Maybe one of the simplest pieces of aquarium equipment, the air stone can be used in many different ways, including for oxygenating a tank, filtration, or as decoration.
What does an air stone do?
Aquarium air stones are typically made from a type of porous rock or limewood. Porous material allows oxygen to be pushed through and then be diffused into tinier bubbles in water. In the aquarium, directing additional oxygen into the water can help further oxygenate a tank, be made to modify filtration, or even be used as decoration.
Aquariums require surface agitation for gases to be exchanged between the water and the air, including oxygen. An air stone product pumps air into the lower water columns, increasing dissolved oxygen levels at all levels of the tank and helping push expired gases out of the tank.
Hobbyists also use air stones as a part of their filtration. It is very easy to add an air stone to a sponge filter for additional oxygenation if needed.
Last but not least, many aquarium-enthusiasts use air stones simply to bring an easy and beneficial decoration to their systems. Air stones come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can either create a concentrated area of bubbles or be dispersed across an entire wall/curtain of bubbles. Some fish, like puffers, even like to play in the bubbles and can be used as extra enrichment if needed.
How long do air stones last?
An air stone can last for a long time as long as it doesn’t get clogged up; more so, you will likely have to worry about having to maintenance your air pump first!
In general, it is recommended to clean all aquarium equipment, including your air stone, at least every six months. There is no set time to replace an air stone, though they are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.
How much is an air stone?
Air stones are usually sold in packages of two or more, and can usually be found for under 5 USD. However, bubble bars/wands are slightly more expensive and can cost up to 15 USD.
How much do air pumps cost?
Expect to pay at least 20 USD for an air pump. Each product will be priced based on the brand, included accessories, and power output.