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Old 01-22-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
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Air Pumps....Does Size Matter?

The backstory:

I have a couple tanks, a 10g and a 55g. I've had the 10g since I was like 12, and I just recently got the 55g and all the goodies from my brother. I know that the air pumps don't add much oxygen to the water themselves, its more about the circulation they provide, as well as the look. The Whisper 30-60 that came with the 55g was a) louder than my Whisper 10-30 I had, and b) looked to move just as much air as my 10-30 even when the 30-60 was T'ed. For those reasons, the 10-30 is what I hooked up to my main 55g via a 'T'. When I needed to set up my old 10g as a nursery, I hooked up the 30-60, and since it moved the same amount of air as the old one, all was good. This morning when I turned on the lights of the 10g, I noticed that there was maybe a quarter of the bubbles that normally are there. I took the pump apart and found the problem; Both rubber bladders were torn. I took the assembly apart, did a quick repair that might actually hold for awhile, and hooked it back up to the tank. I guess one bladder had to have been torn for awhile because Man was there a difference! There is much more air flow now than I have ever seen before. Which leads me to my question...

The 10-30 is still hooked up to the 55g, and the 30-60 only has one outlet hooked up now because of the upgraded flow. The 10-30 is still the quieter of the two, so I would like to maintain that on the main tank, but is the 30-60 really too much for the 10g with only one outlet hooked up (about the flow I had before)? Or should I really have the 30-60 hooked up to the 55g? Simply put, is the rating of the air pump really something that should be followed? Or is it more of a case where you just want to get enough flow for the look your after? Is there such a thing as too many/ too strong of bubbles where I could stress the fish, or is it like filters where there is no such thing as too much filtration. Am I even making sense?

Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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It's always good to have more than enough air flow. You can use a air adjuster valve to adjust the flow rate, they make them in plastic and in metal, and they are available at most pet stores.

I go with the largest air pump I can afford, assuming that I will likely be adding more to it later on.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:50 AM   #3
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Your probably fine sounds as if it's doing the job and I agree better have more then less. Remember air pumps are sized not on flow so much as depth smaller pumps will push air down but work harder doing it deeper tanks bigger pump. It is usually a mute point but a larger pump will work less provide more flow. If the smaller pump works and is not getting too hot then stay with it I say.
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