Aquarium Air Pumps: Fish Tank Air Stones | PetSmart
4cm Air Bubble Stone Aerator for Aquarium Fish Tank Pump Hydroponic Oxygen Plate
: Do I need an air pump in my oscar tank? I have a filter running 24 hours a day but would an air pump help the fish? Do the bubbles create oxygen for the fish? I need some help here. I am new to having fish in aquariums. Thanks for your help.
*Awarded Answer : Adding an air pump to any fish aquarium really helps in a lot of ways. It gets a lot more complicated than just “the bubbles add oxygen”.. What actually happens is the bubbles floating to the surface create heavy surface agitation which creates most of the oxygen in the water. Second, if you put a sponge filter on the end of the air tube it works as ANOTHER filter. This is HUGE because your adding oxygen to the water with the bubbles and the sponge is also a great added filtration medium. I add air pumps to all my tanks. Here is a for sale.
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: I have a fish aquarium with a bunch of smaller fish and a catfish. Does my Pleco need an air pump or air supply? Should I have a “bubbler” or aerator thing setup? I want my fish tank to do good. My fish died in the past and I want to do it right this time.Watch more How to Take Care of an Aquarium videos:
To decide if you need an air pump for your aquarium you want to look at the other pieces of filtration that you have and determine whether or not they are sufficiently providing oxygen for the aquarium.
I like air pumps on fresh water aquariums. They're great at supplementing oxygen into the water. Most fresh water filters don't do an adequate job at adding air or oxygen to the aquarium simply because they're cannister style or they're hang on and they just don't agitate the water enough to really push oxygen into the water. As your fish grow the oxygen demands are going to increase as the fish get bigger.
Also, when the water warms up in the summer the water has a lower capacity to hold oxygen, so an air pump is going to be very beneficial to add that extra air that's needed. Dissolved oxygen is very, very important to fish, to bacteria, and even to plants at night. Plants and algae need oxygen at night.
So air pumps are relatively inexpensive. They're pretty quiet nowadays. And I don't see any reason not to have one on a fresh water aquarium. Again, on salt water your filtration should be stout enough to not require the need for an air pump.
But, once you do go with an air pump, you want to make sure that it's installed properly. If you have your air pump located below the aquarium and the power goes out it's possible to create a back siphon of water through the aquarium line into the air pump, and it'll result in siphoning all the water from your aquarium onto the floor. You can avoid this by going with a very inexpensive two to three dollar check valve that will go inline on the air line from the pump to the air stone in the aquarium.
Other things to consider is the type of air stone. There's air stone that will produce fine bubbles and ones that will produce coarse bubbles. Depending on the needs of the aquarium fine bubbles will give you a little bit more surface area, and that's going to give you more oxygen. But sometimes they don't break up as easily and it'll result in water that looks a little bit cloudy.
So I like nice, thick, coarse bubbles, and four or six inch air stone works great. Put it behind a rock or a plant and it creates a very nice visual look to the tank while adding critical oxygen to the environment. And keep it on all the time. Keep it on 24/7.How do the bubbles increase the oxygen level in the water? When I was a beginner in fish keeping, I mistakenly believed that the oxygen in the small bubbles produced by the air stone could more or less be dissolved by the water before they reach the surface. This is all wrong. The oxygenation process in fact takes place when the bubbles burst at the water surface creating surface movement. The increased water surface movement can promote the gas exchange between the water and the atmosphere. This is the very reason why you may not even need an aquarium air pump if your filter system already creates enough water surface movements in your fish tank. It is also the very reason why it is not required to place the air stone at the bottom of the tank, because the distance between the air stone and the water surface does not matter at all. What matters is the bubble bursting at the surface.4. Aquariums use power filters Some aquariums use power filters. This type of filter creates a waterfall as the water run through it. If the waterfall is high enough to produce sufficient surface movement, it has achieved the same goal as the bubbles from an air pump. You may still use an air stone or two as you wish, for the purpose of making sure there is enough oxygen for the fish, and/or simple for decoration. Some people like to see bubbles in a fish tank.