Is an air pump totally necessary for my aquarium?

When I first started out with my aquarium hobby (that was like gosh..15 years ago!) I didn’t know anything about keeping the fish tanks clean and beautiful while also creating the perfect environment for my fish. All I knew back then… is that I wanted to have a fish tank just like the one my uncle first had (a ~55 gallon fish tank with 4-5 superb gold fishes).

Ok great, I knew I needed a fish tank (not that large, because I was a kid and I didn’t had the budget to invest), some fish and.. an air pump!

The first question that crossed my mind was: can I just skip the air pump for the moment? is it really that important? (remember, I had just a basic fish tank, not a fancy starter kit with built-in filter and what not!)

Long story short, I started without a filter and without an air pump… BIG MISTAKE!
My first fish tank was a 10 US gallon aquarium, with no filter, no air pump, no bubbles and no circulation pump.

After the first week (maybe less) the tank was a MESS. Literally. The water was cloudy and stinky, the the goldfishes we’re swimming mostly at the top of the water (probably because of low oxygen levels).

Nobody told me that Goldfish are actually very messy fish (like aquarium pigs, LoL), the tank was too small and without a proper filtration system they’re probably doomed.

Anyway, so the next week I did purchased the air pump, the tubing system and one stone (which I further upgraded with a double sponge water filter air pump very similar to this one).

Here’s what I learned (the hard way):

– some say that you will need to have at least 1 gallon of water for every 1 inch of adult fish. So don’t squeeze in too many fishes in your tank. I know it’s tempting to overstock the aquarium, mostly if you’re a beginner 🙂
– if you don’t have a filter that creates a sort of waterfall, then at least try to get an air pump powered filtration system (if you’re on a budget)
– if the surface of your tank is small and it’s not agitated enough, you’ll definitely need an air pump.
– a good aquarium filter can help a lot, mostly when you have messy fishes (or many fishes sharing the same aquarium)

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