Air Stones: The Secret Weapon Every Aquarium Needs
Having enough oxygen in your aquarium is one of those things people often take for granted, but it’s so vital to your fish’s health. How do you ensure your fish are getting enough oxygen? The most obvious signs that your fish are suffering from oxygen deprivation include a lot of rest at the bottom, lack of appetite, and rapidly changing gills. The worst case scenario is for your fish to start gasping air at the surface, which indicates it’s probably time to take action.
Do a large water changing, which will immediately infuse your aquarium with fresh oxygen. If the fish immediately perk up, the second step is to determine why the aquarium was suffering from lack of oxygen. High water temperatures, too many fish, chemical treatments or medications, as well as insufficient water surface agitation are all common causes.
How do I Get More Oxygen in My Fish Tank?
You can directly measure the dissolved oxygen content using a water test kit or digital meter. A freshwater fish tank should have an oxygen content of 7 to 8ppm. This is what we found when we tested several setups to increase oxygen in our aquariums using a dissolved-oxygen meter.
This experiment was done to increase the dissolved oxygen in various aquarium setups.
Notable: The powerheads and circulation pumps were also tested but the exact results weren’t recorded. The venturi-type powerhead performed less well than the powerhead pointing towards the top of a tank that caused surface agitation. It was also tested with a circulation pump but did not improve the oxygen level.
We have seen that increased gas exchange at water surfaces has a positive effect upon oxygen content. Gas exchange in aquariums is the process in which carbon dioxide from the water (a waste product produced by your fish) exits into the air and new oxygen from the air is dissolved into the water. These are the three most effective ways to increase oxygenation within your aquarium.
Choose tanks that have a large surface area. The oxygen level in the 40-gallon container was higher than the 55-gallon. The reason for this is that the 40-gallon Breeder Tank has more surface area than a 55-gallon tank. A long, shallow aquarium is better than a tall, narrow tank.
Do not allow floating plants to cover the water surface. The experiment with floating plants produced significantly less oxygen than the one without them. Live aquarium plants are a great way to provide additional oxygen for your fish. However, it is important to not allow floating plants to dominate your entire tank as they can restrict gas exchange.
Too many floating plants can significantly reduce oxygen levels within your fish tank.
Increase surface movement with filtration or air stones. Effective gas exchange occurs when carbon dioxide in the water is converted to more oxygen in the atmosphere. You can achieve this by adding at least one source of air (such as an air stone or sponge filter to each aquarium), regardless of what other filtration is used. Other methods, such as a hang-on back filter, can be used to achieve surface agitation. However this will result in loud splashing from falling water.
How to Add Air to Your Aquarium
You can easily add an air source for your fish tank. All you need to do is use an air pump to inject air into the tank, airline tubing to transport the air, and a check-valve to stop water from leaking into the tubing.
How you attach an Air Pump to an Aquarium
These three components are located outside the aquarium. However, the last bit (on the left-hand) of the airline tubing enters the water. There are many attachments that can be connected to the aquarium’s airline tubing.
An weighted airstone makes small bubbles in your water. This simple accessory helps to slowly diffuse air into the tank and minimize the bubbling noise.
– A sponge filter uses air to provide mechanical and biological filtration. As water rises from the sponge’s bottom to the top, it is sucked into the sponge walls by water. This removes waste particles and cleans up the water. Beneficial bacteria can also live in the sponge and help to convert waste compounds into safer products. – A moving bed filter creates an optimal environment for biological filtration. As air travels through the chamber of swirling media granules, the constant churning of oxygenated water greatly enhances growth of beneficial bacteria.
Add air to your tank with an airstone, sponge, or moving filter.
All these methods of adding air to your fish tank promote excellent surface agitation and oxygenation of water, providing an ideal, stress-free environment for your fish to live in.