Aquarium Aerator or Air Pump: What You Should Know

There are many reasons that reduce the oxygen content in aquarium water. If you don’t have a way to measure it, the best thing you can do is install an aerator or air pump.

Air pump or aerator It serves to ensure that there is no barrier in the aquarium that blocks the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.. That is, in fact, it provides oxygen to the aquarium water. If you have a lot of fish or plants in your aquarium, this can cause excessive amounts of CO2, which can endanger the lives of your pets.

What do air pumps or aerators do? release bubbles at the bottom of the aquarium either by using a diffuser stone, setting it under a substrate, or by using decorative elements such as volcanoes, geysers, chests, etc. Moreover, when these bubbles reach the surface, they cause gentle mixing, promoting gas exchange between water and air.

Aquarium plants cause increased oxygen consumptionAquarium plants cause increased oxygen consumption

Of course, all living things need oxygen, including fish. Plants consume oxygen at night, but other processes occur underwater that require dissolved oxygen. This happens thanks to bacteria, and they use oxygen to convert nitrogenous residues into less toxic substances, which means that Any decomposing element, be it food, feces, dead or detached leaves, causes increased oxygen consumption in the aquarium..

Although plants produce oxygen through photosynthesis, this only occurs during the day when there is light. It causes It is not easy to ensure that aquarium plants can produce enough oxygen. for all aquarium fish.

There are many aspects to take into account that can dangerously reduce the oxygen content in our aquarium, such as water characteristics, temperature or salt. That’s why, if you don’t have a way to measure dissolved oxygen in water, It is better to install an aerator in the aquarium..

Reasons to install an air pump or aerator

  • Increases oxygen levels : Prevents suffocation when there are many fish or when the aquarium filter is not working properly.
  • Help for medicinal fish : Some medications can reduce dissolved oxygen levels in water, which can cause hypoxia, so an aerator helps sick fish survive.
  • Decorative appearance : If it does not cause stress to your pets, it can be used as a decorative element in the aquarium.
  • Compensates for oxygen loss at high temperatures. : You can use the aerator in very hot times, when the temperature rises above 28 degrees and it becomes difficult for the fish to breathe.
The aerator compensates for the loss of oxygen at high temperatures.The aerator compensates for the loss of oxygen at high temperatures.

What is needed to install an aerator in an aquarium?

The most important thing is that Choose the right aerator according to the capacity of your aquarium.. If it is very long, it is best to install two small air pumps on each side of the aquarium instead of one large one. A deeper aquarium requires a more powerful air pump. However, remember that if you choose a very powerful one, the fish may become stressed and this will affect their behavior.

necessary materials The following are available for installation:

  • Aerator/Compressor.
  • Tube or pasta from 4 to 6mm.
  • Anti-return suction cup.
  • Scatter stones or animated decor.

How to safely install an aeration system?

  1. Choose the right model.
  2. We cut off a 20-centimeter section of pipe and connect it to the aerator; on the opposite side we connect a check valve.
  3. We connect the remaining part of the pipe to the opposite end of the check valve, and before cutting we measure how much pipe we need.
  4. The aerator/compressor is located outside the aquarium. Never inside.
  5. At the end of the connected pipe we will place a diffuser stone or animated decoration, which should be as low as possible in order to take full advantage of the air injection.
  6. For safety reasons, the system is turned off to check whether water is returning to the device or whether there is a leak.
The aerator is located outside the aquarium, not inside.The aerator is located outside the aquarium, not inside.

Aspects to consider

Where to place the aerator?

The aerator is connected to the mains and should always be located outside the aquarium. He never goes into the aquarium. for example a filter or heater. Preferably placed above the aquariumand if it should go lower, then it’s better the one closest to the edge of the aquarium since the further down the tube the air has to travel to reach the diffuser, the more force it will lose, we will get less air flow and the life of the pump will also be reduced.

Does it always have to be connected?

Just as you don’t have to have an aerator, you don’t have to always have one plugged in unless you want to use it as a decorative element because of the curtain of bubbles it creates. Although experts recommend having an aerator, it is especially necessary in two cases: In summer, when the temperature is above 28 degrees and when you have sick fish in the aquarium, so that they do not run out of air.

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