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Old 09-22-2011, 12:02 AM   #1
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air pump split into 3 air lines: loss of air pressure?

Hi!

I have never split one air pump with one outlet to 3 separate air stones before. I have no idea if I am doing it correctly, I probably am not!

I got 2 t-shaped splitter things, and use those to split one airline into 2, and then one of those airlines into 2 again. Result: 3 airstones. Final result: only 1 airstone works like craaazy while the others don't even fizz.

I have multiple add-ons that came with my air pump, which look like they are supposed to help me split my air line, but I don't know how to use them!

Is there a manual somewhere....?

The air pump is a Tetra Whisper 10. And no, it's manual says nothing about all the extra bits that came with it!

I'm frustrated
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:09 AM   #2
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id return it and get a larger air pump. id say biggest you can buy then you can control the flow with a valve
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:15 AM   #3
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id return it and get a larger air pump. id say biggest you can buy then you can control the flow with a valve
YES! Now I know what one of those add-ons is! A CHECK VALVE!

That took me a long time to figure out, my goodness.

I stuck a check valve on and restricted air flow to the crazy air stone and now there is even distribution of air to the 3 air stones yay.

Thank you!
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:21 AM   #4
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The whisper 10 is good for one outlet on a 10 gallon, the 100 is good for two outlets. You'll need a bigger air pump to drive more air stones. The deeper the tank the more pump you'll need. A gang valve will let you control the air supply to each device. IMO always buy a pump or filter one size larger than the manufacturer recommends.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:37 AM   #5
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I use the tees along with individual inline air valves for my tanks, I typically split each outlet once. Tried gang valves, quickly lost patience with them, individual inline valves are much better IME. Airstones will reduce the airflow, and only get worse as they accumulate mineral deposits over time. Set the pump somewhere above the water level and you don't need check valves, which also restrict airflow.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysapha View Post
Hi!

I have never split one air pump with one outlet to 3 separate air stones before. I have no idea if I am doing it correctly, I probably am not!

I got 2 t-shaped splitter things, and use those to split one airline into 2, and then one of those airlines into 2 again. Result: 3 airstones. Final result: only 1 airstone works like craaazy while the others don't even fizz.

I have multiple add-ons that came with my air pump, which look like they are supposed to help me split my air line, but I don't know how to use them!

Is there a manual somewhere....?

The air pump is a Tetra Whisper 10. And no, it's manual says nothing about all the extra bits that came with it!

I'm frustrated
You need air adjusters on each line, or at least all but one of the lines, that way you can regulate the pressure so that each one is working, assuming there is enough pump pressure.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:16 PM   #7
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Pressure is the main issue. Then there is the added unknown about the quality of the stones. I have had some stones that would bubble like crazy all over, then some that only let air out of a few places. If the stones are not equally restrictive (and I assure you they are not) then the one with the least restrictive mass will let out more air.

A larger pump would help and then I would add in an adjustable needle valve to each air line. That way you can decrease the air to a stone bubbling too much, forcing more air to the other stones.

The check valve should be used on the line before you split it unless you put one in each line. It's function is to keep water from siphoning back into the pump in case of a power failure. Keep in mind that it will restrict your air flow at some level determined by the manufacturer (and again remember they wont all work exactly the same, even from the same manufacturer).

As part of your maintenance you should replace the stones periodically. I change mine every 3 months. During use, they will clog up and you will notice a definate decrease in the amount of air coming out of them. I also change out the check valves every 6 months and the air lines annually. Do I need to change them this often? Probably not, but they are pretty cheap and it makes sure I don't develop problems.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:30 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for your help, i really can't thank you enough. I am using a thing that prevents water from siphoning into the pump, as well as a valve that lets me restrict how much air goes into ONE of the airstones. It's enough to make all the airstone run more or less evenly, but i will refine my system more because it looks like a mess of airline tubing hahaha!

I couldn't have done it without you all, so thanks so much for the information
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:22 PM   #9
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I know your probably not looking for advice now, but a gang valve would probably be the best option. But whatever works, works. Good to know the tertra pump has a check valve!
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:57 PM   #10
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I know your probably not looking for advice now, but a gang valve would probably be the best option. But whatever works, works. Good to know the tertra pump has a check valve!
No more ideas are always best!

And sorry to disappoit but I had to buy the check valve separately why don't they just include a check valve if it's such a good thing to have one?!
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