Angelfish and Air bubbles

In this post, we will understand better if Angelfish need Air Bubbles. We will also outline some of the needed tank equipment. 

Angelfish and air bubbles

Aerators are equipment that put oxygen back into the tank water. They generally do this by splashing some water around. The most basic kind of aerator is a bubbler. 

All Angelfish need aeration, this is natural for tank fish. However, the majority of them does not require a bubbler. This is because all Angelfish tanks must have real filters. Thus, these filters already generate water movement and aerate the tank.

How does the water gas exchange work?

Usually, the gas exchange that allows fish to breathe happens by disturbances in the water surface. Surface disturbance refers to the process in which the oxygen gets back to the water and carbon dioxide is released.

This procedure is fundamental since it generates breathable circumstances for fish, including the Angelfish. Thus, the superficial disturbance is fundamental for the existence of fish and other aquatic animals. Without surface agitations, the fish would suffer from asphyxia.

The fish and also other animals rely on oxygen to survive. Fish and other forms of aquatic life need oxygen to survive. Surface disturbance guarantees the fish get enough oxygen required for optimal biological processes.

Surface disturbance can be provoked naturally or artificially using an aerator or filtration equipment, which is more common.

Do Angelfish need a filter?

Every fish tank must have a filter. In the case you are building a tank, it is recommended that you install a good water filter. 

Adequate filtration equipment should eliminate all undesirable substances such as ammonia and nitrates. Moreover, a filter will provide water oxygenation by disturbing the water surface.

In aquatic environments, there is 95 per cent less oxygen than atmospheric air. Also, usual environmental processes such as waves assist in dissolving the oxygen into the water. However, fish tanks do not have such processes and thus, a water filter is needed to guarantee good oxygen input for the fish.

Do aquatic plants oxygenate the water?

Natural plants have various functions in a fish tank. Several studies pointed to a fish preference for tanks with live plants rather than the ones with artificial plants.

Usually, natural water plants help on providing a more natural environment for Angelfish. They assist with controlling ammonia, phosphate, and nitrate levels. 

Additionally, some plants can produce oxygen through biological processes. This production boosts the dissolved oxygen in the tank water. Thus, having natural plants in fish tanks will favour the generation of a healthier, clean, and well-oxygenated habitat for the fish.

Furthermore, well-planted tanks provide enough shading and hiding spots and thus, avoid the fish from being stressed. They also provide refugees from predatory fish and also offer surfaces for laying eggs.

How to grow aquatic plants in a fish tank?

Live plants need enough light to conduct their biological processes such as photosynthesis. Deeper tanks will require stronger lighting to ensure the plants on the bottom will get enough lighting.

The appropriate substrate will guarantee that the plants are delivering plenty of nutrients for root development and expansion. Fine gravel or sand are recommended, they can provide an adequate environment for the plats.

It is also important to supplement nutrients into the substrate. Right nutrient levels will support the progress and expansion of the natural plants.

Can Oxygen privation of kill Angelfish?

Yes, Angelfish are similar to the majority of other organisms, they can die due to lack of oxygen for effective breathing. Some variations in other water parameters may affect the level of oxygen.

Temperature rises will make the oxygen levels drop very quickly and can get to dangerous levels. Under similar conditions, the Angelfish will suffocate until death.

This is the motive to set aeration equipment such as a filtration system. In overpopulated tanks, it is necessary to make sure all the fish are getting enough oxygen. Otherwise, it will be required to set supplementary aeration equipment such as an air bubbler to avoid the fish’s death due to low levels of oxygen. 

Angelfish can resist low levels of oxygen in the tank for about 12 hours. However, in adequately populated tanks, Angelfish can live finely with the oxygenation resultant from filtering surface disturbance. 


There is one specific situation when Angelfish will need a bubbler. This would be while they are eggs. Some aquarists, when breeding Angelfish, opt for taking care of the eggs in another tank, without the parents. 

Angelfish parents usually take care of the eggs very strictly. They keep the water circulation around the eggs and thus, with enough dissolved oxygen around them.

When the eggs are taken care of by a human, it is necessary to provide enough water movement to guarantee the oxygenation of the eggs. For this, it is necessary to set up a bubbler around the eggs avoiding direct contact with the eggs.

Do fish enjoy swimming through the bubbles?

Yes, fish usually enjoy swimming through the bubbles column. They keep swimming back and forward repeatedly as if they were playing.

Not enough dissolved Oxygen in the water

The most usual cause to why Angelfish are gasping at the surface is for breathing. When there is lacking oxygen dissolved into the water.

Angelfish do not have a labyrinth organ. This organ would make it possible for them to capture and absorb oxygen from the water surface. However, they need to get all oxygen using their gills to get the oxygen.

If it is a case of lack of dissolved oxygen, Angelfish start to occupy the to-layers of the tank to get more oxygen, because the surface area is richer on oxygen. The surface is richer in oxygen due to the density of water and gas. As a gas, the oxygen tends to go to the surface, which then becomes richer in oxygen.


In this post, we understood better if Angelfish need Air Bubbles. We also outlined some of the needed tank equipment.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish and Air bubbles

Do air bubbles affect fish?

In cases when the bubbler is too strong, the bubbles can injury eggs, provoke disasters with fish, and can provoke stress due to resting lack.

Why are my Angelfish gasping at the surface?

Your Angelfish may be gasping air at the surface due to lack of oxygen dissolved into the water, which is difficult for fish to breathe, forcing their movement to the surface, as an attempt of getting more oxygen from richer surface areas. This could happen due to poor water quality or wrong water temperature. There is also another possibility, your fish is hungry and asking for some food at the surface.

Are air bubbles in the aquarium safe?

It depends on the intensity of the bubbler. Strong bubblers can distress the fish and cause injuries. However, if the bubbler is correctly set, air bubbles are safe.

Should I turn off the bubbles in my fish tank at night?

It is possible to turn the bubbler during the night. However, if your tank is overpopulated, it could not be enough oxygen for your fish during the entire night in case you opt for turning it off.

Is it possible to pump too much air into a fish tank?

Yes, it is possible to over dissolve oxygen into the water. In these cases, excess oxygen could result in gas bubble disease, which is potentially lethal.


Boumis, R. 2017. Do Angelfish Need a Bubbler?

Fabian. 2020. Do Angelfish Need An Air Pump & Bubbles?

Do Angelfish Need Oxygen & Filters?

Muha, L. 2007. The Skeptical Fishkeeper: Aeration and Oxygenation.