The air stone is also known as the aquarium bubbler. This is one of the most important devices in any aquarium. The main function of the airstone is to supply dissolved air (oxygen) to the aquarium.
Air stones are usually made from porous stone or linden wood. These small, inexpensive devices effectively disperse the air in the water and eliminate noise. They also prevent the formation of large bubbles that are common in most traditional air filtration systems.
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How do aquarium air stones work?
The water in the aquarium needs to circulate, and that’s what an air stone does. When the air stone is attached to the pump on the outside of the tank, it starts producing tiny bubbles.
Within seconds, those tiny bubbles that are filled with oxygen will gradually fill the reservoir. The bubbles that form in the air stone not only fill the tank with oxygen, but also help the water circulate.
As the bubbles rise to the surface, the water near the substrate rises to the top. As this process continues to repeat itself, the water in the aquarium circulates efficiently.
Are airstones good for saltwater aquarium?
If you are asking yourself this question, remember the example of a fresh breeze and a stuffy room that we mentioned above. The answer is absolute yes, it doesn’t matter if you have a filter in your aquarium or not, attaching an air stone greatly improves water circulation and makes it good for a saltwater aquarium.
Installing an air stone will keep the water cleaner, provide the fish with more oxygen, and generally provide many health benefits to aquatic life. Also, the air stone is not very expensive and will not cause much damage to your budget.
Benefits of Air Stones in Saltwater Aquarium
You can tell that the water in your tank is not circulating properly just by looking at its surface. If you notice that the surface of the water is still, you can be sure that the water is not circulating enough.
To better understand the benefits of an air stone, we need to first understand the benefits of water movement in an aquarium. Here are some of the benefits:
Helps in gas exchange
Imagine that the circulation of water in an aquarium is like a soft cool breeze in a small stuffy room. When water is well circulated, dissolved gases are rapidly exchanged. For example, water along with dissolved gases at the bottom of a tank remains unchanged when there is no movement of water.
In addition, fish and other organisms in an aquarium produce carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen. These gases must be released into the atmosphere.
The moving water carries tiny bubbles of oxygen and transports these unwanted gases, transports them to the surface of the water and releases them into the atmosphere. In addition, the movement of water mixes different layers of water. This can be very beneficial for fish.
We know that the water at the bottom of an aquarium becomes depleted over time, as fish mostly live on the bottom. The oxygen-poor water is carried to the surface, and the oxygen-rich water above is circulated.
In smaller environments, such as small aquariums, there is not enough space for the fish to swim actively and their movements are somewhat limited.
However, with sufficient water circulation, they receive the necessary amount of physical activity necessary for their growth and muscle development. The circulation of the water offers some resistance and this can be very beneficial for the fish.
As mentioned earlier, the movement of water helps in removing gases such as methane, nitrogen, and sulfur into the atmosphere. The more oxygen is pumped into the aquarium, the biological filtration becomes more efficient as the movement of the water prevents toxic waste from settling to the bottom.
Without proper water circulation, corals will accumulate toxins, metabolic waste, mucus and other such organic waste. As a result, filtration of the reef becomes difficult, and the water quickly becomes cloudy.
Now that we have learned all about water circulation, you may have already realized how important an air stone is. Let’s find out more.
What types of air stones are there?
Air stones are sold in different shapes and sizes. While all air stones serve the same purpose, some may be better suited to a particular type of aquarium. In other words, not all air stones are ideal for all types of aquariums. Here are the types of air stones you can choose from.
This type of air stone is the most common. They are available in various sizes from 2.5 cm to 30 cm. This type of air stone is mainly used in research laboratories. Silica-based air stones are metal-free and less expensive. Their only drawback is that they are not very durable.
There is not much difference between silica and aluminum oxide based stones in terms of performance. But when it comes to durability, aluminum oxide stones are the best option. These stones are able to withstand years of use and harsh cleaning. These stones are mainly used in industrial or large reservoirs.
Aluminum oxide stones are not recommended for use in glass aquariums due to their rough surface. They can vibrate and scratch the glass, leading to cracks over time.
How important is the air stone?
If you are concerned about the health of your fish, the answer is yes. An air stone will be very useful if you have an air pump filter installed in your aquarium. This will make the filter work smoothly, efficiently. And of course, it will improve the look of your aquarium