The water in an aquarium must be sufficiently oxygenated for fish, shrimp and other invertebrates to live. Therefore, it may be advisable to invest in equipment dedicated to this function: the air pump, or “bubbler”, which allows air to be propelled into the aquarium.
This small device projects bubble into the aquarium where your fish are, but do your fish like these bubbles?
Do bubbles make fish happy?
It all depends on the fish, generally speaking, fish are not so bothered by the presence of bubbles. There are some fish, like the Betta, that don’t like currents, so bubbles that move the water are not the best solution.
Are fish attracted to bubbles?
The image of fish having fun in bubbles has been widely spread by various cartoons, as you can imagine, the latter is quite wrong. Most fish remain indifferent to the presence of bubbles in their aquarium, indeed some may swim in them for a short time, but nothing more.
Do fish make bubbles
Contrary to what you might think, fish do not make bubbles when they breathe. When we see some fish making bubbles, they are actually building nests to lay their eggs (this is the case of fighting fish for example).
The movements they make with their mouths are used to suck in water. If the fish in your aquarium seem to breathe quickly, it is because they lack air (dirty water, not enough water mixing, etc.).
What are bubbles used for in an aquarium?
A bubbler is an air pump equipped with a diffuser that makes bubbles, as its name indicates.
The bubbles increase the gas exchange between the surface of the aquarium and the air, thus increasing the amount of oxygen in the aquarium, but only under two conditions:
Make sure that the bubbles are directed towards the surface.
Have a diffuser that produces micro-fine bubbles, because these are what will really multiply the surface of the water in contact with the air and therefore the gas exchanges. Ceramic diffusers produce such micro-fine bubbles.
Is a bubbler essential?
A bubbler is not always essential, it all depends on your aquarium…
For example, a bubbler is not at all necessary in a well-planted and well-balanced aquarium. The plants provide the water with the oxygen necessary for the fish to breathe and this is normally sufficient.
However, a bubbler can be used to direct the water discharge from the filter towards the surface of the aquarium, which creates eddies and optimizes gas exchange.
But useful in some cases
Beyond a simple aesthetic function (if you like to see bubbles in an aquarium), a bubbler can be useful in certain cases:
- If the aquarium is not planted with real plants (but it is strongly advised to have plants).
- At the time of installation of the aquarium: an additional oxygen supply favors the development of bacteria which will allow the aquarium to cycle.
When fish frequently come up to breathe at the surface of the aquarium, this is a sign that there is probably not enough oxygen in the water (due to overpopulation of the tank for example).