Air stones and bubble wands are powerd by an air pump. You can use these for decoration and to increase surface agitation, which allows for more oxygen for the fish to breath in the water. It really kind of depends on how heavily your tank is stocked... more fish need more O2 and if you have live plants. If your tank is heavily-moderately stocked and has artificial plants I would probably get one. If you have live plants I would avoid it becaues it will lower your CO2 levels, which in turn can eventually mess with you pH.
Otos need some water movement and do much better if there is an airstone in the tank, mine always sleep by theirs and when I had an airwand in one tank the otos were always sleeping on it. They are fish caught in rivers, not bred in tanks and they are used to having some turmoil in the water. If you have them in with a betta, the betta will generally stay in the quieter part of the tank and let the otos stay about the bubbles. (unless you have a betta who loves his otos like my alex)
No it should not affect your pH at all and please tell me that you are not using a pH buffer to change your pH. That is very dangerous as the fluctuations are more likely to kill the fish and plants than just having a number that seems high or low.
The fish are much more resilient than you will realize. They just do not do well if they have to adjust every day to a new number.
No, I am not doing anything to adjust my pH, just letting the plants/tank do it all on its own! (And they are doing such a good job! It's an even 7.2 & holding!) Then I think I will pick up an airstone on my next trip into town (I'll try tomorrow!). Thanks for all the help!
I too have bubblewands and bubble walls in some of my tanks mostly the Bristlenose breeding tanks and the Loach tank. They all need a little extra oxygen and some of the loaches are from fast moving streams.
I just got my small (but remarkably powerful!) airstone tonight! My Danios love it (they have been darting in & out of the bubbles) and Rocky has moved to the rock closest to the bubbles and is just chillin' & enjoying the motion! But I am SOOOOO upset--I returned an unneeded pH kit to a lfs (I'd never bought fish there) and basically just did a trade, pH kit for one more Oto! (Named him/her Georgie!) Georgie seemed fine on the drive home, I let her acclimate in just the bag for 20 minutes, then added my tank water twice and let her acclimate for about 15 more minutes. Then I netted her & placed her in the water. She promptly swam straight toward the rocks, buried her head in them, and DIED!!! I don't want to "return" her, as I am wary if I try to get another Oto from there, so I just gave her a quiet burial. I just will go to Petco where I got Fred (who is doing so great) and get another friend. I know Otos are sensitive, but I just feel so bad for Georgie!!
Thanks for listening to me rant! I'm sure this won't be my last experience like this, darnnit, I really liked this one!
Thank you, the funny part is that she didn't even give the tank a chance--she just made a beeline for the rocks & burrowed in to die.
But on a happier note, my Danios are "surfing" in the bubbles and Fred is just riding the waves...they LOVE the airstone!!!! ;D Thank you, thank you, thank you all who advised me on getting one! It is sooooooooo awesome! The fry are even getting into it--I saw 2 swimming around in the tank (not hiding amidst the rocks!). Too cool!