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How to Get Rid of Air Bubbles in Fish Tank

How to Get Rid of Air Bubbles in Fish Tank

Bubbles in the fish tank can be a big concern, especially if you are a new aquarist. However, although we are sometimes bothered by the forming of air bubbles in our aquariums, not all are dangerous. This article will guide you on how to get rid of air bubbles in fish tank.

Unless the bubbles are persistently appearing, they shouldn’t bother you. Most are short-term, and they don’t risk the fish. However, some bubbles caused by excess protein or ammonia gas from dead algae can be dangerous.

Why Does My Fish Tank Have Air Bubbles on the Glass?

yellow fish swimming underwater

There are several reasons air bubbles form in the fish tank. Luckily, some bubbles are beneficial to the fish. Let’s take a look at the common reasons;

  • From Protein

Protein-based waste from the fish food coats the tiny air bubbles and becomes foam. Unfortunately, this foam can emit an odor. Once the protein coats the air bubbles, they settle at the water surface, the ugly foamy bubbles you see.

Protein foam in a fish tank is common in salty water fish farming, but it can also form in freshwater for aquariums.

  • Bubble Nests

In the aquarium, some common fish like Bettas are well known for their breathing on the water surface habits. Secondly, they make bubble nests as a reproduction mechanism to attract mates.

They form bubble nests because they mostly live in shallow and muddy channels with stagnant water, unfavorable for breeding. To make the conditions good for reproduction, they create air bubbles to lay eggs on and float on the surface.

  • Water Change

During water change, bubbles in the fish tank are caused by agitation as the water gets into the tank. In the process, tiny air pockets settle around the tank’s glass surface. Some people ask, are bubbles good for fish tank? The answer is yes, but not all bubbles. However, bubbles that occur due to water change create more oxygen for the fish.

Read: Fish tank setup for beginners

red and white fish in fish tank
  • Increasing Temperature

Cold water contains more oxygen compared to heated water. When this cold water is heated after changing, it releases air bubbles that rise to the water surface or form around the tank walls. These bubbles may disappear with time. And secondly, they don’t affect the fish in any way.

  • Aquarium Plants

During photosynthesis, plants attract light and release oxygen. As a result, air bubbles may form on the water or around the glass surface. The process indicates that the plants are fast-growing and the environment is good for the fish.

  • Aquarium Filters

The aquariums have a water filtration system that maintains the water by passing it through various processes. The water flows in a cycle to return to the tank. In the process, air bubbles may form in the tank.

Note filtration bubbles do not pose any risk to the fish. In fact, they rise to the water’s surface and disappear with time.

Read: External fish tank filter setup

school of fish in fishbowl

How to Get Rid of Air Bubbles in Fish Tank

It’s necessary to do away with the bubbles that come from harmful protein or ammonia gas. However, you may get rid of all the bubbles if you dislike them.

Without further ado, let’s dive in and look at various ways you can do away with them;

1. Examine the Aquarium Filter

Examine the filter by checking the water flow rate on the outflow. Some outflows can be adjusted to reduce the flow rate, which may bring about bubbles.

Secondly, set the outflow angle to expel water parallel to the water surface. The angle reduces bubbling. However, if it’s perpendicular to the water surface, you may experience more bubbles.

2. Regularly Clean the Tank

If the protein foams form around the water surface, the only solution is to clean the tank and change the water. The second harmful bubbles are from the dead algae that come from ammonia gas.

Remove all dead algae, and the food remains that may contaminate the water. On the other hand, you can opt for algae-fix to control algae growth.

3. Heat the Water Before Adding it to the Tank

If you don’t like the bubbling due to temperature changes, heat the cold water to the required temperature before adding it to the tank. The water will have lost most oxygen, therefore less bubbling. However, ensure you have the appropriate equipment to test the temperature before transferring the water to the tank.

Read: Chinese algae eater tank mates

4. Give them Time to Pop Up

At times you can remain calm if the bubbles come due to;

  • Aquarium plants except for dead algae.
  • Bubble nests
  • Changing of water
  • Water heating

The bubbles will slowly rise and disappear with time. However, if you notice consistent bubbling, figure out fast to know the cause.

FAQs on Air Bubbles and Fish

Can Air Bubbles Kill Fish?

High force bubbles can kill the little fish. Secondly, they hinder the fish from relaxing or sleeping. This can bring about stress which affects reproduction. Another risk is damaging the eggs. It’s advisable to keep the bubbles at a minimum to create favorable conditions for the fish.

Can an Aquarium Have too Much Aeration?

A lot of oxygen in the water tank can cause gas bubble disease. It creates bubbles around the fish skin and the eyes. However, the condition is believed to occur as a result of excess nitrogen too.

How Do I Know if There’s Enough Oxygen in My Fish Tank?

The possible sign there is enough oxygen in the tank is if you see fish moving freely and relaxed. If you notice the fish are gasping at the surface, they are searching for more oxygen outside water. Secondly, you may see they swim only around the water filter output. That’s a clear sign there is less oxygen in the water.

Are Air Stones Good for Aquariums?

Air stones can be very beneficial if you use an air-powered filter pump. It powers the filter with enough air to run smoothly.

You should always be ready to get rid of air bubbles in fish tank if they pose risks to fish health. However, if they are just ordinary bubbles, you shouldn’t worry much. 

Read: Betta tank size 4x6x8

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