One way to add a bit of visual interest to your tank is to include an air stone with the rest of your tank accessories.
Air stones serve two different purposes in an aquarium. For one thing, they create a stream of bubbles that’s in constant motion.
But did you know this motion also has a lot of great benefits for an aquarium? By using the best aquarium air stones, you can make sure your aquarium looks its best and stays as healthy as possible.
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Benefits of Using Air Stones in Your Aquarium
One of the main reasons to put an air stone in an aquarium is if the water doesn’t have a lot of movement. If you look at the surface of the water and it remains mostly undisturbed, it’s likely that the water isn’t being circulated enough.
Air stones do not directly put oxygen into the water. What they do is increase the surface area so that more of the water comes in contact with the air at the top of the tank. This allows a greater volume of water to release carbon dioxide and take in oxygen.
The biggest benefit of an air stone is how much it improves the circulation of an aquarium. The bubbles are especially effective at lifting the water near the substrate to the top of the tank. This is important because this water often doesn’t always get circulated as much as it should.
Even if you have a good filter, an air stone can help circulate the water more effectively to make sure as much gets to the filter as possible.
The 10 Best Air Stones For Your Aquariums
If you’re thinking about investing in an air stone, have a look at our reviews. We found the 10 best air stones available to help you make the right choice for your aquarium.
Aquarium Air Stone Reviews
1. Air Stone Cylinder Bubble Diffuser Air Stones for Aquarium
These cylindrical air stones are made by a company called Pawfly, one of the top brands in Europe and North America. They take a lot of care in making these stones, using only high quality, non-toxic materials.
Because they use such a high temperature when sintering, these stones are really durable and dissolve oxygen at a high rate. Plus, they put out a lot of tiny bubbles instead of a small amount of large ones which most fish and plants prefer. Eco-friendly epoxy resin is used to attach them to the holder and they’re individually packaged to keep them intact.
They’re great for fish aquariums as well as hydroponics. These stones need a jet volume of 1.3L per minute and are recommended for use with a 2 to 4W air pump.
You can easily clean them when they start putting out fewer bubbles and replace them as needed. You’ll have plenty of backups as they come in a pack of 10.
2. Yueton Cylinder Aquarium Bubble Air Stone Fish Tank Aerator
Yueton makes these cylinder-shaped air stones that add a lot of beauty to your tank. Both the mineral and the plastic center are bright blue and add a nice pop of color to your tank.
The bubbles are a little larger than some other air stones but still a nice size that won’t overwhelm your fish or your tank. They’re slightly bigger than 1 ½ inch long and fit into a 4mm soft tube.
3. Air Stone Bubble for Aquarium Hydroponics Pump Ceramic Air Stones Diffuser
This is another great option from Pawfly that’s made with the same care they use to make all of their products. They only use high-quality, non-toxic materials and are really durable.
They’re round and flat which gives them a wider surface area which is perfect to create an impressive stream of bubbles. They need 2L per minute of jetting volume and a 2 to 5W pump for the best results.
You can clean them regularly and you’ll be able to use them for a long time. This set of 4 will last you a decent amount of time.
4. AquaticHI Large Round Disc Air Stone/Diffuser
If you’re looking for a wide stream of bubbles, this disc-shaped air stone from AquaticHI will do the trick.
The high-quality materials create small, tiny bubbles that not only increase oxygenation, it also adds a lot of movement and interest to your tank.
Because it’s 4 ¼ inches wide, it’s able to create a wider bubble stream. Three suction cups are included to hold the stone in place which helps decrease friction and abrasion so it will last a little bit longer.
It’s recommended for air pumps of greater than 4W and fits inside 3/16 inch tubing.
5. Air Stone Bubble Mineral Ball Shaped Air Stones Diffuser for Aquarium
This is another awesome choice from Pawfly that puts out an impressive amount of bubbles. The unique dome shape is 4 inches across and puts out an impressive display of small bubbles.
It has the same exceptional Pawfly materials and craftsmanship plus it puts out uniform sized bubbles that look great in any tank.
For this air stone, you’ll need an air pump of more than 4W and 20L per minute of jet power.
6. NICREW Multi-Colored LED Aquarium Air Stone Disk
If you’re interested in creating a beautiful underwater setting for your aquarium, look no further. The NICREW Multi-Colored LED Aquarium Air Stone Disk is two inches in diameter. It also features six different LED lights, which are all different colors.
