5 Best Air Stones For Aquariums (And What To Look For)

Picture this: you’ve just set up your aquarium and added all your plants and fish. Everything looks great, but something’s missing. Your aquarium looks a bit… still. That’s where the airstone comes in!

An airstone is a small device that releases tiny bubbles into your aquarium. It may seem like a small addition, but it can have a big impact on the health of your aquarium.

Table of Contents

Are Air stones Good For Fish Tanks?

Air stones are a great addition to any fish tank as they help oxygenate the water, improve circulation in the tank, entertain your fish, and aid the filter. While some tanks don’t need them, all tanks benefit from them

What Are The Benefits Of An Air stone In An Aquarium?

There are so many benefits to adding an airstone to your aquarium such as:

  1. Oxygenating The Tank

First of all, the bubbles from the airstone help to oxygenate the water in your aquarium. Fish need oxygen to survive, and the bubbles help to increase the amount of oxygen in the water. This is especially important if you have a lot of fish or if your aquarium, as they can consume a lot of oxygen in the tank fast.

When this happens, the tank will begin to fill with carbon dioxide which fish can’t breathe. Naturally, this gets fixed by live plants oxygenating the tank, or by surface agitation which causes gas exchange at the surface of the water (introducing more oxygen into the tank.)

So not only will an air bubbler introduce more oxygen through the bubbles themselves, but the additional surface agitation caused by the bubbles will also increase the amount of oxygen in the tank.

  1. They Circulate The Water

Secondly, the bubbles from the airstone create a gentle current in the water. This helps to distribute nutrients and oxygen more evenly throughout the aquarium, ensuring that all your fish and plants get the resources they need to thrive.

Not only this but it also helps to keep waste in the tank moving as well, which will then be sucked up by the filter, improving the biological filtration in the tank!

  1. They Look Nice

But that’s not all! The bubbles from the airstone also create a visually stunning display. Watching the bubbles rise to the surface of the water can be incredibly calming and relaxing, almost like a mini Zen garden. 

  1. They Help Keep The Tank Clean

Finally, the bubbles from the airstone can help to break up any debris or waste that has settled at the bottom of your aquarium. This makes it easier for your filter to remove these particles and keep your water clean and clear.

Can Airstones Kill Fish?

Airstones are unlikely to kill fish, however, they can stress them out. If the bubbles are too intense it could scare the fish, and weaken their immune system over time.

Can Airstones Replace A Filter?

Airstones cannot replace a filter. A filter has mechanical filtration which removes debris from the water, chemical filtration which removes chemicals from the water, and bioloigcal filtration which harbors beneficial bacteria which remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates from the water. An airstone can do none of these things.

What To Look For When Buying An Airstone

Choosing the right airstone for your aquarium can make a big difference in how effective it is at oxygenating your water and creating a visually stunning display. So, what should you look for in an aquarium airstone?

The Size Of Your Aquarium

First of all, consider the size of your aquarium. You want to choose an airstone that is the appropriate size for your tank. If your airstone is too small, it may not create enough bubbles to oxygenate the water effectively. 

On the other hand, if it’s too large, it may create too much turbulence in the water and stress out your fish.

The Shape Of The Airstone

Next, consider the shape of the airstone. There are many different shapes and designs available, from long tubes to small discs. Some shapes may work better for your aquarium setup than others, so it’s worth experimenting a bit to see what works best.

The Material The Airstone Is Made From

You may also want to consider the material the airstone is made from. Most airstones are made from porous materials like limewood, however, sometimes they can be ceramic or plastic as well, which help to create a fine mist of bubbles. However, some airstones may be made from less porous materials, which can create larger bubbles that may not be as effective at oxygenating the water.

The Type Of Air Pump

Another factor to consider is the type of air pump you’ll be using with your airstone. Make sure the airstone you choose is compatible with the air pump you have or plan to purchase.

(Remember, to ensure nothing goes wrong with your aquarium, to add a check valve to the airline tubing in your airstone. This way if the air pump stops working, water won’t flow back down the tube and damaging the pump itself.)

How It Looks

Finally, consider the aesthetics of the airstone. Some are designed to create a specific visual effect, such as a wall of bubbles or a fountain-like display. If you’re looking to create a particular look or feel in your aquarium, choose an airstone that complements your vision.

What Are The Different Types Of Aquarium Airstone?

Did you know that when it comes to picking an airstone, you’re actually spoilt for choice. There are a few different types to choose from, I personally love bubble wands, however, the type of airstone you choose is up to you! The most common type of airstones are:

Standard airstones: These are the most common type of airstones, and they produce a steady stream of small bubbles. They are easy to use and affordable, making them a popular choice for many aquarium enthusiasts.

