Aeration system is needed in any aquarium. It is useful even if there are many plants in the pond that saturate the water with oxygen. Without aeration, the water in the vessel will not circulate actively enough. Air bubbles set the water in motion, which is why the temperature in the tank is equalized horizontally and vertically. The flow of soil increases, it creates normal conditions for the life of bacteria. Thus, aeration contributes to the establishment of biological equilibrium in the tank.
Most aquarists think that water is enriched with oxygen as a result of air bubbles passing through it. Basically, water is mixed with air on the surface. The aerator only creates a continuous movement of water, feeding the bottom layers up.
Aeration does not force CO2 out of the water. It only increases the flow of oxygen.
Aeration is absolutely necessary in an aquarium without plants or with artificial plants, in deep aquarium columns..
Mixing water and enriching it with oxygen in saltwater aquariums is very important. Oxygen dissolves in salt water by almost 20% less than in fresh water. In addition, marine fish habits differ from freshwater. They live in stable conditions and are not adapted to environmental changes. If, with a lack of oxygen in the water, freshwater fish rise up, swallowing the air, the sea will choke in the water column, without giving any signals about their poor condition.
The main consumer of oxygen is fish. Plants do not consume as much oxygen as animals. Without aeration, even in a densely planted vessel, the plants will have enough oxygen throughout the night if fish and snails do not consume it.
Aeration is not needed:
- in an aquarium without fish;
- in an aquarium with labyrinth fish – they can breathe the outside air.
Water is aerated not only with water pumps. There are ways that do not require an electrical connection. They are used in the transportation of fish and in emergency conditions caused by a power outage.
Hydrogen peroxide enriches aquarium water with oxygen and makes it possible to save fish that are even in the severe stage of asphyxiation. In water, peroxide decomposes into water and oxygen. If you use this liquid correctly, you can revive the strongly suffocated fish.
25-40 ml of peroxide are added to a 100 liter aquarium. To make the liquid more effective, it is drawn into a syringe and sprayed on the bottom of the aquarium in different places. If in 15 minutes the fish did not come to life, then they will not be able to help them.
Tablets are used to quickly increase the oxygen content in the aquarium or for a short transport of fish. The tablet replaces the electric purge. One tablet, designed for 10 liters of water, contains about 30 mg of oxygen.
In bottom fish, intolerance to oxygen tablets.
The oxidizer supplies oxygen to a container filled with water, without hoses, electrical wires and human presence. It is indispensable when transporting a large number of fish in a small container over long distances.
The essence of the oxidizer is simple – hydrogen peroxide is poured into the vessel and the catalyst is added. As a result of the start of the reaction, oxygen is released into the water.
- for transportation of fish;
- for mini-aquariums;
- for large aquariums.
Oxidators are expensive. They are used if there is no other way out, for example, during long-term transportation of fish.
Manual water pumps are required for portable aquariums if fish are transported or sold on the market. Such devices make their own hands. They work without electricity.
The simplest water pump is made from a rubber chamber from a bicycle or from a ball. The air inside the chamber is pumped to a pump or a rubber bulb. Air pressure can be controlled with clips.
Ozonation is a specific type of aeration. When ozonating, not air is supplied to the aquarium, but ozone is a gas consisting of triatomic oxygen molecules.
Ozone is a disinfectant that can clear water from dregs and films. Ozonation is often used in spawning grounds: they are sanitized before planting fish for spawning and in the process of ripening caviar.
- they only ozonize an aquarium equipped with carbon filters — excess ozone and oxidation products will settle in them;
- before ozonization fish are caught from the aquarium.
Ozonation will require a medical or micro-ozonator. These are small portable devices weighing about 1 kg. They produce ozone from ordinary indoor air. In the water ozone is fed through the hoses.
For ozonation of water use special hoses and sprayers – plastic and polyethylene. Metal sprays and tubes should not be used, as they will react with ozone.
The blowing of atmospheric air through the water column is carried out in two ways:
- electroplating pumps,
- aquarium filters for water purification with a diffuser.
The main purpose of the filter pump is to drive water through the filtering material. If the pump has a diffuser, the filter can be used not only to purify water, but also to saturate it with air. Pump special tube sucks the outside air. In the distiller, it mixes with water and enters the tank in the form of a stream of tiny bubbles.
Electric aeration systems can be different: simple and complex, powerful and weak. The common thing in them is that all systems consist of the same components.
water pump – a device for supplying air to the aquarium. The device is powered by 220 V. The task of the water pump is to squeeze the air and apply it under pressure.
Domestic water pumps for aquariums are virtually silent, even if they have a lot of power. To make the device even quieter, it is installed not on a hard surface, but on a rubber gasket.
water pumps are piston and vibrating:
- Piston cost more, but they work silently.
