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Old 01-24-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
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Newbie to fish keeping - air pumps??

I have a 75 gallon tank whose main host is a turtle... but I recently added in some fish to make it more lively (3 bala sharks and 2 Chinese Algae Eaters). I understand that I need to do something to get oxygen into the tank and this is where I'm lost...

Am I correct in saying oxygen can get into the tank by agitating the water at the top? I've bought a hydro-sponge filter that's creating bubbles that I hope will do the trick for this. So that brings me to air pumps and which one I need to pick/what rating.

Do I really need an air pump rated for 75gals (or higher)? Right now I have a rena for 50g.

And what air pump is good! I'm having major problems with this. I bought a top fin and it was loud... I exchanged for a Tetra Whisper for 60g and it was even louder! (The engine itself, not it vibrating).. I'm now on the rena. I've heard amazing reviews about the tetra being super quiet so I'm wondering if it was just that particular pump or...

Much thanks for the help.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:17 PM   #2
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Yes, O2 gets into tank by agitating the water surface. You don't necessarily have to use an airpump ... a water pump will work just fine too. <The air is just the agitator, doesn't add much O2 to the water.>

I have never found a quiet airpump ... one choice would be to get a big pump & put it in a closet or other sound proof box & run a long tubing to your tank. <You need a bigger pump to push air through the long tubing.>

Much quieter solution is to get an over sized water filter & adjust the outflow so the water is agitated. Or you can run a second smaller filter (in addition to your existing) for the same purpose. A power head (small water pump designed for water circulation) would be yet another choice. A good quality water pump is way quieter than any airpump.
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80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:31 AM   #3
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I personally use two powerheads that suction to the side of the tank. I placed one at each end of the tank, just below the surface, and pointed them both slightly upward and toward one another. This creates quite a bit of agitation, and it's virtually silent =]
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:04 PM   #4
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I might just have to deal with the rena then. It's not completely silent but I like the bubble effect and I believe I need an air pump specifically to run a hydro sponge filter. I think I'll try putting it in a box and wrapping it up with cloth... just play around to see what will shut it up.

But will a air pump rated for 50g be enough for my 75g? Right now I have two bio-wheels but I can't stand the water fall sound so I was going to use a custom-made spray bar... I might play around with it to see if I can get it to agitate the surface.
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:36 PM   #5
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You can run a sponge filter with a power head as well, although you might have to DIY a connection if the filter is not designed to fit.

Air pump rating is approx. anyways. As long as the livestock seems fine, you are OK with whatever size you use. <Esp. since this is supplemental circulation, the main circulation is done by the main filters.>

If you want to try to "box" your pump, remember that you need an opening for air to get in, or the pump won't work ... so that mean some kind of hole/vent with a sound baffle. People have found that suspending the pump in the box quieten things. Because the pump itself is vibrating, it can resonate & amplify the sound if it touch any solid surface. People have tried suspending the pump using cords or other sound dampening material, with varying success.
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