Jump to content

Not Enough Oxygen


Kitty1297

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

Hey Everyone!

I was looking to get better oxygen into my 55 gallon tank. Over the summer, I had bought the Top Fin Air Pump 8000 (http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3742976&lmdn=Product+Type&f=PAD%2FpsNotAvailInUS%2FNo) which is rated for up to 170 gallons. I have not been happy with the output of bubbles from my bubblers. It does not work as well as I would like. A couple days ago I noticed my goldfish gasping for air. I have a canister filter, so I turned the attachment towards the surface to create surface action and they look a lot better.

I was looking into powerheads as a permanent solution to the oxygen dilemma, but I keep reading horror stories about fish getting sucked into them or stuck to them. The powerhead I was looking at is the aquaclear, either the 70 or the 110. I was leaning towards the 110 because I want to look into upgrading their tank size soon and wanted to future proof my purchase. (http://www.amazon.com/AquaClear-Powerhead-110-Gallons-Hour/dp/B0002DHMYW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393014395&sr=8-1&keywords=aquaclear+powerhead+110)

Then I noticed that the powerhead doesn't have anything to stop my fish from getting stuck to it. I notice some powerheads have a thing on the intake that looks like the bottom of a filter intake.

My questions are:

1. How can I get more oxygen into my tank without putting my fish at risk of injury or death?

2. Should I buy a powerhead? Which size can I get that will work with my 55 gallon, but will also work with a bigger tank when I upgrade?

3. If buying a powerhead is too risky, how do I get my air pump to work better?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Quick questions, have you ever treated them for gill flukes? This often presents the same symptoms as oxygen deprivation.

Are your parameters stable? (I.E no ammonia or nitrites, manageable nitrates?) any pH shifts?

Edited by Chai
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

What I wonder about is why your fish gasp in the first place. A 55g provides plenty of oxygen even for four fish, unless they are massive.

Even a simple air stone with a small air pump will provide enough oxygenation in your average tank.

I honestly rather think that the gasping is a sign of flukes or other problems. Could you possible fill out the following questionnaire to the best of your knowledge? :)

  • * Ammonia Level(Tank)
  • * Nitrite Level(Tank)
  • * Nitrate level(Tank)
  • * Ammonia Level(Tap)
  • * Nitrite Level(Tap)
  • * Nitrate level(Tap)
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
  • Other Required Info:
    • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?
    • * Water temperature?
    • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
    • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?
    • * How often do you change the water and how much?
      • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
      • * How many fish in the tank and their size?
      • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?
      • * What do you feed your fish and how often?
      • * Any new fish added to the tank?
      • * Any medications added to the tank?
      • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
      • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
      • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The last time we treated for flukes was around August or September. We are going to be doing another prazipro treatment soon. The parameters have been very stable. My test from last night showed no ammonia, no nitrites, nitrates were between 5 ppm and 10 ppm, and the ph was at 7.4. (This is using the API Master Test Kit.)

I was not aware that an air pump had to be cleaned, but even so, this one has not really worked well since we bought it. How do I clean it? It's strange because it works a lot better when the water is low during a water change. I will try to get a good picture after dinner. As for right now, I can tell you, we have it hanging on the wall behind the fish tank, at about water level. Part of the motor is above and part below water level.

We are looking to upgrade the size of the tank over the next 3 - 4 months. There's 5 goldfish in the 55 right now and they're growing fast. The reason I think it's an oxygen matter is that within 15 to 20 minutes after I moved the filter direction to create surface action, they stopped gasping and started acting normal again. I just don't want the filter being a permanent change because it needs to push more than just the surface of the water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I have an AC powerhead (in the size that you are inquiring), and I did lose a fish to its intake. There are those that say a healthy fish will not get stuck, and in most cases, I would agree. Would I ever use this on one of my tanks again, without figuring out a way to modify the intake? Not likely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

A submerged powerhead is really for better water circulation. Some powerheads allow you to add an air line to the output for extra bubbles and therefore oxygen. Cap the intake of the powerhead with a sponge to protect your fish.

Consider a bubble wall stretching the length of your tank, placed at the rear and suction cupped down to the bottom, for a wall of a lot of small but constant bubbles. A bubble wall does create a lot of ambient background noise, unfortunately. You can also add a submerged powerhead with its intake in the curtain of the bubble wall, which will shoot small bubbles into the rest of your tank.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Good questions asked above, but for what it's worth, the best way to increase dissolved oxygen is to increase the surface agitation eg. point your spray bar along the surface so it creates ripples. Air stones are effective for circulation, but don't increase the dissolved oxygen in the tank a whole lot more than the small amount of surface agitation they create. But they look pretty and some fish (especially the dorky ones!) enjoy swimming around in them :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I have the API Filstar xP3 canister filter, it's rated for up to 175 gallons. It doesn't come with a spray bar, so we pointed the little attachment upwards. I'm order the extra parts with the spray bar included now. I don't know why they wouldn't just include it.

