Is Aeration In Aquarium Needed?

What Is Aeration?

Aeration of water in an aquarium is the movement of layers of water due to which the liquid becomes rich in oxygen. During this process, air moves through the water and splits into small bubbles, which, interacting with the filling of the reservoir, enrich the water with oxygen. The amount of bubbles is directly proportional to the amount of air generated and how quickly it spreads through the water.

Aeration is needed to achieve the following goals:

  1. Enrichment of water with oxygen for the stable functioning and life of all inhabitants of the reservoir.
  2. Creation of moderate vortex flows and mixing of water layers. Oxygen is absorbed better, and carbon dioxide is eliminated faster. No toxic gases accumulate.
  3. If you combine this process with heating devices, it will help to avoid sudden temperature changes.
  4. Currents are created that are necessary for the life of any species of fish.

If there are many plants in the aquarium, then aeration may be unnecessary. Plants can cope with the removal of excess carbon dioxide on their own.

Common problems

  • O2 does not enter the liquid from the bubbles generated by the compressor. Oxygen is above water, on the surface. In still water, gas saturation is weak. Bubble formation leads to the movement of water, the formation of water currents and good gas exchange of the liquid.
  • When the temperature rises, it is necessary to saturate the water more with gases or always maintain a constant water temperature.
  • Many aquarists do not conduct O2 tests in their water.
  • It is important to equip the fry rearing tanks with aerating devices. In these aquariums, oxygen is consumed by a large number of individuals in cramped conditions.

Aeration maintains a stable gas exchange of water, destroys films on the surface of the liquid. Therefore, a tank equipped with an aeration system will be a reliable and safe home for underwater inhabitants.

How to check that the indicator is normal?

Finding out that aeration is normal is easy. Pisces behaves normally and do not raise alarming suspicions. If aeration is impaired, then they change their behavior – they often swim up and swallow water. The situation becomes critical when fish swallow emptiness. Action is urgently needed.

  • Too much aeration will not do any good, but rather harm the inhabitants of the aquarium. An excess of oxygen cause gas embolism in fish – air bubbles appear in their blood and the fish dies. To prevent this from happening, do not install too many compressors, they will cause oversaturation of oxygen in the water.
  • If the aeration is too weak . The normal oxygen concentration is 5 mg/l and a little more. If the aeration is below this figure, then many fish will simply suffocate, and the plants will die. No benefit can be found in this.

Oxygen Deprivation

The human body reacts extremely negatively to the lack of oxygen in cells and blood, which affects such a disease as hypoxia – oxygen starvation. Decreasing the oxygen content by a few percent will first kill nerve cells and then other cells in the body. Simply put, the cells start to suffocate. Hypoxia is a common occurrence in asthma attacks. However, people who do not suffer from asthma can also experience a lack of oxygen, for example, there are frequent cases of “hunger” in megacities. It proceeds less noticeably and for a longer time, but that is also more destructive for the human body.

In smokers and alcohol abusers, the lack of oxygen in the blood can be very large – more than 20%. Smoking and alcohol are known to constrict blood arteries and impair lung function. Alcohol-containing liquids dilute the blood, while saturating it with oxygen only by 1-2%. For example, the technology of brewing beer completely excludes the contact of oxygen with the production container. This is done to preserve the flavor of the wort. Vodka and other spirits contain destilled, oxygen-free water.

All this makes our heart work faster in order to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the cells by intensive circulation. Lack of oxygen also causes a number of serious physical and mental illnesses – urolithiasis, headaches, depression, etc. There is only one explanation: oxygen deprivation weakens the body’s immune system. Today this problem is gradually becoming No. 1 in the world, scientists are looking for solutions. In the meantime, traditional options are offered – recreation in mountain and forest regions, health improvement, etc. But this is often not enough.

What affects the amount of oxygen?

List of properties that affect oxygen concentration:

  1. Water temperature – warm water is an indicator of a large amount of oxygen, and vice versa. A temperature above normal affects the acceleration of vital processes in fish. Because of this, their need for oxygen increases when its concentration in water drops. This problem is solved by intensive aeration.
  2. Plants can successfully produce oxygen without filters. But keep in mind that they use it at night and create carbon dioxide. It turns out that during the day, due to the work of plants, fish feed on oxygen, and at night all living organisms have to fight for air.
  3. Snails and other creatures can affect the amount of oxygen in the tank. Bacteria perform the same task. The oxygen uptake of bacteria is important because it is beneficial. If there is too much organic waste, then the number of bacteria will increase, they will begin to consume more oxygen. The amount of waste also depends on how many snails are in the aquarium.