Diffuser airstones: These airstones are designed to produce finer bubbles that are more effective at increasing oxygenation. They work by breaking down larger bubbles into smaller ones, which results in a more even distribution of oxygen throughout the tank.

Ceramic airstones: Ceramic airstones are a durable and long-lasting option. They are made from porous ceramic material, which allows for better diffusion of air bubbles. They are also easy to clean and maintain.

Bubble wands: Bubble wands are a fun and decorative option that create a wall of bubbles along the length of the wand. They are great for creating visual interest in your aquarium and can be used in combination with other types of airstones for optimal oxygenation.

Air curtains: Similar to bubble wands, air curtains create a curtain of bubbles along a flexible tube. They are a great option for larger aquariums, as they can be cut to fit the length of your tank. They also provide excellent surface agitation, which helps to prevent the buildup of harmful gases in the water.

What Are The Best Air Stones For Aquariums?

Now you know all the benefits of having an airstone, if you’re still want to buy some, here are the best choices on offer! 

It’s important to note, while I do my best to test as many products as possible I can’t test them all. In cases where they haven’t been tested by me personally, I study user reviews and ensure that products recommended are of the highest quality by using the wisdom of the crowd.

With that being said, here are the best choices for your tank.

Hygger Aquarium Air Stone (Best For Small Tanks)

The Hygger Aquarium Airstone is an excellent product for aquarium owners who want to improve their fish’s overall health. It produces a fine mist of bubbles, increasing the dissolved oxygen levels in your aquarium. It’s also compact, efficient, and easy to install. Plus, it’s virtually silent, making it a great addition to any aquarium setup. 

It also comes with 1 check valve, so you don’t have to worry about the pump breaking if there’s a power cut.

One important thing to note is that this airstonen is best for small to medium sized aquariums, if you have a larger aquarium, then this one won’t be big enough.

The user reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with customers praising its effectiveness and ease of use.

Pros:
  • Produces a fine mist of bubbles, increasing dissolved oxygen levels
  • Compact, efficient, and easy to install
  • Virtually silent, no annoying buzzing or humming sounds
  • Sleek and modern design
Cons:
  • May not be as effective for larger aquariums
hygger Aquarium Air Stone, Bubble Stone Fish Tank Oxygen Stone Ultra Silent Deep Dissolving Oxygen Diffuser Kit for Aquarium Fish Tank and Hydroponic (Black, 4 Inch)
  • 🐟【Fine bubble】 Oxygen stone refines the air output from the air pump into a particle bubble, which is smaller and denser, like the “atomization” effect, and the bubble size can be adjusted, and the different oxygenation amount can satisfy different use requirements

Pawfly Air Stone Bar (For Larger Aquariums)

The Pawfly Air Stone is an excellent choice for anyone with a larger tank. The biggest selling point of this airstone isn’t just its size, but also how  easy it is to install. The package comes with four air stone bars, which is perfect for larger setups.

However, it’s not as suitable for smaller aquariums. The user reviews are generally positive, with many customers praising its effectiveness and durability.

And when you’re adding the airstones to your tank, make sure you’re letting them soak for an hour before turning them on.

Pros:
  • Ideal for larger aquariums
  • Easy to install
  • Package includes two air stones
  • Helps to improve oxygen levels in the water
Cons:
  • Not as suitable for smaller aquariums
Sale
Pawfly Aquarium Air Stone Bar Bubbler 4 Inch, Fish Tank Bubbler Stone with Plastic Base Square Oxygen Diffuser for Nano Air Pump Small Bucket and Fish Tank, 4 Pack
  • Air Stone Bar: Each airstone measures 4.5″ L x 0.8″ W x 0.5″ T and weighs 1 oz. Well-constructed for continual bubbling. Ideal for small buckets, fish tanks or aquariums.

Vivosun Airstone

If you’re looking for another great air stone for your aquarium the VIVOSUN Air Stone is definitely worth considering. This little guy is designed to deliver a steady flow of air, once again helping to increase oxygen levels in the water. 

It’s super easy to install, thanks to the included suction cup, and it’s very durable too. Customers have been really happy with this product, commenting on its effectiveness and reliability. All in all, a great option for any plant or fish lover!

It’s also important to note that of the drawbacks to these airstones is the fact that they need 2-4 hours to soak initally. On top of this some users reported that the airstone leaks near the top so you’ll need to either use aquarium glue or epoxy to stop air escaping prematurely.

