer to the wood of the stands and then to the tanks. If you also use canisters, you can dampen this vibration several different ways. I use closed-cell rubber foam under all my canisters. I have used folded towels in the past, but I have found that the most economical route is to buy pre-cut, foam pads. Because my largest tanks are 75 gallons, the canisters that I use have a small footprint. Thus, I’ve found 6″ x 6″ pads to be ideal, regardless of whether I’m using square or cylinder canisters.

At only 1/4″ thick (see bottom photo with mechanical pencil), the foam is slim but effective nonetheless.

Leave a Comment