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By Berry Levine
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During the last few months, quarantine and lockdowns have unlocked a new level of boredom killers and hobbies. While many became budding chefs, some hobbies may have been different. If you grew a liking toward having your own fish tank or aquarium, you have just given yourself a list of new responsibilities.

A fish tank is relaxing to look at but requires a lot of care and supervision. Water levels must be exact, filters in good working condition, and the health of the fish taken care of. Just like a filter, air pumps are a crucial piece of equipment that determines the health of your aquarium, here is why.

Surface Agitation and Gas Exchange

Sounds complex? Let’s break it down. Surface agitation is of prime importance as it indicates there is a gas exchange-taking place. Meaning the oxygen on the surface of the tank can make its way down, while the carbon dioxide at the bottom can be pumped out.

The constant flow of air is vital for the health of the aquarium; therefore, place your power filter a little above the water so that surface agitation is created. If that is not an option an aquarium aerator is your next solution to create the bubbles for air circulation.

High Levels of Oxygen

As the main source for living things, the correct level of oxygen in the tank is important. If you find the fish gasping for air at the surface of the tank, then that is a good indicator of insufficient oxygen levels inside. The air pump with an air stone creates thousands of oxygen bubbles that filter the water creating a healthy, aerated environment.

However, this does not mean you load up your tank with oxygen. Aeration should be monitored and controlled. Too much aeration can be identified if you notice the fish with bubbles on their bodies and around their eyes. This is called the gas bubble disease and can be fatal to the fish and other organisms living in the tank if not controlled.

Doubles as a Decoration

Have you ever looked at some aquariums and seen the crispness of the water and bubbles and thought that looks great. Air pumps are also used for decorative purposes. The bubble creation makes the tank look clean and calming to the eye. The fish too enjoy swimming through the bubbles.

Sponge Filters Are Your Friends

The other great thing about using an air pump is that it allows you to use sponge filters. They are cheap, effective, and nurture the good bacteria that are essential for the health of the tank. Sponge filters work with an air pump as it does not have a motor and relies on the upward shove of an air pump to drive the water from the tank over the sponge filters.

Choosing an air pump purely depends on what you are looking for, there a variety of air pumps available, and sufficient research into each is recommended before purchasing.

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