Air stone in a planted tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-24-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Air stone in a planted tank

Should I, or shouldn't I use an air stone in a planted tank? I have read mixed reviews. Also should I inject co2?

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60 Gallon Planted (destroyed by nutcase roommate and bleach)
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-24-2012, 06:19 PM
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Here's a link to the thread I started on the question of bubbling... it's a bit of a grey area! As for Co2. . . this depends on what you want, and how you want to do it. You can go high tech, many do - or go for the naturally planted tank, which can also be quite stunning. It's a matter of preference, really - but adding Co2 is a whole different world, so be sure you do lots of research before you go down that road!
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-24-2012, 11:45 PM
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I have air stones in both my 25 gallon and 10 gallon planted tanks and with no issues. I also run no CO2, as is just did'nt seem worth the trouble! My plants are thriving.....maybe a little more than I would like! I just made sure I had the right lighting for my tanks and add a liquid fert. once a week. Unless you plan on going with some really demanding plants I would'nt waist my time with the CO2. Good luck.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-25-2012, 09:13 AM
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I've got an air stone in my sponge filter in my planted tank and I don't think it's been a problem.. I don't think that air stones usually need to be added though.. do they? Unless you have no surface agitation. The plants should add oxygen to the water though. I guess it depends on the fish, filter, and amount of plants.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-25-2012, 09:58 AM
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This is an issue on which one can find opposing views, and little scientific evidence either way. Most acknowledged sources say that airstones, bubblers, and surface disturbance drive out CO2, and this is a fact. But the unresolved question is the extent to which this occurs, which has to do with atmospheric CO2 and oxygen compared to the level in the tank water.

CO2 is an essential macro-nutrient (carbon) and is the one nutrient usually in least supply in a planted tank unless one is adding artificial CO2. So any increased removal will be detrimental to the plants. I still maintain that CO2 is more likely to be driven out with these devices, so they should not be added unless they are for some specific biological reason required.

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Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-25-2012, 10:56 AM
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Moderation and balance are key. Even natural land-locked pools receive some surface agitation from breezes and other rippling effects. Live plants are great for fish during their photosynthesis; however, at night (when the lights are off) they give off CO2. Nature controls this situation through controlling the plant and fish population. Our tanks are not natural and none of us want to watch one or the other die at the other's expense. Long story short, moderate surface agitation is good if you intend to have fish. If no fish, create light current with minimal surface agitation.

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post #7 of 11 Old 07-25-2012, 12:23 PM
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So, I've never seen a power head in action (at least with a sponge filter..). Is it a better option to use a power head instead of an air pump and air line tubing/ an air stone in a planted tank. I do get quite a bit of bubbles in the tank.
I've also wondered if it's better to have a longer tube coming out of the sponge filter which would enclose the bubbles until they reach the surface. I'm not sure if that'd even make a difference, but it seems like it would.

+ Planted 75 Gallon Amazonian Tank +

Cardinal Tetras -- Rosy Tetras
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-25-2012, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennesque View Post
So, I've never seen a power head in action (at least with a sponge filter..). Is it a better option to use a power head instead of an air pump and air line tubing/ an air stone in a planted tank. I do get quite a bit of bubbles in the tank.
I've also wondered if it's better to have a longer tube coming out of the sponge filter which would enclose the bubbles until they reach the surface. I'm not sure if that'd even make a difference, but it seems like it would.
I have sponge filters in 3 tanks and they are connected to an air pump. The plant growth is no different in these tanks from the others. I use the Hagen Elite filters which have tubes up to the surface with a directional flow so this creates a bit of movement across part of the surface.

I do have a Hydro sponge which just releases bubbles from the shorter tube, but I'm only using this in the QT. I don't think would make much if any difference though.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-25-2012, 04:25 PM
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I have also struggled with this question. I run my HOB filter with no media and only about a 1/4" or less water fall in order to add some O2. If I shut this off which leaves a Eheim Canister running then my fish will quickly move to the top of the tank and gasp for air. Its a catch 22 for me, no way to win this one. I hate airstones because of the co2 issue but also I cant stand the noise of a airpump.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-25-2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennesque View Post
I've got an air stone in my sponge filter in my planted tank and I don't think it's been a problem.. I don't think that air stones usually need to be added though.. do they? Unless you have no surface agitation. The plants should add oxygen to the water though. I guess it depends on the fish, filter, and amount of plants.
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I agree with this i use an airstone in my 15 with no problems
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