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Re: [APD] Air bubbling

Oh yes, one of the oldest and most persistent myths in the hobby is that an air stone imparts O2 to water largely by diffusing directly from the bubbles to the water. Actually, the main value of an air stone is the water movement it creates, not O2 in the bubbles being added directly to the water. So a small powerhead can get you much more water movement, usually for no more cost. 
The main advantage of air pumps is that you can set up a huge shelf-load of aquaria with easy to clean sponge filters running off a single large pump and get them operating for relatively low cost -- great for fish shows and large scale fish breeders. 
I think their application to planted aquaria is mainly a holdover from fish-only tanks and the pre-powerhead days of metal frame aquaria. What I mean is, they've been around for years but suffice only as ersatz water movers except in particular situations. You want decent water movement during the day as well as at night in a planted aquarium and a small power head, or flow from a filter, can be used much more effectively than using a bubbler. 
Not that you can't get some effect from air pumps and air stones but they are very, uh,  "old-school" now that the aquarium hobby has discovered economical, small electric water pumps  ;-) . 
Scott H.
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----- Original Message ----
From: Raj <ggrk at blr_vsnl.net.in>
To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 5:11:35 AM
Subject: Re: [APD] Air bubbling

>I've found that air bubbling made no difference. But increasing the 
>water surface movement makes a huge difference.

         I have tested this with a dissolved O2 meter. In my 50 gal. 
the DO levels rise from 2-3 to 6 mg/L in about one hour with one 1" 
air stone. I don't think the bubbles themselves make much difference 
but the surface agitation does the job.
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