Here’s how you can get sufficient oxygen into your aquarium
Your aquarium water absorbs oxygen through the water surface. The more movement on the water surface the larger it becomes and the more oxygen your water can absorb. The aquatic plants also help, at least during the day, to increase the oxygen content of your water. But with lots of aquatic plants the situation can reverse at night because plants consume oxygen also at night. That, of course, is also the case with algae!
Air pumps will help you to increase the oxygen level in the water quickly and easily. This partly happens due to rising air bubbles but more so through water being moved at the surface.
When medications are being used the use of Air pumps is often recommended when medications are being used, as the oxygen demands of the fish increase during this time.
How does an air pump work?
Aquatic plants and air pumps
If you want to supply your aquatic plants with carbon dioxide from a CO2 fertiliser system you should forego the air pump or just use it during the night. Plants also consume oxygen at night. That’s why oxygen deficiency can occur at night, when there are lots of plants in the aquarium. During the day your plants produce a lot of oxygen and your air pump would again expel quite a lot of CO2 through the movement on the water surface –a similar effect to shaking a bottle of cola, where CO2 also gets expelled.
If you are unsure whether the oxygen content in your aquarium is ideal, you can easily test it with the JBL PROAQUATEST O2 Oxygen . The lowest oxygen content always occurs in the morning. If the O2 content is OK in the morning (i.e. above 6 mg/l), it will not drop into critical ranges during the rest of the day and night.
Normally, the slight water surface movement of the filter outflow is enough to supply your aquarium with sufficient oxygen. However, there are situations in which additional aeration can be very useful:
- At high temperatures: the warmer the aquarium water, the less oxygen it can bind! If your water temperature moves towards 30 °C in summer, for example, you should consider cooling (JBL PROTEMP COOLER) and aeration! If the water surface in the aquarium should NOT or CANNOT be moved, it is essential to check the O2 content of the water. When using anti-algae agents and medications, vigorous aeration is often required in the instructions for use. If the aquarium is heavily planted, aeration should be carried out AT NIGHT, as plants consume oxygen in the dark.