Air stone - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Air stone

Hello, I read somewhere that If a tank has live plants an air stone is not a good idea. Is that true? Thanks
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:58 PM
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Proper gas exchange is important for all planted tanks. Air stones can be utilized, and may provide a benefit, in tanks that do not utilize co2 injection.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Good to know, thank you!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 03:07 AM
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Likely you only got part of the story on bubblers and planted. They are not "bad" except that the surface movement tends to allow the CO2 you want to keep in the water to move out somewhat quicker but many run both together with no harm except a slight increase in the CO2 use but gas is super cheap and it doesn't bother lots of folks. At the same time more CO2 may be lost, more good O2 in the water is gained, so it's a matter of which way we each feel. I tend to waste more CO2 if it means the fish are better off.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 12:19 PM
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Some folks w CO2 use the airstone on a timer to run at night when plants are in respiration mode. But with enough water movement so that there is a surface ripple, gas exchange should be good. At that point I think the air stone/ bubbles is more for aesthetics than necessity

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayakJimW View Post
Some folks w CO2 use the airstone on a timer to run at night when plants are in respiration mode. But with enough water movement so that there is a surface ripple, gas exchange should be good. At that point I think the air stone/ bubbles is more for aesthetics than necessity
Good point that Jim makes here and it is easy to miss. The bubbler/airstone is not needed but often more a hangover from earlier days when pumps were not as small and handy to use. They are not needed to get air into the water as many believe but rather they act to move water from the bottom to the top where the gas exchange will take place. Easy to be confused that the rising air contacts the water and makes gas exchange but the area around the bubbles is really hardly anything compared to the total surface area where water and air make contact.
That leaves folks like myself who value quiet, to never use an airstone but just add pumps,powerheads, or filters to move water to the surface without the noise.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 08:54 PM
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A lot depends on the tank and set up, but in some cases you can actually increase CO2 by using an airstone if the water surface is quite still. It's just moving water around with atmospheric air, which does contain CO2 as well as oxygen. Particularly in tanks that have developed an "oil slick" of proteins on top which really cuts down gas exchange. An airstone will get rid of that in short order, I suppose the surface film just leaves the tank with the popping bubbles. In every high tech tank I've ever run, Ive tried to avoid surface agitation to retain CO2 but I'm likely being overcautious. In a low tech tank I can hardly see how it could be detrimental to plants in any way.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 11:24 PM
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I do high surface agitation in my tanks with co2 I care more about the o2 levels personally, I just waste some co2... oh well. I find the livestock does fine in the 40s ppm co2 if there's enough o2. Actually use sumps & co2 or in one instance there's a giant sponge filter hidden under a log that I just let go 24/7 because I couldn't let my L236 tank not be planted... but also I would be pissed if I killed them with co2.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 03:51 AM
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Rich, I think you meant 'holdover' rather than 'hangover'....or maybe not! lol

When it comes to air stones, it can vary. Some planted tanks will do better without an air stone while others may do just fine. My water sprite in my60g perked up when I stopped the air. The water sprite in my 37g grow out tank grows and reproduces like a weed with air stone going. (Both are low tech w/o CO2 infusion).

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 09:32 AM
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Air pumps and plants:
Air stone seem just fine as well as a typical Hydro-sponge filter with air power pump.

So far so good.
I have success with planted tanks running anything from Anubias plant filled scapes of pea puffers with a Hydro-sponge (powered by only air) to peninsula aquarium builds housing more random plants.

The main thing I learned, is to make good water currents that moved surface scum.

Even if it is a little power head on the bottom shooting up in the center as a pond would works great (protect the intake longterm with a coarse to medium sponge) .

The use of a proper tip or nozzle from the powerhead water pump will gently move the water from center-bottom UP to surface then outer tank glass and create a everlasting tumble that goes DOWN the glass back to center bottom and back Up to surface.
A nice "roll" effect if done by a central Hydro-sponge too.
It lifts the plant leaves in the current and keeps the plants cleaner, much cleaner.

Low water movement lead toward dirty plant leaves for me.


Clean water surfaces seems to lead toward good things most of the time for me.

I like to run anything from Danner AP2, AP-3 or AP-4 air pumps (ap4 $16), Fluval Q1 or Q2, Eheim 400, and shove air stones down the Hydro-sponges to force them to make small bubbles that are quiet.
Big glubby bubbles can work too. It's a sound thing.

Adjustable air pumps are nice.
You can learn to "tune them" to the stone or sponge filter for a great performance.
Some threaded plastic air stones are out there too. They have little grooves for air flow and work well. Stone seems the most quiet as for noise output in combination with a glass lid. The tank is almost dead silent if anyone travels down the silent air tank route.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, a lot of information, thank you all! I don’t do Co2, just starting out with live plants really. I have small fish and was concerned about them getting enough oxygen. There is some surface movement but not much. I have the pump in the cellar with the airline coming up through the floor so noise isn’t a problem. I kinda like the bubbles
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catz View Post
Wow, a lot of information, thank you all! I donít do Co2, just starting out with live plants really. I have small fish and was concerned about them getting enough oxygen. There is some surface movement but not much. I have the pump in the cellar with the airline coming up through the floor so noise isnít a problem. I kinda like the bubbles


Without co2, an air stone would be a good idea. As you can see itís still possible with co2, but IMO it makes things a bit more challenging to have a good amount of co2 in the water.


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