Pros:

  • Provides consistent flow of air to improve oxygen levels
  • Easy to install with included suction cup
  • Durable and reliable according to user reviews

Cons:

  • Only comes with one air stone (may not be suitable for larger setups)
Sale
VIVOSUN Air Stone Disc 8 x 8 Inch with Shell and Sucker for Aquarium, Fish Tank and Hydroponics Air Pump
  • Fine Bubbles: The air stone produces lots of dense fine bubbles; A great way to oxygenate your hydroponic growth systems, ponds, aquariums and enliven the aquatic life

Aqueon Flexible LED Bubble Wand

If you’re looking for a way to add some color and life to your aquarium, the Aqueon Flexible LED Multi-Color Bubble Wand might be just what you need. 

This 14-inch wand is flexible and can be bent into any shape or position, making it perfect for creating a unique and personalized look for your tank.

The LED lights are bright and vibrant, and you can choose from several different colors to match the mood of your aquarium. The wand also includes a suction cup for easy and secure placement in your tank.

Pros:

  • The flexible design allows for a customized and unique placement in your aquarium.
  • The multicolor LED lights provide a vibrant and eye-catching display.
  • The integrated air stone creates a gentle and soothing bubble curtain.
  • The wand is easy to install and use.

Cons:

  • The bubble wand may not be suitable for larger aquariums.
  • The lights may not be bright enough for some aquarium enthusiasts.
  • The wand may not be as durable as some other aquarium lighting options.
Aqueon Fish Tank Aquarium Flexible LED Accent Light and Bubble Wand, Multi Color, 14 Inch
  • Flexible Wand bends around aquarium décor
  • Available with multi color or blue LEDs
  • Ideal decorative accent or night light
  • An air pump and tubing is required for bubble operation
  • Comes with 10 foot power cord

Pawfly Aquarium Air Pump Accessories with Air Stones

If you’re looking for a complete set, with everything you need, then this is going to be the best choice for you!

The Pawfly Aquarium Air Pump Accessories with Air Stones is a great value set that comes with air stones, check valves, and connectors. The air stones are durable and provide a good amount of bubbles for my aquarium. The check valves also ensure that water doesn’t flow back into the air pump.

Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Durable air stones
  • Check valves prevent water backflow
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Air stones may clog easily with debris
Sale
Pawfly 13 Feet Airline Tubing Standard Aquarium Air Pump Accessories with Air Stones, Check Valves, Suction Cups and Connectors
  • All In A Package: No Worry About Mismatching – Complete air pump accessories of airline tubing, air stones, connectors, suction cups and check valves for basic aquarium aeration setup.

How Do You Install An Airstone?

Installing an airstone in your aquarium can seem like a daunting task, but with a few simple steps, you can have it up and running in no time. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install an airstone in your aquarium.

Step 1: Gather your materials

To install an airstone in your aquarium, you’ll need a few materials: an airstone, an air pump, airline tubing, and a check valve. You may also want to have some scissors on hand to cut the tubing to the appropriate length.

Step 2: Attach the airline tubing to the air pump

Take one end of the airline tubing and attach it to the outlet of your air pump. Be sure to push the tubing all the way onto the outlet to ensure a tight seal.

Step 3: Cut the airline tubing to the appropriate length

Using your scissors, cut the airline tubing to the appropriate length to reach from the air pump to your aquarium. Be sure to leave a little bit of extra tubing to allow for adjustments.

Step 4: Attach the check valve

Next, attach the check valve to the other end of the airline tubing. The check valve will prevent water from flowing back into the air pump in case of a power outage. Remember the check valve looks like an arrow, and the arrow should be facing the way you want the air to flow.

Step 5: Attach the airstone to the airline tubing

Take the other end of the airline tubing and attach it to the airstone. Again, be sure to push the tubing all the way onto the airstone to ensure a tight seal.

Step 6: Place the airstone in your aquarium

Place the airstone in your aquarium in the desired location. You may need to weigh down the airstone with a rock or other decoration to keep it in place. You should also make sure that you’re letting the airstone soak for as long as it’s recommended.

Step 7: Turn on the air pump

Once it’s soaked for long enough, plug in your air pump and turn it on. You should see bubbles start to form in the aquarium as the airstone releases air into the water.

Step 8: Adjust as needed

If you’re not happy with the location or the amount of bubbles being produced, you can adjust the position of the airstone or the air flow from the air pump. Play around with it until you find the perfect balance.

How Do You Clean An Airstone?

At some point you’re going to need to clean your airstone, here’s a step by step guide on how to do it in the most safe and eco-friendly way possible!

Step 1: Remove the airstone from your aquarium

The first step in cleaning your aquarium airstone is to remove it from your aquarium, make sure you’re turning off the power before you get started and then gently lift the airstone out of the water and disconnect it from the airline tubing.

