This is a discussion on Do I need an air stone? within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; -->
I have set up a 20 gallon community tank for my sons bedroom about 6 weeks ago and its just finishing cycling with 4 ...
I have set up a 20 gallon community tank for my sons bedroom about 6 weeks ago and its just finishing cycling with 4 sunset mollies . It has a filter that hangs on the back and the filtered water is dumped back into the tank. When the filtered water enters the tank there are no bubbles and the water surface is really not broken. Its very quiet and smooth. So, I'm wondering if the oxygen content of the water would be not enough for the fishes? I think I might have to get an airpump and stone to create some bubbles. Is this necessary? Thanks for your help!!
If your fish are at the surface gasping, then that's a good indication that there's not enough oxygen in the water. If they are swimming around acting like fish, then I don't think you need one. I don't even own one.
I'd say go ahead and do it, just to be on the safe side - plus bubbles are fun! You should be able to tell if the Mollies are having any trouble fairly easily. If you see them at the surface, this is usually a good indicator. . . You also might have an adjustable filter? Many of them have a dial that you can turn to adjust the setting to a higher output, which might be enough to get some more surface agitation.
In the vast majority of cases, the bubbles are there for your viewing pleasure. There are setups that legitimately need them, though.
Aquaclears put out the least amount of surface disturbance of any HOB I've used, and it was never a problem. Personally, I hate the sound of the pump and the look of the bubbles. Since it's in your sons bedroom, he will probably let you know if he finds it annoying. On the other hand, it could help him to fall asleep.