What are the Best Tips for Fish Tank Aeration?

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  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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For the best fish tank aeration, select a fish tank that is an adequate size and shape, use a filter that hangs on the back of the tank for aeration, and add additional aeration tools as needed. Fish require adequate aeration because aeration is responsible for bringing oxygen into the water, as well as removing carbon dioxide. Fish that hang around the top of the tank, just below the surface of the water, or around the back of the filter, are showing symptoms of low oxygen levels in the water.

The most basic tip for effective fish tank aeration is to select a rectangular fish tank. Two fish tanks that are the same size, one rectangular and the other narrow and deep, will vary in the amount of oxygen available in the tank. The rectangular tank, with its large surface area, will do a better job of transferring carbon dioxide for oxygen from the air.

A standard filter that mounts on the back of the fish tank is the next step to fish tank aeration. These filters aerate the water by breaking the surface tension of the water, letting oxygen in and releasing carbon dioxide. Often, these filters provide adequate aeration for the tank.


While a filter should be the primary source of fish tank aeration, it may not circulate the water in the corners and at the bottom of the tank. Add additional aeration by using a power head and air stones. Powerheads mix surface air with water and send the mix out into the tank. Air stones connect to a pump and create bubbles that travel to the water surface, breaking the surface tension. Both the powerhead and air stones can be placed as needed in areas of the tank that the filter does a poor job of reaching.

The water temperature in the tank is another important consideration when improving fish tank aeration. The cooler the water temperature, the more oxygen is available. Different species of fish require different temperature ranges. However, it is possible to boost the oxygen levels by lowering the temperature of the water as long as it stays within the recommended range for the particular fish in the tank.

It is possible to have to have too much circulation in the fish tank. Some fish like very calm water, while others enjoys swimming in well-circulated tanks. If the fish are pushed around the aquarium, making swimming difficult, it is a sign that the aeration system is overly aggressive.


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Post 2

Too many aquatic plants may also have a negative effect on the aeration of an aquarium.

To avoid problems, make sure that the plants in your tank are healthy and clean, and that they do not obstruct the mechanisms of your filtration system. These steps will help to ensure that your water is properly aerated.

Post 1

When considering your fish tank's aeration, it is also important to keep in mind that overcrowding the tank with too many fish will compromise the oxygen levels of the water. Follow the guidelines for the type of fish you have and the size of their home, and you should have no problem getting proper aeration with a good filter and circulation system.

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