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Old 11-01-2004, 02:52 PM   #1
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How to set up to use an airstone?

First off, I am a new member. I am sorry if the information is elsewhere on this forum, but...

I have looked at adding an airstone to my 10 gal tank. everytime I go to Walmart and look at the equipment, I get very confused. I already have a power filter that came with my aquarium, but feel that the tank really needs an airstone or other source of aerating the tank.

I have no clue exactly what I really need and could use someone to tell me what pieces to buy. Don't know why there cannot be a kit of everything I would need and clear instructions on how to assemble it. I am the type of person who needs detailed instructions and even pictures of how everything should go together in order to feel confident I have set it up correctly.

Can someone direct me to a web site or tell me piece by piece and step by step what and how to do this?

In the end, should I just go to my local aquarium store and let them give me everything needed to set it up? I am sure they would love that and I would pay dearly.

I thought about a UGF, but have read mixed opinions on whether or not it is right/wrong to use them.

Thanks for being patient with me.

I have:

10 gallon tank
2 black tetras
4 red tetras
1 plecto

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Old 11-01-2004, 05:48 PM   #2
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UGF=100yd rifle target. Don't bother with one of these...you can do much better. One thing I want to mention, and I'm not trying to discourage you from adding an airstone, is that oxygen exchange takes place at the surface of the water. All those bubbles created by the airstone don't do a thing until they get to the top. Surface agitation is what you want and I would be VERY surprised if your HOB filter isn't providing plenty of that. Another problem with airstones is they are messy. The bubbles bursting at the surface will keep your hood wet all the time, and if you have hard water, coat it with mineral deposits that are difficult to remove. OK, having made my case on airstones, here's what you need.
Air line
Buy a good quality pump...I prefer Dolphin pumps over anything else. The cheap ones are noisy and won't last long. You can get some airline holders if you with. These are basically small suction cups that have a loop for the air line to pass though. I don't use them, but you might want to. You basically put the pump on the floor or on a shelf behind the tank, cut the air line to the length you need, and stick the airstone on the other end. Place the airstone where you want it in the tank and secure the air line with a rock or something to keep it from moving around. If the pump is lower than the water level in the tank, you'll want to make a loop in the airline where it comes out of the tank. This will keep water from siphoning back through the pump and into the floor in the event of a power failure. If you can locate the pump above the tank, you don't need to worry about this. IMO, the airstone will do little to increase the 02 levels in your tank. If you like the way the bubbles look rising through the water, by all means add one. JMHO.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:46 PM   #3
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I agree with pretty much everything loganj said. If you have a power filter on a 10 gal aquarium you probably don't need an airstone. That being said I have airstones in three of my tanks and all of them use power filters. If you want an airstone for decoration (or for security) then by all means get one.

The parts you will need to get include an air pump (I suggest the Rena 100 because it is very quiet), some tubing (silicone is better), the airstone (I recommend a 2" Micro-Bubbler) and a check valve (Tetra makes a good one). If your air pump is below the water level of the aquarium a check valve keeps water from running back into the air pump. As mentioned above you can also get airline holders to keep the airline anchored down inside the aquarium but you may not find these necessary.

Airstones can become clogged after several months and should either be cleaned or replaced. Rena recommends bathing their Micro-Bubblers in a hydrogen peroxide solution (like that found in any pharmacy) for 24 hours to get their airstones clean. I've tried this and it works.
Gene Heitman - 12 tanks (11 freshwater and 1 saltwater), 206 gallons, 20+ species of fish/shrimp/snails, 52+ species of plants ... 10 years ago I just wanted 1 tank with some fish
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airstone, set up, stone

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