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How much surface agitation is necessary?


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Hello everyone,

 

I have a 10 gallon planted tank right now with 1 gourami and 3 Cory’s. Attatched is a picture of all the plants. My question: is an air stone necessary in my setup? I currently have a tetra whisper IQ HOB filter going and provides enough surface agitation (I think?) 

 

Will the air stone be beneficial / harmful to my setup? Should I only keep it on at night? 

 

some others suggested on past posts that I turn off the air stone to have some calmer water for my gourami.

 

thanks so much!!

IMG_1540.jpeg

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My gut feeling is that based on current stocking the surface agitation from a hob would be plenty.

 

on the other hand I cant see where the airstone would be bothersome for a gourami.

The only benefit I would perceive from not having an airstone is less mineral deposits from not having the air bubbles popping…

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On 6/20/2024 at 12:31 AM, Pepere said:

on the other hand I cant see where the airstone would be bothersome for a gourami.

Especially during night time gouramis love to sleep near the surface in my experience. On one side HOB pushing it away and having airstone creating  big and constantly bubbles and creating a pushing effect on the other side would leave no space for gourami to safely rest and sleep in my opinion

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On 6/19/2024 at 5:34 PM, Mordecai13 said:

Thanks! So would you recommend that I keep the air stone off?

I dont see a negative to shutting it off.  @Lennie feels a gourami would benefit from it being off.  I am not sure  that I see it, but, it is nothing I would be doctrinaire on and he may well be right…

you could certainly shut it off and observe if you see any changes..  I cant see a negative to removing the airstone as your tank is lightly stocked.

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On 6/19/2024 at 3:58 PM, mynameisnobody said:

If you have a Kasa timer, you can plug your air pump in with your light and have them both turn on and off together. 

Thanks! I've heard ppl on different forums say that air pumps if anything should be turned on at night when the light is off... but do u think i should just keep it in time with my light

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On 6/19/2024 at 7:16 PM, Mordecai13 said:

I've heard ppl on different forums say that air pumps if anything should be turned on at night when the light is off

The rational for this is that plants consume oxygen during their dark cycle.

your tank though is not particularly densely planted and also has low livestock stocking.  Further both cories and Gourami are able to get oxygen from the surface if needed..,

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On 6/19/2024 at 4:34 PM, Pepere said:

The rational for this is that plants consume oxygen during their dark cycle.

your tank though is not particularly densely planted and also has low livestock stocking.  Further both cories and Gourami are able to get oxygen from the surface if needed..,

What would you consider dense planting / high live stock stocking in this case? And then would i need to get co2/ turn on my airstone?

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IMG_2617.jpeg.facf207b5766ca988d65be1028050aab.jpeg

 

This particular tank of mine is fairly densely planted, and pretty significantly stocked, and has injected co2.

I do not run an airpump, airstone on this tank and have not seen any indication of livestock stress.

I do have a canister filter discharging through a spray bar that disturbs the surface and the pickup is through a glass pipe with a surface skimmer.

Edited by Pepere
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On 6/19/2024 at 4:49 PM, Pepere said:

IMG_2617.jpeg.facf207b5766ca988d65be1028050aab.jpeg

 

This particular tank of mine is fairly densely planted, and pretty significantly stocked, and has injected co2.

I do not run an airpump, airstone on this tank and have not seen any indication of livestock stress

Sick tank.

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Surface agitation facilitates gas exchange, ie more O2 brought in, and more CO2 released. Being labyrinth fishes, gouramis are obligate air-breathers; although they do breathe using gills, they also come up for air every few minutes. This is an adaptation to getting enough oxygen in the hypoxic, swampy waters where they evolved. They rely on their lung-like labyrinth organ so much, that if they don’t have access to air, they drown! All of this is to say, gouramis don’t require any surface agitation at all.

As for the Cory cats, they are facultative air-breathers. If the water where they live has enough O2, they don’t come up for air. However, if their environment becomes hypoxic (low in oxygen), they come to the surface and swallow some air. Their stomach is highly vascularized (has lots of blood vessels), so it functions like a lung and provides gas exchange. So, being tropical fish, they can survive low-oxygen conditions, but if they’re gulping air at the surface, it’s a sign the water is hypoxic.

So, for the Cory cats’ sake, I would provide surface agitation with the air stone. I don’t think the boost in water flow would be enough to distress the gourami, either. The only somewhat downside I would see is that the plants would not have as high levels of CO2 for photosynthesis. But then, that would just be normal levels (as opposed to elevated).

Edit: HOB filtration already provides some surface agitation anyway. It’s just that the bubbles from aeration provide more, which is generally beneficial.

Edited by AtomicSunfish
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Is there a good way to (relatively) accurately measure O2 and CO2 levels, preferably something that can be done many times without getting exorbitantly expensive? 

I have the same questions as OP, with a 50 gallon heavily planted tank.  Got a powerhead on a UGF giving minimal surface agitation, and previously this was fine but I went thru a tank crash that involved among other factors, severe O2 depletion, so we got a small airstone.  I'd like to take it out as its a bit noisy, but am cautious doing so.  The tank is otherwise thriving, both plants and animals.   Having some way to actively monitor my gas levels would be a boon to answering this question.

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On 6/20/2024 at 10:25 AM, daggaz said:

Is there a good way to (relatively) accurately measure O2 and CO2 levels, preferably something that can be done many times without getting exorbitantly expensive? 

I have the same questions as OP, with a 50 gallon heavily planted tank.  Got a powerhead on a UGF giving minimal surface agitation, and previously this was fine but I went thru a tank crash that involved among other factors, severe O2 depletion, so we got a small airstone.  I'd like to take it out as its a bit noisy, but am cautious doing so.  The tank is otherwise thriving, both plants and animals.   Having some way to actively monitor my gas levels would be a boon to answering this question.

Yep, you can buy probes that measure O2 and CO2 levels. You could also use chemical kits.

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I have 2 honey gourmies, one in my 10g, one in my 36g.

The one in my 10g use to have  a HOB similar to your setup with a airstone in the opposite corner which I added to improve flow & eliminate dead spots.

In the 36g I have 2 box filters in the back corners; one with an eazy flow adapter to help flow.

Neither of these setup bother the gourmies. They will find more preferable waters if nessary. You can also strategically place floating plants to create a ideal "spot".

An airstone does far more to improve water quality than people realize.

The benifits of running an airstone far out weigh any perceived drawbacks.

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