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Best Air Stones: What has worked for you?

RedZedHead

Well-Known Member
Hi everybody, my DWC plants are getting bigger and the starter/ amazon air stones aren't going to do it.
Here's my DWC setup:
2 - 5 gallon buckets
2 - 14 gallon totes, 2 plants each



I have my air pump bases covered. I found a solid brand I like.
I thought about these
1589597381788.png

they're 4x2 inches. By Vivosun.
I want to know what your tried-and-true bubblers are! I want to pick the best ones for both my applications, tote and bucket.
Thanks, everybody.
Grow on Blaze on :blunt:
 

Haricot Vert

New Member
Before I went to coco I used to run DWC.
Lots of fun!!!

I eventually ditched the airstone and left the end of the tube on the floor of the container, to churn out a variety of bubble sizes. Surface agitation was key to achieving high DO in your water. That and temps.
 

RedZedHead

Well-Known Member
I just got these in the mail
1589985631251.png

They are definitely worth 15$. I'll be buying more. They push out so much air and they're heavy enough to where you can stand them up straight or lay them on their side and they won't move or flop around the bucket like the little sticks. I can't imagine needing more than 1 in a 5 gallon bucket. I'll be recommending these to people in the future. By vivosun.
 

RedZedHead

Well-Known Member

RedZedHead

Well-Known Member
sounds like I made a good choice. I love how the underside of those leaves are purple.
 

RedZedHead

Well-Known Member
Don't underestimate the importance of the air pump.

I was underwhelmed with my airstones, they leak huge bubbles around the edges and overall didn't "bubble" very well.

I had been using the Tetra 77850 Whisper Air Pump (~ $22 US). I wanted "quiet" and it's intended for a 100-Gallon fish tank, so it should have handled my 5-gallon tubs no problem. Well, it sucks. I guess it's only 3.3L/min (43.5 GPH). Ripped off by the name brand I trusted. Oh well.

I replaced it with the Elemental O2 pump 254G (~ $17 US) and love it. It's quieter and ~16 L/min.

I inherited an LPH45. It's a beast. $200 new and moves 47 LPM. That baby can push air through more airstones that you can count and it's basically silent. Crazy. I use that to push 8" disk airstone in a 20 gallon drum. There are bubbles galore and water agitation is amazing.

Anyway, my advice, FWIW, is to (1) agitate the water, and (2) get a really good air pump.

I know some people out there will say you can go kratky, and air pumps aren't even necessary. In my own multi-plant tubs, I have seen that plants directly above the air stones grow much better than those without an airstone directly below them. Personally I use a STRONG air pump and crank it to get lots of bubbles of all sizes.

Aerating the water is a deeper subject than I can speak about intelligently. On one hand, you want really small bubbles. The smaller the better, and I think all airstones produce bubbles that pretty much just float up to the top and burst. If that's the case, it is tempting to just use an air tube to make BIG bubbles that will race up to the top of the water and break the surface tension (introducing O2 into the water). For that matter, I think a strong water pump close enough to the surface to make a small fountain might also do the trick. Again, the plants will grow with NO air pump - you'll just never really know how much more they would have produced in an even better environment.

Finally -- if possible, put the air pump outside your grow tent so you're pulling cooler air. When you push air into the water, it will bring the water temperature closer to the air temperature. If the air temp is hot, the roots will be a little more stressed. Cooler, agitated water should also help reduce the growth of undesirable algae and gook.

Hope the above helps someone.

--MehGreenThumb
 

The Phantom

Well-Known Member
I don't use any airstones in my DWC. You can see in my journal that it doesn't keep me from some heavy harvests.
Same here. I hate air pumps with a freaking passion. I will straight up go Office Space on one running in my setup. I do run RDWC so with the recirculation lines it’s not needed as much as compared to the 5 gallon DWC setups.
 

sativuhhh

Well-Known Member
I'm thinking about adding in a small intercooler after the air pump and before the distribution manifold to reduce the temps. My air pumps get HOT and I'm going to a bigger one for the next grow and I was thinking, why not take a 35 dollar little transmission radiator and plumb the air output to it. Anyone ever tried to keep the air temps down and thus help keep water temps down too?

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The advice above about bigger air pumps rings true. I went thru 3 till I got one big enough to actually move some air volume. The little super cheap fish tank ones don't drive those big airstones nearly enough. You are better with a smaller air pump to use some smaller air stones. The little ball shape ones can be nice. You want lots of little bubbles. If you are seeing big bubbles come out or just around the edges or very start of the airstone past where it connects, you need more air volume or a smaller stone.
 

AzLaker

Active Member
If you like want a ton of tiny bubbles (the more DO the better) get a piston driven air pump and 6" air stones. You should get this.....I've run 4...five gallon buckets, with one air pump (45GPM) and 6" air stones in each bucket. You can find some that have suction cups on the bottom, that help hold them in place. :thumb:
DSC01793.JPG


AzLaker
:cool:
 
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