Aerate

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Aerate (aeration) is the term used in the aquarium hobby to force air through water so that oxygen dissolves into the water.

Bio-wheel on a Penguin 200 HOB filter

This can be done in various ways.


Advantages

If you place the air-stone on the bottom of the tank as the bubbles rise it causes a current to form that ensures that the oxygen saturated water which forms at the top of the water layer is transported to the depths.

The bottom of an aquarium is where the majority of the ammonia is formed, so the aeration provides a underwater current so that good well oxygenated water gets to the bottom of a tank. This provides the nitrifying bacteria on the gravel with the vital oxygen they need to do their job. Also if you have animals like DAF frogs or bottom dwelling fish like Corys or loaches, you need to keep this bottom layer of water oxygenated.

It also suppresses some forms of toxic anaerobic bacteria (which live in the gravel) which form toxic Hydrogen sulphide (rotten egg smell gas) if you disturb the substrate.

Disadvantages


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