I have tried bubble walls and can never seem to get them to work right. I'll keep the bubbles for decoration though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Cathys, do you know what brand the airstone is? I'd like to try it.

I'm sorry I don't. I think it came with an aquarium I bought. It's at least 3 years old.

I would think they would all be pretty much the same. http://www.1000bulbs.com/product/95309/GROW-AS4RD.html?utm_source=SmartFeedGoogleBase&utm_medium=Shopping&utm_term=GROW-AS4RD&utm_content=Air+Stones&utm_campaign=SmartFeedGoogleBaseShopping&gclid=COrG-sWt4rwCFSFo7AodyHQAMA

above is page I got the pic from. it looks almost exactly like mine. I just searched air stone. I've never ordered from that site before.

Edited by cathys
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporter

May I ask what air pump you are using? Perhaps switching it out for something more powerful may help push more air through the stones for more surface agitation (in addition to the spray bar attachment for the canister) :D Either way, good luck! You are getting great advice :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Unfortunately, the spray bar for the canister filter is no longer being sold on the market. I looked all over the internet for it. I found the pictures of it in the kit, but it links to the new one that doesn't include the spray bar. The jet nozzle seems to be doing the trick right now. I have ordered different air stones from the brand I usually get. I'm hoping they're better quality. From the reviews they seem to be better quality. The air pump I have is rated up to 170 gallons (located at this link: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3742976&f=PAD%2FpsNotAvailInUS%2FNo) The air stones should be delivered tomorrow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporter

Bummer about the spray bar, but it sounds like you found a great solution with the nozzle. Also, your air pump should be more than sufficient so I'm hoping that the replacement air stones do the trick for you! Let us know how they work out :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Sorry I haven't replied in a few days. The air stones are set up and plugged in. They are producing more than the ones I had before, but still not a lot. I think my air pump is not good. Even with nothing on it, I barely felt any air coming out. Any ideas for a good air pump that would work up to 100 gallons?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I like the Tetra Whisper air pump. This one is rated for up to 100 gallons http://www.amazon.com/Tetra-77851-Whisper-Pump-10-Gallon/dp/B0009YJ4N6/ref=sr_1_1_m?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1393911793&sr=1-1&keywords=whisper+air+pump

Edit : you'll have to select the pump rated for up to 100 gallons.

Edited by LisaCGold
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

A submerged powerhead is really for better water circulation. Some powerheads allow you to add an air line to the output for extra bubbles and therefore oxygen. Cap the intake of the powerhead with a sponge to protect your fish.

Consider a bubble wall stretching the length of your tank, placed at the rear and suction cupped down to the bottom, for a wall of a lot of small but constant bubbles. A bubble wall does create a lot of ambient background noise, unfortunately. You can also add a submerged powerhead with its intake in the curtain of the bubble wall, which will shoot small bubbles into the rest of your tank.

you maybe just want a better pump. yah.

but for what it's worth i have had a little aqua clear 20 (with an air line) situated near the surface that produced TONS of bubbles and agitation -- just aimed the nose of it slightly upwards from its submerged position right under the water line. i also made a cover for the intake with a square of sponge media. worked like a charm. i would not use one without the airline, or the sponge.

and i also agree: the right set up would probably mitigate the need for such thing as a powerhead… ;)

Edited by melusine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

I think AC 70 or AC 110 HOB would add some oxygen to the tank. The overflow (waterfall) should expose water to air and hitting the tank water surface. I would think this add more air than canister even with spray bar?

Edited by stech
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

OP: I am currently running the Top Fin AIR-8000 and while originally I wouldn't think it would do that great of a job given its rebadged marketing status and affordable price, it actually spits out a ton of air for my two Petco bubble bars -- the NOISE this thing puts out is another story. HORRIBLY offensive, with a buzzing, droning, annoying vibration that can be heard in other rooms. But the pump itself has actually been feeding these bubble bars of mine with tons of air to create ribbons of cascading bubbles in the rear of the tank...

I even have this one pump feeding two bars by way of "bridging" the four outlets on it -- in other words, I used a "T connector" to "bridge" two of the outlets to feed one bar, and did the same with the other. I'm surprised this pump didn't work for you...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I use the smallest AC powerhead near the top of my 60g. It helps circulate and adds oxygenation by agitating the surface a bit. You don't even have to put the airline in at the top, just so the surface is agitated a bit. I used it on my smaller tanks for a while as well but found it unnecessary for those so I move it to the larger tank. It is silent, unlike an air pump :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I think AC 70 or AC 110 HOB would add some oxygen to the tank. The overflow (waterfall) should expose water to air and hitting the tank water surface. I would think this add more air than canister even with spray bar?

BINGO! My thoughts exactly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...