Where To Place Air Stones In An Aquarium
If you’re new to the aquarium hobby, you might have heard about accessories called “airstones”. Today, airstones are our primary topic.
What are they? What do they do? Where do you place them within your aquarium?
Let’s find out!
What Is An Airstone?
Aquarium air stones are also commonly known as “bubblers”. They are one of the most necessary pieces of aquarium equipment that a hobbyist can have, as they prove to be incredibly beneficial in a lot of different ways.
The basic function of air stones is to provide an oxygen supply for the aquarium inhabitants. When plugged in and connected to a line of aquarium-safe tubing, airstones produce a plethora of small bubbles that deliver dissolved oxygen into the water column.
Airstones come in a variety of shapes, styles, and sizes. They can be found in all sorts of fun shapes ranging from clams that open and close to pirate ships, towers, fish, and large balls/bars.
Some may even consider sponge filters to be a form of airstone, as they produce a small amount of bubbles. This being said, however, sponge filters are designed for a different purpose and should not be used as the sole source of oxygen within a tank.
What Are Airstones Used For?
As we said, air stones are used to fill water with oxygen and circulate the oxygenated water to the full depth of the aquarium. This is beneficial because fish can become ill when they have too little oxygen within their tank.
In addition, some live plants require higher amounts of oxygen to grow and thrive. This is the same case when it comes to fry, as fry needs higher levels of oxygen to grow strong and healthy.
Last but not least, airstones can do wonders for preventing the growth of anaerobic bacteria on the substrate within the aquarium. When placed on the bottom of the aquarium, they move water vertically, which effectively disrupts it and makes it harder for bacteria to settle and grow on the bottom of the tank.
Where To Place Your Airstone
There’s no exact science when it comes to where you should place your airstone. In fact, the exact placement doesn’t matter that much.
If your airstone is a fun figure, it might make sense to place it front and center in your aquarium, using it as a centerpiece and focal point. If it’s something simple like a large sphere or a long bar, the airstone could be considered an eyesore. As such, you might choose to camouflage it within the aquarium.
You can do this by hiding it behind rocks, driftwood, and other items or by surrounding it with plants so that it’s hidden within their greenery.
All this being said, there are some general guidelines for airstone placement, even though there aren’t any concrete rules — fortunately, there’s really no way to mess up with airstones.
These guidelines are based loosely upon the reason why you have an airstone in the first place, as well as what kind of airstone you have.
For example, if you’re looking to improve water circulation, it would be a good idea to place your airstone on the bottom-center of the tank, while if you were pairing your airstone with a sponge filter, you may try to hide it in the corner of the aquarium since the setup is going to look bulky and obvious otherwise.
Moving your airstone around the aquarium can change the effect that it has on water flow and how much it bubbles, so it’s a good idea to experiment with placement to find the right space for your aesthetic preference. Putting it near your filter is another option for increasing water circulation with your airstone.
How To Set Up An Airstone
Airstones are very easy to set up and operate. They require a minimal amount of equipment and virtually no specialized knowledge or technical experience. In addition, the equipment needed is readily available from local pet shops and online, and is affordable.
- First things first, you’ll need to gather your equipment. Make sure you have a suitable air pump, some vinyl aquarium tubing of a long length, and the airstone that you want to use in your aquarium. You’ll also need, of course, somewhere to plug the air pump in. Ideally, you want to plug your airstone directly into the wall or into a surge protector.
- Rinse the airstone and tubing with clean, running water.
- Attach the tubing to the air pump output nozzle. Do this by simply pushing the tubing onto the nozzle. You may have to use a bit of force to secure a snug fit.
- Attach the free end of the tubing to the airstone.
- Plug your air pump in and watch the magic happen.
When setting up your airstone, it’s important to note that you can use both air pump outlets (on double outlet pumps) for the same airstone. Doing this will increase the amount of bubbles that your airstone puts out. To do this, purchase a T-connector from your local pet shop and follow the instructions on the package for attaching it to your airline tubes (you’ll need two lengths of tubing).
If you’re using a pump with double outlets, you could also opt to run two airstones. Just follow the process for setting up a single airstone for both stones. You can then place one airstone at each end of the aquarium and play around with positioning.
Airstones are handy little pieces of aquarium equipment. They’re versatile in terms of aesthetics and use, affordable, and come with a host of benefits for your aquarium’s environment and inhabitants.
They can be set up within a matter of minutes and, once properly established, play a part that’s nearly as important as that of the aquarium heater or filter. In addition, your airstone can be placed just about anywhere you want, which is one of the most convenient things about it.