If you want your fish to remain healthy, it is crucial that you keep aquarium water clean. The best way to keep fish tank water clean is to ensure it is circulated and properly filtrated, preventing it from becoming stagnant. Fish tank pumps are very effective at doing this, moving water to the surface level so it can be regularly aerated. This only allows carbon dioxide to be released out into the air, it also ensures high levels of oxygen are absorbed into the tank water.
Basic Mechanics of Fish Tank Pumps
All fish tank pumps used in aquariums operate in much the same way. Air pumps operate by displacing water. The pump pulls air through it, creating bubbles which are then released out into the water within the tank. These bubbles then displace the water around them, stirring it up and ensuring trapped carbon dioxide is delivered to the surface.
External fish tank pumps work slightly differently. An external pump is attached to the outside of the tank, with an attached hose that is then placed into the water of the aquarium. Air is transported through this hose, creating bubbles in the water that again stir up conditions within the tank and encourage carbon dioxide to the surface.
Finally, there are submersible pumps. These are designed to be placed completely within the water of a tank. Unlike other types of pump, submersibles create a current within the water, rather than delivering bubbles to the fish tank.
Another option to consider is an air stone. These are a good choice for aquarium owners who want to maintain a natural aesthetic, without having to depend on unsightly mechanical filters. An air stone is powered by a conventional air pump, with the stone designed to sit amongst other rocks and tank ornaments on the substrate layer.
Air stones are best used in larger tanks alongside other pump systems, especially if you are having trouble getting rid of excessive levels of carbon dioxide and ensuring enough oxygen finds its way into your tank water.
The majority of high-performance air pumps will require mains power to operate. They tend be fairly loud, but will ensure your tank water is properly aerated. However, there is always the chance of a power failure, so many people prefer the fail-safe solution of a battery-powered air pump. These pumps use batteries, rather than a mains power supply.
Ideally, you should be looking for an air pump that provides dual functionality, using mains power when an electricity supply is available, along with a back-up battery source in the event of unexpected power failure.