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Use of Air Bubbler with Plants?

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  • Use of Air Bubbler with Plants?

    Hi there ... another newbie question for you to contemplate.

    In my small (10g) freshwater tank with both fish and plants, I've got a small bubbler running out of an abundance of caution. However, in reading through some of the other forums, I noted that in a couple of places you've remarked that you don't think a bubbler is necessary in a freshwater community tank with live plants. Since my tank is small and I only have a few live plants, how safe is it for me to discontinue using the air bubbler?

    On the one hand it would be great to get rid of something that isn't helping, on the other hand if it's adding me a margin of safety for the fish I'm happy to keep it.

    Is there a simple rule of thumb I can follow here, or do I need to go out and buy yet another test kit to measure dissolved oxygen to be sure?


  • #2
    Thanks for your post evangemeren!

    Water exchanges CO2 for O2 at pretty much every surface that is in contact with the air. An air bubbler works by increasing the water's surface area contact with the air by sending bubbles to the surface. While this may increase the amount of Oxygen in the water a little bit, it really is not doing all that much. If you have a good filter that will move your water so that most of it is in contact with the air at some point, you will have plenty of oxygen in the water for your fish! Usually if fish are not getting enough oxygen, it's because there is either too much of a reducing agent in the water that can reduce the oxygen, or, something like ammonia is getting into the gils of the fish and compromising its respiratory capacity.

    I hope this helps!