Plants do not necessarily require soil to grow and thrive. The most significant elements needed are water, light, air, and nutrients. Therefore, in hydroponic farming, you can grow plants by utilizing the combination between air and water.
The root system of the plants requires air for aeration. So, without aeration, the roots cannot absorb oxygen, it can suffocate and eventually die. Without air stones, the hydroponic system cannot diffuse enough oxygen in water through surface agitation to provide the plants all the necessities.
Let’s take a look at the best air stones that we have listed below:
VIVOSUN Air Stone
|- Brand: VIVOSUN|
- Item Dimensions: 5.28 x 4.29 x 2.13 inches
- Item Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Designed to add oxygen and circulate nutrition
- Extend the life of your nutrient solution
- Size: 4" X 2" X 2"
- Fits for 4mm inner diameter tube
- Fit for hydroponic systems, ponds, aquariums or fish tanks and other systems
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Blue Round Airstone
|- Brand: UXCELL|
- Item Dimensions: 2.34 x 2.34 x 0.59 inches
- Item Weight: 2.22 Ounces
- Material : Mineral Stone
- Size : 60 x 15mm / 2.4" x 0.59" (D*T)
- Connector Diameter : 4.2mm/ 0.17"
- Weight : 63g
- An ideal tool to add oxygen to your hydroponic growing system
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Tetra Whisper Air Pump
|- Brand: Tetra|
- Item Dimensions: 3.25 x 7 x 4.75 inches
- Item Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Pumps air down to 8 feet deep
- One pump delivers air to all your powered accessories
- The Tetra Whisper DeepWater series can run up to 10 accessories in tanks up to 24” deep, typically 90 to 180 gallons
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|- Brand: Hydrofarm|
- Package Dimensions: 10 x 5.3 x 5.9 inches
- Item Weight: 1.9 pounds
- Ideal for running several Waterfarms or multiple air stones at once
- High pressure and high output
- Electrical magnetic air compressor in a high quality aluminum alloy case
- 1100-gph, maximum amperage is 0.5 and maximum decibels is 60
- Wear and tear-resistant material for cylinder and piston
- Super silent with multi-level muffler
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Pawfly 10 PCS Air Stone
|- Brand: Pawfly|
- Item Dimensions: 5.43 x 4.49 x 0.75 inches
- Item Weight: 4.97 Ounces
- Jetting Volume: 1.3 L/min
- Recommended Air Pump Power: 2 W- 4 W
- Fits for 3/16"/ 4 mm inner diameter tubing
- Size: 0.8" x 1.2"/18mm x 30mm (D x H)
- Net Weight: 6oz/170g
- Comes with 10 Pcs Cylinder Air Stones
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Table of Contents
- Types of Air Stones for Your Hydroponic System
- The Importance of Air stones for Hydroponic Gardening
- How Air Stones Work in Hydroponics
- Why Do Hydroponics Need Aeration?
- How to Shop for the Best Air Stone
- The Best Air Stones for Hydroponics and Air Pumps
- Steps of Cleaning Air Stones for Hydroponics
- Importance of Cleaning Air Stones for Hydroponics
- Bottom Line
Types of Air Stones for Your Hydroponic System
There are different varieties of air stones on the market. The following are best and the most common:
- Coke can air stone: It is a large reservoir and also known as a cylinder air stone. It is suitable for tanks that require constant airflow ranging between 5 to 10 LPM. The bubbles take a cylindrical shape because it produces the blend of big and small fine air bubbles.
- Gold ball air stone: This name “gold” gives you a hint of how its appearance is. They are the standard air stones, and they produce fizzling air bubbles. It has a diameter of approximately 25mm enough for a 5LPM air pump.
- Ceramic disc air stone: It has a flat round shape. It is made from a ceramic compound and is long-lasting. Its surface area and flat shape enable the ceramic disc to produce good air bubbles enough for large tanks. Its airflow is between 2.5 to 10LPM, ideal for hydroponic gardening.
The Importance of Air stones for Hydroponic Gardening
Air stones have become for aerating plants in hydroponic gardening. It is fundamental to have air stones to supply the roots with air. This is because the root system requires adequate oxygen to acquire sufficient nutrients for healthy growth.
