Will adding an air stone help, hender, or not affect plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Will adding an air stone help, hender, or not affect plants?

So does anyone know if it will have any effect on plants to have an air stone in the tank?
Thanks!!

Betta sorority--25 Cube tank

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 07:43 PM
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Probably not the best for the plants, bubblers degas CO2 from the water which plants need to grow.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 07:49 PM
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An air pump increases water circulation. It lifts water from the bottom and allows it to sheet across the top. When the water is in contact with the air it exchanges gases with the air.
The bubbles themselves do not actually "add oxygen" to the water. They barely have time to dissolve at all in the fraction of a second they are in contact with the water.
You need to ask yourself if your aquarium needs more water circulation, and if the bottom-to-top circulation is the way you want to go.

Here is where it gets tricky.

Situation A
You are adding CO2, and have too little circulation:
The water from down below is more rich in CO2 than the atmosphere, so when this water reaches the surface some CO2 will leave.
The water from down below might be lower in oxygen (if there are lots of fish) and when this water touches the air it gains oxygen.
I would add circulation in this situation.

Situation B
You are not adding CO2, and have too little circulation:
The water from down below will gain CO2 and O2 when it reaches the air.
I would add circulation in this situation.

Situation C
You already have enough water movement:
The additional water movement will drive off more CO2 but probably not pick up additional oxygen.
I would not add more circulation in this situation.

So...

If your tank already has enough filters and power heads that the surface has a gentle ripple, then I would not add more water movement from air or water pumps.
If your tank does not have a gentle ripple at the surface, if you are getting some surface scum, if the fish are hanging at the surface or piping (gulping air or water at the surface) then I would increase the water movement.
I use Koralia power heads to do this, not bubblers, or else I upsize the filter.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
An air pump increases water circulation. It lifts water from the bottom and allows it to sheet across the top. When the water is in contact with the air it exchanges gases with the air.
The bubbles themselves do not actually "add oxygen" to the water. They barely have time to dissolve at all in the fraction of a second they are in contact with the water.
You need to ask yourself if your aquarium needs more water circulation, and if the bottom-to-top circulation is the way you want to go.

Here is where it gets tricky.

Situation A
You are adding CO2, and have too little circulation:
The water from down below is more rich in CO2 than the atmosphere, so when this water reaches the surface some CO2 will leave.
The water from down below might be lower in oxygen (if there are lots of fish) and when this water touches the air it gains oxygen.
I would add circulation in this situation.

Situation B
You are not adding CO2, and have too little circulation:
The water from down below will gain CO2 and O2 when it reaches the air.
I would add circulation in this situation.

Situation C
You already have enough water movement:
The additional water movement will drive off more CO2 but probably not pick up additional oxygen.
I would not add more circulation in this situation.

So...

If your tank already has enough filters and power heads that the surface has a gentle ripple, then I would not add more water movement from air or water pumps.
If your tank does not have a gentle ripple at the surface, if you are getting some surface scum, if the fish are hanging at the surface or piping (gulping air or water at the surface) then I would increase the water movement.
I use Koralia power heads to do this, not bubblers, or else I upsize the filter.
Thanks Diana, You always go the extra mile when answering questions and I appreciate it.
My husband likes the way bubbles in a tank look, me, I like the natural look of my tank and don't really want to add an air stone.
From reading your reply, I see I don't need one. I have plenty of water movement in my tank and I would hate to lose any CO2 in the tank since I don't add it so I don't have any to spare!
Thanks again!

Betta sorority--25 Cube tank

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 02:46 AM
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That is good.
The natural decomposition creates a low level of CO2. Best not to increase the water movement and off gas it before the plants can grab it.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 05:26 PM
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I had a second timer sitting around and I stopped using my bubble wall during the day/lights on. So about an hour after the lights go off my bubble wall comes on.

I am not sure how much it actually does, I only have a 10g tank with a HOB filter that creates a decent reaction when it hits the water. But it being to one side of the tank means I wanted more circulation at the other side. Plus my heater is on that side so I figure the bubble wall will help circulate the heat better. Even if it is just at night.

I Read something about the plants needing more O2 during the night and the CO2 during the photo time. So I started doing this. Seems to be working well after a month. I am seeing more growth on my plants. This could be anecdotal though because the plants got more established.
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