Fish Tank Circulation Pump For Freshwater

When we go on to buy an aquarium we get excited about having the pet fish. Set up an aquatic environment for them and bring them home. Do we know their needs? In most cases, most aquarium enthusiasts miss out on the most important tool to aid a fish tank. 

That is the fish tank circulation pump. People mostly get busy embellishing their newly brought aquarium then think about some crucial machine like a circulation pump. It’s not about oxygen filters, fishes, plants and reefs only. As a pet owner, you have to be on your toes and know what your fish needs. Even the plants deserve a lot.

Water circulation is the key to a healthy environment. HOB filters can work well for small goldfish tanks but bigger aquariums with plants or reefs will need a good circulation pump. Today we will talk about circulation pumps and know more about this life-saving device.

What is a Circulation Pump?

circulation pump

Circulation pumps of powerheads are devices that keep the water moving constantly inside an aquarium. This is something most inexperienced fish tank owners miss out on and start having unwanted problems. Circulation pumps closely imitate the ocean or sea current to provide a comfortable natural abode for the living things. 

Tanks without circulation devices will have a paucity of water movement, it might be enough for some fishes, but when you add plants and reefs your tank will need adequate water current. This is where fish tank circulation pumps come in handy. It is widely available as well.

Circulation pumps of powerheads are devices that keep the water moving constantly inside an aquarium. This is something most inexperienced fish tank owners miss out on and start having unwanted problems. Circulation pumps closely imitate the ocean or sea current to provide a comfortable natural abode for the living things. 

Tanks without circulation devices will have a paucity of water movement, it might be enough for some fishes, but when you add plants and reefs your tank will need adequate water current. This is where fish tank circulation pumps come in handy. It is widely available as well.

Small Fish Tanks vs Tanks With Greeneries and Reefs

Have you seen bowl-like glass aquariums or small rectangle aquariums? We all have come across these items and might own one as well. These are more confined options than the larger units. Small aquariums will hold one or few fishes at maximum and won’t have the spacing for adding plants to them. 

Even if you have greens inside a small tank, a circulation pump might not fit. This is why we don’t see people using circulation devices on smaller fish tanks. That doesn’t mean circulation is not important, it is. We recommend you move your fish to a bigger tank with a proper setup.

Larger fish tanks have the space to fit aquatic plants or a reef surrounding. Dropping in your fish on such a tank is healthy only if the current within the water is suitable. Suitable current? What’s that? Don’t you know that oceans, rivers and ponds have a more substantial water stream than a 9×12 inch aquarium? Fishes and pants need to have a similar marine current to stay healthy. Big tanks must have a fish tank circulation pump installed. 

Plants Need Circulation 

The common mistake that most tank owners make is to only care about the fish and not the plants. They take the plants for granted and as decoration. Yes, they make the habitat look beautiful. But there is another catch to it. Plants are there to provide oxygen for your fish. 

To stay healthy, plants need to have access to adequate carbon dioxide and nutrients with help of the water stream. Circulation pumps are a viable device that works wonders underwater. There is no alternative to creating a healthy flow.

Circulation Helps Plant Growth

As we are dealing with living things, it will grow. A good water circulation with a decent flow to it will make the plants grow faster and thrive underwater. With the increase in water flow a plant’s growth rate increases as well. Sufficient circulation will also aid the plants with a boost of carbon dioxide by eliminating the boundary layer. 

Overflow and Lack of Flow 

Using a circulation pump needs proper knowledge on how to operate it and what the water body needs. You cannot just turn on the pump and let it wave out everything with force. You cannot turn it to the minimum level as well. 

A strong water flow is likely to damage the plants by breaking the leaves and branches. Even the dishes will be moving erratically and be in a state of panic. If you turn down the pump to the minimum level, then it can have a very minimal effect, which is not good either. 

There should be a reasonable water current to generate carbon dioxide for the plants and maintain a free-flowing river-like stream for the fish. Remember the circulation must not be aggressive or too minimal. The accurate way to go about it is to maintain a moderate water current.

Circulation in Reef Aquariums

Reefs and corals thrive due to underwater current. In an open water body like the oceans or sea, they depend on the waves to provide the necessary flow to accumulate nutrition and other biological needs. Reefs attract a lot of waste and dregs, so it is vital to have a circulation pump to efface the unwanted residues.

If you add reefs to your aquarium setup, you have to make a cosy and comfortable environment for it to live through because they are no longer on the ocean by themselves. 

Reefs won’t survive a still water body, there must be a steady water stream to blow off the steam at all times. There are many benefits of adding a fish tank circulation pump. It removes debris, fights off the sediments, Keeps the rocks clean, aids the growth factor, naturalizes the food source and much more. 

Aeration for Your Fish 

Water circulation is more crucial than you think it is. We have been talking about plants and how about the fish you are petting? Fishes love being in a flowy water stream like freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds, ocean as you know. But in aquariums, they don’t get much of the water movement and are cramped compared to a huge river or ocean. 

Fish rely on oxygen to live and pumps and filters are a feasible source to provide oxygen. IS it enough for your pet? We say no because filtered oxygen is not much of a natural process. Having a good water current helps to create a better balance within by moving the water and circulating oxygen better. 

Another reason you must get a fish tank circulation pump is to create more river-like flowing water for your fish. This will allow your fish to move with enthusiasm and be cheerful rather than being a sitting duck on an almost immobile waterbody. 

Placement of The Circulation Pump

Placement of the circulation pump is crucial. You should not place it on top of the water surface as it will be useless as the living things are underwater. Leveling it up with the surface is another mistake people make, it irritates the water and disturbs the oxygen and carbon dioxide flow for your fish, plants and reefs. 

The best place for placing a pump depends on what’s inside your aquarium. If it comprises fishes and plants, then you should experiment with the pump height and make sure the water stream is natural and not too overflowing. If you place it straight in line with the plants it may cause the leaves to break due to pumping force. 

Place it below the surface, keep a distance, but don’t push it down to the middle. Circulation pumps should be in parallel with the filter. Both of its airflow directions should be towards the same side. 

You must ensure that the waters are flowing from top to bottom so that there are no dead spots left. As we are not physically present to see your aquarium setup, we recommend you to experiment with the positions yourself and make a decent stream with the water.

When using a circulation device in a reef aquarium, you must place it in a place where the stream flushes the rocks and digs out the debris and sediments. You must not go overboard with the force, it will not help the corals or reefs, rather agitate it unnecessarily. Keep a steady flow for safety. Only once or twice you can have a gush of water current hit the reefs to clean things up. 

Final Thoughts

Having an aquarium in your home is an eye-catching attraction. Don’t just think about the beauty, also think about the condition and safety of your fish and other habitats like plants and reefs. Maintaining a tank is not that easy, there are many things you have to work out to provide a fresh and lively atmosphere for the living things. One important device every fish enthusiast must own is the fish tank circulation pump. We have talked about the beneficial aspects of such pumps in this article, give it a read and enhance the longevity of your tank. Always remember, an appropriate water circulation will transmit carbon dioxide, oxygen level, and necessary nutrients throughout the water. All these aids in the growth of your fish and plants.   

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