08-07-2007, 01:28 PM
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it all depends on the tank, filtration, inhabitants, plants, surface area, etc. In a 5 gallon tank the chances are that you don't need one. Any time you disturb the water via filtration or powerheads you will allow oxygen to saturate into the water. THe most ammount of oxygen will be at the surface of the tank and the least will be at the bottom. For larger, deeper tanks, people will add a bubble to make sure that oxygen saturates throughout the tank. When fish are at the surface gasping or not spending time at the bottom it is often a sign that it is harder to breath in the deeper part of the tank. However, I have a 47 gallon tank that is 3 ft deep with not much surface area. JUst a few live plants and a good filter are enough oxygen for the whole tank, I dont even use a bubbler. Keep in mind that fish with larger metabolisms will consume more oxygen and warmer water holds less oxygen than colder water. Also keep in mind that it is possible to OVER-aerate a tank and you can actually cause unneeded stress. In your case I wouldnt bother with the aeration as long as you have a filter on it. If you see the fish rapidly breathing, gasping or only hanging towards the surface then you may want to add areation.