If you are new to having an aquarium, you might be wondering if you really need an air stone. We are going to talk about this, and even tell you where the best place to put it is. However, before getting into that, let’s first talk about what an air stone is.
Table of Contents
What is an Air Stone?
In simple terms, an air stone is an object that you can put into an aquarium to add more oxygen to the water. There is more to it, than that, however.
You can also use an air stone to add a little bit of current. Though a filter will push water through, you can really boost the natural feel for your fish by adding an air stone for the current, too.
With this combined power, not only are you making a happier home for your fish, but you are also helping to keep your tank clean, as these won’t let as much dirt settle into the water.
Do You Need an Air Stone In Your Aquarium?
No, you don’t need an air stone, but it might be nice to have to make your tank a nicer place to live for your fish.
In some areas, like those with a cooler air temperature, the oxygen in the water is usually enough, so you don’t have to worry about adding any. (Of course, you should have a filter, no matter what!)
The filter helps to move the water around, which keeps the flow of oxygen going strong. In these cases, you usually don’t have to worry about your fish.
However, if you live in a warm area, or you have to keep your water warm, the oxygen in the water isn’t as prominent. This means your fish might be struggling.
A stronger filter can help, but with a stronger filter comes a stronger current…and there are some fish that like a lot of oxygen and warm water, but do not like a strong current. So, for these cases, an air stone is perfect.
An air stone, when placed correctly, produces bubbles in the water. Those bubbles are filled with oxygen, and as they move through the water, the oxygen is left behind.
At the same time, the circulating water tends to carry the dirt and debris of the aquarium with it, meaning you have a cleaner, more natural tank.
So, no, you do not need an air stone or an air pump if you have a good filter. But they do add a lot to a tank, so if you are considering one, it’s best to just go for it!
Setting Up an Air Stone in Your Aquarium
Setting up an air stone is really easy. All you need is an air pump that is the appropriate size for your tank and some vinyl hose.
You might also consider adding a check valve, too. This ensures that the water is moving in the right direction.
The best place for your air stone is, of course, at the bottom of your tank. This way, the bubble will flow from the bottom up to the surface, covering the depth of the water.
Because an air stone might not be “pretty”, you should consider hiding it in the back of the tank or in one of the corners. You can also hide it under a decoration or surround it with plants.
The only exception to placing the air stone at the bottom of the tank is if you are breeding in the tank. In this case, it’s best to place the air stone at the top of the tank where it won’t hurt the fry.
Cleaning Your Aquarium Air Stone
Once you have the air stone in place, you have to make sure you keep it clean! This is simpler than you think, and it will help to keep your tank clean, too.
First, wash your air stone in clean water, and then use a brush to remove any debris on the outside. You should allow it to dry for about 15 minutes after this.
Next, put the air stone in boiling water for another 15 minutes. Again, allow it to dry before you move on to the next step.
Make a solution of one part bleach with three parts water. Allow the air stone to soak in it for at least 8 to 12 hours. The bleach will clean the stone and purify it. If your air stone is really dirty, you can repeat the process again for another 8 to 12 hours.
When you remove the air stone from the bleach solution, you should connect it back to the air pump, and then put it into a bucket filled with clean water. Turn it on and allow it to run for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the air stone from the water, and simply let the airflow through for another 10 minutes.
Finally, remove the air stone from the pump and allow it to air dry for about 12 hours before placing it back into your tank.