3 Plants And 3 Animals That Live In The Ecosystem How to Select the Right Aquarium Water Pump

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How to Select the Right Aquarium Water Pump

Pets are a welcome addition to many people’s lives; however, not everyone can afford or want the responsibility of large animals. Maybe space is an issue, or cost, or time. For those who would enjoy a pet but whose concerns have limited their purchase in the past, the calmness of the fish may be the answer.

A well-maintained aquarium can bring hours of joy and fun to a family. But what is needed to create a stable environment for fish, just a bowl and water? For most types of fish, the answer is a resounding “No.” To create and enjoy an aquarium, careful planning should anticipate any purchases of equipment or fish. Consider the size of the tank needed, the type of aquarium water pump, the size of the filter, and whether a water heater is needed.

For aquarium success, proper circulation, along with filtration and lighting, is the foundation. Consider the natural environment of water. It contains the circulation and exchange of air, plant and microbial life, fish and constant changes in weather conditions; it’s a complete ecosystem, your home aquarium is not. Without proper circulation your tank will fail.

Water movement is necessary because it creates surface movement. This movement allows oxygen into the water and lets waste gases (nitrogen) out. Water circulation is also an important part of stabilizing water conditions such as temperature and salinity, where fluctuations can stress or kill your fish. The heaters needed to produce more natural temperatures for your fish only affect one area in your tank, the rest of the aquarium relies on circulation to distribute it evenly. Likewise, without an aquarium water pump, normal algae growth can become overwhelming. With the movement of water, this growth is eliminated on the surface (as in ponds) and it becomes much more difficult for the algae to take hold of other surfaces.

So how much water movement is needed? Depending on the size and type of your tank, industry standards say to multiply the number of gallons in your tank by the “return rate” for your fish species according to the chart below.

Reservoir type turnover rate

Fresh water tanks (small fish) 3-4 times per hour

Tanks of fresh water with plants 2 times per hour

Freshwater tanks (big fish) 5-6 times per hour

Salt water tanks 5-7 times per hour

Reef 7-10+ times per hour

For example, with a 10 gallon fish tank, with fresh water and no live plants, I would need a GPH (gallons per hour) movement rate of 40 (10 gal X 4 tr.)

There are many different types of aquarium filtration to consider. Aquarium water pumps can be internal or external and generally require a “flow-through” or wet/dry filtration system. Depending on your space and application needs, you can choose from submersible pumps that sit inside your tank and are relatively quiet and easy to install, or external/inline pumps that are significantly noisier, but with more powerful power. Power heads are also available; these types of submersible pumps attach to the sides of your tank and create underwater currents.

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