Want to Set Up an Air Pump in Your Fish Tank? Here’s Everything You Need To Know
We all love to see effervesce in our fish tanks. An air pump in your fish tank is the primary equipment used to create these lovely bubbles. But do you know that it has a much more significant purpose?
The air pump is the mechanical equipment that is used to drive air into the aquarium by producing air bubbles. This device sustains the oxygen level in the water and accelerates gas exchange between water and the atmosphere. These are widely used with aquarium filters, decorations, and other air-driven devices. But, is it really necessary to use air pumps in the fish tank? And if this is so, how to setup an air pump in a fish tank? How long should you run an air pump in a fish tank? Where do we need to place it? Before answering all these questions let us know in depth what a fish tank air pump actually is and how it works.
Why Do We Need To Use Air Pump In A Fish Tank?
Many of us believe that the sole purpose of an air pump is to produce bubbles stirring to the top that pleases our eyes. But it’s actual purpose is more complex than this. Just like other aquatic creatures, fishes require oxygen dissolved in water to breathe. They absorb oxygen through their gills and simultaneously release carbon dioxide. But as aquariums are much smaller than the water bodies in which fishes naturally live, it is highly possible that the amount of oxygen in the fish tank is not sufficient. Due to this, the fish will be stress. The worst-case scenario is your pet fish may even die.
To prevent the fish from dying due to insufficient oxygen, we need to increase the level of dissolved O2 in water. This can be done by speeding up the gas exchange between water and the atmosphere, and that is exactly what an air pump or fish tank aerator does. Hence, we need more bubbles in the fish tank’s water.
How Does An Air Pump Work?
Installing an aquarium air pump alone is not enough. We need the correct equipment first. It is used along with many ornamental devices such as an air stone, air tubing, sponge filter, and moving bed filter. Air pumps produce a lot of noise while they operate. Therefore, we need to use it in conjunction with air stone that creates smaller bubbles and decreases the noise levels significantly. Airstone also adds air to the bottom of the fish tank. The aerator gets air via a little pipeline called tubing which is pushed into a hollow cavity inside the sponge filter. This gives rise to bubbles from inside of the sponge, which passes through the stone. This process of water suction not only circulates the air flow throughout the aquarium but also collects unnecessary debris and gives good bacteria a place to grow.
Where Do We Need To Place The Air Pump In Our Fish Tank?
One of the most important things to remember while positioning the air pump is that it should be placed near the fish tank, but not too close. This is because the air pump is a kind of electrical device which is not waterproof. We should be highly careful with not letting it get wet, because when this happens it will ruin the pump, as well as make all the water spill right out of the aquarium. The air pump is placed higher than the aquarium but not directly above it. Also consider this possibility while placing it this way, if by any chance it falls into the tank, make sure it reaches an electric outlet first. Outside the aquarium, right beside it is a very suitable position for its placement.
Can You Run Your Aerator 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week?
It is quite easy to use an air pump continuously without any trouble. Although, you should be mindful of how these pumps interact with the live plants in your fish tank. Plants take in carbon dioxide during the day and release oxygen. What happens at night is its exact reverse. This implies that you should avoid running your air pump during the day if your water has plenty of oxygen but not enough carbon dioxide. Similarly, if your tank has too much CO2 every morning, then you should let it run overnight. Some people also question if fishes can sleep with the air pump on. So, the answer to this is fishing don’t actually sleep. They rest though. As pumps are installed with air stones, the noise disturbance is reduced which makes it unproblematic for fishes to rest. But you should be careful regarding the combination of air stone and sponge filter. Any combination that creates too much flow in the tank is harmful to the fishes.
How To Setup A Fish Tank Air Pump?
- Firstly, you need to find an appropriate location for the air pump. As mentioned above, you are well aware of where you should place it and where you should not. Trim the airline tubing to the proper length or size, so it is long enough for connecting the air pump to the aquarium device inside the aquarium.
- Then connect the air tubing to the air stone. Always remember that the air stone needs to be placed under the water inside the fish tank.
- For the sake of safety, don’t forget to add a check valve. Place the check valve accordingly, at a position where it connects the air tubing perfectly to the aquarium device, without being submerged in the water. The check valve has two purposes. Firstly, it prevents water leakage through air tubing. Secondly, it allows air to flow through while preventing the water to go back in the air pump if there is a power outage.
- Lastly, create a drip loop with the power cable of the air pump, and then plug it in. Give it a few seconds, and you will see beautiful air bubbles coming from your aquarium device. These bubbles will rise to the water surface, they burst and create the required surface movement to enhance the exchange of gases.
- Remember, if your sponge filter is air-powered you don’t need to buy a separate set of air stones. If it isn’t, then go on and buy both, air stone and sponge filter.
Don’t Let Your Fish Suffer
A fish tank is a constricted closed space that require an air pump for the survival of fishes. The reason many people use them is that technology has proved to be greatly beneficial and necessary for the regulation of an appropriate gentle flow. It is also very economical and highly useful when you run many aquariums.
Hence it is not wrong to say that the disadvantages of air pump products are negligible, and the advantages are many. We know you want everything perfect while nurturing your pet fishes. So don’t forget to install your aquariums with air pumps, and take care of their breaths.