Purpose of the water pump in the aquarium
One of the most important devices that ensure the full functioning of the aquarium, is a water pump. What is it for? The inhabitants of the aquarium, although they live in water, nevertheless need oxygen. Oxygen is necessary for them as well as to all live inhabitants of our planet for breath. Of course, water is saturated with oxygen due to the vital activity of plants and natural exchange with the air environment. But very often, the surface of the water that the aquarium has and the number of plants that grow in the aquarium is not enough to fully saturate the water with oxygen. In this case, you have to use additional devices that will saturate the water with oxygen. This problem is solved by the water pump. He presses air from a room into an aquarium.
To effectively saturate the water with oxygen, the air is broken into small bubbles using a diffuser. Passing through the water column, the bubbles saturate the water with oxygen. Thus aeration of aquarium water occurs. The efficiency of water saturation with oxygen depends on the area of contact of air bubbles with water. The total area of contact between a plurality of bubbles is larger than the contact area of one bubble, equal in volume to this set. That is why the diffuser is used. From this we can conclude that the smaller the air bubbles, the better. Firstly, as we said, the contact area with water increases, and secondly, small bubbles rise to the top longer, which makes it more efficient to saturate the water with oxygen.
And so, water aeration is the main function of a water pump. But by performing this function, two more tasks are simultaneously solved, which are necessary for the functioning of the aquarium. First, it is the breaking of the bacterial and dust film that forms on the surface of the water. Even if the aquarium is closed with a lid, these films form on the surface of the water. Their breaking also contributes to the saturation of water with oxygen. And, secondly, it is mixing of different thermal layers in the aquarium, and equalizing the overall temperature in the aquarium, which is also very important. Warm water layers form around the heater and, when aerated, are mixed with colder water.
The required capacity of the water pump depending on the volume of the aquarium
The capacity of the installed water pump depends on the volume of the aquarium. The dependence is directly proportional – the larger the aquarium, the greater the performance of the water pump. The optimal performance of a water pump is 0.5-0.7 liters of air per hour per liter of water. But, this is the bottom bracket. As a rule, it is recommended to purchase high capacity water pumps. Why? For example, you decide to install a second nebulizer in the aquarium. This, as you understand, requires additional power from the water pump and additional capacity. More powerful water pumps need to be bought in those cases if the aquarium is high. Here the water pump will need to overcome the water pressure. In addition, the power of the water pump also depends on the diffuser. The smaller the holes, the greater the pressure necessary to create a water pump.
As a diffuser air can act as natural elements, and industrial. The natural elements can be small stones or a porous stone, under which a perforated hose from a water pump is laid. Industrial lenses, which used to be watering cans from the shower, are now made in the form of marine mollusks or other inhabitants of the aquarium, and are not in conflict with the design of the aquarium.
As we said earlier, pay attention to the bubbles emitted through the diffuser. It is better to take the lens that provides them with the smallest size.
Disadvantages of water pumps
The main drawback of a water pump is noise. No matter how the manufacturers struggle for noiselessness, they have so far failed to win this fight. Yes, it was possible to reduce the performance of this parameter to 25-30 dB, but it is all the same, quite a lot. As a rule, aquariums are installed either in the bedroom or in the nursery, and since the water pump sometimes works around the clock, its noise in the silence of the night is very noticeable. The craftsmen are hiding water pumps in self-made soundproof boxes, which is a good way out of this situation.
The second drawback is the work of electricity. And how do you know electricity and water are incompatible concepts. Therefore, when installing and operating a water pump, it is necessary to exercise elementary caution.
Water pump care, preventive maintenance
To work flawlessly, a water pump needs care. It consists in the following:
– regular replacement of air filters (if they are available at its entrance);
– control and replacement of rubber membranes (often because of the rupture of the membrane accounts for the entire water pump, as a repair kit is very difficult to find for a particular model);
– regular cleaning of diffusers (pull out and rinse in clean water, thereby reducing the resistance of the diffuser);
– monitoring the condition of air hoses, and replacing them if necessary.
Alternative to the water pump in an aquarium
As an alternative to the water pump, an oxidizer can be offered. It is extremely simple in design and operation of the device. It does not require the supply of electricity or the installation of batteries, and it is absolutely silent because only chemical reactions occur in it. The principle of operation of the oxidizer is the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water (H2O) and active oxygen (O), under the action of a catalyst. As a catalyst, there are metals that, when oxidized, take a part of the active oxygen, and the excess oxygen is released into the water.
The principle of operation of the oxidizer
In order to put the oxidizer into operation, it is necessary to fill it with 3% or 6% hydrogen peroxide, close the perforated cover, put the catalyst inside the peroxide can, and lower it to the bottom of the aquarium.
As a result, the catalyst will interact with peroxide, oxygen will begin to rise to the top of the can, creating an overpressure. Under the action of this pressure, the peroxide will be forced out through the perforated bottom cap. Here, she also under the action of the catalyst, in a stand, will disintegrate into water and oxygen.
For a one-pound aquarium, an oxidizer of 8.5 cm in diameter and 8.5 cm in height is sufficient. The oxidizer lasts 3-4 weeks, after which it is necessary to refill it with hydrogen peroxide. Catalysts have a much longer service life.
To increase the intensity of oxygen evolution, it is necessary either to increase the number of catalysts, or to fill in more saturated hydrogen peroxide. For example, if, instead of 3% peroxide, pour 30%, then the amount of oxygen released will increase 100 times.
Be careful with hydrogen peroxide, as it is a strong oxidant, especially concentrated. In direct contact with the skin, it does not matter whether your fish or fish will burn.
Burns from skin contact with 30 percent hydrogen peroxide.
Some not experienced aquarists recommend adding peroxide to the aquarium, such as to increase its oxygen concentration. In fact, without a catalyst, peroxide will be an oxidizing agent, as a result of reactions with it, oxygen will not be released. The example above is a chemical burn, the oxidation of skin. Do not allow hydrogen peroxide to enter the tank without directly interacting with the catalyst, as in this case, there will be no benefit from it.
battery powered mobile aquarium pump
So, besides the alternative to use the oxidizer for a mobile aquarium, you can use a water-powered pump. Yes, there are those. Their pros and cons are obvious. The advantages include mobility, due to autonomous power sources, safety, when compared with the same oxidizer. Cons as always the continuation of the merits, namely: low power, replacement of autonomous power sources.
In any case, battery-powered water pumps are in some cases indispensable helpers for your aquarium dwellers. You yourself are clearly aware of these cases. For example, when carrying, transporting fish. With a long power outage, the battery-powered water pump can be used as an emergency option, instead of the main water pump in the aquarium. The price of such a water pump is from 10 and up. Not so expensive for the alternative.