How is goldfish tank water oxygenated?
The higher the oxygen levels in your tank or pond water, the healthier the fish. Goldfish and beneficial bacteria alike thrive in heavily oxygenated water. Bad bacteria cannot tolerate these conditions.
There are a few ways to oxygenate water; creating waves or action at the surface; diffusion from the air or atmosphere and photosynthesis; oxygen produced from light on plants. Plants assist in the production of oxygen in the presence of light, and also absorb carbon dioxide, but when the lights go off; the plants cease to produce oxygen and release the carbon dioxide they've absorbed. Is your goldfish getting enough action?
There are two types of gases found in a goldfish tank or pond. Carbon dioxide; created from waste and supersaturated gases (concentrated amounts of oxygen) found in tap water. These gases take up space in the water; keeping oxygen from entering.
The water at the surface of your goldfish tank or pond must be agitated with enough action to release gases from the water's depth.
This is especially true in aquariums. Compared to the body of water, these
containers have little surface area. Most of the filtration
systems designed for aquarium use creates a current in the goldfish tank producing too
much volume and too little action at the surface. Although surface action is all
important, it's also important to pull tank or pond water from the bottom to the
top so the gases commonly found in tank or pond water can be expelled.
Carbon dioxide is created from waste; which goldfish produce in great amounts. Since waste sits on the bottom, this is also where you'll find Co2.
Can bubble wands be used for aerating water?
It is a myth that bubble wands oxygenate the water; they create little surface action, making little contribution. This piece of equipment releases air bubbles into the water that shoot to the surface and pop, releasing the oxygen back into the air. Imagine the surface of your tank as a wall; a bubble wand, two, even three wands is very much like knocking a hole or two in the wall, but the entire wall must come down in order for the goldfish to breathe. Goldfish absorb oxygen from the water and should discouraged from taking in air. This may cause the fish to blow bubbles through its gills or mouth which may reduce oxygen intake, and eventually suffocate the fish. This may also disrupt the gas exchange from the intestinal tract to the swim bladder organ; creating digestive and swimming disorders. Pond pumps Verses aerators
How much surface action is needed?
Here's an example of proper surface action
provided by Shadow
You really can't have too much surface action. If you cannot hear a strong motion or flow in the next room or 20' to 30' away, the surface action in your goldfish tank is not powerful enough to release the gases accumulating in the water. Adding a submersible pond or water pump (they come in all sizes) will provide a jet of water that pulls water from the bottom of the tank, directly to the top of the goldfish tank, breaking down this wall, expelling these harmful gases. Carbon dioxide (Co2) sits heavily at the bottom of the tank, close to the waste. Pond pumps pull water from the bottom; shooting it to the surface; expelling harmful gases.
Goldfish that have been deprived of oxygen exhibit the following symptoms;
redness around the gills; gasping at surface; pop eye; bulging eyes:
You might notice that some of these are the same
symptoms associated with a pH crash, and that is because when pH levels are low there is
little oxygen in the water.
The position of your goldfish in your tank or pond will tell you how good your oxygen levels are. If you see your fish resting or grazing comfortably closer to the bottom; oxygen levels are comfortable too. If you see your fish hanging out at the halfway mark most of the time, this indicates that the bottom of the tank has little oxygen. The closer your fish hang towards the surface, the less oxygen in your tank or pond water.
Oxygenated water encourages consistent pH levels, encourages friendly bacteria colonies, and discourages unfriendly bacteria. Surface action is the key to excellent goldfish health. pH; Potential of Hydrogen
To eliminate supersaturated gases found in tap water; increase
surface action; work the fresh water over before adding to the tank by pouring
it over and over again. Agitate the water as much as possible before adding to
fish tank. Hold your container high over the fresh water bucket; forcing it to
The larger the surface area of a pond or container, the more fresh air it's exposed to, the greater amount of oxygen absorbed into the water. The larger the surface area, the less surface action needed to keep the water oxygenated. For example, a small lake or even a large pond doesn't require water falls or fountains, but a small pond does, whereas an aquarium needs a great deal of surface action.
All the surface action in the world will not oxygenate your water if your goldfish tank is enclosed with a solid top or lid; carbon dioxide will be expelled from the water, and then become trapped between the surface and the lid before being absorbed back into the water. Remove any solid cover from your goldfish tank, exposing the surface to fresh air. Leave your tank open or replace with a screen. In other words, flip your lid.
When the top of an aquarium is open, the water table is normally lowered to reduce the risk of injury to the goldfish, but if the surface is agitated and rolling, reducing the water table is a must. This gap may provide a perfect spot for carbon dioxide (a heavy gas) to rest, blocking the surface from fresh air, so keeping the room filled with fresh air; creating some air movement assures these gases are pulled or pushed away from the water, so oxygen can be absorbed from the air into the water. Open a window, install a ceiling fan or a fan of any type will do. Some goldfish keepers clip tiny computer fans to the top of their tanks.
Goldfish use less oxygen in colder water temperatures. During warmer summer months, make sure your tank or pond water is heavily oxygenated.
nectar's oxygenation video
The key to good goldfish health is colder and heavily oxygenated water.
Author: Brenda Rand
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