im wondering if an airstone has any effect on plant growth at all? ive been running one of those lees brand little plastic filtetr things that you fill with filter floss and an air stone. but im wondering if its hurting the growth in my planted tank. i only have 2 fish that are about 4-5 inches long in my 46 gallon tank.
Well, it won't hurt the plants but with such a small fish load it will serve to off gas any excess CO2 that the plants would prefer. The fish don't need it so unless you like the air effect, you may as well not bubble it. I found that when I added fish the plants perked up a lot, more available ammonia and more CO2 always help plant growth. I go a bit farther and don't even disturb the surface anymore.
If the bubbling is due to your filter, I wold leave it; I have sponge filters in 3 tanks and the plant growth is steady, and certainly no less so than in my much larger tanks with no "bubblers".
I would just not add bubbling devices aside from what is necessary for the filter. CO2 is driven out faster the more water/air disturbance, so it is best not to increase it unnecessarily.
i have a canister filter for the tank. the other bubbler is a plastic filter i use to house a bag of purigen and some filter floss. this is kind of an experiment. i always ran a sponge filter in place of this new floss filter thing. its defintly working as i can see it getting dirty.
i normally run a small bag of purigen in the canister filter. i figured why not try on in the floss filter thing.
A canister rated for the tank size is more than adequate filtration for a planted tank, unless the tank is out of balance by being overstocked, incorrectly stocked, or too much food is going in.
The short answer is an airstone won't hut anything.
NOTE: the amount of CO2 dissolved in water has no relationship to the amount of oxygen dissolved in water. Water movement will impact CO2 levels though. Just to make the answer even more complicated though, there are some who argue, with valid reasoning, that increasing the amount of water/air circulated through a fish tank might increase both oxygen AND carbon dioxide levels. The amount to CO2 that dissolves in water normally is so much lower than atmospheric CO2 that it might actually help to aerate using an airstone (also - plants use oxygen when the lights go out).
Before I get a bunch of high-tech planted tank folks responding, I'm not talking about those pressurized CO2 tanks, but low-tech tanks and water movement.
i prolly have 10 plants in the tank ( 3 are large moss balls)along with some maybe 18 or so small lilly pad lookin things floating on the surface. theres one stalk of bamboo growing out of the top of the tank.
there are 2 fish in the tank their about 4-5 inches a flowerhorn which i inherited and a jack dempsey . i feed once a day at night. some nights i dont even do it if i forget.
i dont use carbon at all i started using purigen to help keep nitrate down as close to near zero levels as i can get.
finally a reasonable approach to water movement and carbon dioxide / oxygen diffusion into water.
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