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post #1 of 3 Old 07-25-2011, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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air pump

is it neccessary to have an air pump in a twenty gallon tank. if so why?

Last edited by elizabeth451; 07-25-2011 at 11:02 AM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-25-2011, 12:22 PM
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Yes and no, depends on what kind of filter you have and how much you have stocked. A Hang on back filter or canister filter with a spray bar above the water line should cause enough surface agitation that one is not necessary. Or a medium stocking level or less with lots of live plants should be ok to. The main reason we use air pumps is for oxygen exchange in the water, if the oxygen is insufficient in the tank then the fish will be gasping for air at the top of the tank. Theres lots of different ways we can add oxygen into the tank but what way is best for you depends on your setup.
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-25-2011, 12:31 PM
No, it's not necessary. There are advantages and disadvantges, depending on whether you have live plants or a filter providing water movement.

The traditional arguement for air pumps is that they provide agitation at the water surface which increases oxygen exchange > providing more oxygen for the fish.

In a planted tank the agitation of the water surface by an air pump also allows C02 (produced by the fish) to travel more easily from the water into the air. As C02 is needed by the plants for growth, this could potentially result in reduced plant growth, if C02 is the limiting factor (which is a whole other discussion). Therefore it's generally advised that air pumps aren't needed in planted tanks.

If the tank does not have filter or powerhead providing water movement, an air pump can be advantageous because it mixes the tank water around better. This means the temperature is more even throught the tank and nutrients are more evenly distributed around the tank.
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