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. In a worst-case scenario, your fish may start gasping for air at the surface of the water, which means it’s definitely time to take action!
First, you need to give the aquarium a thorough water change. This will instantly infuse it with fresh oxygen. The second step is to check if the fish seem to be responding immediately. 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 do I Get More Oxygen in My Fish Tank?
A water test kit, or digital meter, can be used to measure the dissolved oxygen. Ideally, the oxygen content in a freshwater fish tank should be around 7 to 8 ppm (or mg/L). We ran several experiments with a dissolved oxygen monitor to determine the best setup for increasing oxygen levels in aquariums. Here’s what we found:
The experiment results for increasing dissolved oxygen in different aquarium setups
Note: Both circulation pumps and powerheads were tested. However, the exact results of these tests were not recorded. The venturi-type powerhead performed less well than the powerhead pointing towards the top of a tank, which caused surface agitation. A circulation pump was also tested, but it did not improve the oxygen content significantly.
Our experiments have shown that an increase in gas exchange at the water surface can have a positive effect on oxygen content. Gas exchange is the process by which carbon dioxide (a waste product from your fish) is expelled into the atmosphere and is dissolved in the water. Given this information, here are three proven ways to increase oxygenation in your aquarium:
Get tanks with a larger surface area. The 40-gallon tank has a higher oxygen content than the 55 gallon tank. This is because the 40-gallon breeding tank has more surface area than the 55-gallon tank. An aquarium that is long and shallow is preferable to one that is tall and narrow.
– Don’t let floating plants cover the water surface. When using a sponge filter in the 55-gallon tank, the experiment with floating plants had significantly less oxygen compared to the experiment without them. Live aquarium plants are a great way to provide additional oxygen for your fish. But, floating plants shouldn’t take over your whole tank as it can limit gas exchange.
Too Many Floating Plants can drastically reduce the oxygen level in your fish tank.
Improve surface agitation using filtration and airstones. This is where carbon dioxide is exchanged for more oxygen in the air. 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. There are many attachments that can be connected to the aquarium’s airline tubing.
An water stone is small, weighted bubbler that makes very small bubbles in the drinking water. This accessory is simple and helps to diffuse the air into your tank, reducing the volume of bubbling sound.
– 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 likes to live in sponges, which helps to transform waste compounds into safer byproducts. A moving beds filter provides a perfect environment for biological filtering. 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 aquarium by using an air filter, sponge filter, or moving-bed 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.