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I was wondering if I needed an aerator for my system as I am going to get fish.

Thanks

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Yes... and a battery backup system to run it in the event of mains power failure...

In general I agree with Rupert but it depends on the size of your system and fish to water surface area ratio. So just to be safe, go ahead and spend the dough.

You can also design  your plumbing so that water is returned to the tank in a way that actively breaks the surface tension and supplies oxygen that way.  That said, I agree with Carey and Rupert...get an aerator to be safe no matter what you do.  It is tough to have too much oxygen in your fish tank, and nothing will kill your fish faster than lack of oxygen (well, I guess, besides a smack on the head...).

And when the pump dies (like mine just did last night) the fish will still get air.  It'll also allow you to turn the water pump off at night to save a bit on energy.

I've been experimenting on what the bare minimum requirements are to run a system in an effort to build an inexpensive off-grid system. My experience was that aeration, in the form of an airstone, was one of the necessary components. That said, I have aquariums with simple Hang-on-Back filters (with fairly big 10" fish) that don't have any other aeration, so, as Sylvia said, if you're running enough water through the system fast enough and dropping it into the tank enough to stir up the water you don't have to rush out and buy an airstone right away. But, I would get one for back up, especially if you have a lot of fish.

ok thanks guys. Really helped :)

For minimal setups with fish that don't eat plants, you should also consider adding O2-producing aquatic plants into your tank.  Its an easy natural backup to an air pump.

 What is a good fish to water surface area ratio to work with?

The question should always be... what is a good fish to filtration capacity ratio...at maximum feed rates?

Can you tell me some 02 aquatic plant names?

Averan said:

For minimal setups with fish that don't eat plants, you should also consider adding O2-producing aquatic plants into your tank.  Its an easy natural backup to an air pump.

I live in New England we lost power for 20 hours recently. The worst time!! I felt like my heart was tearing in half and felt so helpless. I got lucky though no deaths. I am using gold fish in my AP but have four tropical aquariums with over 100, some rare fish. They were almost finshed. There temps dropped from 76-78F to 50-52F in that 20 hours. Back up power is a major concern for me now.

anachris/elodea is the standard cheap aquarium plant that can adapt to colder temperatures.  goldfish like to uproot plants and this one does just fine floating around freely.

if your water is kept heated, you can use just about any tropical freshwater plant available at your local aquarium store.

cabomba is another fast-growing vine-like aquatic that is pretty easy to grow.

i like tossing in a few floating water hyacinth just to give my fish some shady shelter to hide under.  the mosquito fish love spawning in the roots of it too.

i'm using glass aquariums for my tanks so i get a lot of light coming in.  i let several species of algae grow wild too.  on a bright summer day the tanks are fizzing with all the micro bubbles of oxygen coming out of the plants!

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