By Lorraine | 27 April 2020 | 2 Comments
What Does an Aquarium Bubbler Do?
A bubbler is any device that is connected to an air pump through an air tube, the purpose of which is to create air bubbles in your fish tank.
An aquarium bubbler, also called an air stone, adds beneficial bubbles to the aquarium's water. When these bubbles rise to the surface, they help the oxidation of water and improve the living conditions of fish, plants and other living creatures in the fish tank. Aquarium bubblers usually run 24/7.
Benefits of adding oxygen
When the air stone in the fish tank releases air bubbles, it helps prevent water from becoming dead water or even being toxic. Waste in the fish tank can easily get out of control in some situations, such as overfeeding or raising too many fish in one small fish tank. As waste builds up, so does the number of bacteria that feed on it. Although these bacteria are actually filtering or cleaning "garbage" in the fish tank, they consume some of the oxygen in the water, making it harder for fish and other aquatic organisms to survive. The air stone bubbler keeps a steady stream of air, which contains oxygen, flowing into the water, allowing the natural bacterial filtration to take place without starving the fish of oxygen. Like humans, fish and other aquarium lifeforms require an ample supply of oxygen to thrive.
Add to beauty and sound
Air bubbles released from air stones can also be used to decorate fish tanks. A curtain of bubbles and walls behind the fish tank adds flowing “striped bubbles” behind the fish.
Other air stones can be placed near decorative aquarium treasure chests or clamshells that open when bubbles arise. The sound of the constant bubbling can also be soothing, much the way some people find the sound of a fountain or rushing stream of water enjoyable.
Fish tank air pump supply
No matter what type of air stone or bubbler, its bubbles come from the air provided by the air pump of the fish tank. Choose an air pump that fits your fish tank size, if your fish tank doesn't already have one. Read the packaging on the pump to determine a proper model that is powerful enough for the amount of water in your tank. Adjustable mode allows you to speed up or slow down bubbling to the desired level. Many pumps do not include tubing or the bubbler, so you'll have to pick those out as well. Purchase enough airline tubing to run from the pump to your aquarium bubbler, allowing enough extra for the tubing to bend over the top of the tank and along the bottom to the bubbler connection. Most airline tubing is sold with a standard inner diameter of 3/16-inches so you generally won't have to worry about picking the wrong tubing as long as you buy the material from a fish-tank supply shop.
Setting up the aquarium bubbler
Connect one end of the tubing to the bubbler, then place the bubbler in the desired position in the tank. Run the tubing along the bottom of the tank and along the back corner closest to the pump, positioned near the aquarium. Suction cups designed for aquarium use can help keep that tubing in place. Connect the opposite end of the tube to the pump. Feel free to trim excess tubing with a craft knife. Plug the pump in and turn it on. If bubbles rise up through the air stone, you've connected everything properly. If not, reconnect the tubing at both ends.
Set up the bubbler for the aquarium
Connect one end of the tubing to the bubbler and place the bubbler in the desired position in the fish tank. Run the pipe along the bottom of the fish tank and the rear corner closest to the pump. A suction cup designed for the aquarium can help keep the tubing in place. Connect the other end of the tube to the pump. Plug the pump in and turn it on. If the bubbles rise through the air stone, you've connected everything. If not, reconnect the tubing at both ends.
Cleaning a fish tank bubbler
Over time, the air holes in a bubbler can clog due to mineral deposits and debris buildup. If your bubbler doesn't bubble the way it used to, turn off the pump, remove the bubbler from the hose and rinse it in tap water, scrubbing it with a nylon brush. Soak the bubbler overnight in peroxide, rinse and scrub it again, then dry it off before returning it to the tank. If the deposits look white and chalky like mineral deposits on a showerhead, soak the bubbler in white vinegar for several hours, then rinse it thoroughly before returning it to the tank. Do not soak a bubbler made of any type of actual stone, as vinegar may corrode it. For best results, read the care instructions included with the bubbler to determine the ideal cleaning method for that bubbler model.
Bubbler cleaning for a fish tank
Over time, the air holes in the bubbler can become blocked due to mineral deposits and debris buildup. If the bubbler bubbles differently than before, turn off the pump, remove the bubbler from the hose, rinse it with tap water, and scrub with a nylon brush. Soak the bubbler in hydrogen peroxide overnight, wash and scrub it again, then dry it and place it back in the aquarium. If these deposits look like white and chalky like mineral deposits on the showerhead, you can soak the bubbler in white vinegar for several hours, then rinse it thoroughly before putting it back in the water tank. Do not soak any real stone bubbler, as vinegar will corrode it.
For best results, carefully read the care instructions that come with the bubbler to determine the ideal cleaning method for the bubbler model.
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