Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Trinket

Tank Aeration In Summer

11 posts in this topic

For many goldfish owners, summer has arrived and the water in tanks and ponds is heating up. While fish often seem to do well in warmer weather, watch out for signs of oxygen deficiency. Fish that are near the surface frequently - (after ruling out a pH crash, water problems or disease) - may be needing a better supply of dissolved oxygen in their space.

As temperature rises, the ability of water to carry dissolved oxygen decreases. At the same time, as the water heats up, the goldfish's metabolism speeds up and more oxygen is required. This creates the following conundrum: The warmer the water - the less oxygen ; the warmer the water - the more oxygen goldfish need.

The following are some suggested remedies for circulating dissolved oxygen better in your tank(s).

A water change preferably poured creating bubbles will provide instant oxygen, if temporary. Shading the pond or tank from sunlight will help reduce heat and therefore raise oxygen levels. Plants - while beneficial in the daytime - will absorb oxygen at night so planted tank and tub/barrel/pond owners would also do well to consider adding extra aeration. Surface movement is extremely effective in creating gas exchange - this can be done with airstones/walls/wands, consider adding extra in the hot weather. Smaller bubbles are more easily dissolved and provide slightly more oxygen. If your filter out tube is below the water surface it will not be providing a significant supply of oxygen- a power head can be attached to point the water at the back wall of the tank and create a fountain effect providing effective aeration.

Further measures: In extreme heat, water should be cooled. there are various ways to go about this and everyone has a different favorite but care should be taken not to plunge temperatures too suddenly (2 or 3 degrees change maximum in an hour)and not to add anything to the tank that will freezeburn a fish. One idea is to keep 2 small bottles - I use 500cc size in a 30 gallon tank - of frozen water in the freezer - and alternate them. Put one plastic bottle in to float and leave the other frozen. When the first frozen bottle has defrosted, you can take it out and add the 2nd frozen, putting the first frozen back in to freeze- and so on. You should be very careful to check the lowering temperature constantly.

Other methods of reducing the water temperature by several degrees are to use a fan, to turn off overhead flourescent light strips and to remove the tank hood if there is one. Clip on aquarium fans or standing electrical fans are quite effective if pointed directly at the surface of the water.

The oxygen demands of goldfish can double in the first hour after feeding. For this reason if there is insufficient oxygen available then fish should be fed sparingly even though they seem hungrier in the warm waether. Of course if oxygen is plenty available then goldfish will be happy to be fed a little more as their metabolism rises in the warm weather, therefore keeping tanks well aerated means we can do this safely.

Finally, a remedy I have read about but not dared try - is to add in a sprayer only - a 3 % USP solution of hydrogen peroxide - one squirt (1.5 millilters) per gallon of water. Do not spray on fish and spray below the water surface. this method takes about 30 minutes to take effect. Since overspraying is very risky and can burn fish, this is not a method I would recommendexcept for the very experienced but it is said to be effective in raising dissolved oxygen levels.

So please take a moment to consider your aeration as the hot weather progresses. Your fish will be much more active and thank you for it with that loveable happydance.gif happy dance!

This post has been promoted to an article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay! :nana So pleased this was accepted. Thanks! :wub: . I really hope someone out there will find something in it useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A great posting Trinket! Well done and thankyou! Very interesting and informative and a useful resource for everyone :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats Imogen! That was a very informative article, and there was some things I didn't know about. Can I add one thing? You implied it, but never came out to say it. I've found that opening up the hood on the aquarium will lower the water temporature by a few degrees.

Good job again, a lot of people have to deal with summer heat issues, and its important for fish owners to know what is going on and how to help out their fish :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Feel free to add away, anyone! That's right Kissy. Opening the hood is a very quick way to reduce temperature and my hooded tanks are open in the summer. I have to watch out for our cat as one tank is on the floor but so far she is one of those cats who doesnt seem to be interested in fish (yes..I know..improbable). She's in the yard mostly these days as its hot and when she comes in at night I close up the hood.

