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    magicANN's Avatar
    magicANN Posts: 20, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Jul 16, 2006, 05:04 PM
    Why do some fish not need air pumps
    My sister has a goldfish and it doesn't have an air pump in it, but my tank has to have one or all the guppies, tetra, whatever I buy or they will die. Why is that
    jennapbt's Avatar
    jennapbt Posts: 131, Reputation: 19
    Junior Member

    Jul 22, 2006, 04:51 PM
    Technically any fish tank w/ any type of fish doesn't NEED an airpump. If you have a filter on it, it circulates the water enough to circulate air through the water. There will always be air in the water no mater what. I'm pretty sure your fish won't die if you didn't have an air pump. A lot of the time goldfish gulp air from the top also, which could lead to other health issues, they still do. It could be they are searching for bugs. There will always be a % of o2 in h2o no matter what.
    Thomas1970's Avatar
    Thomas1970 Posts: 856, Reputation: 131
    Senior Member

    Jul 22, 2006, 11:24 PM
    I would recommend an air pump in any fish tank. Particularly with goldfish, as they do not possess a stomach, therefore producing far more waste than other fish. Gulping air of the surface is a sign of very poor water quality. Air pumps help circulate the water, helping to liberate ammonia into the air. Bettas are really the only fish that are likely to do well without a pump, as they are native to shallow, muddy rice paddies, and typically spend much time resting near the surface, drawing in much oxygen through their skin.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member

    Jul 23, 2006, 06:56 AM
    Your previous answer is very good.
    Being a long time fish tank owner, and at 64 yrs old now, I wouldn't put any fish in a tank without the filters, and "air blowers", throughout the tank.
    Whenever any fish starts gulping air from the water surface, there is a reason... it is in trouble!
    You don't see fish in a lake swimming around and gulping air from the water surface!
    Best of luck.
    jennapbt's Avatar
    jennapbt Posts: 131, Reputation: 19
    Junior Member

    Jul 23, 2006, 01:11 PM
    I would recommend an air pump, but I was just saying that it is not a necessity. Air circulating in a tank w/ gold fish would be better since they do produce more waste, which in turn produces more ammonia. Goldfish can and will eat until they explode. Most other fish will reach their limit. That's why they produce more waste. They DO have a stomach it is physically impossible that they do not possess a stomach. The main reason for a air pump is to circulate the water so that it can be filtered. Oxygen will always be absorbed from the top of the water though. Labyrinth fish aka bettas, paradise fish, gouramis, all breathe air from the surface. All other fish absorb it from the water. Fish that gulp at the top of the surface doesn't mean that they are starving for air. It most likely means that they have "swim bladder", or have some other underlying disease. To answer your question Ann a tank doesn't NEED an air pump no matter what fish are in it, it's just recommended to circulate and clean the water. Plus does your sister have a tank or is the goldfish in a bowl. It also depends on the size of your tank that you have your tropical fish in also. I have a 40 gallon that didn't have an air pump in it for about 2 years, and had no fish loss.
    Thomas1970's Avatar
    Thomas1970 Posts: 856, Reputation: 131
    Senior Member

    Jul 23, 2006, 04:30 PM
    "Goldfish don't have a stomach and so they can't digest food like you or I. It takes about 5 mintues for their food to come out the other end."

    Quoted from this website, Koko's Goldfish World:

    The purpose of the stomach is to digest food into an easily absorbable liquid. Actual absorption of most nutrients takes place in the intestines.
    Incidentally, I once knew a man who had his stomach removed during WWII, due to a very serious illness. He had very specific dietary and medical requirements, but for the most part lived a fairly healthy, if somewhat inactive life. And much like a goldfish, food typically went through him in a matter of minutes.

    Disagree if you must, but biology -- specifically, biomedical technology -- was my major in college. As well, I owned goldfish for many years. :confused: :D Take care. :)


    Mouth - teeth are used to reduce sizes of food particles, salivary glands to provide lubrication and aid swallowing. Saliva also contains an enzyme amylase that digests starch to sugar (evolutionary function to help identify useful and avoid dangerous foods?). Food then passes down esophagus into

    Stomach - a hydrochloric acid bath. The acid kills bacteria and aids the digestion of food. The stomach has a unique mucous layer to protect it from self digestion by the acid. The stomach also contains a proteinase (pepsin) which begins digestion of proteins to polypeptides etc. Leaves stomach and enters duodenum. In young mammals another enzyme, rennin, is also present which aids clotting and digestion of milk proteins.

    Duodenum - first part of small intestine into which pancreatic juice and bile are secreted. Bile helps emulsify fat (break it into smaller droplets) making its digestion easier. Pancreatic juices contains several enzymes trypsin, chymotrypsin which acts on proteins and polypeptides, amylase which breaks down starch, steapsin which breaks down fats and collagenase which digests collagen.

