Air Stones

tb19

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

poppet

Member
Not that I know of.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
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

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

COBettaCouple

Member
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

Member
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.
 
  • Thread Starter

tb19

Member
Cool thanks! I just saved some money then lol
 

Angie

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

poppet

Member
No need 2 that I can think of.
 

COBettaCouple

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

griffin

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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

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

COBettaCouple

Member
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.
 

griffin

Member
FLBettaCouple said:
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.
not to go against flbettacouple, but I think it's personal preference. I usually put the airstones either under the substrate or just above it. basically, as long as the airstone is under the water (within reason) it should be fine
 

COBettaCouple

Member
griffin said:
not to go against flbettacouple, but I think it's personal preference. I usually put the airstones either under the substrate or just above it. basically, as long as the airstone is under the water (within reason) it should be fine
we actually did ours that way too, until reading on here about how the longtime aquarium owners placed their stones. so it really is personal preference and also can depend on the type of airstone/curtain.
 

griffin

Member
do you know why they placed them like that?
 

Gargoyle

Member
I have a bubble wand that I use during the night... It comes on with my LED moon glows. It sets on the back wall on the substrate surface. When it is on it actually helps the water flow from the bottom of the tank up. The fish love it and my plants can use the extra 02 at night.

I guess it's really up to you how you do it... Most tanks with proper filtering don't even need an airstone but they sure are pretty.. ;D
 

COBettaCouple

Member
griffin said:
do you know why they placed them like that?
I believe it had to do with the waste and/or leftover food in the substrata and toxins. it was a thread going back at the beginning of april, so i'd have to look it up, but I remember reading it and thinking of changing our stones when we got home (we were on a trip at the time). I think it was one of the other moderators who gave us the advice to change our stone placement. I have noticed that since then, we have had the clearest water that we've ever had.
 

griffin

Member
ah ok - don't worry about looking up the posts. I was really just curious and you answered me well
 

mistycheri

Member
After reading this post and the replys I got an idea. I've noticed that my 55 gal. tank has started looking cloudy. Looking close it actually looks like tiny microscopic air bubbles. So after reading this post I got the idea that maybe my air-tube in the tank needs cleaning. So I'm gonna take it out and clean it and while it's out I'll see if it clears up the cloudy problem as the bubbles coming out are really small and may be clouding the water.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
CherI Ann said:
After reading this post and the replys I got an idea. I've noticed that my 55 gal. tank has started looking cloudy. Looking close it actually looks like tiny microscopic air bubbles. So after reading this post I got the idea that maybe my air-tube in the tank needs cleaning. So I'm gonna take it out and clean it and while it's out I'll see if it clears up the cloudy problem as the bubbles coming out are really small and may be clouding the water.
how old & big is your airstone and how strong is your airpump? I used to use a product called AccuClear to clear up cloudy water, but finding the source is best.. hopefully the source here is in your air supply, although it sounds like a bacterial bloom and i'd be curious as to your current tank readings.
 

mistycheri

Member
I don't use the air stone anymore. I switched to the tube thingy with the suction cups almost a year ago. But they also will get clogged up with algae and need to be cleaned. So if it is a bacteria bloom, what do you do for that? Never had that problem b4.
 

mistycheri

Member
P.S. I haven't done a water reading in a very long time because the tank's always been crystal clear and the fish very healthy. Pluse I keep a ridgid water change schedule, plus vacumming the gravel, and rinsing the filter media in some discarded tank water. But like I said, or maybe I didn't say, I use the same practices on my ten gallon tank as I do in the 55 gallon and the ten gallon tank is still crystal clear.
 

sgould

Member
If it really is a bacteria bloom, it should clear up on its own in a day or two.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
CherI Ann said:
I don't use the air stone anymore. I switched to the tube thingy with the suction cups almost a year ago. But they also will get clogged up with algae and need to be cleaned. So if it is a bacteria bloom, what do you do for that? Never had that problem b4.
cool.. those are nice for good-sized tanks. we just kept up with water changes and like sgould said, the blooms do go away.
 

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