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Aeration is the term used to denote the oxygenation of the water. Oxygen is required by fish in order to breathe as it is required by humans. Most fishes extract the oxygen they need from the water, so the aquarist must make sure that the water in his tank does not lack oxygen. This is almost exclusively achieved through agitation of the water surface, thus making it interact with the air above it. In itís turn, this is achieved by aerators, connected to an air pump through aquarium pipework, or by setting the filter outlet higher than the water surface level. The tankís surface area also plays a role in oxygenation as the greater it is the more contact there is with air. Aeration can also be adequately achieved through plants as in order to grow (photosynthesise), they inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. This is not an easy undertaking since it requires the striking of a balance between the amount of fish, and the amount of plants in order to compensate for each other. Nevertheless, it is very common for plants enthusiasts to supply no extra oxygen to their densely planted aquaria.

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