The life of fish and other aquatic organisms in water is maintained by the oxygen dissolved in it. In order for the oxygen concentration to be optimal in all layers of the water column, it requires “mixing”. In the natural environment, a similar effect is achieved due to natural underwater currents, which are absent in the aquarium.
4 signs that your fish need a water pump
If it is impossible to create a comfortable environment for fish without a filter and the right soil, then without a water pump they can safely exist under certain conditions. However, in some cases it is critically necessary. Whether you need a device or not, it affects you specifically:
- The ratio of the volume of the aquarium and fish population. So, in a 200-liter aquarium, three goldfish can live without a water pump, but additional aeration is needed in the 50-liter tank. It affects not only the number of fish, but also their appearance, so cichlids are demanding of conditions, and with a large number of them, the water pump becomes mandatory.
- Surface current and area of its distribution. Surface flow can be created by an internal filter, so that water will be saturated with oxygen. The stronger this current and the larger the area of its distribution, the less likely it is that you will need additional equipment.
- Water temperature. The lower the temperature, the higher the oxygen content and the better its solubility. If you have tropical fish, the content of which requires maintaining the temperature above 28-30 degrees, a water pump is necessary.
- Vegetation. Any plants, especially fast-growing, produce oxygen. However, they do this in the presence of light, that is, in densely populated aquariums with vegetation, the air pump must be turned on, but only at night.
These are the main criteria of whether you should immediately buy a water pump. Suppose you did not do this, but worried that the fish lacked oxygen. Watch them. If the fish behave unnaturally, they move from the lower layers of the water to the top and even try to swallow air from the surface, this is a sure sign of the onset of hypoxia (oxygen starvation).
To apply the rules described above in practice, let us model the situation in an aquarium of 60 liters:
- Conditions: 2 not too demanding in the conditions of the fish, for example, gold, a good internal filter with exhaust over the surface, installed closer to the upper edge, the water temperature is up to 25 degrees. no water pump required.
- Conditions: the same fish and filter, but the temperature is from 25 and above – the water pump is obligatory.
- Conditions: a good filter, temperature up to 25, but overpopulation of fish (not 2, but 3 or even 4 goldfish) or cichlids or crayfish added to the fish – a water pump is obligatory.
- Conditions: the same fish, temperature up to 25, but the filter is weak or installed close to the bottom – a water pump is optional, but desirable.
- Conditions: a weak or near-bottom filter, temperature up to 25, but fish are either laconic or intestinal-type, for example, soma. no water pump required.
These are optimal calculations, if you doubt the need for equipment, consult your aquarist for advice.
Note! If your aquarium is without a cap, with “lush” vegetation and optimal fish population, then an internal filter is enough, even models without air supply. However, it is better that the filter drives water from the surface down, roughly speaking, mixing layers.
4 criteria for choosing a water pump
Beginners often make the wrong choice, making priority on the service life of equipment and brand. Both of these points do not matter: the water pumps themselves are designed so that they last longer than filters and other aquarium equipment, and the “Chinese” in some cases surpass the praised Tetra models in terms of power and noiselessness.
When buying, pay attention to:
- Type of water pump.
- Noise This criterion is important if you put a water pump in the bedroom.
The remaining characteristics: material, presence of a clamp, filtration system and others, add to the cost and comfortable use of a water pump, but do not have any important constructional value.
Types of equipment
According to the device, it is conditionally possible to divide the water pumps into 2 types:
- Membrane. Air is supplied by the operation of the membranes that allow flow in one direction. It consumes a minimum of energy, quiet, but is not suitable for large aquariums due to low power (for an aquarium, up to 150 liters will be optimal).
- Piston. Air is supplied by a piston, thereby achieving greater power. Such water pumps are noisier than membrane pumps, but are better suited for large aquariums.
Also distinguish between external and internal home aerators. External can be installed under the aquariums, so that does not spoil the composition, more aesthetic in design and are very powerful. Internal water pumps are a pump, the rotating element of which is located in the water, thereby reducing noise.
Note! Aerators can be self-contained (battery operated) and mains powered. Autonomous water pumps are great for those who are going to transport fish or live in areas with frequent power cuts.
Water pump power
When choosing a model should proceed from the minimum performance: 0.5 l / h per liter of water. For large-capacity aquariums, you can choose a parameter with a small margin, for example, for 300 l of water to take not 150 l / h, but 200 l / h.
In this regard, water pumps with adjustable air supply like Schego Optimal (although this model is noisy) will be convenient: it has a maximum power of 250 l / h, but you can tweak and choose the optimal one for yourself.
How to understand how noisy the water pump will be
Cost and manufacturers
The cheapest models are from Chinese manufacturers, for example, HAILEA, and some Russian ones like the AQUAEL brand. They are one of the most noisy, but they are reliable, because they are ideal for installing an aquarium in a room where you are not going to sleep.
FAQ: 5 answers to newcomer questions from the aquarist
1. Is it possible to take a water pump with a power higher than the required 1.5-2 times? Extra power is good?
Recommended to choose a technique for a valid bar. Due to too much aeration, which can be observed when buying a too powerful water pump, small fish will “shake”, dregs will rise from the bottom. If there are live plants, they will not be able to develop in such conditions: strong aeration will blow out the necessary CO2.
2. I made a mistake and took too powerful aerator. Should I change it?
If your device does not have a regulator, you can use a valve to overlap. However, it is better to change the model to an optimal power: due to overlapping, the membrane of the water pump wears out faster.
3. Is it possible to put a water pump under the aquarium, for example, in a closet?
Yes, this location will help reduce the noise of technology. Pull water pump you can anywhere, as long as everything is properly connected. However, it is worth remembering that when the aerator is located below the bottom of the aquarium, a check valve should be placed on the hose.
4. Where to install a check valve?
If the valve is located closer to the aerator, the water will completely fill the tube to the section where it is installed. Optimally put the valve on the hose above the water level. So when you start the aerator will need to push the water only on a small segment: from the valve to the dispersed tube.
5. Is a water pump needed if there is a nozzle for aerating the internal filter?
Under such conditions, if the air flow is directed in such a way that small ripples are created on the water, then one filter will be enough. However, it is better to put a water pump. Firstly, it is useful in the treatment of fish when it is necessary to increase aeration. Secondly, fine bubbles are often supplied through the socket, which degrades the solubility of oxygen in water and increases the noise level of operation.
6. Does the dispersion (size) of bubbles depend on the water pump?
A common misconception among newbies is that beautiful bubbles in an aquarium “make” a water pump. In fact, their dispersion depends on the material and pore size of the dispersed tube. Very small bubbles can give flexible hoses and wooden sprays.
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