Do Tetras Like Bubbles? (Do They Really Need Them?)

Image of tetras in an aquarium with bubbles

Air bubbles are common in tank water. Some fish like bettas even create a bubble nest around them. However, not all fish do it. So, do tetras like bubbles?

Yes, tetras like bubbles. Bubbles are also a good sign of enough oxygen in the tank water. Proper aeration creates tiny bubbles that oxygenate the water. This provides a healthy environment for tetras to thrive. Air pumps, air stones, powerheads, and spray bar aerators can create bubbles in a tank.

Let’s discuss bubbles in detail now.

Why Do Tetras Like Bubbles?

Tetras are playful creatures that love to play and explore the tank. So they like to swim up and down in bubbles.

At times, you can also notice your tetras purposefully swimming down the bubbling current and then riding the current back to the top. Such playful activity is good for tetras as it keeps them healthy.

Alright! Now that you know tetras like bubbles, let’s also understand how bubbles are created in an aquarium.

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How Are Bubbles Created In A Fish Tank?

Bubbles form when liquids are agitated. In an aquarium, carbon dioxide and oxygen are exchanged at the water surface.

During this process, oxygen is absorbed into the water, and carbon dioxide is released into the air. This gas exchange occurs through surface agitation once the surface tension breaks in the tank water.

And to break the surface tension, some aquarium devices pump air into the water to create bubbles. These bubbles float to the surface of the tank water and then burst to break the tension.

You can use various devices to create bubbles in the tank water. Some of the prominent ones are listed below.

1. Air Pump

An air pump is a primary equipment to create bubbles in an aquarium. Bubbles are created to sustain the desired oxygen level in the tank water.

Air pump forces air from the atmosphere into the aquarium water through mechanical means. When air is forced into the tank water, agitation takes place, which creates bubbles.

When these bubbles reach the tank’s surface, gas exchange occurs. Excess gas and carbon dioxide get released into the air, and oxygen gets absorbed into the tank water for fish and other inhabitants to breathe.

2. Filter

A filter is the best device for oxygenation and aeration. Apart from maintaining the water quality, a filter also helps circulate the water from the bottom of the tank to the top for absorbing oxygen.

The majority of the filters are equipped with outputs that direct water into the aquarium’s surface to provide water movement.

3. Powerheads

A powerhead is an addition to an aquarium filter. It is placed on either side of a filter and is connected to an air hose.

An electric pump-action powers the powerhead, siphoning water from the bottom to top with great force.

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4. Air Stone

An air stone is a piece of aquarium decoration. There is an airline tubing that connects these stones to the air pump.

It is made out of porous stones or minerals. It gradually releases bubbles into the tank water over several weeks.

Air stone can be used while the air pump is turned off. It creates enough surface agitation to maintain the oxygen level in the tank.

Another plus point of having an air stone is that it can be used as a backup in case of a power failure.

5. Spray Bar Aerator

The spray bar is attached to the filter outlet, and it sprays water across the water surface of the tank. It is fitted horizontally, promoting surface agitation and aeration.

Spray bars are particularly effective if you have dead spots in the aquarium.

Do Tetras Need Bubbles?

In the wild, there are huge water bodies with currents that bring oxygen into the water. Hence, fish and other aquatic animals are seldom deprived of oxygen.

In a home aquarium, we need a similar movement to ensure sufficient oxygen gets dissolved in the water. Bubbles released by the air pump play a crucial role in the aquarium to oxygenate the water.

An air pump creates bubbles that remove undesirable gases from the water. They create a disturbance at the water’s surface and help water circulation, which eventually raises oxygen concentration in the tank water. Hence, the presence of bubbles ensures that the tank is well-oxygenated for tetras to thrive.

However, you need to ensure that the air pump doesn’t push out the bubbles violently. Also, the air pump shouldn’t have loud noise. Otherwise, tetras can get scared and avoid swimming in that part of the aquarium.

Interesting Further Reading:

Do Neon Tetras Need An Air Pump?

Neon tetras don’t need an air pump. If you have an adequate filter and sufficient plants, an air pump is not necessary.

In simple terms, an air pump is a device that creates bubbles in the tank by causing surface agitation and aerates the tank water. Additionally, an air pump helps in increasing the oxygen level in the tank water.

Now, if your tank is heavily planted, the plants will do the work of an air pump. Moreover, a well-functioning filter will create enough surface agitation and circulation to ensure that the oxygen level doesn’t deplete.

However, an air pump for a neon tetra tank is recommended if you have a heavily stocked tank. It’s because the oxygen level depletes quickly due to the large population in the tank. Besides, live plants are not sufficient to maintain the oxygen level in a heavily stocked tank.

If you don’t have an air pump, you need to ensure your aquarium gets sufficient oxygen by other means. You can achieve this by having a shallow and wide tank instead of a tall and deep one.

If you have a deep tank, only the top area will get aerated and hold more oxygen. On the other hand, a shallow and wide tank allows more water contact with air. Hence, the oxygen level is maintained throughout the tank.

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