aeration - semi-newbie ???

wordwizJuly 23, 2009

I have not had hardly any luck with airstones - they seem to become clogged after a few months though I do not understand why. The pump runs 24/7/365 and only air is passing through. Yet three times I have nearly lost good plants because the water wasn't aerating.

Would a solution, besides buy better stones, perhaps be to drill small holes in the vinyl tubing and let the air pass through them? Or would a different solution - place a T in the line and let one end uncapped, be viable?

I'm going to have about 50 buckets by the time I'm completely up and running, and this is a hobby as much as anything, so I would rather not spend dozens and dozens of dollars on diffusers if I don't need to.


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Hi wordwiz,

Yes, you can drill tiny holes in tubes but the holes must be really tiny, though. You can also use a hot needle (sticked into a handy piece of cork at one end) and pinch even tinier holes.

But I found a rather cheap alternative product, it's a rubber (quarter inch sized) tube with a metal kernel (to make it sink) that has a few hundred tiny holes. The tube is from a flexible "stretchy" rubber and as soon as it gets clogged (because it gets clogged as well eventually), you can simply stretch it out, rinse and stretch again a few times under water, to unclog it in no time.

This product is made in China and easily available at aquarium supply shops here in Thailand. I can't tell for other parts of the world, though- but search engines may tell you quite quickly where to get them ;-)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 12:11AM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

I've run up against the same problem in the past and what I did was to merely let the air pass through the open end of the tube. I was able to wedge the end of the tube at the bottom of each container. I used one small air pump per growing station.

The pumps are about $5 and last about a year each. You have to be certain the pump is ABOVE the water level though, or it'll suck water back into the reed valves and ruin itself.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 11:56AM
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I ended up buy a 950 GPH pump that should be more than enough. Also ordered 50 barbed T's (for $9.00 - delivered). My plan is to run four lines from the pump and then run the air in-line from one bucket to another. I plan on mounting the pump on a shelf on a wall, well above the buckets. One thing I don't need is a 7.4 pound paperweight!


    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 4:44PM
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