Oxygen and water are man’s best friends

How to combine such vital elements for people as water and oxygen in one product? Scientists all over the world are fighting over this task, and the solution has already been found – perfect water!

Yes, the lack of oxygen in the human body can be replenished with water. This environment is naturally suitable for the body, is distinguished by a high rate of absorption by cells, and easily penetrates into all systems. And, most importantly, water transports oxygen. To solve the problem of oxygen starvation, it is necessary for the water itself to become oxygen. These are the properties ideal water possesses!

Regular drinking of oxygen-enriched water improves the functioning of all body systems, helps to remove toxins from the body faster, increases appetite and improves mood. In addition, it neutralizes free radicals that block the human immune system.

Oxygen-enriched water is very useful for people engaged in mental or physical labor, who live and work under stress or adverse environmental conditions. For example, athletes, after drinking oxygenated water, show the best results in endurance and reaction. Their load on the heart is significantly reduced, fatigue passes faster and fatigue does not occur.

How to make such water? When using household technologies, it will not be possible to dissolve more than 9 mg of oxygen in 1 liter of drinking water, and therefore one should not expect an overwhelming effect. In addition, when the bottle is opened, most of the oxygen escapes in a couple of minutes.

What are the devices for this?

Aeration is natural – occurs at the expense of plants and snails, and artificial. It takes place at the expense of air compressors and specialized pumps.


The compressor drives oxygen deep into the water, it goes through the tubes and ends up in the atomizer.

There it is made in small bubbles, which then disperse throughout the entire volume of water.

Compressors differ in their characteristics. These are power, productivity, water pumping depth.

The compressor system is structured as follows:

  1. Air tube systems.
  2. Adapters.
  3. Check valves.
  4. Sprayer.

It is recommended to install the compressors close to the heaters. This will avoid creating different temperature zones in the aquarium. Noise and vibration are the main disadvantages of using a compressor.

How to make a do-it-yourself aerator?

If there is no money to buy a compressor, then you can replace it with a homemade one and use it for the first time. To make such a device requires experience, otherwise it can lead to a short circuit in the water. This result is dangerous for fish and humans.

If you decide to make a compressor yourself, then when creating it, strictly follow the instructions:

  1. Take a small electric heater, connect it to the electrical circuit. The power of the device should not exceed 12 volts. If necessary (for example, if the electricity is cut off), then you can connect the device to a battery or accumulator. Connect the eccentric to the engine. This is necessary for the pump to move. With the help of it, water is circulated, which will enrich it with oxygen. This device works silently.
  2. The second method is carried out using a magnet. The electromagnetic starter should be at 50 Hz frequency if the voltage is 220 volts. Connect the pump to the electromagnet. Due to its effect, the membrane will begin to move at the same frequency. The air is passed through the pump and the water is saturated with oxygen. This compressor is noisy.


Various types of aerators for aquariums are now on sale. It is necessary that it has sufficient capacity (0.5 liters per 1 hour of water). An aerator with this indicator can work with a ceramic spray that produces fine bubbles, which is useful for the inhabitants of the aquarium.

Each compressor model has its own characteristics. It is important to select the right compressor to meet all your requirements.

If the aquarium is in a crowded room, choose a silent device, also pay attention to the presence of a smooth adjustment of the air flow. With this adjustment, you can easily install any filter and spray on the compressor.

The size of the compressor is important. For aquariums larger than 100 liters, purchase a low-voltage (12 volt) 2-channel reciprocating compressor. This is necessary in order to connect the device even to a car battery if necessary.

The aeration compressor can be bought in specialized stores and also online. The average price of compresses in Moscow and St. Petersburg is about a thousand rubles.

Air duct tubes are the main components of the compressor. They must have special characteristics. Purchase PVC or synthetic rubber tubing. Do not use medical harness tubing, black or reddish-yellowish, in the aquarium. They are dangerous to the inhabitants of the aquarium. Make sure that aeration is carried out continuously and that the tubes do not have kinks that could prevent air from entering the aquarium.

