Air Pump Question From An Aquanoob


We recently impulse purchased a small (2.2 gal) aquarium starter kit. And after letting it run without fish for a few days my 3 year old son got to pick out his fish a day or two ago. We got a female betta fry named Dory, not very original but he's three.

As I mentioned it was an impulse purchase and I did not start doing my research until afterwards so, yes, I now know we should probably have gotten a bigger tank and should probably not have gotten a fry but the other females were $15 to $20 and he had to have a girl fish!

The kit we got, Imagitarium 2.2 gal Cumberland () came with an under gravel filter an air pump and an air stone. The problem is that when I have the air pump, a Hawkeye 201 aqt, running it makes so many bubbles it covers the entire surface of the tank in bubbles, about an eighth to a quarter inch deep. This seems like way too much adoration to me and whenever I turn the pump off, Dory goes right to the surface to get a breath and seems more relaxed and happy. So my question is, with this size tank and only one small fish, no live plants, what, if anything, should I do about filtration and/or aeration? Is my air pump putting out too much air for this tank? The air flow on the pump is not adjustable so my options for the pump seem to be, leave it off, leave it on, buy a control valve, or something I haven't thought of yet. Secondly, should I get some other filtration system or is this system good enough?

Thanks for the help, I have already learned a lot reading threads on here.


Sounds like you need to buy the valve to reduce the air going through the tank. These can be fiddly and temperamental. edit: had a look at the link you gave and one of the reviews
"Good Beginner's Tank" says to twist the airpump to get a gentle flow of air.

You urgently need to know about the nitrogen cycle. The tank should have been cycled before adding fish.

Feeding must be kept strictly under control to avoid polluting the aquarium. If feeding flakes I suggest two per day.

An undergravel filter will in theory work fine once cycled.

I personally would not entertain so small an aquarium. They do not provide the fish or owner with an interesting environment and are difficult to have success with. But I think it is possible to make one work with care. My smallest is 55 US gallon and my largest 110 US gallon.

Unfortunately you do need to make a much larger investment to have a fulfilling aquarium hobby.


Bettas like slow moving water. They’re not good swimmers and fast moving water stresses them out. If it was me, I would just leave the air off.

The good news is that their filter needs are low. They need a filter, but it doesn’t have to be really strong.

A larger tank will be easier to manage. Can get a 10 gallon for $10-15 at big chain stores. Redshark mentioned the nitrogen cycle, reading up on that would be time well spent.


"Good Beginner's Tank" says to twist the airpump to get a gentle flow of air.
I must have missed this in the instructions. It does indeed change the air flow but it's still too much I think.

I am very familiar with the nitrogen cycle as I work at a company that manufactures water quality instrumentation and the same cycle is used to treat human wastewater as well.

Seems like I need to look at getting a larger tank if I want to do this right. Now to convince the wife.


I to excel a bigger tank, 5 gallon min.

But if you hook up the UGF system, the bubbles should be released nearer the surface, causing less current and disruption. Try that first, then get a bigger tank.

Similar Aquarium Threads

seng felix

Random Great Thread!

New Aquarium Equipment Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom