There are very few elements are as fundamental to life as we know it than Oxygen, and few things are more important to maintaining a saltwater aquarium than making sure your fish have enough oxygen in the tank.
That much shouldn’t serve as too much of a shock to anyone out there, fish owners and otherwise. That said, saltwater tank fish owners can certainly sympathise with the notion that their finicky tanks can be a lot more difficult to maintain than their freshwater counterparts.
On the one hand, this is part of the trade-off that you make when you opt for a saltwater aquarium, and most such owners would likely say it’s worth it to be able to enjoy the dazzling array of colourful exotic fish these tanks can house. Some owners even enjoy the added challenge that comes from managing the different layers of nuance present in saltwater aquariums as opposed to freshwater fish tanks.
On the other hand, in other cases, that difficulty can be downright maddening. Case in point – a saltwater aquarium’s aeration system.
Can you have too much aeration in a fish tank?
First, let’s tackle a basic and essential question – what do these aerations systems do, anyway?
Simply put, they work to circulate the water within your tank by increasing the airflow. This is critical because, like fish take in oxygen from the water lower in the tank, the water becomes more deoxygenated. Fish tank aerators like this extra silent Aquarium Air Pump are great at having consistent airflow without excessive vibrations that disturb the fish.
While water will naturally circulate somewhat on its own, in confined spaces such as a saltwater fish tank, uncirculated water can often become deoxygenated faster than it might become reoxygenated on its own. It is thus essential to have filtration and circulation systems bringing water to the surface, where it can become reoxygenated and filter down into the depths of the saltwater aquarium for your fish to breathe.
All of this serves to dispel at least one common, highly problematic saltwater tank-keeping myth, that being that you don’t really “need” a filtrations system so long as you have air stones. We’ll cover these in a moment, but suffice it to say that as demonstrated above, circulating water via proper aeration systems is critical.
To properly aerate a tank, therefore, you’ll need to make sure that you have proper aeration and filtration system in place. It is vitally important to place the air pump above the water level and to make sure that there are backup systems in place. You don’t want a sudden blockage, power outage, or other problem to leave your tank without proper aeration.
Oxygen Bubbles in a Saltwater Aquarium
It is also important to pay some considerable attention to the size of oxygen bubbles in your tank. As the last thing fish keepers want is to notice their pet fish are struggling for oxygen in their aquatic homes.
Smaller bubbles are usually said to be more effective when it comes to aerating a tank.
The smaller size air bubbles helps increase the amount of oxygen that flows through the saltwater fish tank, compared to the fewer but larger air bubbles generated by other aquarium aerators. That said, not all fish respond well to small bubbles, as certain fish may try and consume them, with fatal consequences.
Which are better for your aeration system or additional means such as air stones will depend on what type of fish you’re keeping.
Air Stones in Aquariums
This brings us back around to the subject of air stones. For those not in the know, air stones are just what they sound like, little stone-shaped items which you can place deep in your tank, where they diffuse air bubbles.
This can add to the ambience of your saltwater aquarium and is supposed to help with oxygen levels. While it may do so in part, these stones are not nearly enough to keep your tank properly aerated. Rather, they should serve as support for those air pump-based aeration systems.
When all considered together, the above factors can help properly aerate your saltwater aquarium fish tank.