The primary function of an Aquarium Air Pump, also known as “stroke,” is to drive air, via mechanical means, into your aquarium. By moving air into the tank, you create ideal water movement with the increasing air bubbles, provide sufficient oxygen for your fish and marine life to “breath,” and give your aquarium a “low pressure” so that any surface currents that would usually blow air out into the tank, are pushed through the filter system into the air. A pump that is properly designed and maintained will operate at full capacity most of the time. This means that the amount of air pumped into the tank will be adequate to maintain a healthy aquarium environment.
Properly designed and installed, aquarium air pumps will allow the circulation of air throughout your tank. The process of proper water circulation, called aquaplaning, is what gives fish the ability to swim in the wild. Aquarium fish do not have the same environment in which they thrive, so proper water circulation is crucial to their well-being. Proper water circulation is achieved by the flow of air through a tube called a “clean” or “sonar” tube, to the outside of the aquarium, where it is exchanged with fresh, deoxygenated (or clean) water to supply the fish with oxygen, while returning water back to the aquarium to be returned to the fish later.
Because of the importance of proper circulation, there are a number of aquarium air pumps on the market today that are capable of more than one cycle of pumping water. It is important to purchase a pump capable of more than one cycle, in order to provide your fish with as much oxygen as possible. Properly designed, high capacity aquarium pumps can pump thousands of gallons of water per hour, or up to twenty-four gallons per minute. This type of pump is very beneficial in having both a constant flow of oxygen into and out of the tank, as well as the return of the outside atmosphere to refresh the inside of the tank. The constant flow of water moving through the pump will help to regulate the temperature of the fish, as well.
Another type of pump is the air-driven filter. These are usually more effective than the aquarium air pumps because of the high efficiency magnetron. The air pumps only need to maintain a constant flow of air and chemicals through the filters, therefore reducing the amount of energy needed to operate the device. The filters also help to eliminate a variety of debris that can build up in the system, such as tiny particulates of dirt that come from dead algae and plants.
A final type of aquarium pumps is the air flow through hydrometer-based filters. Although this type of aquarium device is most commonly found in freshwater aquariums, they can also work in saltwater aquariums. This is primarily due to the nature of the liquids that must pass through the device, as well as the pressure of the liquid itself.
The best aquarium air pump for your situation will depend upon many factors. One of the main factors is the type of environment the fish will be kept in. In order to have an environment that will allow the best biological processes to occur in the tank, you’ll need to have an appropriate pH and an adequate amount of dissolved oxygen available for the fish. You’ll also want to make sure that there is proper circulation in the tank.
For some situations, it might be necessary to run two separate aquariums. For instance, if you have tropical fish tanks, you might need to have a back up pump in case the first one doesn’t work properly. For this exact situation, however, it would be impossible to find two separate aquariums that have the same size and type of fish tank. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you know exactly what type of fish tank you will be keeping before you go out and purchase any aquarium equipment.
The third option is to use aquarium air pumps that use airline tubing. Airplane tubing can be used to pump air throughout any sized aquarium or water system, providing a constant source of air for the fish. This can be a very convenient way to operate aquariums because it eliminates the need for a pump. However, it might be more difficult to keep the aquariums at the same temperature since there is no physical connection for the pump and airline tubing. You also have to make sure that the air temperature in the fish tanks stays constant.