Air Stones

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tb19

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Do air stones have to be replaced every 3 to 4 months?
 

poppet

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Not that i know of.
 

COBettaCouple

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I don't think so, but they can have a tendancy to crumble after a while if you push too hard on them so you have to be careful if doing something with an older stone but otherwise they should be fine.
 

Shelby

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It stated that on my package as well but Just another ploy by manufactures to sell more stuff
 

COBettaCouple

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Shelby said:
It stated that on my package as well but Just another ploy by manufactures to sell more stuff
really? i guess i never read the package.. lol..
 

Luniyn

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When you turn off the air pump (as many have found out the hard way without a backflow valve) water flows into the stone and into the tubing. This "can" cause a build up of gunk, or algae, etc. in the stone and clog up the pours. If you run your stone all the time then there isn't as much of an issue, but still it can happen over time especially if you have an algae problem in your tank. The only time you really have to replace it is if you notice the flow of air out of the stone is lessened. I can't imagine that happening in most cases for quite a long time, and certainly not every 3 to 4 months. There will of course be exceptions but generally just keep an eye on the bubbles. If they seem lessened then change it out, otherwise no need to.
 
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tb19

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Cool thanks! I just saved some money then lol
 

Angie

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So, do you need to turn the air stones off ever?
 

poppet

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No need 2 that i can think of.
 

COBettaCouple

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no, we've not found a need to turn any of our air stones off yet.
 

griffin

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ditto

can an air stone even be turned off? i've only seen the ones that you stick on the end of an air tube.
 

hamstermann

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What would make an airstone give off bigger bubles than it used to? we have 2 in our 55 gal and they used to send off hundreds of tiny bubbles. now they send less in number but larger bubbles.
 

Luniyn

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No there isn't any need to turn them off, and yes they can be turned off by turning off the air flow to them (i.e. either though a valve or by turning off your pump ).

As to them giving off larger bubbles, that is due to the clogging of the various pours in them that I mentioned. What happens is that as parts of the pours (think of them as very tiny pipes) get clogged up, but only one section and not the entire length. So you start to get air forced into part of the pour that isn't clogged but it doesn't have anywhere to go. So the air looks for another way out and moves to a pour that is clear. By doing this you will get a pressure build up inside parts of the stone. The pressure will build up but since it's not a completely clogged stone, it will just rush out of another hole. This "rushing" of air causes the pressure in the stone to actually become lessened for a short while and that air that was sitting in the clogged pipe will now actually get sucked out by the vacuum effect. So for that moment in time you will get larger bubbles being shoved out of the stone, and then the process starts over again. And since these pours are really, really small, it's happening quick enough to look like it's always sending up larger bubbles.

So what does all that ramble mean (man I can go on can't I ? It means that it's time to change your airstone. You can leave it if you like the effect of the larger bubbles for a little while, but eventually it "could" start to create back pressure in the stone and that can hurt your pump (I say "could" because we use valves that create the same pressure all the time and our pumps just keep pushing air, so I'm not sure I actually believe that it would ever actually cause damage). You could try to clean it, but considering , it's just not worth it. Though I have heard good things about in that they don't clog as easily, but I've never used them so I can't speak from personal experience.
 

griffin

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ok, that's not turning off your air stone. i know you can turn valves and such, but didn't think you could turn off the air stone.

also, your air pressure will to some degree determine your bubble size. i have the air stones that are supposed to make extra small bubbles (originally purchased for co2 diffusion), but if you don't have enough pressure going to them, they will make larger bubbles. these larger bubbles in no way indicate that the pores are clogged.

if the pores got clogged enough, that something similar might happen, however, it might not. it might just cause your pump to have to work harder. if you get a check valve, you don't need to worry about the back pressure since none of the air pumped out (past the check valve) will go back to the pump. if your air stone is clogged, and you keep pumping, eventually, your pump is either going to stop pumping (similar to blocking the output with your finger) or something's going to give way
 

hamstermann

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Wow, thanks for the great info!

why is it that airstones are not a good distributor for a CO2 system? does the CO2 clog them?
 

Luniyn

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hamstermann said:
Wow, thanks for the great info!

why is it that airstones are not a good distributor for a CO2 system? does the CO2 clog them?
No it's that the bubbles aren't small enough to dissolve into the water and most of them just bubble up to the top and are lost.
 

griffin

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hamstermann said:
Wow, thanks for the great info!

why is it that airstones are not a good distributor for a CO2 system? does the CO2 clog them?
kinda depends on what you're trying to do. it would work if you fed the co2 into something else via airstone. i didn't keep using them because i stopped using co2 regardless of your method, you usually don't get 100% of your co2 dissolved
 

skippi

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Bigger air bubbles coming from a stone could also mean that the layer of gravel over it is thick. The deeper you bury it the more places there are for the air to get stuck before cleaning your substrate.. Just my opinion..

Heidi
 

Je55*e

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I just got elite brand air stones. How and where do I attach them? ^^; I get nervous and then, stupid, of course.
 

COBettaCouple

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Je55*e said:
I just got elite brand air stones. How and where do I attach them? ^^; I get nervous and then, stupid, of course.
we like to attach ours about 3/4 of the way down between the water level and the substrata, using the air line suction cups to hold the stones in place. the line runs from the stone, thru a check valve (to prevent backup) and gang valve (to control air flow rate) to a good air pump.
 
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