do i need an aerator for my fish tank?

Fish breathe, which means they cannot survive without oxygen. Since the vegetation in the aquarium cannot fully saturate the water with oxygen, external replenishment is required.

Aerators are helpful for fish tanks. The main purpose of an aerator is to add oxygen to the water, which can be beneficial for both the fish and the plants in the tank. If you have a large tank or if you have a lot of fish, you may want to consider using an aerator.

do i need an aerator for my fish tank

This refers to the aeration of the water in the aquarium through special equipment. This process will be discussed in the article.

what is aeration in fish tank?

Aeration refers to the movement of water volume, due to which it is enriched with oxygen.

During this process, air flows through the water column, splitting into small gas bubbles. They are the suppliers of O2.

In nature, aeration occurs naturally – due to wind, underwater springs, and currents. In a limited space, this is impossible. Here, plants and aeration equipment are the main suppliers of O2.

Do fish tanks need to be aerated?

Ozone is needed not only by fish but also by beneficial bacteria (they settle in thickets and soil). The latter is important for maintaining the bio balance in the aqua world. Otherwise, full life in an aquarium is impossible.

In stagnant water, oxygen particles are absorbed more slowly. Vortex flows are required to mix the water layers.

factors affecting dissolved oxygen in Aquarium

A number of factors affect the O2 value in an aquarium:

  1. The place where the process starts. Air and water are connected at the very top of the tank. The aerating device initiates vortices and oscillatory movements due to bubbles – this is how mixing is carried out.
  2. Only the cause of saturation of O2 is not bubbles, but the degree of bubbling. And they only increase the absorption of oxygen from the atmosphere.
  3. The larger the area of ​​the water surface, the more active aeration is. Do not tightly cover the aquarium with a lid, which prevents access to fresh air.
  4. plant concentration. The denser the vegetation, the more oxygen deficiency develops. This is when the light is low. Plants begin to take ozone from outside. Therefore, it is necessary to create a sufficient light regime.
  5. Depth. If there is no regular mixing of the water layers in a large aquarium, the oxygen level will decrease over time. Then forced aeration is required.
  6. Temperature regime. The more the water is heated, the less oxygen it contains. In heat, fish metabolism is accelerated, which causes the need for O2.
  7. Constancy. Ozonation should be carried out without interruptions, even at night. Otherwise, the fish will start to get sick and die.

do i need an aerator for my fish tank?

One of the most important pieces of equipment for any fish tank is the aerator. An aerator helps to keep the water in the tank oxygenated and is necessary for keeping your fish healthy and thriving. If you have a smaller tank, or if your tank is located in a room that does not have a lot of airflows, you may need to purchase an aerator to make sure your fish have enough oxygen.

It is good when the O2 value in water is 5 mg/liter or a little more. You can measure it with test strips available for sale in specialized stores. If there is some difference or low oxygen level in a fish tank or your home aquarium then an aerator is needed for the fish tank.

There are 2 types of aquarium aeration:

  • natural the degree of O2 saturation is maintained by flora and fauna of natural origin;
  • artificial O2 is supplied by special aerating devices called aerators.

The second option is chosen if there is not enough vegetation, and aquarium inhabitants experience hypoxia. This is manifested by the fact that snails crawl from stones onto the glass of the tank or stick to plants, and fish float to the surface and begin to eagerly swallow air.

How to aerate water in fish tank?

There are a number of different types of aerators available on the market, so it is important to do your research before purchasing one. Some aerators are designed for large tanks, while others are small and compact enough to be used in a desktop aquarium. The type of aerator you need will depend on the size and type of your fish tank.

aerate water in fish tank with Pumps

This is such a device that moves the water column due to increased air pressure. The movement of water under the influence of the pump will be much more active, and, therefore, oxygen enrichment is more complete.

Usually a cleaning filter is built into them, and air is drawn in through an outlet pipe protruding above the water surface. Then it combines with water, and the output is bubbles.

Additionally, a current is formed and this is not to the liking of some fish. Therefore, it is necessary to select an apparatus with an average power so as not to create a storm. It should have a throughput within 1/3 of the total displacement.

Best aerator Pumps for fish tank

AquaEl Circulator Professional 500 Pump is a new generation pump for water circulation in fresh and marine aquariums. Can aerate up to 150 liters.

They work well even at great depths, where other devices can not cope with their task. Convenient to use.