When plants grow in the soil, they get oxygen through the soil and reach the roots. Nevertheless, plants grown hydroponically don’t receive adequate oxygen as required. This is the reason air stones are vital for plant aeration.
Air stones are easy to use and produce oxygen effortlessly, thus enhancing the diffusion of air. Deep Water Culture (DWC) is a practical method of hydroponic farming. The plant roots are dipped into water-rich nutrients.
Air stones create good air bubbles rich in oxygen dissolving in water. These bubbles are then spread to the root system. You can use the best hydroponic air pump to push the fine air bubbles to allow the plants to acquire sufficient nutrients.
Air stones also speed the time required to dechlorinate water, such as tap water. Tap water has alkaline and excess chemical contaminants; hence not appropriate for hydroponics. To make tap water useful in the system, its PH level should be made stable and dechlorinated.
How Air Stones Work in Hydroponics
Air stones have porous material attached to a tube which is also connected to an air pump. This air pump compresses air through the tube into the stone. The air then comes out in a cascade of small fine bubbles.
In the hydroponic farming system, particularly the Deep Water Culture (DWC) method, the bubbles ensure that the plants are properly oxygenated. This enables the plants to have healthy growth and produce vegetables or flowers. Tiny air bubbles diffuse in water which is absorbed by the root system, hence benefiting the plants.
In a greenhouse hydroponic system, using aeration maintains the temperatures at the optimum range for plants. Aeration also prevents water in the reservoir from being still that can attract harmful insects such as mosquitoes.
Therefore, in this system, air stones are significant in expediting the aeration process. Aeration is induced mechanically using air stones and an air pump technological approach. In a natural setup or environment, surface agitation leads to oxygenation from water currents.
Why Do Hydroponics Need Aeration?
There are different ways to set up your systems, such as bucket technique or ebb and flow trench method. Irrespective of the technique used to build your system, you need surface agitation. This gives your plants diffused oxygen and prevent still water. You can succeed in your hydroponic gardening system with an appropriate aeration system and sustain it perfectly.
How to Shop for the Best Air Stone
The set-up of your hydroponic system determines the type of air stone you need to buy. Air stones come in different materials, shapes, sizes, and colours and perform the same functions. Therefore, there are various factors you should consider while shopping for one.
- Construction material: The materials used to make air stones work in a balanced way. Some materials can produce tiny air bubbles that diffuse quickly in the oxygen than other materials. You should replace your air stone consistently before wearing out, regardless of the material used to make them.
- Aesthetics: You should choose an air stone that can fit your system design appropriately. For instance, if your hydroponic system has a natural pond design, you should purchase an air stone with decorative accents.
- Price value: When shopping for air stone, efficiency is more fundamental than appearance; therefore, choose a high-quality product with affordable price value. You should also consider buying backup air stones because they are replaced regularly.
- Amount: The size and set-up of your hydroponic farming system determine the number of air stones you need for aeration. For instance, a system set up in buckets requires airs stones for each bucket.
The Best Air Stones for Hydroponics and Air Pumps
Hydroponic gardening is a popular growing medium that doesn’t use soil. Air stones play a significant role in creating small balloons of oxygen needed by plants for proper and healthy growth. This article highlights some of the best air stones and air pumps for deep water system (DWC) hydroponics.
1. VIVOSUN Air Stone
VIVOSUN Air Stone is a coke-shaped can that is very attractive and easy to handle. It is designed to give your plants optimal oxygen levels and provide the necessary support for oxygen circulation. You are assured of quality gardening if you use this Vivosun brand product. Nevertheless, this air stone is quite thick thus it can provide you satisfactory service for a long time.
2. Uxcell Aquarium Fish Tank Air Stones
Uxcell Aquarium Air Stones is a blue color mineral stone. It has a disc shape to produce good air bubbles. If you have a good air pump compatible with your Uxcell air stone, you can produce a large number of fine air bubbles to keep water aerated.
3. Tetra Whisper Air Pump
Tetra whisper is the quietest hydroponic air pump available in the market. It has numerous unique features to manage noise, such as it is dome-shaped to compress the sound waves. Other features for reducing sound include rubber feet for diffusing the sound, suspended motor, and baffling internal compartments for decreasing the sound waves.
