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Air stones & bad bacteria

Bob Loblaw

Well-Known Member
So I was just reading on this site https://enzymeskomplete.ca/ And they are telling me this

"Do not use air stones to bring oxygen to your water. Air stones are only for fish tanks and not hydroponic systems! In a short time the air stone will become a breeding ground for bad bacteria. " They go on to say this

"To oxidize water, ensure maximum exposure to the air such as cascading waterfall or fountaining water. Add oxygen to your water with a perforated tube."

I agree with the claim that air stones are a breeding ground for bad bacteria. I soak my air stone and line every res change (2 weeks) in a very strong H2O2 solution. Yes my air stone & line is & always has been the dirtiest part of my system... hmmm?

I have a fast running hydro system so perhaps it's worth a try to remove my air stone. I wonder what others think about that idea?

I do get what I believe they call an acid rain effect after every res change lately. 2 days after a res change my Ph shoots down and continues to shoot down for 2 or 3 days before stabilizing and holding. From what I gathered it could be too much oxygen that causes that effect. hmmm? I've RO water.

I guess I've something new to think about, I think I'll go smoke on that.:lot-o-toke: My 1st thought is add the air stone in the 2nd week or 1 day in the 2nd week.

Anyone with opinions on this claim of bad bacteria & air stones? Whats this "Add oxygen to your water with a perforated tube" idea about, how does that work?
 

Rich Farmer

Well-Known Member
I've been seeing a lot of hate on air pumps lately and it all makes sense to me. I guess even without the stone people say the air being pushing through is contaminated and can affect ph.

I found a little water pump, they come between 3-5 watts. Wont make a cascading waterfall but seems to keep it mixed enough without raising the heat. I've seen other recomend a completely dead reservoir. I like my little water pump that replaced that airline so far and it's almost silent compared to an air pump
 

1ne eye

Well-Known Member
Never had a problem using air stones, i do run them under hot then cold water now and again when changing nutes if they look a little gummed from maybe some hydroton dust and i usually don't replace them till maybe after 3 / 4 grows, i also use hydrogaurd, but i haven't had any problems.
 

Virgin Ground

Nug of the Year: 2020 - Member of the Month: Feb 2020 - Plant of the Month: July 2020 - Nug of the Month: June 2019, Nov 2020 - Photo of the Month: Aug 2019
Oxygen is absorbed into water by gas exchange from surface turbulence. You don't need an air stone.

Shoot for maximum surface turbulance with medium to small bubbles.
 

Rich Farmer

Well-Known Member
That's exactly right VG! If you get surface turbulence in the water it's supposed to be enough airation. The pump I use doesn't look like boiling water but you can see still some turbulence on the surface like ripples in the water and it seems to aerate well enough so far. The cascading waterfall would be ideal though.

Also 72 isnt totally correct for grow room temp as its light dependent. running hps? You'll want a cooler room, LED usually you want to run on the warmer end.
 

Bob Loblaw

Well-Known Member
I should clarify something I said. My air stone is the dirtiest part of my system but that does not mean my air stone is dirty, it looks just as clean as the day I bought it. It's when I put it into a H2O2 solution that it tells me otherwise.

If you've a moving system then as Mr Farmer, VG and the quotes said, the turbulence should be enough aeration. Mine is a fast moving system for 15 minutes out of every hr.

If you are in DWC then I don't think this thread is for you. RDWC is another animal and it can be adapted, just make a waterfall somewhere along the way, (perhaps that's what the perforated tube idea is all about.)

Hydroguard and Z7 are not available everywhere. With that said I've a question on those products, are they enzymes or are they a sterile type of defense? Sterile = not my 1st choice, enzymes are a better option in my opinion. Sterile I can do with the H2O2 that I already have on hand.
 

NOOOBIENOT

Well-Known Member
well here is some thing to think about , dwc with a stone and pump are a must , what do they do ,clean their rez and stone every week or 2 and add new water , do you really think they get rid of every single bad bacteria cell in that rez no they are only controlling the population , also as rain falls from the sky it picks up oxygen and nitrogen and a host of other goodies ,lands on the soil , do you really think there isnt good and bad bacteria on the surface of the soil , they just keep each other in check , that is all we need to do as growers just work to keep them in check , cleanliness is always a top priority .but dont think you can control every bacteria out there you are only buying a seat on the crazy train ,
 

Listersmeghead

Well-Known Member
For many years I've run little nft gt-205 tables,they come with a fish tank pump that circulates the water,I've never had root problems.
I've run these tables both sterile and non sterile. The sterile with h2o2 many years ago,because I could only visit the grow room once-twice a week.
The non sterile I run now and put all sorts of beasties in it, I get better results from the non sterile, but that might be because I'm a bit more experienced now.
 

Bob Loblaw

Well-Known Member
Ya sorry again. I know nothing about DWC or RDWC I was just thinking out loud again.
Also the stone in any DWC creates a mist if I'm not mistaken, which sounds kinda important to me.

However we are still aware of the need for the water to be oxygenated just not by air stone is all we're saying. My setup runs from the top down so I've no worries with my medium getting dry.
 

Rich Farmer

Well-Known Member
I have seen people recommend a filter for the air pump, seems to works for them. However you wanna do it and whatever works best for you. I was running open airlines in my DTW reservoir but noticed I was getting a lot of settling with my current nutrients and find that the mini water pump keeps it stirred up better without raising temps and seems to provide enough DO for my needs but if your setup isn't broke then no need to fix
 

Virgin Ground

Nug of the Year: 2020 - Member of the Month: Feb 2020 - Plant of the Month: July 2020 - Nug of the Month: June 2019, Nov 2020 - Photo of the Month: Aug 2019
The reason I would caution against stones is once the become clogged they build back pressure and burn out your pump. If you have a multi outlet pump you can leave one of the valves open as a bleeder to avoid this.
I don't or have ever done Hydro. I have kept fish for 25+ years. I know my pumps. Lol.
 

FatBeaverBuds

Well-Known Member
I would never run my DWC buckets without airstones. A nice rolling boil of bubbles from a strong pump and properly sized stones. This is a known method that flat out works.

To each his own & I'm sure there are a thousand ways to oxygenate your water. It's all situational. I suggest experimenting and finding out what works best for you.
 

Bob Loblaw

Well-Known Member
So it's better to run the line into the res without the stone on the end?
Good question, I dunno but I doubt it. Depends on your set up I guess. I wouldn't do that in DWC if it were me, I would think the fine mist from a stone is key in there.

I like the mini pump idea but I am not DWC. If I was DWC I would use a stone.
 
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