Saltwater aquarium fish

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Aeration of a saltwater tank

When water appeared on the surface of the earth, the first creatures were small organisms, that made oxygen in the water. This oxygen went up to the atmosphere and this made the world, just as we know it today.

This all happened in the sea and it is still the same, happening day by day, minute by minute.

Not only plants on the Earths’ surface produce oxygen, but also green creatures and plants in the sea. Oxygen enters the water from these creatures and plants and also from the movement, currents and eddies, in the water. As the wind blows over the water, the wind makes waves and this movement allows the air to enter into the water. In the salt water fish tank, this is the easiest and safest method to introduce air into the water.We simulate wave action and stimulate oxygenation of the water.

Oxygen in the water is very important for a number of reasons. Fish can only survive in water that has adequate oxygen, because like all animals, they need to breathe also. Some people may think that fish do not breathe because they live in the water and many people assume that there is no air in the water. But they are wrong.

In all waters which are not affected by pollution or contaminants, is air and where there is air, creatures can live. Fish have gills which extract the oxygen from the water.

Another reason why the air is so important in the water is that many organism and bacteria which live in the water, also need oxygen for their survival. For example nitrification bacteria need air for their living. These bacteria work as a biological filter and without them, the tank would suffer and all your expensive salt water fish would die.

If you want to aerate the water, you have to know that the main factor which affects the aeration is the surface area of the tank. The larger the surface is, the more air you can get into the water by movement of the surface water. This also allows the CO2 to dissipate from the water. This is why tanks with large surface are the best for the marine tanks. Large surfaces help to the aerating the water and also the CO2 concentration is lower, because it can get out of the water, quickly and efficiently, compared to smaller, deeper tanks.

Tanks are generally aerated by by using air pumps with air stones, filtration system with aerators, or the easiest way is by returning the water in to the tank, in form of a small waterfall. The main function is, that these devices make waves on the surface and allow it to happen naturally.

An Air pump is a pump which pumps the air from the room, though an air line and air stone into the water. This air pump should be placed above the tank if you do not have a one-way valve on the air line. If you do not have the one way valve and the pump is under the tank, during a power blackout the water will naturally syphon down into the pump and destroy it.

If you have the one-way valve, you can put the air pump under the tank without any problems and in complete safety.

Some types of pumps make noise and vibrations and differ in how the air is released. Some provide a bubble column, some release in fine streams of bubbles and yet others, produce vigorous walls of bubbles. For salt water aquariums you may also use other porous material and not only air stones. Salt Water will certainly cause deterioration of the air stone so you will have to change the stone from time to time.

There are many types of air pumps, some are more powerful than others. If you want to have a wall of bubbles, you will need one of the strongest air pumps, but if you want a gentle stream or column, you will get this with a less powerful pump.

The easiest way to aerate the tank is when you have the aerator and the filtration system in the one device. This allows for ample aeration and also for removal of body wastes, uneaten food and other water contaminants. There are various types of filters, but these are discussed in my other articles.

When you have external filtration, you may return the water by letting the water cascade down into the tank. This fall makes bubbles on the surface and it is a very effective way to aerate the water. Another important aspect is that all the work is done by gravity, so there is no need for electrical devices.

Keeping electrical devices and in fact any accessories to a minimum, is essential. The more moving or mechanical parts, the more cost, the more maintenance and equipment that can be corroded or damaged by the salt.
Document modified on Sat May 21 9:35:31 UTC 2011
Document created on Wed Mar 26 15:34:25 UTC 2008
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