This air pump is available in five different sizes that are 10, 20,40, 60, up to 100. These sizes can accommodate about 100 gallons of the tank. The sizes between 60 and 100 gallons have two outlets, while the remaining ones have one outlet.
4. Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump
You should purchase an Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump if you want the best air pump for dwc and operate different air stones. It has excellent wear and tear resistance due to a magnetic, electrical compressor coated with a robust alloy case. It has an artificial rubber that can maintain a constant air and pressure flow, supported by a multi-outlet divider.
The system of substantial distance provides a steady flow of water. It can push water at a maximum horizontal distance of about 24 to 28 feet and about 4.5 feet vertically. It comes with a one-year warranty.
5. Pawfly Air Stone Cylinder Bubble
Pawfly Air Stone is one of the finest air stones to use in your hydroponic gardening. It has Nano pumps to increase the jetting volume by about 1.3L per minute. It comes in a package of about ten air stones for diffusing the air and gives you long-lasting service. Nevertheless, you should acquire an air pump of approximately 2.5 W for them to be compatible and function effectively.
Steps of Cleaning Air Stones for Hydroponics
As a grower, you desire to give your plants proper care and sufficient nutrients for healthy growth, such as oxygenated water. It keeps the nutrients properly mixed and delivers oxygen directly into the roots. Therefore, your hydroponic system needs to have clean air stones.
Air stones are relatively cheap, but most gardeners only want to replace them instead of cleaning and to reuse them. Cleaning them does not need much effort; the best way is to do that regularly. Therefore, follow the steps below to know how to clean them.
Rinse them Thoroughly and Scrub Gently
Disconnect the air stones from the air pump and soak them in freshwater. It saturates deeply into the stones until the inner parts are blocked. After soaking them in water, use a soft toothbrush to scrub them gently to get rid of an outer blockade. Don’t hard-brush them to prevent them from breaking and allow them to dry.
Boil them for Ten Minutes
Put your air stone in a hot pan and allow it to boil for about ten minutes. The heat helps to break inner gunk and sterilize them. Remove them from the saucepan, allow them to cool, and let them dry properly.
Soak the Air Stones in a Cleaning Solution
Mix bleach and water in the ratio of 1:3. After they are dehydrated, soak them in this solution between 24 to 48 hours, depending on how dirty they are. Bleaching solution helps to kill all the microorganisms hidden and prepare them for the next step.
Remove them from the Solution and Rinse
This is the most crucial step. Therefore, rinse them thoroughly to remove traces of bleach and any existing dirt. After removing them from the solution:
- Connect them to the air pumps.
- Put them in clean water.
- Run them for about five to 10 minutes.
This aids in removing all the remaining build-ups from the stones.
Allow them to Air Dry Completely.
Remove the air stone from the clean water and run it for another 5 minutes to eliminate any remaining build-up. This enables them to dry before they are ready for use again. Remove the air pump and let them dry for about 24 hours. If you store them without proper cleaning, molds grow on them.
Importance of Cleaning Air Stones for Hydroponics
Now that you know the process of cleaning your air stones. Do you know the benefits of cleaning them? Below are some of the benefits you can get for cleaning them.
Save of Extra Costs
Air stones are less expensive, but if you change them frequently, you incur the additional cost. This increases the cost of your hydroponic farming. Sometimes they clog due to periodic cleaning, and changing them is an additional cost that you might not recover from.
Prolong the Lifespan of the Air Stones
You can prolong the lifespan of your air stones by cleaning and reusing them. This is the advantage they have, unlike the diffusers. Cleaning can also save you from set-up costs, which you pay for a replacement.
Naturally, hydroponic farming is sustainable farming. But using and discarding air stones is contradictory to this technique. Therefore, cleaning and reusing them allows you to save the environment and reduce wastage.
Most people are now venturing in hydroponic gardening because it has a reasonable amount of harvest that can make you smile. Nevertheless, you should supply the root system with sufficient oxygen. Therefore, the best air stones for hydroponics can enhance air diffusion from air pump.
This allows the plants to get an adequate oxygen supply. The products above can give you the best gardening outcome. All these products are durable and can provide your plants with an adequate circulation of nutrients for healthy hydroponics.