Hydroponics, also known as soilless gardening, is one of the innovative ways of gardening in the present time. It has become the ideal gardening method in areas where it seems to be impossible to do gardening due to the absence of rich soil. With this, hydroponics uses water-nutrient solution to replace the function of rich soil in helping the plants grow healthily. For hydroponics enthusiasts, choosing the best type of hydroponic systems is crucial. Some of the best systems include wick system, Ebb & Flow system, deep water culture (DWC), drip method, nutrient film technique (NFT), aeroponics, Kratky method, or the combination of two or three of these systems.
In the absence of soil, hydroponics uses some working equipment like durable air pumps, best grow tents, good quality air stones, and electricity. This is to sustain and regulate the supply of air, water, and light that are necessary for the growth of the plants.
To have a successful hydroponics system, you should choose the best equipment for your soilless gardening. One hydroponics tool that you must carefully purchase is getting the best airstone for hydroponics.
Why Do You Need Airstone for Hydroponics?
Plants need enough air for their growth. Airstones are responsible for diffusing the air inside a hydroponic reservoir or tank. This air is supplied via an air pump and its tube attached to the air stone.
Even though air can still be supplied inside the reservoir or tank without the presence of airstones, gardeners still prefer to use these because it diffuses air better than air pumps. Unlike any other ordinary bubblers, air stones supply air inside hydroponic reservoir or tank quietly and efficiently. These are not only applicable for aquaponics, but also for aerogarden and for aquarium.
Best Type of Air Stones for Hydroponics DWC
Surely, there are lots of airstones for hydroponics out there in the market. But which one suits your needs? Let’s find out the different types of airstones and choose the best one that suits your standards.
1. Golf Ball Airstone
Golf ball airstone is the most common air stone used for hydroponics. As what its name suggests, it resembles the shape of a golf ball with an average diameter of 25mm. This is ideal for small hydroponic tanks. If your air pump supplies 1.5 to 5 liters per minute, then this type of airstone is perfect for you.
2. Ceramic Disc Airstone
The ceramic disc airstone has a flat round shape that resembles a disc. This type is durable since it is made of ceramic compounds. This one is ideal for large hydroponic tanks since it can distribute more bubbles and finer bubbles in a wide area due to its shape. If you want to give your tank an air flow of 2.5 to 10 liters per minute, then this type of airstone is perfect for you.
3. Coke Can Airstone
The coke can airstone is also known as the cylinder airstone. This one is given its name due to its shape which resembles a coke can. This type of airstone is ideal for large tanks that require an airflow of 5 to 10 liters per minute. This type offers both big and small bubbles that are distributed in an excellent range due to its unique barrel shape.
Best Place to Put Airstone
Some hydroponic gardeners are confused on which area of the hydroponic tank is the suitable one to place their airstones. The best answer for that is at the bottom. By doing so, the diffused oxygen, which is highly needed by hydroponic plants, travels in the water for a longer period, making the contact of the air and water also longer. This also gives the water a chance to circulate inside the hydroponic tanks or reservoir.
In addition, air stones placed at the deepest bottom of the hydroponic tank also ensures that the fertilizers or nutrients are well mixed in the water. As air released from the air stone moves up the surface of the tank, the fertilizers at the bottom tend to rise and mix up with the water. Never go with the idea of hanging your air stone in the middle of your tank. Yes, it will still aerate your tank, however, maximum results can be yield with airstones placed at the bottom of the tank.
Best Way To Clean Airstone
As airstones stay under the water for a long period of time, some dirt may build upon it or fertilizer debris may clog into its small holes, clogging the space and making the air unable to pass through these holes. Some hydroponic gardeners would just simply replace their old airstones with new ones. However, others would just prefer to clean and rejuvenate their airstones. The latter is what we recommend, seeing as a little cleaning won’t really hurt, right? But what is the best way of cleaning airstones? Here’s how:
- Rinse the airstone with fresh water and lightly scrub off the dirt on its surface.
- Boil the airstone for ten minutes and let it dry.
- Soak the stone in a bleach-water solution with the ratio of 1 is to 3 parts. Soak it for 24-48 hours to disinfect the stone, the cleanse and unclog its small holes.
- Afterwards, attach the tube of the air pump into the air stone. Let it run for 5 minutes in a container with fresh water. This will remove all the bleach residues in the stone.
- After 5 minutes, transfer it to the hydroponic tank or reservoir. Then, continue using it as usual.
