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My convict seems to have really taken to his airstone, so I'll keep it anyway. But does every aquarium absolutely need one? I mean, even if you have a filter that hangs on the back and pours water like a waterfall? I would think that's enough surface agitation.

What say you?
 

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Nope, I dont have any in mine and only use canister filters.
 

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Airstones are kind of falling out of favor as a way to move water. There is an idea that has grown up that they pass air to the water but I believe the main benefit is that they move water to the surface where the gas exchange can take place. If you have other ways of moving the water, no airstone is needed. I find air pumps too noisy for me so do without them much of the time.
 

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I've kept tanks for >20 years, and not used air-stones in at least 18 years in any of my tanks.

I don't like how they look, and my spraybars and overflows do a fine job of allowing surface gas exchange.

So, I don't believe they are necessary at all.
 

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It is enogh surface agitation. As long as water moves that is enough.
 

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i just lost 6 of my fish because i set up my tank with no air stone. they were all at the surface trying to breath when i got home and i found 6 dead. i know its about surface agitation. that's all the bubbles are good for but mine didn't work with out one. now there doing fine once i put it back in the tank. i don't think ill be making that mistake again.
 

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I was using air bubbles for a while, but I stopped using them a few weeks ago and the fish don't seem to miss it one bit. I'm using a Fluval 305, an AC50, and a maxi-jet 600 in power-head mode and they provide plenty of surface agitation. In the tank (55g), I have the following:

5 Yellow Labs
4 Red Zebras
3 Acei's
2 Kenyis
2 pictus catfish
1 clown loach
1 rubber lip plecostomus

I figure if the lack of air bubbles would cause a problem, then with 18 fish I would have noticed it by now. That said, if you like air bubbles use them. I haven't found them absolutely necessary in my experience. As long as everything else in the tank is sufficient to support the fish (water quality, surface agitation), you should be ok.

Actual results may vary.
 

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i took down and set up my whole tank and when i set it up again i didnt put the air stones in and it was bad. like i said i lost 6 fish. i took my tank down so i could add a UGJ system and a DIY background. i took my two powerheads that were blowing in the tank and moved them to the UGJ and that took away a lot of the surface agitation i guess. 75gal tank.
 

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jason081180 said:
i took down and set up my whole tank and when i set it up again i didnt put the air stones in and it was bad. like i said i lost 6 fish. i took my tank down so i could add a UGJ system and a DIY background. i took my two powerheads that were blowing in the tank and moved them to the UGJ and that took away a lot of the surface agitation i guess. 75gal tank.
when you say you took down the whole tank? did you save the water or did you use new water from the faucet? completly draining a tank and refilling it with fresh water, trying to depend on the bacteria in your filter and sand or rock... thats why you lost fish. well most likely, not due to the lack of bubbles.
 

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there is no bacteria in your water. it is on the surface of everything in your tank not the water. so there was plenty of bacteria in my filter and crushed coral substrate. i never saw any changes in my readings, all good. if it was from lack of bacteria they wouldn't have been at the top trying to breath and they wouldn't have gotten better as soon as i added back the airstone. i had a problem with lack of surface agitation and the airstone fixed that.
 

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i had a problem with lack of surface agitation and the airstone fixed that.
There's the key. The bubbles circulate and aggitate, and that's what oxygenates. But, there are lots of ways to do that. You didn't lose fish because of no air stone, but by the lack of circulation and surface aggitation that the airstone provided. Subtle difference. In your case it was needed because nothing else was providing what the airstones were providing. In the case of others, they're not needed because filters or water pumps are providing the circulation and surface aggitation.
 

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I tried to not use my airstones on my 75 gallon tank and all the cichlids were at the top searching for air. I had two emperor 400 filters moving plenty of water and the cichlids were STILL strugling for air.

I recently got a cansiter filter and want to remove the airstones but am worried the fish will go to the top in desperation again.... soooooo I am wondering if I buy a koralia powerhead, if that will solve my problem.... any suggestions?
 

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Try the powerhead, yes. Put it at the bottom of the tank. How high are your intakes?

Again, all the bubbles do is circulate the water. You can use lots of different things to do that. Most people don't use bubbles and their fish do fine.
 

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Mount the powerhead on the bottom of tank? I have always seen them in the upper corner. The intakes go down to the middle of the tank.
 

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I thought you were considering the hydor koralia. That's the one I'd recommend and I'd put it down in the corner, yes.
 
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