As an aquarist, you must stay on top of fishkeeping technologies. Sometimes, you just need to go a little extra, whether using old or new technologies; what matters most is maintaining a healthy fish tank.
One of the popular tools old-time aquarists use in aquariums is an air bubbler. You may wonder how it works or even questions its necessity in your fish tank. But it’s not bad to have some bubbles in your tank. In fact, they are more than just bubbles.
Find out what they do and learn how to pick the perfect air bubbler for fish tank.
Is An Air Bubbler Necessary For a Fish Tank?
The air bubbler does a few things in your tank. While they bubble, they serve other benefits you probably have no idea about.
What does an air bubbler for fish tank do?
1. Increases water movement
Air bubblers currents in the tank that helps circulate water around your tank. When the bubbles rise, it creates a water flow that shoots throughout your aquarium.
2. Adds oxygen
When the air bubbler works, it adds oxygen to the tank and prevents the water from rotting or being toxic. Moreover, it prevents waste from building up in the tank as well.
As the bubbles go up, it releases oxygen that flows with the water, allows natural filtration, and ensures your fish and plants enjoy steady oxygen.
3. Adds beauty and sound
Air bubblers also help beautify your fish tanks. Those bubbles go up to make your tank look more pleasing to the eye. A big bonus, if they have a special design.
If you’re big on aesthetics, you can place it in specific places in your tanks to add more beauty to them. More than that, the bubbling sounds are also nice to listen to.
Sometimes, an air bubbler may not be needed in your fish tank, especially with a filter. For example, if you aim your filter to return towards the water surface, it has the same effect as the air bubbler.
However, everything boils down to the aquarium setup you choose. Also, if you notice the water in the tank isn’t circulating well, you need an air bubbler!
Downsides of Air Bubblers
There aren’t any unbearable downsides to using an air bubbler for fish tank. All you can simply say is, that it boils down to your taste and choice. The downsides are almost dismissible if they don’t matter to you.
1. Visible bubblers
While the bubbles may look pretty to you, some may not like the idea because the bubblers are visible and affect the display tank in one way. However, there’s the option of hiding the bubblers in the substrate and using very small ones. If that’s still a problem, maybe air bubblers aren’t for you.
2. May promote salt creep in saltwater tanks
Salt creeps are common in saltwater tanks whereby water splashes out of the tank, wet a couple of things, and leaves salt crystals on those surfaces.
Adding a bubbler to your saltwater tank can worsen that. It might be something that you can handle, but some people cannot deal with it. In that case, you should get a circulation pump that does the same work as the bubbler in your saltwater aquarium.
Types of Air Bubbler For Fish Tank
Air bubblers are available in different types, sizes, and shapes. The following are the common ones you’re likely to see when buying:
Airstones are the most common type of air bubbles. The name can be misleading because you may expect something rocky, but they are usually made from porous materials like wood, plastic, stone, or sand.
Sometimes, they can be small, almost invisible to the eyes, and others can be large. These products also come in different interesting shapes, and you can buy them based on the size and shape you want.
In addition, the bubble sizes airstones emit depend on their coarseness. A rough one releases more bubbles than a fine one.
Here are some good air stones for your fish tank:
2. Bubble wands
Bubble wands are a type of airstone, the difference is primarily that they’re just longer and narrower. Plus, they usually release lots of bubbles better than small airstones.
Studying one, you’d discover that they also have suction cups that help put them in place and prevent them from floating throughout the aquarium.
Check out these nice bubble wands:
3. Flexible bubble walls
You can get really creative with bubble walls. They are made of plastic, and you can bend them as much as you want. You can curl them, elongate them against the aquarium wall, or lay them flat in the tank or as you deem fit.
The bubbles flow the way you place them in the tank. When using flexible bubble walls, you have to hold them down, especially if you display them horizontally, because they can float around in the tank.
4. LED bubbler
Another type of air bubbler you can use is the LED bubbler, which combines airstones with LED light. However, you would need to plug it into an electrical outlet to work even after connecting to the air pump.
In addition, it comes with a remote control you can use to change the light’s color to match your room decor.
5. Bubbler ornaments
Bubbler ornaments are basically airstones with different designs, shapes, and sizes to decorate your tank and serve as air bubblers.
- Uniclife Aquarium Volcano Decoration Ornament with Multi-Color LED Light Air Stone Bubbler
- Hygger Aquarium Air Stone, Fish Tank Bubble Decoration
How To Pick The Best Air Bubble For Fish Tank
With different types and designs competing for your attention, you could use some guidance in picking the perfect one for your aquarium. Use this list to tick the one you feel is more suitable:
1. Efficiency and appearance
You can choose bubblers that emit small or large bubbles based on their sizes. You could think larger is fun and small isn’t visible enough. However, smaller air bubbles are more efficient at oxygen delivery.
2. Size and shape
The size and shape of the air bubbler matter. You need to consider whether it won’t take too much space in your aquarium, and so, it boils down to setup.
Where you intend to place the air bubbler matters too. Some fish are sensitive to currents and won’t like swimming in bubbles, like Tetra.
In that case, you should place the air bubbler in a small area that won’t interfere with the fish’s activities. Also, don’t place it too close to filter intakes or beneath the outflow. And, of course, size and shape matter here.
How To Clean A Fish Tank Air Bubbler
Your tank is bound to get messy from fish waste, feed, plant waste, or other factors. And, undoubtedly, this can affect the air bubbler and clog it.
You may notice that the air bubbler isn’t working like it used to, so you need to clean it up. Cleaning up air bubblers is nothing special.
All you have to do is simply remove the bubbler from the hose, rinse thoroughly with water, and maybe scrub it with a nylon sponge. You can also soak it in peroxide overnight, scrub, rinse and dry it.
If it has white or chalky residue on it, soak it in white vinegar for hours, scrub, rinse and dry. However, if the air bubbler is made from stone, vinegar can corrode it.
Setting Up Air Bubbler For Fish Tank
Setting up the air bubbler is pretty easy; you only need to connect it to the airline tube. Once you’ve connected, you then choose a place to position your bubbler in the fish tank.
Then you connect the other end of the tubing to the air pump. Plug the pump in and turn it on. Voila! You see bubbles in the tank. Otherwise, you probably made a mistake and need to reconnect again.
You may feel air bubblers for fish tanks are not really necessary. Still, they have their quota they contribute to the tank, from ensuring your fish and plant get enough oxygen, circulating the water, and beautifying your tank.
Take note of the type you want and place it in a position where it won’t disorient your fish in the aquarium.