5 Best Air stones For Hydroponics Reviews
Now that you already know the necessary information about air stones for hydroponics, let us now have the reviews for the five best airstones for hydroponics.
This airstone is considered as the best airstone for hydroponics due to its capacity to create tons of small air bubbles. This product is manufactured by Uxcell. It weighs 63 grams with a dimension of 2.3 x 2.3 x 0.6 inches. It is featured in blue color.
- This item is made of high-quality mineral stones, making it highly durable.
- This is ideal for small hydroponic and aquarium tanks.
- Its connector to the air tube has a diameter of 4.2mm or 0.17 inches.
- This airstone produces millions of small air bubbles and diffuses oxygen effectively.
- This product is not ideal for large tanks and reservoir.
- There is a tendency that the bubbles also come out of the air tube connector.
This product is the best airstone for hydroponics manufactured by Yueton. It comes in four ceramic disc air stones in one package. Each airstone has a size of 40mm x 16mm. It comes in gray color.
- This product is designed to increase the oxygen level in tanks, decreases the carbon dioxide, and raises the pH level of the water-nutrient solution.
- It produces fine bubbles quietly and efficiently.
- This item is ideal for fish ponds, tanks, and hydroponic systems.
- These air stones can be applied with a 4mm soft air tube.
- The stone material used in this product is not of high-quality. Some buyers complained that it breaks easily.
- Air leaks in the air tube connector are also reported.
This airstone is the manufactured by BubbleMac Industries, Inc. Unlike any other common airstones available in the market, this one has a rectangular shape to ensure that the air bubbles are well distributed in a wide range. It is guaranteed to be 100% glass-bonded silica diffuser. It has a dimension of 1 x 1 x 3 inches. It comes in white color.
- This product features ultra-fine pores that produce a cloudlike effect on the air bubbles that it releases.
- It is made from a high-quality stone material, making it highly durable.
- It is made in the USA and has earned the reputation of being “America’s Favorite Air Stone.”
- This airstone has an air tube connector of 3/16 inches.
- It has 100% glass-bonded silica fine pores with sizes of 25 to 80 microns that produce .5 to 2.0 mm bubbles.
- This is ideal for small to medium-sized tanks.
- It is a bit expensive as compared to other similar products.
This airstone is one of the best airstones for hydroponics manufactured by Pawfly. It features three suction cups to secure it at the bottom of the tank. It weighs 213 grams with a dimension of 3.1 x 2.2 x 1 inches. It comes in a combination of gray and black color.
- This airstone has an air flow jetting volume of 12 liters per minute and is suitable for 15.7 to 39.4-inch tank.
- This product requires a standard pressure of .01 MPa suitable for air pumps that supply 3.2 LPM to 25 LPM.
- This item fits with air tube that has a diameter of 0.16 inches/4mm.
- It features a Money-Back Guarantee service for one month after purchase (if the product doesn’t work well).
- There are some parts that do not release bubbles.
This air stone is another product manufactured by Pawfly. This features a round surface with a flat bottom. It weighs 360 grams with a height of 2.4 inches. It comes in gray color.
- This air stone is ideal for aquariums, hydroponic systems, and fish tanks.
- Its air flow has a jetting volume of 20 liters per minute.
- Its air tube connector has a diameter of .16 inches or 4 mm.
- It features a Money-Back Guarantee if the product doesn’t work.
- Some customers complained that this airstone releases some sandy or grainy debris.
- The air tube connector leaks some big air bubbles.
An airstone has become an essential tool in achieving a successful DWC hydroponics. Hydroponic plants need enough oxygen, unlike soil garden plants. With the absence of enough oxygen, hydroponic plants may not survive. Therefore, airstones should be carefully selected and should also be well taken care of. This should be replaced or cleaned regularly, especially when some dirt and algae build up on its surface or clog some of its pores.
In addition, airstones should be placed in the perfect spot inside the hydroponic tank or reservoir so that maximum results can be accomplished. It is highly recommended to place air stones at the deepest bottom of the tanks or reservoir. It is also advisable to select durable air stones since they are essential in supplying diffused oxygen into the hydroponic system. Therefore, one should choose the best airstone for hydroponics available in the market.
As for me, I recommend the Uxcell Aquarium Fish Tank Bubble Maker Blue Round Airstone. This airstone is capable of creating very small air bubbles that are very effective in diffusing oxygen in the water. This product is also very durable and affordable.
What about you? What is your best airstone for hydroponics?
Thank you so much for reading this article, and please do share this with your friends who are struggling in their search for the best airstones for their hydroponics system.
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