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Old 07-04-2011, 11:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Air Stone Question

Hello,

First off, let me say that I have little experience with fish tanks, my mom had one for the longest time and I love fish and having that experience. Any ways here is one of my many questions as I am doing a lot of research before I go out and spend my money, I want to put a bubble wall in the back of the tank, however I have seen reviews of bubble walls not working at all. So here is what I am thinking of doing. Using a series of T connecters and tubes I want to place around 10 or 12 smaller air stones at the back of the tank and bury the hoses and air stones with the gravel or sand. I do not want the hoses to be visible or the air stones. My main question is that will I have a decent bubble wall if I bury the air stones, and if I do have a decent bubble wall will it disturb the gravel or sand that is covering it up? I plan on dedicating one air pump to this whole process and if I could draw it, I am sure you would really see what I am talking about. I plan on having a 75 or 100 gallon tank. I do plan on having other air decorations but those will prolly be on another air pump. I would love your input, and advice, and experience. Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-04-2011, 11:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

from the little experience i have the only thing i can say is wenever i burried and bubble stone or bar, within a couple of days either the fish dug em up or they came out on their own. donno if this'll help.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

Well, I also plan on using suction cups for all the tubing and MAYBE a small drop of superglue to keep the suction cups in place. I am a bit OCD about people seeing the hardware of the tanks, thats why I want to hide the air stones and tubes, I cant hide the filter in or out that I am going to get nor the heater but I am going to have to just deal with that, maybe I can hide the heater with a fake plant like I plan on doing with the tubes for my makeshift bubble wall. The kind of filter I am going to get is Rena FilStar External Canister Filter and is the FilStar xP3, rated for 175 gallons. I think I have a good plan started. Its just going to be a while before I get started, I am going overseas for a year and a half with the army and when I get back its going to be the time when I get all my stuff.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

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Originally Posted by SirRuff View Post
I have seen reviews of bubble walls not working at all.
...
I want to place around 10 or 12 smaller air stones at the back of the tank and bury the hoses and air stones with the gravel or sand.
I'd suggest buying a bubble wall stone yourself and trying it. I had two of them in a tank for years and they worked great. The fish would often swim in the bubble like they were playing.

Put the air stone bubble wall in the water for about an hour before you plug it up to the pump, and dedicate one air pump to it, and save your over complicated solution for plan B if you can't get satisfaction with the single long air stone.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

We have an air stone in our tank in the corner. When we move we will position the hose and pump better, so even though we can kind of see the tube runing in the back, we half buried the stone and it works good. Never comes up, and our fish love playing in it as well. They also like the current from the filter. We call it their terdmill time after they eat. lol
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

The main reason a bubble wand would fail to work correctly is if algae starts growing on/in it. If that happens, I would scrub the wand with a toothbrush and a weak ammonia solution. PetsMart also sells some airline tubing that is disguised as a green leafy plant-thing, if you would like your airline to be less visible.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

Best way to clean them is to soak in a bleach solution or straight peroxide.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

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Well, I also plan on using suction cups for all the tubing and MAYBE a small drop of superglue to keep the suction cups in place.


Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think you should use superglue. If I were you I would use a little aquarium silicone instead. You can get it at most fish stores.

Good luck over seas, and from one vet to another thank you for serving..
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

You have to secure the air stones to the bottom, whether you use one long wand or several smaller ones. Years of experimentation have finally produced a very good system for me...

Get a sheet of egg crate diffuser from your local hardware or lighting store. Spray paint it with Krylon Fusion in a color to blend with your gravel, multiple light coats with good dry time between. Let the completed job dry for a week. Tie your air stones to the diffuser with fishing line. Put a dab of super glue on each knot to secure the knots. Cut the free ends of the fishing line close to the knots so the sharp ends don't poke your fish later. Add your air lines, and tie them down too. (Tie gently, don't restrict the air flow.) Use a tiny dot of super glue to attach the air lines to each air stone, but be careful not to clog the opening to the air stone. (After the glue dries, blow gently into each airline and make sure air passes freely.) Bring all the airlines to one back corner and use more fishing line to tie them into a bundle. Then lay the whole assembly on the bare bottom of your tank. Use a couple of large dabs of aquarium-safe silicone to secure the diffuser to the bottom glass, and let it all dry for several days.

Pour your gravel on top of the egg crate diffuser, and over the air stones and and air lines. Once you get the right depth of gravel decided, tie several strands of a fake plant around the bundle of air lines. (Use the black airline material if you can find it...the stuff is stiff but it does hide pretty well.) Make sure the bottom part of the "plant" pokes into the gravel, like the other plants do. Tie a few more plant strands just at the bottom of the bundle, so that they float loose in front of it, and help it blend. Place another plant or two in front of the tied bundle.

I even tie my fake plants to the egg crate, before it gets glued down. Then I can clean gravel without having everything float loose everytime.

I have done several tanks without glueing the diffuser down recently, and so far the egg crates have shown no sign of working its way up. So the "glue down" step might be optional. Another variation that I will be trying in the future is to cut a piece of 1/2 inch PVC pipe to fit between the egg crate and the surface of the water, drill a dozen or more holes in it (to prevent stagnant water in the pipe), then paint it the same color as my background (flat black). Then I will put the air lines up thru that to the surface. Fake plants will be tied around the black PVC as described above. The advantage to this is that flat black disappears in my tanks, and I have noticed that the glossy surface of air lines does show a little.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

Forgot to mention...superglue is safe for fish. saltautolinker.com autolinking image water people use it to glue things down in their tanks all the time. Krylon Fusion is also safe, just give it at least several days to dry. I find a week is best.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

IME the bubbles from buried airstones move the gravel from covering them. If they are buried too deep the air collects under the gravel and comes up in one big bubble.
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Air Stone Question

Depends on the size of the gravel, strength of the air pump, depth of gravel, etc. But yes, it is possible for the air to move the gravel around a bit. But if you have other stuff (rocks, plants, etc) on or near by, it doesn't show too badly.
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