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 can you make sure your fish is getting enough air? Most fish will show signs of oxygen deprivation, such as a tendency to rest at the bottom of their tanks, a lack appetite, or rapidly moving gills. Your fish might start to gasp for air near the surface of water. This is a sign that it is time to act!
First, you need to give the aquarium a thorough water change. This will instantly infuse it with fresh oxygen. If the fish start to swell, it is time to identify the reason for the lack of oxygen. The most common causes are high water temperatures and too many fish in a tank, certain medication or chemical treatments, and inadequate water surface agitation.
How can I increase the oxygen level in my fish tank?
The dissolved oxygen content can be measured directly using a water test kit and digital meter. A freshwater fish tank should have an oxygen content of 7 to 8ppm. This is what we discovered when we tested several setups to increase oxygen in our aquariums using a dissolved-oxygen meter.
The experiment was designed to increase dissolved oxygen levels in aquariums of different configurations.
Notable: The powerheads and circulation pumps were also tested but the exact results weren’t recorded. The venturi-type powerhead did not perform as well as the powerhead pointed towards the top of the tank that created surface agitation. Also tested was a circulation pump, which did not significantly improve oxygen content.
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.
– Buy tanks with a large surface area. When using only a sponge filter in the 40-gallon tank versus 55-gallon tank, the 40-gallon tank had much higher oxygen content. The 40-gallon breeder tank is larger than the 55 gallon tank. A long, shallow aquarium is better than a tall, narrow tank.
Keep floating plants from covering the water surface. The 55-gallon tank with a sponge filter had significantly lower oxygen levels than the experiment without floating plants. Live aquarium plants are a great way to provide additional oxygen for your fish. However, don’t let floating plants take over your entire tank because it limits the amount of gas exchange.
Too many floating plants can greatly reduce oxygen levels in your fish tank.
Increase surface activity with filtration and stones. Gas exchange is the process where carbon dioxide in water is replaced by more oxygen from the atmosphere. One of the best ways to do this is by adding at least one air source (like an air stone or sponge filter) to every aquarium, no matter what other filtration you’re using. Although you can get good surface agitation with other methods such as a hang on-back filter it will cause loud splashing noises from the water falling.
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 water and airline tubing to transport the air. A check valve will prevent water from leaking into the tubing.
How to attach an air pump in 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. From there, there are several types of attachments you can connect to the airline tubing inside the aquarium.
An water stone is small, weighted bubbler that makes very small bubbles in the drinking water. This simple accessory helps to gradually diffuse air into the tank and minimizes the amount of bubbling noise you’ll hear.
– A sponge filter uses air to provide mechanical and biological filtration. The sponge walls allow water to pass through the sponge walls and remove waste particles. Beneficial bacteria can also live in the sponge and help to convert waste compounds into safer products. A moving-bed filter provides the ideal environment for biological filtration. As the air flows through the chamber, oxygenated water is constantly churned. This greatly increases the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Add air to your aquarium by using an air filter, sponge filter, or moving-bed filter.
All of these methods for adding air to your tank encourage excellent surface agitation, oxygenation, and a calm environment for your fish.