Also something else, it isnt just planted tanks interestingly that get oxygen benefit from plants in the day -and depletion at night- it is also true for algaed tanks. if youve been cultivating a wall of algae somewhere that too can act as an oxygen producer in the day and of course a slight depleter at night. if you look with a microscope you can see the algae has weeny little bubbles on in the day :) .

Thanks for the comments mrbumblebee ( :rofl -just decoded that one as I wrote it. I thought it was a random bunch of ms and rs!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: I like to confuse people if I can Imogen! ;)

Very interesting what you said about heavily algaed tanks, I never thought about that before, but I suppose it does make sense :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Imogen:

Hi..I liked your article - I am having a hard time deciding what to do with my 46 gallon tank. First of all, it's hard for me to understand why surface agitation helps oxygen as opposed to the bubbles which are deeper/lower in the tank - I don't get that..I mean, if the only part of the water that is really moving around is the top part, how is that good? Anyways, because I felt that way, I've always used bubbles..so, I had a bubble wand along the back of my tank because I believed that my fishies needed as much oxygen as possible, however, one of my little fantails has been sickly (a whole different story) and she had taken to hanging out by the bubble wall, isolating kind of nose down. Well the other day I broke my bubble wand and the pet store was closed, so I just put everything back together...well lo and behold my little fantail is not isolating or bottom sitting anymore, and she has not since the bubble wand was there...she now floats around mid tank and swims in and out of the little tunnel and seems less stressed - but the thing is, I worry about my other three fish. They seem ok, but I don't know if they are upset about no bubbles. I have two Penguin 200s and a Penguin 150, and I keep the water a little lower on the tank so there is plenty of surface agitation..in fact, I like the way my tank now sounds like a little waterfall instead of how noisy and agitated it sounded with the bubbles..sorry for the long winded post..but what do you think? How do I know if my fishies are not getting enough oxygen or if the others are not happy? What would you do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there are a couple of things that can tell you if you have enough oxygen in your tank:

Fish will try to "get oxygen" when there isn't enough in their tank, and the way they do it is by hanging out on the water surface, and with their mouths it looks like they are gasping for air. Which they really can't, since their air comes in through their gills. That is one way to tell if there isn't enough oxygen available.

They also might be a bit more lethargic, trying to safe energy, a bit more sitting around, not feeding as active. One thing you'll notice, especially in a heavily planted tank, is that gasping mentioned above, but also unfortunately dead fish in the morning. Plants do give off oxygen during the day, but at night time, they consume the oxygen out of the water, which leaves the fish with less for themselves. The biggest fish are effected first, those are the first ones to suffer due to their size. Bigger fish = higher oxygen demand. Especially in ponds with not enough oxygen, and algae using up the oxygen at night, pond keepers will find their big beautiful koi dead or suffering in the morning.

One sure fire way however, is a test kit for oxygen. I don't know if you can get that in just any pet stores, since its not such a common test kit people ask for, but its out there... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:D Hey Imogen,Just wanted to say Congrats on you Research.You did a great job Hun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Newfishmom,

If you are keeping those 2 filter outtubes above water level as you say then there is probably enough surface agitation without the need of the bubble wand. Especially as you say if you can hear/see a waterfall effect and some good splash and you have two.

The aeration benefit of 2 filter outtubes splashing onj the surface is better than one and much better than for people who keep their water level higher than the outtube- which gives zero aeration benefit.

So why is that? Oxygen enters the water AT the surface. that's the keypoint. this is why wide surface area of ponds etc provide such excellent aeration and why small U shaped goldfish bowls provide none.

Agitation of the surface where the oxygen meets the water creates that vital exchange between the 2 elements of air and water that dissolves the oxygen and mixes it into the water. that is not a very technical explanation but that is what happens.

This is why the more surface agitation that can be created the more efficient the oxygen entering the tank will be.

If the fish are swimming midcenter and seem fine with the surface agitation that you are providing, I would say you are doing fine :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Devs :heart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×