What size air pump do I need? 20 Gallon Tank 

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FLGirl

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No dumb questions right? lol

When I'm looking at air pumps there are all different sizes 10 gallon, 15, gallon, 20 gallon all different sizes (and with that varies price). I'm wondering is it really necessary to get a 20 gallon air pump or could I just get a smaller one? (20 gallons is my tank size BTW) I am planning on using one of those little air stones that cost like $1.00. I don't really know what difference a bigger VS. a little one will make?
 

Akari_32

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if u want a nice, but cheap air pump, go with the Aqua Culture 20-60. at WalMart, is $10, and it works GREAT (AND it was used =D)! i love mine alot and would get another one if i needed it =D
 

NMfishman

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The sizes on the pumps are for if you are using the pump to power an undergravel filter. f you just want it for an airstone then you can ignore that, but the bigger ones obviously do put out more air. You don't have to get a pump for a 20 gallon, but the one Akari mentioned is a good one.
 

Akari_32

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NMfishman said:
The sizes on the pumps are for if you are using the pump to power an undergravel filter...
or if ur like me and want all kinda of bubbly decorations XD the Aqua Culture 20-60 opperates up to 6 bubble-activated ortamants in a 20 gallon! =D
 
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I will check that out, I didn't know if there was a really significant difference that it would be horrible to get a smaller one. Is the Aqua Culture 20-60 quiet? How would you compare it to the Tetras whispers because Iv been leaning towards those. How does it operate 6 ornaments? Thanks bunches!
 

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I had a tetra whisper 10 when I had my 10 gallon up and running. It was nice and quiet and put out a lot of bubbles, but with the longer air stone I had it couldn't extend to the end. It only had enough power for air to come out right where the hose met the stone. You said you're getting $1 stones though so I'm assuming they're small, so I think a smaller pump will be fine. If you want to run a bubble wall or something in the future you may need a bigger pump though to get the full effect.

And just to mention, I have a tetra whisper 60 now in my 55 gallon, I get lots of bubbles through a large air stone and a bubble wall and there's nothing more than a low hum for noise, which is mostly drowned out by my HOB filters.
 

NMfishman

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FLGirl said:
I will check that out, I didn't know if there was a really significant difference that it would be horrible to get a smaller one. Is the Aqua Culture 20-60 quiet? How would you compare it to the Tetras whispers because Iv been leaning towards those. How does it operate 6 ornaments? Thanks bunches!
It operates multiples by putting spliters on it, they have T-valves and these real nice variable flow things that will split them and then you can change the flow of each individual line. (that is how I do it anyways, not sure about Akari)

I had the largest aqua culture pump and it was moderatly quiet, but it was also a very large pump double pump so that is to be expected. I have also had the top fin pumps and although I never ran them next to each other so I could compare them I think they were about the same. The Aqua culture pump would probably be fine for noise but if you want to pay a little bit more the Tetra pump would probably be a little quieter.
 

Akari_32

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FLGirl said:
I will check that out, I didn't know if there was a really significant difference that it would be horrible to get a smaller one. Is the Aqua Culture 20-60 quiet? How would you compare it to the Tetras whispers because Iv been leaning towards those. How does it operate 6 ornaments? Thanks bunches!
i have both the Whisper pump and the Aqua Culter and i like the Aqua Culter better. on the other hand, my Whisper pump is a little lopped sided because the wire weighs it down, so the plastic buzzes on what ever the pump is sitting on. i've had both on carpet and the Aqua Culter is by far quieter.

it does 6 ornaments by useing a gang valve (but it does have 2 tubing plugs so if u only wanted to do 1 or 2, you could. i just use one.). im not too sure how gang valves work other then just splitting the air flow. other than that, i dont know anything on that topic >.<
 

NMfishman

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Akari_32 said:
i have both the Whisper pump and the Aqua Culter and i like the Aqua Culter better. on the other hand, my Whisper pump is a little lopped sided because the wire weighs it down, so the plastic buzzes on what ever the pump is sitting on. i've had both on carpet and the Aqua Culter is by far quieter.

it does 6 ornaments by useing a gang valve (but it does have 2 tubing plugs so if u any wanted to do 2, you could. i just use one tho.). im not too sure how gang valves work other then just splitting the air flow. other than that, i dont know anything on that topic >.<
Gang valve, that is what I was trying to think of, I could not remember what those are called. Thank you
Yeah with those you can regulate the air flow
 
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FLGirl

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Ah, thanks everyone. I was going to get the tetra Whisper 20 for $11 at a LPS but then I was wondering if I could get a smaller on. It sounds like the Aqua Culture 20-60 might be better than the Tetra Whisper 20? Right now I just want a little stone, simple stone, I have no plans for anything else but you never know and it would be good to have that option if I decided on something different later on.
 

