PLanted Tank - Knowledge and Tips

Why Aeration is Necessary in Your Planted Aquarium

Why Aeration is Necessary in Your Planted Aquarium-Maintaining a Healthy Environment for Fish and Aquatic Plants

In this blog, the importance of aeration in a planted aquarium is discussed. While many people pump CO2 into their aquariums for plant growth, aeration is also essential for maintaining a healthy environment for fish and other aquatic life.

Three Important Reasons Why Aeration is Necessary

  1. Balancing CO2 Levels: Aquariums that pump CO2 during the day can have high CO2 levels at night, after the lights are turned off. Aeration helps to remove excess CO2 from the water, creating a healthy balance for fish and plants at night. Plants consume CO2 during the day but switch to respiration at night, releasing CO2. Aeration helps to remove this excess CO2, ensuring that fish can breathe properly.
  2. Preventing Oil Films: Oil films can form on the surface of an aquarium, especially when CO2 is being pumped. Aeration helps to break up these oil films and keep the water surface clear.
  3. Vitalizing Essential Bacteria: Beneficial bacteria that help to clean the aquarium require oxygen to function properly. Aeration helps to ensure that there is enough oxygen in the water at night, when these bacteria are most active. This helps to maintain a clean and healthy aquarium environment.
Additional Tips for Using Aeration

The blog post also offers some additional tips for using aeration in a planted aquarium:

  • Set timers for aeration and CO2: To avoid aeration and CO2 from working against each other, set timers so that CO2 is pumped during the day with the lights, and aeration is turned on at night after the lights are off.
  • Consider a delay between CO2 and aeration: To prevent large swings in pH levels, you can set a timer delay between when the CO2 turns off and the aeration turns on. This allows excess CO2 to naturally evaporate out of the water before aeration begins.
  • Prevent water from splashing onto lights: Aeration can cause water to splash, potentially damaging LED lights. To prevent this, you can use an acrylic air guard that sits on top of the water during aeration.
  • Do not use an acrylic lid during the day: While an acrylic lid can help to prevent splashing during aeration, it should not be left on the tank during the day when the lights are on. This can trap CO2 and reduce oxygen levels in the water.


Aeration is an essential part of maintaining a healthy planted aquarium. It helps to balance CO2 levels, prevent oil films, and vitalize beneficial bacteria. By following the tips in this blog post, you can ensure that your aquarium is properly aerated and that your fish and plants can thrive.

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