What Is The Formula For Surface Area Of A Cube How To Quiet A Noisy Aquarium

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How To Quiet A Noisy Aquarium

An aquarium is a small enclosed part of a large ocean, a raging river or a tidal pool teeming with life. It’s like taking a cube of the underwater environment and keeping it within us so that we can enjoy its complexity without limit while we breathe!

And realizing that the underwater environment is quiet (it’s actually very noisy, but we perceive it as quiet), the last thing we want on our screen is a noisy aquarium. Or aquariums. I say this because there are currently 4 active aquariums in our apartment.

We are surrounded by life. Fish, plants and a big, crazy Peaches & Cream Tabby cat. And after a few decades of tanks, both big and small and everywhere in between, I finally answered the problem that had puzzled me from the beginning – “Why is my tank so noisy?!”

What causes the noise?

We’ll get to the big answer in a moment. First, here’s a list of things to look for that might be your noise problem.

Air equals noise: Airstones and air tubes add a beautiful effect to your underwater environment. They also add power to those decorations that need bubble pressure to work. A small treasure chest with a hinged lid needs a certain amount of air to function properly. But overload it and all the excess bubbles popping on the surface make a constant loud noise.

Current equals noise: Second to air movement, we like a lot of water movement (simulated natural currents) in our tanks. Fish need it for growth and happiness. We have one Guppy tank where you could almost paint a pattern wheel on the side of the tank with a grease pencil. Fish swim against the current, diving and rising together. They love flow. But add Powerheads and exceed tank size and you have noise issues.

Equipment equals noise: Pumps, filters, sumps and even piping can make noise. Sometimes too much noise. Most pumps have a built-in silencer. But if you override this system in a custom installation, the vibration noise will be noticeable very soon. And not in a good way. Just as importantly, the surface that items are attached to or simply sit on can be the culprit.

Furniture equals noise: I have built all the bases and structural elements for my aquarium. As soon as I skinned one of the tops with the plywood, I noticed a horrible hum. The air pump’s rubber feet were transmitting vibrations through the plywood skin, and the open underside of the built-in pump was becoming an echo chamber. Placing the air pump in a more substantial place in the cabinet solved the problem.

Design equals noise: And finally, even your design can be a big noise culprit. Air moving over rocks, currents and eddies around equipment and decorations, even the placement of your pump’s inlet and outlet are all part of the aquarium’s noise reduction formula.

What can I do?

I’ll bring it down: The quietest aquarium would be a simple bowl of water. No air movement or current. Just a vessel of water sitting in silence.

If you use multiple air pumps, especially small ones with a single outlet, choose a larger pump with multiple outlets. As a rule of thumb, the pump should supply all your air needs for that one aquarium. Besides having one noisemaker, larger pumps have better sound dampening.

And if your pump is more than a few years old, throw it in the trash. Even if it still works. Old parts, especially rubber ones, are likely to be your main source of noise. Now the hard rubber feet do nothing to dampen the sound. They may even add it.

And use valves to determine the amount of air directed to the accessories. That little air stone with one line coming from the pump is a big noise problem. And it looks just as nice with half that amount of air going through it. Maybe even better.

Listen to the effect: Most of the power accessories you buy to add to your tank have an adjustment feature. Put your ear to the current that the power head creates and listen to it die down as you adjust the socket. It could be a volume problem or just a directional problem. It can even vibrate against the tank or rocks. Adjust it as needed.

Adjust your air line valves in the same way. Place your ear on the surface of the water and listen as you adjust the flow. Once you find a suitable quiet level, see how it affects the appearance. Then make small adjustments to achieve a happy look against the noise.

Design with noise in mind: It’s easier to set up a silent tank, then try to achieve after that. Remember the water bowl sitting quietly? Keep this in mind when adding accessories or planning the placement of your necessary equipment. Which brings us to the big problem I solved after 20 years of aquariums.

Not everything works together

I like Bubble Wands behind my tanks. They are practically invisible, but produce large amounts of bubbles. I like oxygen filled tanks, so I like a lot of air movement. This turns the food in the tank and helps with currents to keep the fish happy.

However, due to space and budget constraints, I have always relied on saddlebag filters rather than the canister type. There are only so many places to put a saddle filter, and therefore only so many places where the inlets will fit into the tank.

Filter noise has always driven me crazy. These have been the noisiest filters of all my friends. And recently my other tanks. Then I understood the problem.

My wife set up three other tanks and isn’t as big a fan of Bubble Wands as I am. His filters were silent, their flow as powerful as mine.

But my filter sounded like the impeller was falling apart. I had pulled the whole system out, checked all the parts and made sure everything would go back together. As has always happened in the past, my filter blew away.

Then I realized it. I pulled on the airline Bubble Wands and the noise stopped. Air flow from the pipes bypassed my filter to the intake pipe. The filter was trying to fill with water. It couldn’t because the wands filled it with air.

And so, the filter would forever sound like a filter when it first starts up and fill itself up. Problem found! Now to solve this. I didn’t want to get rid of my bubble wands.

I took a drinking straw (clean and new) and cut it in half. I then sliced ​​the pieces lengthwise to create an opening. I wrapped the straw over the Bubble Wand, under the filter inlet. This left a small opening for air to escape, so I placed another straw on top of the first one with the slot 180 degrees opposite the first one. Problem solved, air stopped in that area.

And bubbles cannot enter the filter inlet. I even saw a slight increase in water flow through the filter, which means better filtration.

Less can be better

In this case, I found that just because the accessories really give me the look I want in their “natural” environment, certain things don’t work with others. You can change them. But the lesson is that not all accessories in your tank are the best for the tank and your fish. And especially your ears.

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