Constant Vs Variable Tank Conditions

omarfarhat

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Hi. I am relatively new to this hobby. I have a few questions. I totally understand that any type of fish needs stable and appropriate water parameters (temp, ph, cycled tank, etc... ). My question here is, can variability of other factors such as flow/current, noise, air pump running/not running...etc.. can variability of these factors stress the fish? Let me give an example. Tank A and tank B are identical (same fish, same decor, same filtration..etc... Tank A has filter and powerhead and air pump running 24/7. Tank B has filter running 24/7 but powerhead and air pump on a timer (occasionally on and occasionally off...) So in tank B the water movement and level of noise and bubbles/no bubbles is not constant throughout the 24 hours of the day. Will the fish in tank B be more stressed? Do fish get accustomed to a certain setup and get stressed by any change in that setup? Or can they deal with variability? I would appreciate any input. Thank you.
 

TheBettaSushi

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omarfarhat said:
Hi. I am relatively new to this hobby. I have a few questions. I totally understand that any type of fish needs stable and appropriate water parameters (temp, ph, cycled tank, etc... ). My question here is, can variability of other factors such as flow/current, noise, air pump running/not running...etc.. can variability of these factors stress the fish? Let me give an example. Tank A and tank B are identical (same fish, same decor, same filtration..etc... Tank A has filter and powerhead and air pump running 24/7. Tank B has filter running 24/7 but powerhead and air pump on a timer (occasionally on and occasionally off...) So in tank B the water movement and level of noise and bubbles/no bubbles is not constant throughout the 24 hours of the day. Will the fish in tank B be more stressed? Do fish get accustomed to a certain setup and get stressed by any change in that setup? Or can they deal with variability? I would appreciate any input. Thank you.
I have a hob filter that runs constantly (for obvious reasons). However, I also have an airstone that I turn on at night when the lights go off. I have a betta in the tank so my filter is baffled to deter flow and not push too much current but I also have live plants. I believe the airstone helps oxygenate the water some (in case my betta decides to find a comfortable resting spot towards the bottom of the tank). My fish enjoys the airstone when it’s on as he swims right on top of it and stays there for quite some time. My pump is extremely quiet as is the airstone, except for a light humming sound the airstone makes. The noise doesn’t bother him at all and definitely doesn’t cause him any stress.
 

TheBettaSushi

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Executionernerner said:
Yes, if a filter is not running, the beneficial bacteria will die and the cycle will be ruined, same with air pumps and air stones. I'm pretty sure the beneficial bacteria can live like 10 minutes with the filter off
Don’t think the 10 minutes statement is true. Bb can survive for several hours without a filter running as long as the sponge/media is wet, in a dark place and has an opening to absorb oxygen. Hob filters have a lid. As long as that is removed and water is left inside the filter, bb can survive for a period of time longer than 10 minutes. Don’t think canister filters are the same but I’m sure if you open the canister to let oxygen in, bb can survive for several hours as well.

I believe this method is used for taking fish to exhibitions where filter media is housed in water and in darkness to keep bb alive until it reaches a new tank. This is also a method used to seed bb into new tanks that haven’t been established yet.
 

Nappers

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Hi, the filter needs to run 24/7 but ancillary items like air stone/powerhead don't.
Personally I would run the basic setup for a couple of weeks and make sure fish are happy with it, then I'd run with air stone and powered etc for a couple of weeks, then I'd set my schedule.
The reason for a couple of weeks is to watch and get used to fish behaviour so you'll notice any significant difference. Unless your blowing them round the tank I don't think they'll mind.
There is an argument for having airstone on at night in a planted tank.
I wouldn't have short cycle periods tho as its likely to stress the fish.
 

Executionernerner

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TheBettaSushi said:
Don’t think the 10 minutes statement is true. Bb can survive for several hours without a filter running as long as the sponge/media is wet, in a dark place and has an opening to absorb oxygen. Hob filters have a lid. As long as that is removed and water is left inside the filter, bb can survive for a period of time longer than 10 minutes. Don’t think canister filters are the same but I’m sure if you open the canister to let oxygen in, bb can survive for several hours as well.

I believe this method is used for taking fish to exhibitions where filter media is housed in water and in darkness to keep bb alive until it reaches a new tank. This is also a method used to seed bb into new tanks that haven’t been established yet.

Sorry I've never actually had my filters turned off. I've just been told that 10 minutes is how long bacteria can survive.
 

camste

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If it was 10 minutes the bacteria would be dying every time I do a pwc in my tank It takes more than 10 mins to drain, clean and refill the tank, and I always turn off the filter while doing maintenance. I wouldn't keep it off otherwise unless I had a good reason though.
 
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omarfarhat

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Thank you, all for your replies. The reason I asked this question is the following: I have recently set up a tank and stocked it. It is cycled. I was aiming to have a beautiful, QUIET, aquarium with fish swimming gracefully (not fighting currents). I have spent hours and hours tweaking the setup (reorienting the spray bars from my two canister filters) to get to a point where I have adequate surface agitation (or at least I think it is adequate since it has been two weeks running like this with no fish gasping at the surface), with adequate circulation of water (I sit and follow floating pieces of debris/flakes and see how the water carries it.. and it seems like the whole tank has good (slow but consistent) circulation, while being gentle enough that my fish don't seem to have to 'fight' any currents. I have gotten it VERY quiet. Almost like watching a TV on mute! Which is exactly how I wanted it. I love the current conditions of my tank. However, I am worried maybe the aquarium could benefit from the added aeration of having an air stone bubbling (would provide a safety margin in case my current surface agitation is actually only borderline enough). And also I thought maybe having some extra water movement (at certain times of the day) would help 'stir' up debris for my canisters to remove. So I thought maybe I could have the air stone bubbling and possibly a powerhead running in addition to my canisters while I am out of my house (at work for example) but then turn them off whenever I am home so I can enjoy my quiet, peaceful aquarium (my air pump is nearly silent but the sound of the bubbles/air stone kind of annoys me). Just to he clear my canisters run 24/7. It is mainly the air pump and possibly a powerhead that I am thinking of having off and on at various times of the day... So do you think this is a bad idea? Do you think it would be stressful or disruptive to the fish's behavior to have different conditions (physical) during different times of the day? Do you think it would be better to just decide on my hardware and have it run 24/7 so as to have a constant fixed environment all the time? I would really appreciate any more opinions or thoughts in the topic. Thank you.

P.s. it is NOT a planted aquarium (only plastic plants). It is not lightly stocked. However, I wouldn't say it is overstocked or maybe slightly overstocked. But that is why I have 2 large canisters running with tons of biomedia and my ammonia and nitrites are zero with 20 or 25 ppm nitrates (before weekly partial water change). So I guess my filtration/setup is adequate for the bioload, right?
 

DuaneV

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Executionernerner said:
Yes, if a filter is not running, the beneficial bacteria will die and the cycle will be ruined, same with air pumps and air stones. I'm pretty sure the beneficial bacteria can live like 10 minutes with the filter off
Beneficial bacteria can live for months or longer without being fed as long as theyre not dried out.

OP, I think you're over thinking it. If fish stressed out every time something changed, no wild fish would be alive. Temps vary by 50 degrees, we have drought, high raging water, storms, etc. The bubbling of an airstone or sound of a filter running isn't going to bother them.
 

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