It is important to choose the right compressor nozzles. The appearance of the aquarium, the quality of aeration and the safety of living things in your reservoir depend on them. The sprayer must not emit harmful substances. For such purposes, abrasive stones or sandstone is used. Wood, ceramic and porous synthetic attachments are also well suited.


Aeration of water with a compressor without electricity is impossible. In homes where there is a power outage, it is better to use an oxidizer or stone for aeration. It consists of a glass container, a plastic lid with holes, a catalyst and a base.

This device saturates the water with oxygen gradually. Such a device requires replacement from time to time. It is weaker than a compressor, but if the surface of the aquarium is small and there are many plants, then an oxidizer may be the only way to aerate. It is also completely silent and suppresses harmful bacteria in the aquarium.

Filter with aeration (pumps)

In small aquariums, it is better to use internal filters, which also aerate the water. The devices look like a system consisting of a pump, filter material and a special tube.

The pumps run water through the sponge and suck in water from the tube. Oxygen mixes with water and enters the reservoir in the form of small bubbles. In this way, a silent water purification is carried out, but if the aquarium is dirty, then it becomes weaker.

If you are using pumps, you will find that they stir the water faster than compressors . They have a built-in filter, and air is sucked in through a special hose located on the surface.

This method will be the only way to aerate if you clean your aquarium on time.

Aeration methods

There are several methods for getting the oxygen in the aquarium up to par.

Natural way

The aeration of the aquarium water depends on the number of plants and snails. Plants release O2, and snails can be considered an indicator of the level of a substance in the water. If it corresponds to the norm, animals live in the lower layers of water, at the bottom and stones. If it becomes small, they move to the leaves of vegetation and the walls of the reservoir.

Artificial way

It consists in the use of special equipment. It can be:

  1. Compressors that create bubbles that oxygenate the water. They must work constantly. The downside of the device is noise. Therefore, many novice aquarists turn off the aerator for the aquarium at night, thereby creating an O2 deficiency in the water. If you have vegetation, you can purchase a device with a timer. The toggle switch must be set at least half an hour before turning off the artificial light, and the off timer one hour before natural light.
  2. Sprayers are included with the compressors. The latter pumps air outside. An air diffuser located in the bottom of the pond converts the O2 into bubbles and distributes it throughout the aquarium. The container is saturated with air.
  3. The bottom filter is designed to create a current. The upper layers of water are saturated with atmospheric oxygen. The filter moves them to the bottom, lifting the bottom up. The process is repeated. This is how the water is filled with O2. If you have a bottom filter, there is no need to install additional equipment. No compressor or spray needed.
  4. The pumps have filters and channels to saturate the water with O2. The oxygen pump must be able to pass about a third of the volume of the artificial reservoir.

Aeration can be performed without special devices powered by electricity:

  1. Hydrogen peroxide, getting into a liquid, decomposes into oxygen and water. The substance can be used both to saturate the container with oxygen during the transportation of fish, and to restore the vital activity of suffocated animals. Peroxide also destroys algae that is harmful to vegetation.
  2. Oxygen tablets are designed to quickly raise the O2 level in water. One tablet contains 30 mg of beneficial air. Can be used to transport animals.
  3. Oxidizers start to work after adding peroxide and catalyst. As a result of a chemical reaction, O2 is released. The device includes a glass container with a plastic lid. It has holes in it. After the substances are combined, saturation with air occurs gradually. The device can be used during transportation, long power outages.
  4. The hand compressor does not need to be connected to electricity. It functions by pressing the hands. The pump chamber, which can be made from a conventional medical bulb, is filled with atmospheric oxygen. Through a tube dipped in water, after pressing, it enters the container.
  5. Ozonation does not consist in direct supply of O2 to the reservoir, but in the supply of ozone molecules. It consists of oxygen, and therefore the method is effective. The process also leads to degreasing of the container, getting rid of turbidity. It is important to carry out ozonation before spawning. It is important to remember that the process can only be carried out after the animals have been removed from the reservoir.

Important! The way in which air is supplied to the aquarium depends on the volume and vegetation.

Is it possible to do without an aerator (compressor)?

Do fish and plants need artificial aeration? For underwater inhabitants, only two indicators are needed: the oxygen and carbon dioxide content in the water. It doesn’t matter how these properties are achieved. Plants have always been the main suppliers of oxygen.

If there is a lot of vegetation in the aquarium, and you can see that there are oxygen bubbles on the leaves, aeration is not necessary. Check the amount of oxygen in the water at night, because this is the time when plants absorb oxygen.

If you understand that you need oxygen supply from the outside, then it is worth installing compressors for aeration. Set the timer to turn the devices on and off. Turning on should take place 30 minutes before turning off the light, and let it turn off an hour after the day in the aquarium has come.

If there are few plants in the reservoir, the density of fish is high, then aeration is necessary for favorable living conditions.

Methods for supplying oxygen to the aquarium

The required oxygen concentration is determined depending on the number of living creatures, plants, illumination and temperature. For example, large and densely planted aquariums with few fish stocks do not always require additional silent aeration. Often, animals have enough oxygen that is formed by plants as a result of photosynthesis, and the aquarium normally exists without aeration. However, practice shows that even in such cases, there may be a lack of oxygen. Therefore, in order not to risk, any “bank” needs aeration.

Aeration of the aquarium can be achieved in two ways:

1. Natural. Placing a sufficient amount of flora contributes to the saturation of the water with O2. Also, according to the behavior of animals, for example, snails, one can determine the state of the habitat. If snails spend most of their time on the sides of the aquarium or on leaves, the water is likely to have a low percentage of oxygen. If the snails live on stones and soil, then the correct aeration is observed and the indicators are normal;

2. Artificial. In this case, you need to purchase an air compressor or pump. The essence of their work is to capture atmospheric air and feed it into the water column, spraying into thousands of small bubbles through a sprayer or diffuser.

In addition to its main functions, aeration of the aquarium promotes mixing of water layers, which is important for uniform heating. If the sprayer is placed close to the heater, the streams of bubbles will mix the warm water at the surface with the cold lower layers. For this reason, you should also choose a filter for aeration of a certain power, which would pass through itself a displacement of 2-3 volumes of the aquarium per hour.

If you increase the temperature of the water in the reservoir, then you can increase the oxygen consumption of the living creatures inhabiting the reservoir. It works the other way too. In which case, with asphyxiation, you can quickly help the fish. Underestimate the importance of aeration in your aquarium. You will be able to choose a small and high-quality device for your reservoir with the help of specialists. Remember that an aquarium is beautiful only when all its inhabitants are healthy.

DIY aeration

In pet stores, a variety of devices are purchased that can purify the air. But there is an option to make aeration in the aquarium with your own hands.

To make a compressor for an aquarium with your own hands, you will have to purchase a power supply unit, a motor.

What you need:

  • Power Supply.
  • Small motor (for example, from a printer).
  • Plastic cover.
  • Candles.
  • Rubber tube.
  • Adapter.
  • Balloon.
  • Wooden stick (for example, from a lollipop).
  • Hot melt glue stick.
  • Several wooden blocks.
  • Plywood.
  • Wire.
  • An elastic band (for example, from a bicycle or ball camera).

How to make a do-it-yourself aeration compressor:

  1. Cut the balloon in half with scissors.
  2. Take the plastic cover and drill 2 holes (3 and 6 mm) in it at the same distance. Sand uneven edges.
  3. Cut out the shape of the gum in a horseshoe shape. This will be the valve of the device. The valve is glued with feet to the inside of the drilled bonnet. The wider part of the valve should cover the 3 mm hole.
  4. Pull the cut out part of the ball onto the lid. The surface should be resilient, like a small drum. Glue with tape, cut off the excess parts of the ball.
  5. Cut a small rectangle out of plywood. It should be proportionate to the motor. We glue the motor onto plywood.
  6. Now we will make the base of the compressor. We take a piece of plywood and 2 blocks. We glue the bars to plywood in the form of legs, supports. Glue the prepared motor with plywood into the corner. In the lower part, place the connector for connecting the power supply.
  7. We shorten the stick, it should be no more than 8 mm wide. Using an awl, pierce the holes on the top and side. Insert a piece of wire into the hole on the side. It turned out to be an eccentric. We install it on the motor shaft.
  8. Shorten the lollipop stick by 4 cm. Glue it to the candlestick. To attach it to the eccentric, we drill a hole on the side of the stick and attach it. Attach the other end of the stick with glue to the center of the lid with a ball. Stick the cover onto the plywood.
  9. Cut a 6 mm hole in the lid with a ball. Fix the adapter in the hole, attach the rubber tube.
  10. The aerator is ready to use.



Leave a Comment