Step 2: Prepare the cleaning solution

Fill a bowl or bucket with a cleaning solution made from equal parts water and vinegar. Vinegar is a natural cleaner that can help dissolve mineral buildup and remove any debris from the airstone.

Step 3: Soak the airstone in the cleaning solution

Submerge the airstone in the cleaning solution and let it soak for several hours or overnight. This will give the vinegar time to work its magic and remove any buildup or debris from the airstone.

Step 4: Rinse the airstone

After the airstone has soaked for several hours, remove it from the cleaning solution and rinse it thoroughly with clean, dechlorinated water. Make sure to remove all traces of the vinegar and any debris from the airstone.

Step 5: Boil the airstone (optional)

If there is still some buildup of grime on your airstone, you can try boiling it for a few minutes. This will help to loosen any remaining debris and sanitize the airstone. However, be careful not to boil the airstone for too long or it may become damaged.

Step 6: Let the airstone dry

Once the airstone is clean and free of debris, let it dry completely before reinstalling it in your aquarium. You can either air dry the airstone or use a clean towel to dry it off.

Step 7: Reinstall the airstone

Once the airstone is completely dry, you can reconnect it to the airline tubing and reinstall it in your aquarium.

Where Should You Place Your Air Stone?

When it comes to placing your aquarium airstone, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you determine the best location for your airstone:

Oxygenation: The primary purpose of an airstone is to increase the oxygenation of your aquarium water. Therefore, it’s important to place the airstone in an area of the aquarium where there is good water flow. This will ensure that the oxygen is distributed evenly throughout the tank.

Aesthetic: While the placement of your airstone should prioritize oxygenation, it’s also important to consider the aesthetic impact of the bubbles. Many aquarists like to place the airstone near decorative elements or in areas where the bubbles will create interesting patterns or visual interest.

Fish behavior: If you’ve been keeping fish for a while, you’ll soon learn that some fish are frightened by the bubbles created by an airstone, so it’s important to watch your fish and their behavior to ensure that they are comfortable with the placement of the airstone.

If you notice that your fish aren’t responding well to the current placement, you should move the air bubbler to somewhere less intrusive, so they can swim around freely again.

Away From The Filter Intake: Lastly, you should place your airstone away from the filter intake. When it’s placed in front of the intake, it can stop the filter from being able to suck up debris from the tank properly.

Based on these factors, some common locations to place an aquarium airstone include near the filter intake, under a decorative element, or in a corner of the aquarium where there is good water flow. 

Personally I like to keep my airstone near the back of the tank, so it doesn’t get in the way of my fish, or scare them away from where I want to see them.

5 Best Air Stones For Aquariums (And What To Look For)

FAQ

If you’re a beginner, then you probably have the same questions I had when I was first getting started. Here are all the most common questions you may have answered! And if you have any more questions leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can

Can Air Stones Be Too Strong?

Air stones can be too strong. Too much air can cause turbulence and stress for fish, so it’s important to choose the right size and strength when picking a stone for your tank

Can You Use Multiple Bubble Wands In Your Aquarium?

You can use multiple bubble wands in larger aquariums to ensure even oxygenation and water circulation. Just be sure not to overdo it or you may stress your fish out.

Can Your Aquarium Have Too Much Oxygen?

Yes, too much oxygen can lead to gas bubble disease in fish. However, this is still unlikely to happen, and it’s much more likely that excess nitrogen in the tank may be causing this.

Are Bigger Airstones Better?

Bigger air stones aren’t necessarily better. The size of your air stone should be appropriate for your tank size and the needs of your fish. If the airstone is too big, it may just stress the fish in your tank.

Air Stone Vs Bubble Wall

Air stones produce smaller bubbles and are better suited for providing oxygen to the bottom of the tank. Bubble walls produce larger bubbles and are better for visual effects or surface agitation.

When Should You Replace An Airstone?

With proper cleaning and maintenance, your airstone will last in your tank for many years. You should only consider replacing it when it’s no longer producing bubbles like it used too, even after cleaning.

How Long Do Airstones Last?

Airstones can last up to a year with proper maintenance and cleaning. However, it’s important to monitor their effectiveness and replace them when they start to wear out.

How Much Do Air Stones Cost?

Air stones can range from a few dollars to around $20 depending on the size and quality. Remember, heaper options may wear out more quickly and require more frequent replacement.

How Much Do Air Pumps Cost?

Air pumps can range from around $10 to over $100 depending on the size and quality. It’s important to choose a pump that is appropriate for the size of your aquarium and the needs of your aquatic life.

Recap

I hope this article has given you a better understanding on the best kind of airstone to add to your fish tank as well as what to look for and the benefits of them as well!

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, if you have anymore questions leave them in the comment section below!

About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!

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