Do I Need A Bubble Wall?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Quentin, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. QuentinValued MemberMember

    My dad and I set up this tank as a bonding activity and have grown to love it. I rescaped it today and added a ton of new plants and a new piece of driftwood, however I took out a bubble wall I didn’t feel was necessary. My dad seems to be convinced that it is vital to the health of the fish because it produces oxygen but don’t the Plants do that as well?

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  2. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Its surface agitation that allows for the transfer of air to tank. The filter is usually enough to keep the tank in equilibrium with the outside air. I like bubbles but they usually aren't a must.
  3. Do0kskiValued MemberMember

    Between plants and a filter will be more than enough to keep oxygen flowing through the water. I almost have no surface agitation because it blows the duck weed around the tank and I also CO2 boost and I have 0 issues.

    Just wanted to add to this, I also have a lot of plants in my tank so it might not be a issue for me but if you don't have enough plants delivering the oxygen then it could become a issue. (watch the fish to see if they're "gasping for air" at the surface.) If you don't want to use the bubbles ( I personally hate them) use a bigger filter. It's recommended to use 4 time the amount of gallons, I have a 40 gallon so I'd need at least 160 GPH but I was running 260 GHP filter and it made all my surface water ripple.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  4. LuxwingNew MemberMember

    I think bubble walls and air stones are only really necessary if you don't have enough oxygen or circulation in your tank. If you still want something to agitate the surface but don't want a wall of bubbles, you can get little air stones that don't take up much space but still give the same benefits
  5. DavidFishManValued MemberMember

    I’ve had fresh water tanks for 12 years and never had a bubble wall or any kind of air stone. In my early days I had all plastic plants in a 55 gallon tank with 40+ fish. I ran one Aqua Clear filter rated for the size tank. With that setup I never had any problems with a lack of oxygen knowing symptoms of fish gasping for air. With the right size back filter your fish will be fine.
  6. BansmoValued MemberMember

    We have a bubble wall and it has been there for a couple of months ...however lately, it was getting noisier.. so decided to remove it 2 days ago and just have a water agitator. But we noticed this morning that the fish were going to the surface more and more especially the angels. So we switched it back on!
    Honestly, I like the look of it when you have the lights on at night. Looks pretty flash!
  7. MirplayerNew MemberMember

    I have a bubble wall. I've noticed with it off that cories go to the surface for air more, but that's all I've noticed, nothing died but it was evident to me there was less oxygen in the water so I keep the bubbles on.
  8. angela100New MemberMember

    you don't need it, but if it is causing friction with your dad, maybe you guys can come up with a creative compromise together?
  9. FishSkullNew MemberMember

    +1 is something that you and your dad have to agreed. Some fishes will go to the surface when there aren’t that many bubbles and it doesn’t mean that they are grasping for air, is just their nature.
  10. SarahMcGeeValued MemberMember

    It depends on how got the tank is kept and how mush the filter moves the surface of the water and what type of fish you have. A gold fish in 78f tank would probably need a bubbler but a guppy wouldn't.
  11. H2O ConciergeValued MemberMember

    Given that you have proper filtration and flow throughout your tank, here's my take on the situation. Compromise is not a sign of weakness. Buy a small sponge filter, they come in various sizes IMG_8012.jpg are cheap and easy to hide behind plants or decor, and there you have it. Now you have another source of BB, filtration, and you have an easily moved BB loaded filter that can be used in either a quarantine or new tank. Win win. And you show your dad that you don't need training wheels anymore.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  12. DavidFishManValued MemberMember

    What size back filter do you have? Is it running well? With the proper size back filter while keeping it running well in my experience you should not need any bubbler. The back filter should be able to disperse top water agitation without water being block by obstacles. The fish too will ster the water around. I had lots of rocks in my tank and with good water flow from your back filter along with the fish swimming around I have never had any problems.
    One other thing to keep in mind is that the beneficial bacteria living in your tank needs oxygen to live. Any large sudden changes in the lack of water flow may kill off this beneficial bacteria which can release toxins into your tank as well as ammonia and nitrite spikes. So it is important to keep you back filter running well.
  13. TriggermanValued MemberMember

    I think an air stone or bubble wall is only necessary if your tank is 80 degrees or above warmer water holds less oxygen
  14. SaraCooperValued MemberMember

    I prefer the bubble wall as a dynamic element rather than a static background.
  15. Timathome916New MemberMember

    Surface movement will always be the key. Even still, I have been using 2 H2Show bubble makers that I consider incredible especially since there is NO PUMP, NO VIBRATION NOISE. They simply add a "current" from the bottom of the tank to the top.
  16. HeronValued MemberMember

    I have a small airstone in a corner of my tanks and that keeps my oxygen levels up. If you are unsure if your levels are high enough you can get an inexpensive oxygen test kit for a few pounds and find out for sure.
  17. SaraCooperValued MemberMember

    That sounds like something I’d like!
  18. Jonathan GreenbergNew MemberMember

    Another quick anecdote and a vote for bubble walls -- I have a fairly deep tank for its volume, and I thought the bubble wall was just something cool to see, but had no real functions... until one weekend post-water change I managed to kink the bubble wall hose and it stopped working. 48 hours later every single fish was up at the surface gasping for air. A water change and an unkinking later, the fish were totally fine.

    I have a heavily planted CO2-injected tank and a strong filter, but it was not enough to keep the O2 levels up. I definitely vote for the bubble wall.
  19. sloughdogWell Known MemberMember

    Nothing really to add here except I think it’s really cool you and your dad took this on together. Hope you both enjoy it for years to come!
  20. MrjazzeryNew MemberMember

    What is the function of the bamboo? I’m guessing it holds some bioload in the filter do the roots get caught in the motor? I want to do this it looks cool and I love plants!!