- Vibrating, or diaphragm water pumps move air not with a piston, but with a membrane. They consume little energy, maintainable, cheap. Their disadvantages are low power and high noise.
Any aquarium inlet pump must be located above the water level in the aquarium or be connected through a special device – a check valve. Otherwise, when the water pump stops, water will get into it, it will become unusable and will flow out of the aquarium. There are models with a built-in check valve.
Branch pipes of the overwhelming majority of water pumps are designed for hoses with a diameter of 5 mm. If the nozzle is in the shape of a cylinder, putting the hose on will require physical tension. The most convenient is a water pump with nozzles having a tapered profile and relief walls.
The quietest water pumps produce noise of 25-30 decibels, driving 100-150 liters of air per hour through themselves. If the water pump bothers with annoying buzzing at night, it can be put into a box of foam or other material with low sound conductivity and lengthen the air supply tube.
The water pump needs periodic valve cleaning. Dirt accumulating on this part is one of the reasons for the increase in noise. You can automate the air supply by connecting the water pump to the time relay.
The performance of the water pump depends on the volume of the aquarium. Per liter of water the device must supply 0.5-0.7 liters of air per hour. It is better to take a water pump with a double or even triple reserve of performance, that is, 1.5-2 liters of air per hour per liter of water. The reserve will allow to do with one water pump if another is added to the existing aquarium.
The power of the device depends on the depth. The higher the aquarium, the more powerful the water pump should be.
Spray guns are devices for separating a stream of air coming out of a hose into small streams. They are ceramic, carborundum, wood, plastic, stone.
Bubble panel – sprayer, releasing bubbles in several streams located on the same line. Bubble panels are used in aqua design.
The spray can be made of any porous material: pumice or hollow sticks. The less air bubbles leaving the sprayer, the more water will be enriched with oxygen.
The smallest bubbles give wooden spray, made of linden. The service life of a wooden sprayer is no more than 2 months, as its pores quickly become clogged. For ceramic nozzles, giving very small bubbles, you will need a water pump, issuing a pressure of 1000-1500 mm of water column.
From time to time, any sprayers need to be changed, as they become clogged and the bubbles become insufficiently small. Soaking sprayers for cleaning in vinegar, whiteness and other substances is useless.
The sprayer is placed on the stone so that air bubbles do not lift the dirt from the ground.
If several nozzles are connected to the same line, the amount of air passing through each one may be different due to the difference in the length of the pipelines, the bends and the clogging of the nozzles themselves. In such systems, a valve is installed on each line to regulate the air supply.
The tubes connecting the water pump and the sprayer are made of chemically inert materials that do not contain substances harmful to aquatic creatures. It can be silicone rubber, vinyl chloride, red rubber. Blue rubber tubes do not fit – they contain a toxin.
The most unfortunate version of the hose is an opaque rigid tube made of thin PVC. The best are pipes made of synthetic rubber. Rubber medical hoses are not suitable.
A good hose for aquarium aeration – elastic, soft to the touch, transparent, with a margin of length. An important indicator of the quality of the hose – it can be bent without the formation of a crease or not.
Twins and tees for connecting hoses can be plastic or metal. On sale there are products with the kranik-regulators which are already built in them.
Check valves are installed on the hose from the water pump. The valve protects against running out of water from the aquarium in case of sudden power cuts.
The valve is installed on the hose just above the water level. If you put it closer to the water pump, when the electricity is turned off, the water fills the hose to its full length to the place where the valve is installed.
The scheme of the aeration system operating from the water pump is thought out before the water is poured. When assembling the system, the connecting tubes are laid first. These elements do not decorate the aquarium, so it is better to disguise them in the ground or hide them behind the plants. The tubes will float during operation, so they are fixed. When fixing you need to make sure that the tubes do not shrink and do not bend.
Spray better to hide on the stone for any object, so that only beautiful streams of air bubbles remain in sight.
Usually the water heater is placed in the corner. Optimally place the sprayer near the heater. Streams of warm water emanating from the heater, quickly rush to the surface. A nearby stream of bubbles will create the circulation needed to lift the cold layers of water near the bottom. Having mixed up with warm streams, cold water will also rise upward.
Sometimes the aeration is turned off at night so that its noise does not interfere with sleep. In fact, it is particularly necessary at night. During the day, plants release oxygen into the water. At night, in the absence of light, photosynthesis does not occur in plants, so oxygen is not released. On the contrary, plants start, just like the fish, to absorb oxygen from water.
During the night, the level of oxygen in a densely populated aquarium may drop to such a level that asphyxiation will occur not only in fish, but also in other aquatic organisms, up to beneficial nitrifying bacteria. This will lead to a violation of the aquarium’s balance, the appearance of excess ammonia, nitrites and nitrates in the water. The case will end the disease of fish, an outbreak of algae growth and other troubles.