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FLGirl said:
Ah, thanks everyone. I was going to get the tetra Whisper 20 for $11 at a LPS but then I was wondering if I could get a smaller on. It sounds like the Aqua Culture 20-60 might be better than the Tetra Whisper 20? Right now I just want a little stone, simple stone, I have no plans for anything else but you never know and it would be good to have that option if I decided on something different later on.
even if you only want one stone right now, the extra water moventen wont hurt. just put it on the other side of the tank as the filter, and it should help keep the tank cleaner ^_^ whichever you decide, they are both good, but placing will have a lot to do with how much noise the pump makes. but even on carpet, a pump can be loud. i find its kinda hit-and-miss with pumps, even the same brand and kind. i could have just gotten a "facotry reject" Whisper pump, but the one i have (the 3i) could just not be very good, while the newer ones, like the dome-shapped ones (i do have one of those for a 20 gallon, but i dont need it, so i havent played with it yet) could be better. if ur still unsure, check out Petsmart and Petco and see what other people are saying about the pumps you like
 
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Yeah, I'll do that. Iv heard its just good to have the extra aeration. Plus I'm slowly getting more and more plants. Iv read that they can decrease oxygen at night so Id feel better having an airstone. x
 

NMfishman

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If you get a gang valve you could even turn the flow down during the day when the plants prefer less oxygen in the water and are putting it out themselves and then turn the flow up at night when the plants are taking in the oxygen and decreasing the amount in the tank.
 
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FLGirl

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Ok, How does that work exactly?
 

SFwriter

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Keep in mind the reason that people use air pumps in the first place. The purpose is to create waves at the surface of the water to allow oxygen to dissolve. Oxygen is not added directly to the water by the bubbles. If you have a filter that hangs on the side, it may provide enough oxygen that you don't need a pump at all.
 
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Well I have an AC HOB filter and depending on how high I fill it It will either just rush right down or if I fill it a little higher it makes like a current across the top. Would an air pump be bad in any way if it wasn't necessary to have one?? What if I wanted to use it for a decor purpose..?
 

SFwriter

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It might drive off dissolved CO2, which could cause problems if you keep a lot of live plants. Otherwise, it shouldn't be a problem.
 

Akari_32

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i dont think theres any thing wrong with haveing an air pump if dont need it. i have the AC 10-30 and i have it turned up all the way and definatly dont need and air pump, but without it, my sunken ship just wouldnt look as cool >.<
 

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SFwriter: Could you explain a little more lol I have a good collection of plants started and plan to get some more. I only have one fake plant right now which I hope to take out soon...So I'm interested in how it could cause problems with lots of live plants. Want to mention though that where I''m considering putting it isn't on the ground. I just got a fake tree trunk thing with a place to stick one so it would be probably around half way up from the bottom of the tank already if I choose to put it there. Would that help or cause problems?


Akari_32: I think your right! Cool ship!
 

SFwriter

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Carbon dioxide is more soluble in water than oxygen. If your plants are absorbing most of the CO2 your fish produce and you start driving it off, there may not be enough for the plants. CO2 is where they get the carbon used for growth.

I don't know if that's potentially a problem for you or not. You'll just have to try it and see. Probably it won't be a problem unless you have very few fish in a densly planted tank, but its something to keep in mind. My guess is that if your plants are doing well now, they should be okay with bubbles. If they are borderline and not growing much now, it might push them over the edge.

My background is not in biology but in physics, so I understand the gas exchange at the surface better than I understand plant requirements. If it becomes a real problem you can get something like . Personally, I have never experienced a case where I needed a CO2 generator.
 
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