To Air Or Not To Air??

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by PeterL, 21 Mar 2010.

  1. PeterL

    PeterL

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    I have conflicting information and need help, both myself and a friend have 4ft tanks running for a few weeks, recently introduced fish but we are puzzled...Do you put air in the tank or not? I have heard from 2 different places, one says you should have air flow in the tank it's self and the other sayd you shouldn't so I am at a loss at to what the correct thing is to do. Please help!!
     
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  3. Jaak

    Jaak

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    Are you currently running a skimmer on your tank?
     
  4. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Hey zombie clam, just to clarify things a bit, yes you need air (oxygen) in the water, but not by using air-pumps. Air bubbles in a marine tank can cause damage to corals and can cause injury to fish.

    If you have a protein skimmer then you are already oxygenating the water, also if you have any pumps inside the display tank then aim one slightly towards the water surface so that it causes agitation on top of the water, this allows for gaseous exchange to take place and is the preferred and safest method of doing it in a marine tank. :)
     
  5. PeterL

    PeterL Thread Starter

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    I don't have a skimmer, just running a side mount sump built onto the 4ft tank. So ultimately I have "clean" water pouring from the sump. I have another pump which is inside the tank but that is there for circulation. Off the outlet of the pump I have a connection for an airlinewhich would either "puff" air at that outlet or using a control valve I could increase it to major air flow. I had considered putting a "baby" air stone into the sump area so that the air input isn't directly in the tank it's self.
     
  6. PeterL

    PeterL Thread Starter

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    As you noted Viper, I have a pump inside the tank but the pressure I have it at is not really creating a force off the surface such that it offers oxygenation, it is however pointing upward. I did that however not for airation but because aimed directly across the tank I was getting feedback off the opposite wall of the tank and "digging holes" in my substrate which is 2-3mm fine crushed coral, so it moves pretty easily. My sump inlt tot he tank is also below the water line so that also doesn't offer any kind of "splash/pour effect" which would otherwise oxygenate the water
     
  7. vatso

    vatso

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    http://saltaquarium.about.com/cs/waterquality/a/aa122997air.htm

     
  8. vatso

    vatso

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    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Should_you_put_an_airstone_in_a_saltwater_aquarium


     
  9. PeterL

    PeterL Thread Starter

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    I have a 4ft tank with a sealed top, when I say sealed I mean it has sliding covers. It doesn't have much room for fresh air to get in however I am frequently in and out of the tank so the "doors" have been open quite a lot. The concern is as the tank gets closer to the point of where I want it looking, the less I will be in and out of there so as you mentioned, I could be getting to the point of getting stagnant air trapped between the surface and the glass slider lid of the tank. There is simply a decorative wodden canopy over the top but it just houses my lighting.

    I was thinking about putting an air supply into my sump which is situated on the side of my tank, that way I still have the "clear water" effect and get the oxygenation into the water but don't risk the little bubbles problem.

    Do I understand it correctly that having bubble in the tank is ok, just as long as they aren't the tiny fine bubbles?
     
  10. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Zombie Clam - I have my return pipe supplying "tiny bubbles" into my tank. I have never really experienced anything bad because of this (I SCUBA dive, and see a LOT of "tiny bubbles" in the water over the reefs - believe me - they are really irritating when trying to take photographs underwater)....

    That said - I would not enclose the tank's top at all. As you are hugely restricting the air/carbon-dioxide/oxygen exchange over your tank, as well as restricting evaporation - which is hugely important in keeping your tank's water cool enough....

    That - together with restricting the light that comes into the tank, is a huge no-no in keeping marines.
     
  11. PeterL

    PeterL Thread Starter

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    I hear you on the bubbles thing in that I have been snorkeling and noticed the same "tiny bubble" issue, I wasn't taking photos but did notice the bubbles.

    Here is the strange thing, my tank temperature is stable around 23.7deg-24-5deg - obviously variable as the day goes and between day and night, I have noticed the evaporation thing happening on the top glass but obviously it wont get out because of it being seled up. Interestingly my friend has an open top tank with an enlcolsed canopy so by theory he should have a lot more room for tank cooling yet he is batteling with his temparatures as high as 28-29deg which even I know is not good.

    Long story short is I don't have a problem with the cooling aspect of my tank, it is really getting the oxygenation sorted and getting decent air flow across the water surface it seems? Correct me if I am mistaken
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Problem with bubbles, especially the bigger ones, they create a lot of salt spray. bubble pop, and a little droplet jumps up and will and can reach your lights (obviously not i lights are 1m above - duh) and in your case the glass covers. Most likely most of the condensate you got on the glass are not condensate, but water drops from the bubbles.

    Salt spray do conduct electricity, that is why on dirty globes, you will get that shocking tingling feeling touching the hood.

    Also the salt spray will block the light from your globes. So you can have 2 month old globes performing as if they are a year old. And you think you have enough light, but actually a lot is blocked by salt spray either on the globes or on the glass screens as in your case.
     
  13. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Riaan - oh well - that happens to mine. I just end up cleaning the glass light-covers more often ;)
     
  14. PeterL

    PeterL Thread Starter

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    Let note that I currently don't have any air in my tank, no bubbles, no nothing. Hence where the post started.
    the condensation on the roof of the tank (in my case the glass) I will guess is a form of evapotation but because it can't escape like in an open tank, my glass looks wet.

    From all of this lot, I am still uncertain if I should or shouldn't put air in my water or if the sliders on the top of my tank should be removed to provide the oxygen requirement...
     
  15. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    I would NOT put an airstone in the tank
    I would remove the top glass covers - it restricts evapouration and blocks the light
    I would add more flow pumps like Seio, Tunze or SunSun and point them upwards to get better surface movement - like Jacques said.
    I would look at getting a skimmer, puts oxygen in the water and remove nutrients

    ;)
     
  16. mnd123

    mnd123

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    I only ever add an airstone to the tank when I have an outbreak of cyano to raise the REDOX potential, and then only to the sump
     
  17. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Also without the glass sliders, the tank will run slightly cooler. Better evaporation. But check your top-up, it should be more.
     
  18. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Guys i popped in to give zombie clam a few pointers. His tank has a side filter and also has a wooden canopy. So the slider removal will result in spoiling the canopy. Short term an air stone is going into the side filter. I showed him how to build an overflow box and he is going to convert a 2ft tank into a refuge. The skimmer will come next and then the T8 lights will be upgraded to T5's. That should keep him busy for a few days with big overall system improvement for little capital outlay. The tank temp seems fine as it is but when the T5's go in PC fans will be added to the canopy. He also has an old 18" tank lying around that he will now set up as a QT tank and live stock additions are on hold. :thumbup:
     
  19. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Very good of you NJ. :thumbup1:
     
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