Air Stones? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Air Stones?

I've read a few topics on the subject already but is it ok not to run an airstone at all? My tank is heavily planted but I worry my fish will not have sufficient oxygen. I don't want to completely negate my C02. Can anyone confirm that I don't need an airstone? Thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 06:52 PM
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If your tank is heavily planted, with as few fish as there are in it, then you should be fine without running an airstone.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 06:59 PM
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You don't need an airstone, well, not all the time at least. Consider the following and it will make more sense (hopefully).

Often times it seems counterintuitive: I mean, you are, after all, injecting CO2 into your tank, and it would seem that fish would need supplemental O2 to survive, which they do need, no doubt, but are already getting as a product of photosynthetic reactions. I'm sure you're familiar with the chemical equation for photosynthesis:

CO2 + 6H2O + Light Energy = C6H12O6 + 6O2

Glucose and oxygen are both products of photosynthesis. The glucose offers "food" for plants to carry out other processes, the oxygen allows your fish to stay healthy and happy. There is an exception: nighttime.

At night when there is no light available, plants don't photosynthesize, they respire (dark reaction). The equation is as follows:

C6H12O6+6O2 ----------> 6CO2+6H2O+36ATP

You can see that your plants are actually using the O2 at night and producing CO2, water and energy (adenosine triphosphate - ATP) (essentially the plants are using glucose to breakdown molecular bonds and release energy). So, since no oxygen is being produced during this period, it may be wise to supplement with an airstone. The easiest way to do this is to set your airstone on a timer so that it comes on around the same time as your lights go off, and turns off around the same time your lights come on; this will eliminate both unnecessary oxygenation and allow for outgassing of CO2 at night when the plants aren't producing O2 for your fish. This isn't necessary, but many people do it, especially if they aren't using a pH controller to monitor CO2 levels. The necessity for O2 supplementation should be dictated, for the most part, by your tank's bio-load, considering both plants and fish.

Too much?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Coleman! What's funny about that answer is I was just planning on checking in real quick before i start work for a quick answer on how not to suffocate my fish but in it's place was a polysyllabic multi-equation response! I appreciate it though b/c like most things i've learned about planted tanks.. a delicate balance is required and very rarely is that achieved inside of 2 sentences. Thank you and I'll pick up an additional timer.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Also.. Proudtobeacanadian? Do you really think there are very few fish in my tank? I should also mention that I also have 3 candycane(they look like rosey) tetras in it. Territory wise I may eventually have to move the bolivians or the appistos out at one point when both fish are more mature but for now I think I'm ok. I hope to at some point(when money permits) to add a pair of fancy plecos.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 03:58 PM
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Well, I believe it's moderately stocked, just because most of the fish in there can be classified as dwarf cichlids. You definitely have more room to add some more fish in there without having to worry about your bioload. Everyone has their own way though. I don't know if you prefer having a tank that is fairly simple and calm or one that is full and robust, in terms of fish.

Regards,
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 04:12 PM
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glad to help!! Any more questions, you just let us know! Any pics of your tank up anywhere?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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I keep meaning to pick up a camera but I keep spending money all my cash on the tank! Hopefully I'll have pics in a week or so. I've been having major issues placing this stumplike piece of driftwood, So I really need to get myself a camera.
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