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Old 04-11-2012, 04:54 PM   #1
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Tired question: Air pump or Powerhead??

Hello all,

So Im new to all of this and am currently in the process of cycling my FW tank. I have a 75 gal drilled FW tank with live plants in it and a Fluval 406 filter. I have a light and heater and wanted to know what other hardware do I need? I keep coming across the need for an air pump or a powerhead but I must admit I am confused. I even googled it but those responses confused me anymore! So these are my questions:

1. Are they (air pump or powerhead) necessary or can I do without? Currently in my tank there aren't any bubbles (are bubbles necessary for the fish to survive?) due to lack of "waterfall" effect since my tank is drilled.

2. I read that an air pump literally pump airs into the water thus creating a push so the water moves. A powerhead is more of a cycling fan so it pushes and stirs. So is their sole purpose to circulate the water in the tank?

3. Air stones, bubble maker, bubble bars, ornaments that make bubbles, etc. Are these necessary to be hooked up to the air pump or powerhead? can I do without?

4. My understanding is that an air pump works with the actual pump outside the tank and then tubing going into the tank and hooked up to an airstone or whatever. Is there such a thing as an underwater airpump or over the glass airpump ....basically can I somehow use an air pump without those hideous tubes all over the place?

5. Piggybacking on above question but with the powerhead...Ive seen some submergeable ones but is there some sort of gadget that does this effect wihout having anything (tubes or actual hardware) go into tank? does the powerhead need tubing? can you hook up a bubble maker (I kinda like the curtain effect) to a powerhead?

6. Do either an air pump or powerhead aid or hinder the life of live plants in the tank? Can I do without or do the plants need it? This might be another separate thread in itself since I read tons of mixed reviews on this.

7. Are air pumps and powerheads the only gadgets that do this sort of thing or is there something else....I saw something called a wavemaker?

8. I read that powerheads aid in waterchanges? Do both do this? If so, how? Maybe this reason alone maybe motivation enough to get one to eliminate buckets!

9. Aside from this bubble/current making hardware, anything else I need?

and excuse the rookie Q's!

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Old 04-11-2012, 05:45 PM   #2
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Tank Aeration

Hello Jeny...

Wow. That's quite a lot of info. in your post. Simply, you don't need an airstone or airstones. They really do very little to get oxygen into the tank water and carbon dioxide out. Just get a couple of power filters with a combined gph (gallon per hour) rating of roughly 6 times the volume of your tank and position them on opposite sides of the tank. You can also plant the tank well. The plants are natural filters that take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

There's no reason to make the waterkeeping hobby complicated.


"Fear not, my young apprentice. Just change the tank water."
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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Thanks....I know, I ask ALOT of questions!
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air, air pump, powerhead, pump, question

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