Aquariums require the use of various types of equipment in order to maintain a healthy environment in the tank. Aquarium pumps are crucial because they create the movement and oxygenation required.
Aquarium water pumps create currents and aerate the water. They also drive the water through the various peripherals such as sumps, filters and skimmers. In reef tanks they can also be used to make waves. Moving water aerates it by ensuring that the surface is continually mixed with the rest of the water. The currents produced by a water pump are vital for many species and prevent detritus from accumulating.
Many invertebrates require pulsing currents to reduce the quantity of debris which settles and also to bring them food. Species whose natural habitat is the river are adapted to strong currents which flow in one direction whilst reef animals are adapted to alternating currents. Revolving pumps oscillate to produce variable flow direction. Alternatively a variable flow can be created by using two or more pumps in conjunction with a timer which turns them on and off in sequence.
In choosing your water pump you must consider the volume of water that must be moved. If you are using a filter or skimmer it will be rated for a particular volume of water per hour. A turnover of 6 times the tank volume per hour is generally recommended but the flow rate required may be dictated by the species that you keep. This means that if you have a 40 gallon tank you will need a pump that can move 240 gallons per hour. Tanks with larger fish may need higher flow rates and possibly additional power heads to filter waste.
You must also consider where the filtration system will be located as the distance the water must be moved by the pump will affect your choice. Head height is the term used to describe is the total distance that the pump will be required to move the aquarium water and is the distance from the pump to the highest destination of the pumped water.
Aquarium pumps which power filtration systems can be submersible or inline. Submersible pumps are run under water, usually in the sump, are easy to install and tend to be quieter. However they are water cooled and so may add heat to the aquarium. Inline pumps are external systems connected to inlet and outlet hoses and are air cooled. They are often more powerful pumps which can move higher volumes of water each hour.
Remember that salt water is corrosive and so marine pumps must be corrosion resistant.
Aquarium air pumps are used either to power an air driven filter or to create bubbles. Bubbles are aesthetically pleasing and help to aerate the water. Air pumps typically use an electromagnet to rapidly vibrate a rubber diaphragm. They can be battery or mains powered.
At Romsey World of Water we have an excellent selection of air pumps, water pumps and accessories suitable for a variety of aquarium set-ups. We have chosen our pumps from the Prosilent, Aqua One, Biorb, Eheim, JBL, Elite, Superfish, Tetra and Tropical Marine centre collections. If you need further assistance is selecting the perfect pump then please do contact our friendly team who will always be happy to help.
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