In a normally planted aquarium with active filtering, the water surface movement and oxygen production from the photosynthesis of the aquatic plants is sufficient and an additional oxygen supply is not generally needed.
However, exceptional situations or demands may arise that require an additional active oxygen supply.
Oxygen consuming situations
This includes the following topics:
- Use of medications: The use of many medications requires additional aeration in the aquarium. Please refer to your product instructions for this. A strong water surface movement through the filter or a venturi nozzle may not be sufficient.
- Use of anti-algae agents: Since the death of the algae creates enormous oxygen consumption, an active aeration with a diaphragm pump must be carried out during an anti-algae treatment. A strong water surface movement through the filter or a venturi nozzle is not sufficient for this.
- Increased nitrite levels: Especially in garden ponds there are many anaerobic (oxygen-poor/oxygen-free) zones. If the nitrite levels are increased, the additional installation of a diaphragm pump at the bottom can help the bacteria with their break down process. In the aquarium there is usually enough oxygen available, so that a diaphragm pump results in only a small increase in value.
- Strong fish stock: Overcrowded aquariums with a lot of fish have a high oxygen consumption. An additional ventilation and a strong filtering are essential.
- Plant-free aquariums: Aquariums without aquatic plants only receive oxygen via gas exchange at the water surface. Additional aeration is recommended.
- Dutch planted aquariums and algae blooms: Very heavily planted aquariums produce a large amount of oxygen during the day. At night or early in the morning the oxygen content often drops to a minimum. This can be dangerous for fish. This is why active aeration is necessary, especially during the night.
- Decoration: Many decoration elements for aquariums allow the connection of a diaphragm pump. This ensures not only an active oxygen supply, but also beautiful "bubbling effects".
- Surface movement: If the flow of the filter is very low, perhaps because your fish like it that way, and consequently the water surface is not being moved much, the gas exchange may be obstructed. Sometimes a surface scum forms. Without the friction of the media water and air against each other, hardly any oxygen reaches the aquarium. In this case, active aeration is recommended.
- Fish transport and storage: During the redesign of the aquarium, where the fish have to be temporarily placed in a tub or a large bucket, or while transporting the fish home from the dealer over a period of more than 2 hours, an active aeration is advisable. Specialist dealers fill the fish transport bag with pure oxygen and thus increase the possible transport time without harming the fish. This is not possible with a tub. Take care not to pack the fish too tightly together and to change the water regularly if necessary. Battery-powered air pumps can also be used as an alternative. If you have a caravan or a mobile battery, you can also use these technical devices in transit. You can also use battery-powered air pumps in the event of a power failure, as this results in similar conditions. Failing this a regular water change will help.
Can you think of any other application solutions we should mention here?
We really want to stress that you don’t need to use chemically generated oxygen in any of these cases. You can simply use the air we breath. With Air pumps like the JBL ProSilent a200 , you could simply increase the oxygen content in your water using chemicals for a quick solution. Why are we emphasizing this? In the past, for some of the special cases mentioned above, so-called oxygen tablets such as the JBL OxyTabs (1 tablet per 10 l) were added to the water and ensured a rapid increase in the oxygen content of the water for a maximum of 8 hours. Often the tablet was mistakenly regarded as a substitute for the water aeration, which is not the case.
Since these tablets were often used for the transport of fish, which is contentious from an animal transport law point of view, we decided to discontinue the article because there are enough other solutions and the welfare of fish is of huge importance to us.