Aquarium Accessories – Why Your Aquarium Needs Good Air Valves

Air valves make the maintenance of an aquarium quite simple as well as providing your fish with a clean, healthy living environment. They enhance the function of fish tank filters by regulating air flow and aerating wate.


Before we get to why you need air valves, we need to define exactly what they are. According to Wikipedia, ‘an Air Operated Valve is a type of power operated valve that uses air pressure against a piston or diaphragm to produce linear or circular movement to operate a valve.’

air filters regulate the amount of air dispelled by the aquarium filter
filters will function more efficiently aerating the water

What do air valves do?

Air Valves perform 2 important functions in a piping system

  1. They maintain system design efficiency, and
  2. provide system protection.

Technically speaking …

What is system efficiency? System efficiency is maintained by venting air, via the valves, from the system that can restrict flow and increase pumping costs.

How does it provide system protection? By exhausting and admitting air through the air valves during system operations. The times of operation include start-up, shutdown and critical conditions. Critical conditions means times of power failures or line breaks. The exhausting and admitting of air during these times reduces the potential for destructive surges normally associated with uncontrolled air or a vacuum condition within the piping system.

Why are air valves important?

They’re important additions to your aquarium because

  1. they enable filters to function smoothly
  2. aerate the water and make it easier for the goldfish to breathe
  3. they play a crucial role in regulating the amount of air in the aquarium filters ensuring air is available only when needed and not in excess.

enhance the tank filtration system with air valves

Constant supply and availability of fresh air is the source of life for any living organism and a goldfish needs exactly that to live a healthy and long life. Air valves can be fitted as a single valve, pairs of 2, 5 or 6 that are well placed over the edge of the aquarium.

How many air valves do I need?

If you’re new to keeping a goldfish, it’s recommended that you use a 3 valve system where 2 boost the functioning of the filters while one expels excess air in the aquarium. Valves are important because ineffective aeration causes lots of problems. For example, if the gravel is too fine there’s less air circulation which means debris collects at the bottom of the tank. This leads to pollution of the aquarium.

What happens if I don't have air valves?

Food added to the aquarium but not eaten by your goldfish will decompose. This in turn produces gases that are poisonous to the fish.


Aquarium air valves come in many forms such as check valves, pipe valves, clamps and gang valves. Your choice will  depend on what you find suitable for your type of aquarium.


How well you set up an aquarium for your goldfish determines how long they’ll live. Making sure that all required aquarium accessories are well fitted is the first step to proper functioning of your aquarium.


Having a goldfish is very appealing and with proper care your little fish can live for several decades without any major problems.

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