It is difficult to imagine an aquarium without air bubbles escaping from any decorative slide – in the form of a fortress, snag or pirate chest. This is a water pump or aerator that pumps oxygen and dissolves it in aquarium water. In a pond without live plants or with an insufficient amount of them, the water pump is simply irreplaceable. But the supply of oxygen to fish is not its only function.
Why do you need an air pump for the aquarium
In nature, saturation of the water column with oxygen is the task of algae. Oxygen exchange between the surface of the water and open air is too slow – the molecules do not have time to sink to the bottom of the aquarium, because it may take a whole month! In an aquarium, densely populated with fish, algae are needed in quantities that are contrary to common sense and aesthetic considerations. At night, photosynthesis stops and plants become oxygen consumers along with other inhabitants of the aquarium. This is where the air pump for the aquarium comes to the rescue.
Due to the effective aeration of aquatic inhabitants, metabolic processes are normalized and the normal functioning of the body is maintained. In water that is poor in oxygen, they become lethargic, faded, often ill and constantly float under the surface, sometimes even refusing food. The lack of dissolved oxygen affects the health of algae and the bacterial component of the biotope. Water begins to turn sour, grow cloudy, becomes a pathogenic environment. It is possible to accurately determine the oxygen content in water and the compliance of the indicator with the help of a special O2 test, available in water testing kits. Some aquarists use a very rough home test with hydrogen peroxide.
an aquarium air pump also improves the circulation of water and complements the filter, increasing its efficiency. Together they prevent the appearance of a matte bacterial film on the surface.
The water lift formed by the device mixes the water and prevents the formation of stagnant areas. He also levels the temperature in the pond, protecting the fish from its harmful jumps. And remember: the smaller the bubbles escaping from the water pump, the faster the oxygen dissolves in the water.
It is for these reasons that aquariums with lilius, cockerels and goura – fish that live in nature in oxygen-poor bodies of water and have adapted to the collection of atmospheric air from the surface, do without a water pump. The unique adaptation mechanism of these fish, alas, is not shared by other inhabitants of the aquarium — algae, snails, and crustaceans. Without an aerator, they quickly become shallow, decay, and even die – because the biological balance, largely dependent on aerobic bacteria, is disturbed.
Step-by-step installation of the water pump
Before buying a water pump, make sure that it matches your electrical network. Detailed requirements and the assembly algorithm of the device are always indicated in the instructions. Carefully familiarize yourself with them and, if something remains unclear, specify how to install the water pump properly at a consultant. Remember that a too powerful water pump can create uncomfortable conditions for the fish – a powerful current can be removed only by clamping the hose. But why pay for electricity and listen to noise? This decision is fraught with overheating of the motor. Our informative article will help you choose the right aerator.
Choosing a place
Traditionally, the aerator is placed above the water level; this saves energy and reduces noise. If you do not follow this rule, water will be poured into the device and spoil it, and then pour out of the aquarium and flood its neighbors. But it is impossible to install an air pump for an aquarium directly on the aquarium’s cover — it produces a perceptible vibration during operation, and in this position it starts to rattle. The most reasonable way to fix it on the wall with a nail, put on a shelf or countertop. Make sure that the water pump is at a reasonable distance from sockets, extension cords, electrical appliances included.
But sometimes this placement of the device is impossible. Yes, and in terms of aesthetics, it would be more appropriate to hide the water pump in the aquarium cabinet. For this you need to purchase a check valve about its installation, we will tell below.
It is best to place the aerator tube next to the water heater for a constant current created by the water pump, which quickly equalizes the temperature in the entire tank.
Take care of the mounting for the hose and sprayer in advance. These elements are located at the bottom, because it is important to fix them so that they do not float. For this you need aquarium decor – stone slides, ceramic amphorae, snags, shells. If the sprayer emerges, the efficiency of aeration will decrease several times the oxygen simply does not have time to dissolve in water before it reaches the surface.
Installation of the hose and spray
It is best to place the aerator tube next to the water heater for a constant current created by the water pump, which quickly equalizes the temperature in the entire tank. The air intake hose should be brought out of the aquarium, directly into the room. The sprayer is traditionally installed at the rear wall of the aquarium, where it does not interfere with the observation of the fish. Learn more about choosing a sprayer here. The hose itself is usually hidden along it, it is instilled, masked with plants. If you need to replace the hoses, choose only those that are specifically designed for aquarism.
Check valve installation
A non-return valve is used in cases when the water pump is located below the water level. The valve membrane opens only in one direction, allowing water to flow freely into the aquarium and blocking the hose when it moves back. To install it, you must cut the hose across. The closer to the board of the aquarium there is a cut, the better it is recommended to leave a piece that will protrude 3-4 cm above the wall. After both parts of the hose are attached to the check valve nozzles (make sure that the arrow drawn on it is turned towards the reservoir). After the hose is inserted into the water pump, aeration can be started.
Water pump check
If the aerator makes a lot of noise during operation, the stand for it can be cut out of foam, foam rubber or other soft material. If you correctly install the air pump for the aquarium, the effect will appear within a few hours. Observe the behavior of the fish: each species must be kept in its usual habitat. If the bottom fish are trying to keep closer to the surface, it is better to increase the power.