Is there such a thing as TOO many bubbles?


Hey guys, new to the forums .

So I have a 10gal tank with an undergravel filter. It's powered by an older air pump with double air outlets. The tank has two air uplift tubes, one on each side of the tank. I've added a homemade filter to one of the tubes for extra filtration- so instead of bubbles flowing to the surface, they flow through the filter, then to the surface.

Now I understand how UGFs work, and I know they work more effieciently with a higher flow rate. Here's my dilemma: I'm thinking of sealing up one of the uplift tubes, and placing both air stones under the uplift tube w/ the attached filter, and adding an extra air pump rated for 10gal tanks.

Thus, the end result would be two air pumps w/ three air stones bubbling under a single uplift tube w/ an attached filter. I'm guessing there would be tons of bubbles flowing through the tube and filter to the surface.

Would this be overkill?

I'm thinking with more bubbles, there would be more air lift, which would cause a higher flow rate, which means more water would be cycled, which means more filtering efficiency, and there would be more oxygen in the water. Would this harm the beneficial bacteria in the filter?

Would there be too much buildup of bubbles for a small tube? Would the water flow too fast and kill the efficiency? Would the other side of the tank have less beneficial bacterial growth? Would this idea work in the long run?

You don't have to answer all those questions, I'm just looking for your insight and opinion. ANY input will be appreciated, thanks much.

Please note that water turbulence isn't an issue.


Hey Justme welcome to fishlore.In my opinion the more water moving the better!I have lots of circulation in my tank.The water movement on anyside of the tank won't have any affect on your beneficial bacteria.Do you have live plants in your tank and what are your tank perameters?You can also install an inline valve to control your pump output.

bass master

not a bad concept, but I do see a number of flaws. The first being that a filter actually inside the lift tube would severely limit the flow through the whole system. Generally the gravel bed has much more filtration capacity than a small amount of media within the tube so the filter is probably hindering your ugf. If you do want to add to the tubes themself, just grab some of the activated carbon cartridges designed for the top of the tube. Those are designed not to block the flow and give you the benefit of activated carbon. Also sealing off one of the tubes is a bad idea.... the UGF was designed to operate with both tubes, if one tube was sealed off, you would not be using your whole gravel bed for filtration which would also limit the amount of filtration you get. Moving multiple pumps to one tube would not give you any more flow than keeping pumps in each separate tube, in fact it would probably give you less flow by giving fewer outlets for the water flow. In my opinion, you should keep one airstone in each lift tube and take out your home made filter. Again, if you do want to add anything to your filtration system, go with the carbon cartridges made specifically for ug filters. Lastly, UGF's aren't considered the best filter... If you have air pumps, you should probably get something like the whisper 10i, its pretty cheap and much more effective than a ugf
  • Thread Starter


Thanks for the quick replies,

@michael68 Thanks, that's what I thought too. More water circulation means more filtration. I have one of the standard 10gal tanks, with no live plants inside.

@bassmaster2010 Thanks for the input, I get what you mean about the filter restricting water flow. I'll keep that in mind.


Also keep in mind the fish you are planning on getting, some fish will not like lots of water moving.


Unless theirs more bubbles than water I wouldn't worries about it. as others have said water movement is key.
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