Of course, looks aside, an air stone is supposed to create a bunch of bubbles. Not only is this fun to watch, but it also gets the fish to try to catch them. You can watch them swim and play, as well.
The air stone is also ideal for providing more oxygen to the tank, which can prevent algae build-up and other issues. Plus, it’s designed to fit almost any fish tank, aquarium, and pool. However, larger aquariums may require two or more air stone disks.
You’ll receive the disk, which has suction cups attached to it. Generally, the stone is placed in the bottom of the tank with pebbles surrounding it. That way, the bubbles are pushed upward and create a reverse-waterfall effect.
This product also features a five-foot-long power cord. Therefore, it is sure to make it out of the tank and to the outlet with ease.
7. Hygger Aquarium Air Stone Kit
When it comes to your aquarium, you need to ensure that there is proper oxygenation. Not only will this help the fish and plants thrive, but it will also provide for the right mixture of gases in the tank. The Hygger Aquarium Air Stone Kit produces tiny bubbles.
These bubbles are more uniform in size and denser. This can produce a faster oxygen rate in the water.
Of course, this comes as a kit with the air disk stone, a control valve, and a check valve. You’ll also receive a tee connector, two suction cups, and a reducer to connect at 8- and 4-mm. However, the air pump and air tubes aren’t included.
Though the amount of bubbles produced is a lot, you don’t have to worry about the noise level. The device is nearly silent, and the bubbles make a soft sound as they rise to the surface. This atomization effect brings joy to the fish and is quite entertaining to watch, as well.
You’ll find that this air stone is quite heavy, but not too heavy. Therefore, it will sink to the bottom and won’t require suction cups. However, two are included in case you’d like to install the device to the side of the tank.
8. Pawfly Air Stone Bar for Aquarium Fish Tank Hydroponics
If you’re looking for something that pairs well with a small air pump, the Pawfly Air Stone Bar might be ideal.
When you choose a large air stone with a small pump, the bubbles won’t come through on all sides. The bar shape is modern and stylish, as well.
Air stone bars can be more suitable for smaller tanks and those that are globe-shaped. Regardless of the shape or size, these stones are ideal. You get four of them, and they can sit at the bottom of the tank or be suspended from above.
These stones are made using non-toxic materials. They’re durable and sturdy because of the high-temperature sintering. You’ll get tiny, even bubbling rather than large ones that aren’t plentiful.
Please note that you will need to purchase an air pump greater than 2.5 watts for this stone to run. You only need to use one stone per aquarium. When one gives out, you’ve got replacements, making this product ideal for the long run.
9. Aquarium Air Stone Bar Fish Tank Air Diffuser
Whether you’ve been an aquarium enthusiast for years or just started on the hobby, you need an air diffuser. Of course, this produces millions of tiny bubbles that are fun to watch. However, it also adds more oxygen to the water, which your fish need to thrive.
The Aquarium Air Stone Bar Fish Tank Air Diffuser is an excellent choice. It doesn’t produce large bubbles, but it also prevents the filter from doing so.
This ‘nano’ air diffuser is only six inches long. However, it’s still durable and sturdy enough to work for a long time. Plus, it’s a non-floating device, which ensures that you won’t see it at the top of the tank being ineffective.
Since it doesn’t float, you don’t have to worry about installation problems. As long as you ensure that the tip is inserted into the water first, the stone will sink to the bottom. It’s best to clean it monthly using vinegar to keep it running smoothly.
10. NICREW Aquarium Volcano Ornament Kit
An air stone bubbler is designed to produce a steady stream of air to provide more oxygen. This allows for natural filtration. The NICREW Aquarium Volcano Ornament Kit is highly decorative in nature, but it also helps the marine life in the tank.
Of course, it features a waterproof design. It must do so because it will be submerged in the water.
You’ll also find three suction cups on the bottom to help it stick in place. This is on the base/mount that contains the light. Once in place, you put the ‘volcano’ over the top and turn it on.
Its good organizational features allow you to get everything set up quickly. There is a small opening in the volcano that goes over the wires. That way, the product doesn’t sit directly on the cables, crimping them with time.
The entire thing is made with non-toxic, safe materials. Therefore, it is harmless for the fish and environmentally-friendly. This kit comes with the decoration, bubble maker, LED lights, and tubing.
What is the Best Aquarium Air Stone?
All of Pawfly’s products are great but we think that their cylinder bubble diffuser air stones are particularly good.
