Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Unrulyevil 08-29-2007 12:44 PM

Air in aquariums
Hello. I have rather silly question. Why does one need air pump and air supply in to the aquarium rather than fish need it.


beetlebz 08-29-2007 01:11 PM

It is my understanding that the air only serves to disrupt the surface of the water, where the bubbles break at the top of the aquarium. this disruption increases the surface area of the water which allows more oxygen transfer into the water :)

im sure im atleast a little off base but thats the rough idea :) Im sure Ron, Lupin, F4A or the like can offer a far more intelligent explanation!

coley 08-29-2007 05:25 PM

That's how I understand it also. I have air pumps in both my tanks because I like the way it looks and my fish like to play in the bubbles.

herefishy 08-29-2007 05:47 PM

The reason that air is run into the tanks is four-fold. (1.) To provide surface agitation and enhace the CO2-O2 Transfer. (2.) Many filtration system use air to provide water flow to make the system work. Examples are ugf's (undergravel filters), sponge filters, box filters, and others. (3.) To provide current in the tank. (4.) Some use the bubbles for ornamentation, it just plain looks nice.

mHeinitz57 08-29-2007 07:18 PM

an air bubble has a surface area itself and therefore saturates oxygen into the water as it rises. It will cause some surface agitation but it does so much more than that. In any fish tank there will be a greater ammount of oxygen at the top of the tank and the disolved oxygen (DO) decreases the deeper into the tank you go. This is why shallow tanks do not need aeration as much. A deeper tank should have aeration do that oxygen will dissolve in the deeper portions of the tank more. ALso note that an airstone is meant to break up air instead of releasing large bubbles. This is to allow a greater surface area of bubbles and more oxygen absorbtion into the tank. So it does a lot more than just disturb the surface and make the tank look fun. :-)

Unrulyevil 08-31-2007 10:34 AM

and I will answer portion of my question myself :)

most importantly you need air in your aquarium to support your natural cycle meaning bacteria that thrives in your gravel and feeds on ammonia in your tank.

thanks people!

caferacermike 08-31-2007 12:53 PM

I absolutely hate bubbles in my tanks. The only bubbles I see rising from the floor of a lake are hazardous methane bubbles. I prefer using sumps to agitate the water creating the exchange and huge, I mean huge, power heads to disrupt the flow of water all over the tank.

herefishy 08-31-2007 02:25 PM

Using powerheads with massive gph is ok in some circumstances. I can just see my dwarf cichlids with teir faces smashed against the glass because of heavy currents. lol

jones57742 08-31-2007 02:29 PM


Do you have a reference which you could direct me with respect to your post?


mHeinitz57 08-31-2007 03:08 PM


Originally Posted by jones57742

Do you have a reference which you could direct me with respect to your post?


Nope, being a college student you learn not to reference just anything you find online but only scholarly articles/citations. With respect to aquariums unfortunately there aren't a lot of scholarly publications. That being said I still do research online and in magazines but much of my information just comes from basic understanding of physics, chemistry and fish care. With respect to my statement that oxygen from bubbles will directly dissolve into water I'll direct you to a similar invention in the fish industry...the CO2 injection system. These systems use a slower rate of bubble and often use a track that the bubble travels along for awhile before being released to the surface. The purpose of this is not to aggitate the surface but to allow CO2 to dissolve into the water from the bubble directly. You have to understand that the surface of your tank is just a big surface of a bubble (that bubble being the outside world). If you agree that oxygen gets dissolved there then you must agree oxygen gets dissolved from a bubble at greater depths. I personally use live plants alone as my oxygen source and i'm pretty sure they don't agitate the surface (unless they are partyin while i'm in bed, lol).

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