Proper Aquarium Aeration-The Complete Guide - PetsKeepingWorld (2023)

Learn the Basics of Fish tank Aeration

Aquarium Aeration is one of the most important things that are left without taking much concern. But, Expert fish keepers and fish breeders know it is important to aerate your pet fish tank. Still, people make few mistakes which lead to improper aeration inside the tank.

How to Aerate your fish tank properly?

Fish tanks can be aerated by various methods like using a Tank Filter, Using spray Bars and Water Filters, and by using plants and organic matter inside the tank. But, the easiest way to aerate the tank is by using a high-quality fish tank pump or tank filter. Proper care must be taken to prevent abnormal tank aeration.

It is obvious that all fishes breathe oxygen inside the fish tank. Humans breathe the atmospheric oxygen. Fishes breathe the dissolved oxygen in water. So, when fishes encounter less dissolved oxygen inside water, it would cause stress. Prolonged oxygen deficiency affects the fish’s health. It may even cause death if not taken proper steps.

Fishes usually live in natural habitats like Oceans, Lakes, Ponds, Rivers, and few other natural water bodies, usually there would be common water movement in these water bodies naturally.

These movements cause the atmospheric air to get dissolved inside the water. So, the dissolved oxygen inside water naturally gets recharged. But inside man-made fish tanks there are no free water movements. This makes natural oxygenation difficult.

But there are several ways to aerate your tank properly. In this blog, we will give a complete guide on aerating your tank from scratch.

So, Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy.

Factors Affecting Tank Aeration

Tank Dimensions

The surface area of the tank is the measure of water surface that comes in contact with the atmospheric air. When the surface area is bigger, tanks will get more exposure to air for mixing. This is the cause if you have larger tanks.When tanks are smaller, surface area decreases. This affects the efficiency of oxygen dissolving inside the water. So, smaller tanks require more care when it comes to aeration than larger aquariums.Dimensions of the fish tank also affect its aeration capacity. When tanks are in regular shape with rectangular dimensions, they can breathe more than oval and unconventional-shaped tanks.This is the reason for larger aquariums choosing rectangular tanks over oval or other shapes. Rectangle has the largest surface area at the top when compared to other shapes. This makes air exchange much easier.The height of the tank also plays a role. When tanks are much deeper, air cannot penetrate the deepest parts of the tank. This causes abnormal aeration throughout the tank. This is the reason that causes fishes to swim in the upper parts of tanks if there are no extra aeration measures taken.A larger 20-gallon tank with lesser height can be more aerated than taller tanks. This is because of the surface area. So, always prefer to buy and maintain tanks with smaller to medium heights and larger surface area.It is also better to always go for rectangular tanks than unconventionally shaped hexagon or triangle aquariums.

Room Temperature

According to physics; “As the temperature increases, dissolved oxygen decreases”. This is because of the increased evaporation rate. It is always necessary to keep the tank in cooler places. It is also very important to maintain proper temperature inside the tank.Temperature fluctuation inside the tank will cause stress to the fishes. Room temperature plays a huge role in your tank aeration routine and techniques. So, it is better to maintain an optimal temperature of around 80° F (26.6°C). You can use a heater if the surrounding room temperature is relatively cooler

Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide Exchange

Fishes breathe just like humans. They breathe in Oxygen and give out Carbon Dioxide. The Carbon Dioxide given out is exchanged to the outer surface and in return, Oxygen is taken in the tank water. This would happen only if the water surface is under constant movement like in natural water bodies.This constant movement on the upper part of the water tank breaks the surface tension of the water surface. This would release Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere. This causes a change in pressure. This change in pressure is compensated by the Oxygen entering inside the water.So, it is necessary to break the water tension for oxygen exchange to happen.All these factors vary differently on different water bodies like the Ocean, Ponds, lakes, and rivers. The fishes living in these would have adapted to the water nature. But tanks are made by humans.These conditions will be completely new for these fishes. So, water conditions must be altered by using certain types of machinery and adapting certain methods, this will allow complete aeration throughout the tank.

How To Properly Aerate The Aquarium

Aquariums are man-made, so machinery must be used to aerate the tanks properly. Some of the aeration devices to aerate the tank properly are

Fish Tank Filters

Fish tank filters are one of the basic components to have for any fish keepers. There are many types of fish tank filters in the market. But the most popular type is the Hang on Back type fish tank filters.Fish tank filters usually work by adding drops of water over the tank surfaces. This would cause surface tension disturbance. When the surface tension is broken, it allows the co2 to dissipate into the atmosphere and oxygen to dissolve inside the tank.Upper part of fish tanks are usually highly aerated than the lower parts. Fish tank filters also cause the water to move around the aerated air throughout the tank. This ensures the bottom part also gets aerated properly like the upper part.Filters also help to maintain a clean tank. So, it is highly necessary to have a fish tank filter in your aquarium.Fish tank filters will get troublesome at times. But it can be solved easily. If you have any problem with you Fish tank filter visithow to repair your tank filter.