The model has a regulating device at the outlet of the nozzle, which allows you to adjust the water pressure.


An oxidizer is a container made of plastic, glass or ceramic, which has a stand filled with hydrogen peroxide and a catalyst. When they react with each other, they form oxygen.

High-quality devices do not require frequent refueling – 2-4 times a month. Oxidizers are of different types: for long-term transportation of fish, for large and small containers.

Best Oxydator for fish tank

Sochting Oxydator D designed to serve aquariums with a volume of 400 to 600 liters. Without recharging, it works up to 8 weeks at a temperature of 25-26 ° C.

One liter of peroxide solution is enough for a month.

Sochting Mini Oxydator is a compact device. The refill container holds about 20 ml of peroxide. Duration of work without charging from 2 to 4 weeks.

This device is not a compressor replacement. The oxidizing agent can be used when transporting fish, since it does not depend on the network. 

Use Filter to aerate water in fish tank

Filters are needed not only to saturate the water with oxygen but also to cleanse the waste products of fish. Such devices operate according to the following principle: air bubbles, passing through a thin pipe, draw water into the filtering sector (it is located at the bottom), where it is cleaned of suspended particles.

Such movement occurs due to the pump. As filter components are used:

  • sand,
  • gravel,
  • expanded clay.

Filters are available for outdoor and indoor installation. According to the method of exposure, they are divided into mechanical, biological, and Physico-chemical.

In the first case, water is captured by forced air bubbles, in the second case, purification occurs due to beneficial bacteria, in the third case, special substances are released into the water, which is then removed by absorption.

Best filters for fish tank

Aquael VERSAMAX Filter is a filter with a built-in pump, mounted on the outside of the aquarium wall. Can purify water in three ways: mechanical, biological and chemical.

Designed for marine aquariums from 20 to 100 liters. Has a capacity of up to 500 liters per hour. Weighs only 800 grams.

Aqueon QuietFlow E Internal Power Filter Extra Small is an internal filter for mechanical cleaning. Suitable for aerating freshwater tanks with a capacity of 3 Gallons. 

The productivity of the device is 450 l / h, the power is 5.2 W.

Aerate fish tank without pump

aerate fish tank without pump

aquarium air diffuser

Usually, sprayers are included in the package of compressors. They are placed in the ground. The air entering the device is converted from the outside into bubbles and spreads around, creating turbulence. Thus, the water is saturated with oxygen.

It is necessary to choose installations made of plastic with polyethylene air ducts. It is impossible that they contain metal parts – they react with ozone.

Best aquarium air diffuser

AQUANEAT 2 Pack Air Stone is an ordinary aquarium air diffuser from a German manufacturer. It has a coarse-grained structure. Its dimension is 2×4.

Suitable for hydroponic systems, ponds, and aquarium fish tanks, helping healthy air flow.

Using Tablets to Aerate fish tank

Due to such tablets, the level of O2 in the water increases. They are suitable when transporting fish over long distances so that they do not experience a lack of oxygen. One capsule contains 30 mg.

Hydrogen peroxide to aerate aquarium

It serves as a catalyst. When in contact with water, the peroxide releases oxygen. The product does not harm the living inhabitants of the aquarium. On the contrary, it additionally carries a number of useful functions:

  • able to reanimate suffocated fish;
  • revitalizes aquatic microflora;
  • destroys harmful filamentous algae;
  • treats bacterial infections affecting fish.

It is recommended to spray the peroxide solution through a syringe.

natural methods Aerate fish tank without pump

Natural ozonation refers to the introduction of snails into the aquarium. In addition, plants are planted that can regulate the oxygen balance in the aqua world.

Can fish recover from lack of oxygen?

To revive a fish suffocated from a lack of oxygen, pharmacy hydrogen peroxide 3% is used.

With a tank volume of not more than 100 liters, add 40 ml of peroxide.

As soon as bubbles appear on the walls, the filter, and directly on the fish, the water is partially replaced. If after 15 minutes the effect is not observed, then it will not be possible to save the deceased.


In conclusion, an aerator is not necessary for a fish tank, but it can be helpful in keeping the water clean and oxygenated. If you are looking for a way to improve the quality of your tank’s water, an aerator may be a good option for you.

Aeration in an aquarium is a key aspect in terms of the full life of all inhabitants. The selection of equipment for aeration and oxidation should be approached responsibly and not save.

When choosing a model, its power indicators are evaluated. Usually, there are instructions on the package.

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