The air pump and the oxygenation of water-How effective are its use?

How can work an air pump for your fish tank?

A common practice is to use the air pump or aerator. Which compresses air into the aquarium (in the form of small bubbles thanks to the use of a diffuser) to oxygenate or aerate the water in the tank.

How does the aerator work?

The air bubbles injected by the pump do not directly oxygenate the aquarium water in its journey from the bottom of the aquarium to the surface or at least they do not in large measure. It is when these bubbles break on the surface of the water when gas exchange is most effective, as it creates a current and agitation that increases the water surface in contact with the air while renewing more oxygenated water for another less Oxygenated aquarium. The maximum amount of dissolved oxygen in the water will also depend on the temperature of the water. The lower the water temperature, the higher the oxygen concentration (the lower the temperature increases the solubility of oxygen in the water).

In this article from, we explain how to take care of your aquarium, aquarium fish, aquarium plants and aquarium fish diseases.

What happens to oxygenation and oxygen concentrations during the day and night?

Critics of this device argue that a well-planted aquarium generates enough oxygen. This occurs just during the day when plants produce oxygen (O2). On the contrary, during the night the plant stop taking the photosynthesis and begin to consume oxygen, competing for this with the fish. In the same way, it is known that the concentration of oxygen in the water of the aquarium is reduced very significantly. When the temperature of the aquarium rises.

A surface water movement is sufficient?

In the case of a sufficiently planted tank, a moderate movement of the surface of the water (caused by the expulsion of water from the filter or a recirculating water pump, for example), apart from any unusual heat phenomenon, generally produces a Proper oxygenation even at night without using an aerator.

Air pump and CO2

The most severe criticism received by aeration pumps is given because they release the precious carbon dioxide (CO2) from the water. This CO2 is very necessary for the growth of the plants. The reduction of the CO2 concentration is due to the agitation caused by the continuous bubbling of air, under water and on the surface.

General advice

Normally, in a properly planted aquarium, only the slight movement of the surface of the water should be sufficient to adequately oxygenate the water. When the plants have stopped performing photosynthesis (at night).

On the other hand plants during the day will produce much more oxygen than they will consume at night. In this way, there will always be an O2 stock that can be used by fish and other organisms, including some bacteria.

In the case of an aquarium with few or no natural plants and without agitation of the surface water. The use of an aerator will be absolutely necessary, both day and night.

However, if you notice that your fish spend an abnormal amount of time on the surface. Where oxygen is in higher concentrations), or that they tend to grasp on the surface early in the morning. Oxygenation will quickly improve by planting Plants. Installing an air pump with its diffuser, or even more effective; Improving the movement of the water surface with the help of a re-circulation water pump.

Water test

Tests for water may confirm too low a concentration of oxygen. But we must add that these symptoms also occur in fish in the case of high concentrations of nitrates. Which prevents the absorption of available oxygen by the fish.

The air pump is a very modest investment but it can save the life of your fish. Systematically plug it in summer on hot days. They can also be useful for feeding an emergency filter; Emergency filter

In the case of problems, react promptly:

If you feel any problem your air pump immediately make a partial water change. Preferably treated with a specific conditioner for aquarium water. Visit the link Partial aquarium water changes to inform you about the dangers of water changes in health Of your fish), then connect an air pump as soon as possible. The precise identification of the causes of the problem will enable you to take good action in the long run. In the case of high or hot temperatures, it is advisable to use the aerator both at night and day. And to reduce the period of illumination (which produces heat).


You never fulfill an optimized fish tank without an air pump. If you love so much your fish and you want your fish are living happily. So you must use an air pump.