Author Topic: Airstones and aeration!! How does it work?  (Read 787 times)

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Offline Hood

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Airstones and aeration!! How does it work?
« on: April 02, 2010, 08:34:49 AM »
Hey Guys,

I've spoken to a lot of people when they come round to get fish, about the use of airstones to increase the oxygen levels in their tank.

Many of the people I'm talking too, seem to be of the impression that the bubbles produced by airstone & pump combonation, are actually infusing oxygen into the water, which increases the oxygen levels in your tank.
This is actually not the case.
In standing water(eg. a still bucket of water) without any movement at all, oxygen diffusion does actually takes place, but naturally only in the top 5 centimeters.

How to increase aeration?
Through water transference:

A filter which takes water from the bottom of the tank and reintroduces it at the top, causes a rollover effect in a tank if the outlet current goes along the top of the water, breaking the water surface. A spray bar further enhances this effect by creating multiple streams penetrating the water's surface causing enhanced oxygen diffusion.

Hang-on filters are good too, because the waterfall of water which occurs in most brands takes up oxygen very effectively, and with a strong rollover the water, maximum aeration is also achieved.

Now we come to the humble, yet very effective airstone!
Airstones will create water movement, which takes the water from the bottom of the tank to the surface, where the oxygen absorption takes place, creating another instance of the aforementioned rollover effect.
The air diffused into the water by the stream of bubbles the airstone creates, is actually rather minimal and has a negligible effect on the water's oxygen absorption, other than the more commonly held belief that the bubbles actually infuse oxygen into the water itself.

Hope that helps to gain some insight into what airstones actually do, and how water is effectively oxygenated.  ;D