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Aeration Equipment


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I'm planning on getting some aeration equipment, but before purchasing I wanted to know whether an airstone or 'Bubble Wand' is better. Also, am I correct in assuming I just need an air pump, tubing, and an airstone? Or is there a vital peice of equipment I need besides these three things in order for proper aeration? And if airstones are preferable, how big does one need to be for a twenty gallon with proper filtration?

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  • Regular Member

Well, Ive tried bubble wands in the past a few times, and didnt like them very much. I didnt like the bubbles, and had some problems with the bubble wand working correctly. So, now I use airstones, and I love them. I just use the small ones, their like $2 for two or four of them. I keep four going in my tank at all times, in the back. I really like the way the bubbles look from an airstone. Also, if you like the lengths of bubble wands, there are airstone versions, but it didnt work very well for me either. If it was me, I would go with airstones. All you need is the right air pump (make sure its meant for your size tank, other wise, if its for a smaller tank, the airstone/or bubble wand wont work very well), airline tubing (I would buy extra, its pretty cheap, and nice to have extra) air stones/bubble wand, and I suggest these little things that you attach half way down the tubing... gosh cant remember what their called. Anyways, they hook onto the airline tube, and that way, if the power goes out, and the airline tubing starts to syphon out water from your tank, this little plug this will stop the water. Works wonders! its a must for me. Ive heard of whole tanks being emptied in a matter of an hour because of this. Ive also had the power go out, and not have them, and water started getting all over the floor from my airline tubing, and ruined my air pump. It was a big mess!

Good Luck, and whatever you go with, will lookg great!!!!

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:) I would suggest looking around the tanks at a few LFS's .The bubble sizes can all be so different.I have used the Bubble wands,but have slowly gotten back to the airstones,and similar things.My advise to you,would be to buy a really good pump.They can be quite expensive depending on where you get them,but it is soooo worth it.One that has multiple use,because 9 times out of ten,we end up at least adding two airstones for each side of the tank.I don't go by the tank size they tell you because it never seems strong enough.If I'm buying one for a thirty gal tank,and I see a pump that says that it goes up to a 30 gal.,I tend to go quite a few sizes up. I have these types of airstones that are in a plastic type base that sits square on my tank.There's a rim on the sides so that you can cover them with gravel to hidw them and also keep them down.I've been quite happy with those..Unless you do see some in a petstore in their tanks that you like,it's usually trial & error.Each one works differently,so they all have a look to their own.It's just a matter of trying/testing,to see which one that your eye finds pleasant to look at.Bet I have ten or so sitting around that I don't even use because of this.Although every once in a while ,they come through for an emergency . :D I have airstones from around two inches to 10 or 12 inches.I tend to keep two 8 or ten inch ones in my 75gal. tank.I also have one of those bendable 18 inch rubber hose type ones in a 20 gal. long tank.It took quite a while to get it the way I wanted it,but I love it.You can leave it lay on top of the gravel,or bury it and ahving the bubbles look like they're coming out of the gravel.Two very different,cool, looks.
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  • Regular Member

That "little thing" is a check valve. (I have senior moments on a daily basis! :lol: ) IT is a good measure of precaution to include a check valve in your set up.

I, on the other hand, like the bubble bars. The bubble stones I have owned usually have fallen apart and broken in very short time. (JMO) I have liked the ceramic ones the best, for they last a really long time and put out especially fine bubbles. They do have a bad habit of having the end come loose - and leaking large bubbles - and the end is nearly impossible to replace again. When their suction cup wears out (as all do eventually - when exposed to water) you cannot replace it with the same - you have to use a clip and cup from bulk.

I like the blue bubble bars from Marineland pretty well, too. They hold up and produce a fine stream of bubbles. There is a brand of bubble bars that is green - I have had bad luck with them - they tend to crack and break down in about the same time frame as a suction cup - the plasitcizers cannot hold up to water I guess.

I am currently hooked on the flexible bars. I love being able to run little rows of bubbles up through various plants, decorations, etc. with these. I do not know how they will hold up over time, though.

It is all your particular preference and what works for you in your tank. :)

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  • Regular Member

I'll have time to decide between the wands and stones... I don't have enough money for this setup yet because I always save a little extra money in case my goldfish need meds.

Do you need check valves for wands and airstones? Are they included with the wands or stones?

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No - a check valve is sold separately. They are about $1.29 here.

A check valve is a small cylindar that has what looks like a duck's beak of rubber inside of it. The air is blown in through one end and goes out through the duck's beak, pushing the "bill" pieces apart as it goes. If you were to try to blow air back into the"duck", the wrong way, the bill parts would not open and the air would not go into the duck.

This makes it so things (air and water) can only go one way through the air hose. It is to prevent an accident from an electrical short. If the power were to be interupted (power failure) your pump would stop blowing air through it. If for some reason, water were to syphon from your tank down to the airpump, it could short is all out. The check valve stops any water from traveling any further - it cannot get into the duck's beak the wrong way.

You really want to have a check valve on your air pump no matter what you are using it with. It protects the air pump and your circuit breakers!

:)

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Guest Sacreligioushippie

I had an airstone before. I wasn't thrilled with it. The bubbles only came out of the first 2 1/2" of the bar (it was cheap, so who knows). I now have one of the green bubble wands that daryl was talking about and I like it. (I've only had it for four days though).

Also, my pump came with a check valve. I forget what brand I bought, but just double check the box, it should say if it's included or not.

~ Jessica

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I use airstones. But I prefer the green ones. I used black ones one time and when I was changing my airhoses(for one reason or another) they wouldn't come out of the hose. They got stuck. So I had to cut the ose to get it off. Then they broke when i put a little pressure on it. I threw it out, hose bit still attached. Ive asked people about the bending wands and they say they dont last long. But I geuss since theyre so new, a few kinks still need to be worked out.

As for hoses, buy in bulk, soooo much cheaper. And whenever I visit a store selling it in bulk I buy some. It comes in handy. Oh and buy the newer greeny blue stuff. Not the clear, it cracks.

I have one check valve and after I move Im buying a few more. It sooo worth the invesment, cheaper then buying a new pump.

And finally I use Elite pumps. Ive never had a problem, except they may move and make noise. I have mine up on the wall and its quite quiet up there.

Good luck with your set-up. I hope weve helped.

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