Advantages of Fish tank filter

  • The main reason to use a fish tank filter is to filter the water but it also helps in aeration by increasing the oxygen level.
  • This tank filter helps in increasing the circulation of the tank and so the surface area.
  • As this filter cleans the water by getting water from one and releasing clean water at another side so, it makes water at the bottom reach the top of the container.
  • It also creates dead spots by considering the placement of your fish tank filter.

Air Stones

They are a type of decoration used to aerate the tank. Air Stones are usually some bigger stones with holes drilled in. These stones will be connected to air tubes and air pumps. When air is passed through these holed stones, it will cause bubbles to rise from the tank bottom to the top.This will cause the atmospheric oxygen to get dissolved inside the tank water. Bubbles don’t directly carry oxygen and mix inside the tank. But, it will rise above and break the water surface, breaking the surface tension. This will improve dissolved oxygen.Usually, these rocks are connected to air pumps that are much noisier. So, they are not popular among the mainstream fish keepers. But still, some enthusiasts reduce the noise by using sponges and other sound damping materials.

Advantages of air stones

  • The main advantage of air stone is it can be installed in any tanks neglecting the size.
  • As it can be installed in any sized tank their flow rates can also be adjusted according to tank size.
  • These Air Stones are highly help us in surface agitation and maintaining the flow of water.

Fish Tank Power Heads

Power heads are used to distribute water throughout the fish tank. It mixes the air from outer atmosphere to the water inside the tank. Power heads are also used to create bubbles. These bubbles will make oxygen exchange much easier.Power heads are usually placed in larger tanks where a filter can’t handle the complete water flow of the tank. Power heads take care of the dead spots where the filters and pump would become inefficient.But medium-sized tanks and smaller tanks are suffice with filters and pump itself. Adding power heads will cause stronger streams in smaller and medium-sized aquariums. This would cause stress among the inmates.For smaller and medium-sized tanks, filters with adjustable flow would do their job.

Advantages of power heads

  • These power heads could be a great option in helping our aeration of our tank.
  • With the help of power heads you can also have control over dead spots in your fish tank.
  • Totally power header will have a great effect on aeration of your fish tank.

Aerating Decorations

Decorations added with aeration can become multi-utility tank products. They will be both aerating the tank and making the tank more visually appealing. There are many decoration products in the market that are used for tank aeration.A treasure chest that opens and closes at times is our all-time favorite. It looks like a treasure and also lets bubbles rise inside the tank in regular time periods. Pirate ships, Fake rocks, and fake shells would be a great addition to your tank.They work just like the air stones by releasing bubbles and breaking the surface tension.

Advantages of Aerating decorations

  • The main advantage is it optimizes aeration and at the same time it also enhances the visual basis.
  • Of course, it increases the aeration of the fish tank.
  • Adding other means may change the natural look of the tank but this one is totally different from others by maintaining the natural look.

Live Plants and Organic matter

Plants are one of the major sources for improving dissolved oxygen in natural water bodies. We can also adapt this by adding live plants and planktons inside the tank. These plants release oxygen inside the water and improve overall dissolved oxygen inside the tank.Plants take in the Carbon Dioxide released by these fishes and give out oxygen. So it is a win-win situation for both. Adding plants will also improve the overall aesthetics of your tank due to its greenery and liveliness.Plants will also restrict harsh water flow by acting as a flow barrier. This will come in handy if you are handling multiple types of fish that require different wafer flow inside the tank.Plants will become shady places and hideouts for fishes that are shy. Omnivorous fishes feed on plants and organic matter.So, we highly recommend having some live plants in the tank. This will serve and fulfill multiple purposes inside the tank.

Final words for fish keepers

Fish keeping is a journey which requires more care than growing other pets. So, small factors like aeration, lighting and many such must be taken care of. This will make your fishes live stress free and will bring out the best of your breed.Fishes will struggle to breathe when adequate air is not available for breathing. This will cause suffocation and fish will be stressed. Check this blog to find if your fish is struggling to breathe and what to do if your fish is suffocating.Uses one of the methods explained to improve your fish tank aeration efficiency. Mixing them and adding more will make your work much easier.We always welcome your suggestions. Comment us down below your favorite fish tank aeration technique. Also, mention things that are to be changed and improved.If you liked this post do share it with your friends and family. Cause sharing is caring.See ya! Until then, keep growing your aquarium

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Tell If Your Fish Tank Is Having Enough Dissolved Oxygen?

If there is not enough oxygen inside the tank, the fish will be gasping to breathe. Gills will be seen swollen and moving up and down rapidly. Mucus and spots can also be seen over the gills.The fishes will be moving towards the top part of the tank as it is the area which is more aerated than the rest of the tank. If your fish are constantly swimming at the top part of your tank, it indicates oxygen deficiency inside the tank.This can be overcome by adding a filter or a flow adjustable water pump inside the tank.

How to Tell if You Have Too Much Circulation?

If your fishes struggle to swim in the tank, it shows that the tank flow is higher than required. Different fishes require different flow rates to maintain.Get to know what type of flow is enjoyed by your fish and apply accordingly. Fishes would prefer either a strong or medium or low flow. Some fishes like to be around still water.Buying an adjustable flow filter will make your work much easier. Add decoration and plants to eliminate excess flow inside the tank.

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