some very good points thereHow did ole school fish keepers ever succeed with notions of sunken pirate ships, bubbly treasure chests and plastic plants with wonderful air bubbles? They don’t exist anymore except when one remembers the ole times.
Now days the new school of fish keeping is introducing new ways to view fish keeping based on timely presumptions of science. This new school of fish keeping has introduced me to the concepts of aquascaping … re-creating a natural environment, the importance of monitoring water parameters for water quality and the nitrogen cycle.
I have read many posts about necessity of cycling aquariums and the importance of helpful bacteria that convert ammonia through processes into nitrate. The pillars of new school fish keeping also pointed me to the importance of a well planted aquarium including floating plants. It appears when there are enough live plants then one can become less concerned about the earlier dictates. In fact when enough plants are present in the aquarium they consume the ammonia so the cycling process and the nitrogen cycle become almost meaningless as will the necessity of checking water quality. The planted aquarium has saved us all; there isn’t even a need to worry about aeration of the water column.
Time honored notions like ph and temperature are still valued but the pleasing hum of the air pump and soft sounds of air bubbles aerating the water column is no longer desired. Aeration is not the way to achieve a balanced system. The current idea views aeration in a negative manner citing the loss of carbon dioxide that the plants need for photosynthesis. Besides there is more than enough oxygen in the water and it is continually being replenished.
Why should I think about oxygen and how oxygen is replenished when no one else appears to be concerned?
We all know that water is made up of two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule (H2O) and that there are two ways of adding oxygen to the water column.
It is common knowledge there is gaseous exchange that naturally occurs between water and oxygen where atmosphere interfaces with water, also it is common knowledge that aquatic plants create during photosynthesis waste by-product oxygen.
Some terms: When oxygen is added to the water column it is referred to as Dissolved Oxygen (DO). The process of oxygen dissolving in water is sometimes thought of as diffusion. The amount of dissolved oxygen in the water column is known as saturation.
Since water must follow natural process, it doesn’t matter if the water is in the form of river, lake or water column in my aquarium solutes always finds a state of balance. What this means is any concentration will attempt to move toward areas of less concentration bringing balance to the solute. This process also applies to how oxygen is replenished at the surface of the water column. One way to think about this is oxygen molecules are constantly entering and leaving the water surface at all times. The natural attraction of oxygen molecule to water is determined by the DO saturation. This means that water with low dissolved oxygen saturation is more attractive to oxygen molecule than water with high dissolved oxygen saturation. Oxygen’s affinity towards water is also defined by the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere in contact with the water column. The difference between atmosphere concentration of oxygen and saturation levels of dissolved oxygen determines the rate oxygen will diffuse into the water column.
There are other considerations other than oxygen concentration that contribute to saturation levels of water. One of these factors is the surface area of water that is in contact with the atmosphere and ambient temperature.
Cool waters have greater levels of DO saturation than warm water.
There are many ways to talk about oxygen diffusion into water and we all can agree that
a sufficient level of dissolved oxygen is the most fundamental requirement of all aerobic aquatic organisms, and maintaining a high dissolved oxygen level is an essential of fish-keeping.
Note: I am using the notion of osmosis to discuss how oxygen enters the water column, there is not any real science that supports the way osmosis model is used in this methodology.
but we do have to remember that in the night plants consume oxygen and there for leaving an accumulation in carbon dioxide for the plants to eat as the light returns in the morning
meaning that aeration is very good if used right and at a very slow rate
now brain storming here a bit but what if
we had a timer on our air pump's and having no air for two hours before light to magnify this carbon dioxide build up
this must be a very stable setup and also maybe even have it off for a few hours in the day too