DIY air pump? How Do I

Discussion in 'DIY - Do It Yourself' started by goldiegirl, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. goldiegirlValued MemberMember

    I've searched through this section and haven't yet found what I'm looking for, but if it's out there already, I'm really sorry for asking again. I'm wondering if there's a creative way to generate oxygen in a tank without buying another air pump. I have a 55 gallon tank with a 70 gallon filter and an air wand at the other side, but I still don't feel like there's enough oxygen in the tank. The reason I say this is because by the time the bubbles reach the surface from the wand, they don't create much disturbance. I also see one of the fish coming up to the top a few times a day and blowing bubbles (not gasping, just blowing a few bubbles, then swimming around like normal). One thing I've done is put part of the want underneath a cave decoration, which causes the air to build up in there, and every few seconds a huge bubble comes out, making a nice disturbance at the surface. It's just such a large tank, and I'm not sure these things are totally getting the job done, and my fish are growing rapidly. There's got to be some way to agitate the water, but I can't think of what. I'm not looking for an actual PUMP, but another way to disturb the surface. Any ideas?
  2. FishVixenValued MemberMember

    What size in tank filter do you have and what is the temp of the tank? Higher temps have less oxygen in the water and goldfish like a colder water. It may be more cycling issue than oxygen. What are your parameter levels? The best natual way is by adding plants.
  3. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    I wouldn't be too worried about the Goldfish blowing bubbles at the surface. Mine used to do that all the time. Even if there was no surface agitation at all there's no way that 2 x 2" Goldfish are going to be running short of oxygen in a 55gal tank, even if they are being kept at tropical temps (they do much better in cooler water). If they are running short of oxygen the first indicator will be a increase in the gill rate.

    As mentioned the tank may not be cycled & that could be causing issues for the fish. Adding plants does help with reducing ammonia levels but don't expect them to last with Goldfish, they will eat them pretty quickly.
  4. Scott HValued MemberMember

    Hi goldiegirl,
    ive only ever herd of low oxygen in FW tanks that have almost no agitation at all and with your stocking levels i doubt this blowing bobbles thing is oxygen related. in a 55gal (only siz tank ive ever had) one or two air stones along with the filter should be plenty. but if your still worried then i would sugest putting a spray bar onto your filter (spray bars cause loads surface movment) or if youve got an internal filter try directing the flow from its power head towards the surface.
    hop this helps. :;toast
  5. HitchHikerValued MemberMember

    If you are concerned you could also install a venturi valve in the output side of a canister filter.
  6. goldiegirlValued MemberMember

    Thank you, everyone. I have an interesting update. I'd run out of test strips, so I took in a water sample to PetSmart since I was going anyway. I got some bad news. My ammonia and nitrite were both .5 My cycling situation is complicated right now, but to make a long story short, I switched from a 20 gallon with 4 fish to a 55 gallon with 2 fish, transferring everything in the process (filter media, gravel, decorations). What I wonder is... could the smaller bio load and increase in space have messed up the cycle? It had been 6 days since my last water change. I came home and changed the water immediately. The employee had suggested AmQuel or Ammo-Lock, but I also had to get rid of the nitrites, so I had to do a water change. Well, now everything's fine. BUT, what I wonder is... with fish in the tank, I will never be able to let the ammonia levels get high enough to produce more nitrites, which in turn will never let the nitrite levels get high enough to produce nitrates. My nitrate levels were "safe," he told me. Apparently, my tank hasn't cycled. If I have to keep changing water every few days to keep the nitrites down, will the bacteria that change nitrites to nitrates ever even develop? Of course I could keep on doing water changes twice a week and maintaining things even if the tank never fully cycles, but eventually the fish will grow and the bio load will be even larger, and I'll have to do them every other day or something! It feels weird with two 2 inch fish in a 55 gallon to be having to change the water so frequently due to ammonia and nitrite rather than nitrates. What's going on here? They suggested leaving the water for another 6 days to give the bacteria that changes nitrites to nitrates time to develop before doing another water change. I'm so torn. I don't want to expose my fish to high levels of ammonia or nitrite, but if I keep changing the water, will the tank ever cycle? Thank you for your time!
  7. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Goldie Girl,

    Keep in mind that your good bacteria needed to sustain the tanks cycle is not free swimming but attached to all surface areas of your tank. The highest concentrations of the bacteria being in the filter and your substrate. The water changes will not prevent the bacteria from developing or prevent the tank from cycling.

    I suggest 30 to 50% daily water changes until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates. Add some Prime or Amquel + to detox the ammonia for 24 hours until it's time for the next water change:
    3 of the best if cycling with fish

    After you've added one of the chemicals to detox ammonia, wait 24 hours before testing so that you get more accurate readings.

    I'm a bit concerned though that you may need to increase your filtration. For a 55g tank I would recommend an Aqua Clear (AC) 110 @ 500gph. Especially since you have Goldfish which are large waste producers. When you're using a hang on back (HOB) filter it's best to have a GPH (gallons per hour) of 8 to 10 x the tank volume. 55x10=550. So you would be close to what is mostly recommended.

    Too, by increasing the size of the filter you're increasing the amount of surface area for the good bacteria. More bacteria = a stronger cycle. Also the stronger filter will agitate the surface of the water more and create more oxygen.

    Best of luck! Please keep us posted.
  8. goldiegirlValued MemberMember

    Thank you very much, aquarist 48. I will definitely follow all of that advice. I updated my filter info recently, so I'm not sure which filter you saw that I have. I have an Aqua Clear 300/70 for up to 70 gallons. Let me know if that is the filter that you think is too small. Thanks!