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Air Supply


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I was reading somewhere that goldfish doesn't need O2 in the water because they can come up for O2 on the surface of the water and that's normal for them.

then i was reading this topic and it's said that Airsupply is needed. http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=11275

what's everyone thought on this?

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Aeration is one of the most crucial and central key elements in an aquatic system.

In an unatural setting like an indoor aquarium it is not possible for a goldfish to obtain enough oxygen in still water for a length of time dependent on temperature and set up. When you see a goldfish piping at the surface in a tank -or worse bowl -with no bubbler/filter splash, what you are seeing is the fishes desparate DIY instinctive effort to create bubbles with its mouth to provide small temporary amounts of oxygen to be dissolved into the water to utilise.

If the water is stagnant at the surface oxygen cannot enter the water, leaving the only method of oxygen dissolution to plants or perhaps water changes that create a temporary splash providing the necessary gas exchange -or the fish itself.

Most people feel its healthier to have their fish swimming around under water rather than living its life gulping at the surface, and to this end provide bubbles that hit the surface of their set -up to create the necessary process that dissolves atmospheric oxygen down into the water making it accessible to the fish and healthy aquatic life.

Dissolved oxygen is necessary for the chain of chemical reactions and interactions that go toward creating a healthy tank set up: pH, kH, beneficial bacteria, plants, algae all rely on dissolved oxygen for their operation and stability.

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They gulp because in low oxygen situations the most oxygen is at the surface where oxygen is coming in form the atmosphere. I do not believe at all that they are trying to make bubbles for aeration to take place. With all the surface area in a tank one or two bubbles is not going to make a difference. Since their swim bladder is open to the atmosphere via a duct they can get some oxygen from any air in the swim bladder. In addition, holding an air bubble in their mouth will oxygenate any water coming in before it hits the gills. But in general they gasp at the surface because this is where the most oxygen is, not because they want to be their own air bubbler.

I think all tanks should have an air pump. It really helps with oxygenation and fish (especially goldfish) seem to do better with an air stone in the tank. I think of it as sitting in your living room. You are fine without it, but if you open up the window on a noce day, it is just fresher and nicer in there.

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It is certainly true that some diffusion of oxygen occurs at the water's surface. The air above the tank is depositing molecules of oxygen gas onto the waters surface, the quantity depending on factors like temperature, altitude, if there is a breeze and so on...making the tank surface as the place where oxygen enters, yes also the place where oxygen is most plentiful -however the surface area of a tank without the assistance of ruffle of the surface to aid diffusion and bubbles to enable the amount of gas exchange necessary for O to become O2 is still a comparatively small and definitely inadequate source of oxygen diffusion for a tank full of more than point one goldfish. The point is oxygen needs to be dissolved to be accessible for goldfishes to use. A stagnant surface cannot dissolve sufficient oxygen for a goldfishes needs.

Whether the gasping gold fish makes his bubble inside or just outside his mouth, I must watch out for :)

I would compare the two from a human perspective between sitting in a living room with the whole room a thick foggy cloud of smoke where its extremely difficult to catch your breath for fear of choking cf. to a well aerated living room with good ventilation.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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another question if i getting the bubble,

in case i took the bubble out or power went off, would the fish be ok? (would it be able to get O2 by the surface again?)

I want to get it, but dont really want the fish to rely on it.

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(would it be able to get O2 by the surface again?)

I want to get it, but dont really want the fish to rely on it.

I think you're referring to the fact that oxygen enters the water via the surface. That is why goldies should always be kept in a wide surfaced tank, and not in a bowl.

The fish MUST rely on aeration, in some form or fashion. If your tank is smaller, and there is a LOT of surface agitation (such as that in a couple water fall type filters), then you may be okay.

If you lose power (as you mentioned above), you do need to replace that agitation and filtration eventually, and there are battery powered pumps for that available.

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You don't *need* a bubble wall/air stone, etc. If you have a filter or two that causes a good amount of bubbles and stirs up the water so that the oxygenated water is being moved throughout the tank, you'll be okay. Something that creates bubbles will help that much more, and many people like the look too, but, unless your tank is very crowded, its usually not necessary.

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but, unless your tank is very crowded, its usually not necessary.

That is a very big generalization. Again, only water fall type filters provide agitation, and if the temp of your tank rises above 78 F, you'll want extra aeration, as there is less oxygen available in warm water.

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I keep air stones in any goldfish tank (my own or at work). They simply do better with them. They are not NEEDED, but in most cases the fish seem to do a little better with one. There is no specific temeprature at which you need one, or a certain stocking, every tank is different. Surface agitation helps a lot, but bubbles help greatly improve surface area (every bubble) and oxygen will enter at bubbles as well as at the surface. This is why smaller bubbles will oxygenate even more (more surface area). Larger bubbles move more water though, so either way you benefit. Many goldfish like to play in them. There is no downside to them except a little less in your wallet, so if you can, go ahead and add an air pump to a tank.

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You are right, Lola, I generalized too much. What I meant really was that you may or may not need an airstone, it depends on your tank setup, the temp, the number of fish, the amount of water movement and bubbles created by your filter, etc. You need enough aeration, but how you create that is dependent on personal preference and your tank's needs.

You shouldn't assume that you *do* need an airstone or bubble wall any more than you should assume you don't. It'll never hurt though.

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You are right, Lola, I generalized too much. What I meant really was that you may or may not need an airstone, it depends on your tank setup, the temp, the number of fish, the amount of water movement and bubbles created by your filter, etc. You need enough aeration, but how you create that is dependent on personal preference and your tank's needs.

You shouldn't assume that you *do* need an airstone or bubble wall any more than you should assume you don't. It'll never hurt though.

:exactly

Well said!!

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Guest bikeboy19

So does any one know about how long these things run before going in the garbage, because mine only gets turned off for like ten minutes during water changes.

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Cold water "carries" more oxygen for longer.

Warm water speeds up fishes' metabolism meaning they need to utilise more oxygen -at the same time warmer water carries less= double edge sword. Its explained in more detail here How more oxygen is needed in higher temperature water.

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That is all well known, or should be. That does not mean a tank at 77 is fine and that one at 78 will need an air pump. As mentioned it has to do with the intake of oxygen in the tank. Again, lightly stocked at a higher temp can be fine while heavily stocked well below your magic temp of 78 may need an air pump.

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If you lose power (as you mentioned above), you do need to replace that agitation and filtration eventually, and there are battery powered pumps for that available.

That's what i mean, so if i need to get one, i needed the one that can use both power and battery? (cuz that' be more expensive..)

because right now i have just one goldfish in regular 10g tank. (no heater) and i just got a bubble for free from my friend (not battery powered)

If I do lose the power, im sure the goldfish can do fine without the power filter (no waterfall) right now.

but later on, when he/she get used to the bubble, i dont know.

and thank everyone

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after reading trinket's article;

so the plant doesn't help for o2 ?

i totally forget that plant absorb O2 at night!!! (learn that in like middle school)

but i still dont get how the plant work.. because it's in the tank and is aquarium.

I dont have a plant yet, but i do have some bulbs (that hopefully will become plant soon)

So how do plant know when is the nighttime? by the light? so keeping the light longer would help?

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If I do lose the power, im sure the goldfish can do fine without the power filter (no waterfall) right now.

but later on, when he/she get used to the bubble, i dont know.

I could be wrong, but I don't think of oxygen levels as really relative. That meaning, i'm not sure that 'getting used to' something would make something else harder to live in. If you want, you could consider picking up a UPS too - not sure what they run. But fish equipment isn't all that high powered, and the light wouldn't need to be plugged into it - so it should be able to handle a filter and air pump for a while.

so the plant doesn't help for o2 ?

They do during the day.

i totally forget that plant absorb O2 at night!!! (learn that in like middle school)

but i still dont get how the plant work.. because it's in the tank and is aquarium.

...

So how do plant know when is the nighttime? by the light? so keeping the light longer would help?

Yes, when there's light they do a process that produces O2. When there's little/no light they absorb O2. Having plants makes it more likely that you need additional oxygen sources, at least to help at night. Its one of the factors that would encourage you to get an air pump (more stocking & higher temps) being another two big ones.

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