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Old 11-07-2011, 12:09 PM   #1 
Hikari
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Air pump questions

I would like to add an air pump to my 5 gallon unfiltered tank for extra oxygen and surface agitation. I was thinking about getting this one since it was the only one I could find for 2 to 5 gallons which I would assume has the weakest air flow: http://www.petland.ca/fish/pumps-and...ories-265.html If the current is still too strong, could I tie knots in the airline tubing to slow it down? Is there a certain kind of air stone that makes less bubbles? I was also planning to put the air stone into a decoration with a hole in the side that will hopefully slow down the bubble flow.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:41 PM   #2 
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Is it just your betta in the tank, or do you have other fish? If it is only your betta, I strongly discourage you from getting an air pump. Bettas breath from the surface, so adding extra oxygen to the water does nothing. In addition to that, the agitated surface can be annoying to them because bubble nests are harder to build, and hey, that is where they breath!

If you are absolutely set on doing this, I would strongly recommend you make it into a sponge filter. No, you can't tie knots in the tubing, this is bad for the pump. However, you can buy valves that slow the flow. You could also split it so that half of it goes to your decor and the other half goes to the sponge filter.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:58 PM   #3 
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Yes, it's only my betta. I thought I would get an air pump since I don't have a filter, and I wanted to circulate the water a bit. I've read that stagnant water isn't good for fish. But if I were to get a filter, wouldn't I need to take him out of the tank for a few weeks while it cycles? I really don't want to do that because I just got him adjusted to this new tank.

I need to get an air pump anyway in case he gets sick. I've read that it's good to have an air pump in a tank with a sick betta since they can't swim to the surface so easily as when they're healthy. I hope I will never have to use it, but I want to be prepared just in case. Maybe I'll just test it out in his tank just to see how he reacts to it.

Last edited by Hikari; 11-07-2011 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #4 
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You could hook a sponge filter up to the airpump..That way you could cycle the tank.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:15 PM   #5 
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Wouldn't it hurt the fish when the tank is cycling with him in it?
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:14 AM   #6 
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Wouldn't it hurt the fish when the tank is cycling with him in it?
Not if you maintain your regular scheduled water changes minus cleaning out and sterilizing the sponge filter.

The Hydro Sponge #0 is just right for five gallon tanks.
I usually advise Tom's/Lee's Discard-a-Stone because the white portion fits directly onto the internal air nipple inside the filter.

If you want to "instant cycle" the tank, TLC and a few other companies make bottles of actual running aquarium bacterial cultures. These cultures include not only the bacteria that consume ammonia/nitrite but also the ones that consume dead tissues, excess food and plant matter as well. With a sponge filter cycling a tank is as easy as dumping one of these bottles in.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:20 AM   #7 
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This "instant cycle" bottles don't work. Bacteria cannot survive in those bottles.
You can cycle with your fish in the tank as mentioned, it will just take longer because you need to make more water changes to avoid ammonia or nitrate poisoning.
You can definitely make a knot in the tubbing to adjust the air flow... it's the same concept of a valve, stopping air from passing through the tube. I ran pumps like that for a long time and no problems.
Now, the benefit of a valve? You can hook up many tanks ro one pump and you don't ruin your tubbing.
Currently I have 3 tanks running on one pump and I'm sure it would support another filter if I had the shelve space.
I agree on investing on a sponge filter... it will give you the water circulation/aeration you're looking for, grow befenicial bacteria, and be gentle on your fish's fins.
I would not add any airstone to the filter or tank, the filter will give you plenty water movement and you don't want a strong current in the tank.
These are the filters I use: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...54&pcatid=3954
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...52&pcatid=3952
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...36&pcatid=3936
very economic but you can always build your own.. they are quite simple to make. The filters in the second link have a heavy base which i quite like.
You can match the filter to your tank size, over filtering with sponges is no problem... I have a 30 galon filter in a 14 galon tank and another 25 galon filter in a 2.5 galon tank. It just gives you more surface to grow beneficial bacteris. But you want to make sure you look at the dimensions and check if it will fit in your tank and youre ok with the space it will ocupy.

Last edited by vilmarisv; 11-08-2011 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:13 AM   #8 
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Thanks for the advice. I'm just nervous about using a filter since I have no experience with them. I'm afraid I won't be able to figure out the test kits, and I also use Prime conditioner which apparently messes with the ammonia results. There's only one test kit to get accurate ammonia results with Prime, but it's very difficult to use and not for novices. I'm just really scared of screwing up and causing my fish to die. I figured adding an air stone instead would be no risk since it doesn't do anything but circulate the water. I clean out the tank twice weekly, one 100% and one 25%.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:30 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderloon View Post
Not if you maintain your regular scheduled water changes minus cleaning out and sterilizing the sponge filter.

The Hydro Sponge #0 is just right for five gallon tanks.
I usually advise Tom's/Lee's Discard-a-Stone because the white portion fits directly onto the internal air nipple inside the filter.

If you want to "instant cycle" the tank, TLC and a few other companies make bottles of actual running aquarium bacterial cultures. These cultures include not only the bacteria that consume ammonia/nitrite but also the ones that consume dead tissues, excess food and plant matter as well. With a sponge filter cycling a tank is as easy as dumping one of these bottles in.




I have never tried the instant cycle products...but without them cycling with frequent water changes to keep params safe usually (for me) takes about a month. I do 2 50% water changes weekly while my tanks are cycling...once cycled.. 40-50% water change with gravel siphon once a week should keep fishy happy.

Doing the 2 water changes weekly unfiltered should be fine too..1 50% and then a 100%... but..if you decide to go with the sponge filter we are all here to help out with any question you should have about the filters,test kits and cycling.
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:04 PM   #10 
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Thanks. The main reason I don't want to go with a filter is because of the testing. Because I use Prime conditioner, which is the only good conditioner you can buy around here, I have to get a special test kit that is very complicated as well. If I don't have this test kit, I'll keep getting inaccurate ammonia readings which would be dangerous. I just moved him into the big tank on Saturday, so I'll hold off on the filter anyway for now since he really should get used to the tank first before adding anything new. I still want to put an air pump in the tank later, if I can throttle the air flow enough so only a trickle of bubbles come out. If that doesn't work out at least I have one in case he gets sick, or in case I want to add a sponge filter later on.

Do I still have to do a 50%? I used to do 1 100% and 1 50% when he was in the 2 and a half gallon tank, so I figured a 25% instead of 50% in a 5 gallon tank would be ok, and it works out pretty good since I don't have to move the tank like I would for a 50%.
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