- oxygenation of the water of the water
- Maintains even water temperature
- Promotes beneficial bacteria growth
- Moves debris to filter intake
- Provides currents for fish
First and foremost Water movement in the aquarium is a key factor in oxygenation of the water. Oxygen exchange occurs primarily at the surface of the water, and increases in proportion to the amount of water agitation. Ensuring that there is plenty of water movement will insure your fish have sufficient oxygen. If there is ever doubt about oxygenation, the first step to take is increase water movement. Often will be the only step needed. If you are planning a new aquarium, make sure you incorporate plenty of water movement from the start.
Another key benefit of good water movement is maintaining even water temperature
. If there is little or no water movement, zones of warm and cold water
will quickly arise. Circulating the water will prevent temperature layering from occurring. Using small power heads in different locations, or spray bars will go a long ways towards evening out the aquarium water temperature.
When water movement is decreased, it is not uncommon for nook and crannies within the tank to become essentially 'dead zones'. Debris will collect in these areas, and over time can even impact beneficial bacterial colonies
, not to mention become an eye sore. Directing water flow in these dead areas will move the debris around so it is eventually captured by the filtration system.
Last, but certainly not least, water movement is important to many species of fish
. In fact, some fish require a current for optimal health. However, the converse is true for some fish. Bettas, for instance, prefer calm water with little movement. Always study the needs of your fish, and increase water movement for only those species that need it.