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Old 10-18-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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Aerating my 55 gallon with powerhead

Hi everyone.

I've got a 55 gallon tank, 45 of which is water, a Top Fin 60 Power Filter(hob) & a Top Fin Powerhead 50. The filter is on the right(backside), the powerhead is on the left(backside).

Is anyone familiar with the Powerhead 50? It is submersible but I don't like doing that. So it is near the surface. It provides a nice current near the top from side to side. I can adjust it to make it bubble, but then the current is significantly reduced. I can also attach a tube that pulls water from the bottom.

I've been reading but I still cannot seem to grasp how oxygen, carbon dioxide, surface agitation and/or bubbles intermingle to make better oxygenated water.

What would be the best way to use this device?

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
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Fish, like humans, breathe in oxygen and out carbon dioxide. They get dissolved oxygen from the water. So in a stagnant pool, eventually they would use up all the oxygen and replace it with CO2 and then suffocate. However, with a bit of surface movement, there is enough natural exchange of gases(equalizing with the outside atmosphere), that this isn't usually a problem. If you have surface movement and some water flow, which your filters will provide, you should be fine. I don't bother with aerating my tanks with an airline. Only if I had a high stocking density, or saw signs of lack of oxygen(rapid breathing or gasping at the surface), would I bother with extra aeration. What an airline does is mix outside air into the water, which would allow dissolved gas levels in the tank to reach equilibrium with the atmosphere faster, if surface exchange alone was not sufficient.


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Old 10-21-2011, 12:43 AM   #3
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OK, so does it matter if the machine is making bubbles or would it just be better to set it so there is more current, surface movement? I have about 60/70 fish. 16 inch pleco, 2 mollies, 2 platys, and the rest are fry between a month and a few days. They are getting bigger and I thought the current would be entertaining for them, &, eventually necessary, for their breathing needs.

From your post, adeebm, it sounds like the surface movement would do the trick/be more effective than less current w/bubblage.

Would there be a problem with oxygen getting to certain parts of the tank? The fish would be more likely to spend their time away from those parts.

Thanks again.

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Old 10-21-2011, 01:07 AM   #4
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Most of the O2/CO2 exchange takes place at the surface of the water. As long as the filter/s are circulating the entire tank volume 4-5 times/hour you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:41 AM   #5
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Thanks Toddn.

It's a top fin 60 but my tank has probably only 45 gallons of water most of the time.

I should probably invest in a air purifier for my tank room. The house is relatively odor free. Perhaps the winter--closed doors, windows--could make for less than optimal conditions. Would this help or not be necessary?

How about my lid? Would it help to leave the back uncovered for CO2 out, O2 in purposes?

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5 gallon, 55 gallon, powerhead

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