Pawfly takes a lot of time manufacturing these air stones and uses only high-quality, non-toxic materials so you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re safe for your tank.
These stones are really durable and dissolve oxygen at a high rate so you get tons of little bubbles. When they start to slow down, it’s easy to give them a good cleaning.
Plus, when it does come time to replace them, you’ll have plenty available since they come in a pack of 10.
Where to Place Air Stone in Aquarium?
Air stones should be placed in the bottom of the tank but there are some other things to consider.
First, make sure to place it some distance from the filter. If the bubbles produced by the air stone go directly into the filter, they won’t have as big an effect on the water. Worse, they could ruin your filter.
It’s a good idea to place the air stone among plants and other decorations in your tank so the bubbles don’t interfere with any open areas where your fish swim.
If you place your air stone and notice that the fish avoid that area of the tank or hide, try moving it to a more secluded part of the aquarium. Placing it behind plants is one thing to try that might help keep the bubbles from the area where you fish like to swim.
You can also install air stones underneath the gravel substrate. This is a great way to get them out of the way and have a little more control over the bubble flow, especially if it seems to bother your fish when above the gravel.
How to Install an Aquarium Air Stone?
Installing an air stone is easy but before you can begin, make sure you soak it in water for at least an hour. That will help eliminate any dust particles and get the stone thoroughly saturated before placing it in the aquarium.
There are a few other things that you need, too. First, you have to have an air pump. Make sure that you use one that is the right size for your air stone. Generally, you’ll need one that’s 2 to 5W but that varies on the size of your aquarium and the air stone you choose.
You’ll also need a few feet of flexible airline tubing, a one-way valve, and a regular valve. To set up the air pump, attach one end of the flexible hose to the pump outlet. Leave about an inch of length and splice in the regular valve. It acts as a bleed valve which will come in handy later when you can use this valve to make adjustments to the flow rate into the air stone.
Next, move down the tubing about 2 inches and splice in the one way valve. This will prevent the water from backing up into the tube if there’s ever a power cut. Place the air stone at the end of the tubing and place it into the aquarium. Plugin the pump, making sure it’s placed so it doesn’t come in contact with any water.
How to Clean Aquarium Air Stone?
To clean an air stone, the first thing you have to do is take it out of the aquarium and remove it from the air hose. Take off any rubber pieces on the end to make sure that the water can penetrate the whole stone while you clean.
Max a mixture of water and bleach. It’s very, very important to use a minimal amount of bleach. A 10:1 mixture is a good amount. The easiest way to do this is to mix it in a large measuring cup. Make sure it’s high enough to completely cover the stone you want to clean.
Soak the stone in the bleach solution for about 3 hours. Shake the stone slightly before removing it to make sure any large pieces of debris are shaken loose. Next, thoroughly rinse the stone under the faucet. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the surface, too. Use warm water and rinse until you can be sure that all of the bleach has been rinsed away.
Allow the stone a good 2 to 3 hours to dry before placing it back in the tank.
There are some other methods you can try, too, especially if you’re not comfortable using bleach. Some people swear by effervescent denture cleaners, which contain mild bleach, sodium bicarbonate, and citric acid.
The bleach disinfects, the sodium bicarb alkalizes the water to clean, and the citric acid removes stains. Plus, the bubbling action caused by the chemical reaction helps loosen any bacteria or other debris stuck inside the stone.
You can also stick to good, old-fashioned elbow grease if you’d rather not use any other additives. Just run the stone underwater and scrub with a hard bristle brush.
Eventually, you’ll notice your air stone will start to lose its effect even after a good scrub. When you reach this point, it’s time to replace the stone. This is one case when it helps to have a multi-pack. You’ll already have a new one on hand and ready to go.
Air stones can do a lot for an aquarium. The constant stream of bubbles adds an interesting look to any aquarium but they do a lot more than just make your aquarium look good. The bubbles look cool also serve an important function by helping to circulate water from the bottom of the tank that otherwise might not make it to the filter. Plus, the added surface area allows for a quicker release of carbon dioxide and absorption of oxygen.
Pawfly is a great brand and they make a lot of awesome aquarium equipment, including air stones. When it comes to the best air stones, their cylinder bubble diffuser stones are at the top of our list. Pawfly uses high-quality materials that are non-toxic and completely safe for your aquarium.
These stones produce a nice sized stream of small bubbles that are a welcome addition to your fish tank. You get 10 of them in a pack so, when the time comes for a replacement, you have plenty of backups to spare.