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Tired

An additional parameter to consider: sound?

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Tired

 

I've wondered in the past if powerheads and air pumps make enough noise to bother the fish, and this reminded me of it. Those little air pumps can sure be loud in the air, and so many of them are clipped right onto the edges of buckets. Surely the vibration must be upsetting, rattling the water inside like that, especially given that fish have lateral lines to sense pressure changes. Some fish (freshwater shiners come to mind) are hardly ever kept in aquariums because they frequently die of stress when captured, and I wonder if the use of quieter equipment, or none, could help with that. 

And then we have our aquariums. A relatively small, confined, hard-edged space, into which we put strong, vibrating pieces of machinery. There's no way they can't at least hear the pump. It makes me wonder if, for some particularly sensitive fish, the sound is the last straw that keeps them permanently stressed. Maybe part of the reason tangs need a large tank is because it lets them get away from the sounds of the pumps. Maybe sick fish would be less stressed, and recover more easily, if they were somewhere quieter. Maybe some fish that school in the wild but fight in aquaria wouldn't fight if they could hear each other and communicate properly. 

I'm almost tempted to see if I can rent a hydrophone somewhere, and use it to measure the volume in a bunch of different aquariums. It's the only way I can think of to figure out how loud it is in there. 

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Vhexxen

Back when I worked in aquaculture, if work hadn’t gone sour I would have been doing a masters about the impact of sound of fish growth.  I never did get to dig into it, but I did observe better, more consistent growth and fewer deaths in the salmon in the tanks further away from the bulk of the filtration equipment (the noise levels of which my employer falsified so that they wouldn’t have to give ME hearing protection).  And it’s well known that underwater noise is detrimental to large marine life like whales and dolphins.

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Tired

That's interesting, but not surprising; poor fish. Pool filtration is loud enough, and I'd imagine yours was far worse if it was a danger to peoples' hearing. Plus, fish have the lateral lines and their hearing, and that's something that would be too "loud" for both of those senses.

I don't even want to think about fish in bait buckets on motorboats. The floor vibrates, and so does anything you put on it. I'm shocked you don't see people getting to their destinations and finding all their bait has killed itself by running into the walls trying to escape.

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seabass

Thanks.  When snorkeling, I'm always amazed by the sound of the ocean.  However, it was interesting to hear the sounds made by the specific fish in the video.

 

In a book, the author (I can't recall now, but believe it was by Anthony Calfo) made a case for external pumps for similar reasons.  And like this video, I also saw another show on TV that also discussed how artificial noises/vibrations may be causing problems.

 

I don't feel that this is the main reason that tangs need a large tank.  However, it would be interesting to see more studies being done on the subject of sound (especially among shoaling fish).

 

I was expecting to find a bunch of hydrophones on Amazon, but they really didn't have much.  Ebay has more options.  Maybe someday a hydophone may be as widely used as a PAR meter in our hobby.

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Tired

Oh, yeah, I don't mean to suggest that you could keep a tang in a 20gal if it was silent. They're large, active fish, it's no surprise they need a big tank. I just wonder if, especially with some of the more sensitive species, sound may be a factor in why they seem so ich-prone. Though, personally, I'd be more inclined to think it's mostly because they're kept as solo members of a schooling species, and their instincts probably think something ate everybody else. 

 

I don't think I've ever seen an external pump. Do you know where I can get one suitable for a 5gal? It would be nice to largely take the sound out of the equation, especially since this is such a small tank. 

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LogicalReefs
1 hour ago, Tired said:

Oh, yeah, I don't mean to suggest that you could keep a tang in a 20gal if it was silent. They're large, active fish, it's no surprise they need a big tank. I just wonder if, especially with some of the more sensitive species, sound may be a factor in why they seem so ich-prone. Though, personally, I'd be more inclined to think it's mostly because they're kept as solo members of a schooling species, and their instincts probably think something ate everybody else. 

 

I don't think I've ever seen an external pump. Do you know where I can get one suitable for a 5gal? It would be nice to largely take the sound out of the equation, especially since this is such a small tank. 

By external pump I think he means like from a sump.

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seabass
18 minutes ago, LogicalReefs said:

By external pump I think he means like from a sump.

Yep.  However, powerheads like an MP10 do have an external motor.  I wonder just how that affects the sound in the tank (I know it affects the heat).

 

1 hour ago, Tired said:

I don't think I've ever seen an external pump. Do you know where I can get one suitable for a 5gal?

Depending on your setup, people have used external pumps for closed loops.  However, it's not especially practical for such a small tank.  I believe that Danner Supreme's Mag Drive pumps can be plumbed externally (although I've heard that they can be prone to leaks when used like this).  TBH, I haven't considered the sound of my pumps to be that stressful to fish (my skimmer and overflows make more noise), and my fish seem to breed like bunnies.  Still, it's an interesting topic that I'm sure we have a lot more to learn about.

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