    Small intestine - the lining is covered with small finger-like protuberances or villi which increase the surface area for nutrient absorbtion. Enzymes secreted by the intestine wall include peptidase, sucrase and maltase. Molecules of the food nutrients such as glucose, amino acids, fatty acids etc can be absorbed here and passed into blood system.

    Large intestine (cecum and colon) - large populations of bacteria are present which provide some cellulase digesting activity. The cecum is a blind ending sac which is very small in most monogastrics. In humans it is referred to as the appendix. The cecum contains microorganisms which perform some digestion of plant material. The major function of the large intestine is water absorption. The microorganisms present also manufacture some essential vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin K) for use by the host animal.

    Food has what is described as a moderate speed of passage through the gut, usually 24-48hrs
    Bluelakeplantsdotcom's Avatar
    Bluelakeplantsdotcom Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 9, 2007, 10:28 AM
    As a koi and gold fish owner, let me address a widely spread rumor about "gulping " air and koi and goldfish. They are known as "top breathers" . It is not a sign of poor water quaility as some indicate. They do this in ponds as well, and ponds that have very high oxyegen water content. Gold fish and Koi do this as a way of getting more oxyegen, but also do it while top feeding. You will see this occur more so if you have duck weeds, or fairymoss on top of the water. They feed on it! It has nothing to do with poor water quality!
    I have 5 ponds all over 25,000 gallons each with an additional pond of 250,000 gallons. I have koi and goldfish and catfish and some trout all mixed in the same pond. The only fish that top breathes is the kio and the goldfish. Do not assume because they do, that that you have water quaility issues and start buying pumps and water areation devices. That is exactly what sellers of such products want you to do. They want you to buy and spend your dollar. My ponds are 20 years old. In 20 years I have lost fish to birds, to coons, and to cats. I have never found a floating fish that I could not attribute to a previuos attack by a bird or other animal.
    Check all information carefully when taking advise, and I am sure there will be those that will disagree with mine.
    The difference is, mine is backed by 20 years of facts , not fiction.
    teghancat's Avatar
    teghancat Posts: 24, Reputation: -1
    New Member

    Mar 17, 2008, 10:44 AM
    All fish except bettas and some freshwater fish need a filter.
    If you don't have one, buy one, and if you don't want to buy one, buy a betta fish
    dyllan321's Avatar
    dyllan321 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jan 22, 2011, 02:01 PM
    Only certain kind of fish can live without air goldfish or betta's. Sometimes you mite want to keep a air pump with a goldfish or betta if they or dying or have a desies.Golfish and betta's swim to the top of the water and get a breath of air. Most fish do that but some don't so buy a air pump just in case
    Chatterbug's Avatar
    Chatterbug Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 4, 2011, 11:45 AM
    I am new to fish owning, but from my perspective, a ghost shrimp or other 'cleaner' fish/shrimp/snails are good to go with gold fish because they clean up some of the mess. Ghost shrimp are only 33c a piece at Petsmart and I haven't had any issues with my small goldfish and him getting along well. I know once the girlfriend gets bigger she might eat him, but for now it works well.
    allyhasswagg's Avatar
    allyhasswagg Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 27, 2011, 08:21 PM
    I just have a qustion I'm a brand new fish onwer and I have three gold fish I have no idea if I should use a filtter I have one but when I use it and my fish go to go on the side its on. It makes it hard for the to swim so they stay on one side. So should I use one and thank you for who ever answers
    shazamataz's Avatar
    shazamataz Posts: 6,642, Reputation: 1244
    Uber Member

    Dec 27, 2011, 08:57 PM
    Goldfish are pretty 'dirty' fish and really should have a filter. The one you have may be too powerful for the tank. Have a look around the actual pump (that sits under the water) and see if there are any switches or dials to turn the water flow down a bit.

    I have a pump for my guppy tank that is a little too powerful and I only have it turned on during the day, I switch it off at night so they have a chance to rest.
    allyhasswagg's Avatar
    allyhasswagg Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 28, 2011, 05:15 AM

    That's a good tip shazamataz I have it on the lowest seting and still doing the same thing. It kind of puzzules me that it came with the cage
    allyhasswagg's Avatar
    allyhasswagg Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 28, 2011, 10:24 PM
    shazamataz's Avatar
    shazamataz Posts: 6,642, Reputation: 1244
    Uber Member

    Dec 29, 2011, 12:05 PM
    Mine is the same! It's actually built in to the top of the tank so I can't replace it, I just give them their quiet time at night to make up for it plus I have plenty of decorations so they can get out of the water flow if they need to.

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