Best Aquarium Air Stones Keep Your Tank Water Circulating and Oxygenated (Guide & Reviews)

The best air stones will help oxygenate your aquarium, improve water circulation, and help create a healthy environment for your aquatic buddies.

The bubbles are also fun.

In this guide, I’ll run you through a few benefits of adding an air stone, and then I’ll share with you reviews for the aquarium best air stones.

Product Overview Table for Aquarium Air Stones

PreviewProductPrice
JZMYXA Air Stones Bubble Stones Fit for Aquarium Fish Tank, 0.98 inch, 10 Pieces JZMYXA Air Stones Bubble Stones Fit for Aquarium Fish Tank, 0.98 inch, 10 Pieces $5.65
Pawfly 1 Inch Air Stones Cylinder 12 PCS Bubble Diffuser Airstones for Aquarium Fish Tank Pump Blue Pawfly 1 Inch Air Stones Cylinder 12 PCS Bubble Diffuser Airstones for Aquarium Fish Tank Pump Blue $5.99
EcoPlus Round Air Stone, Large EcoPlus Round Air Stone, Large $11.59
uxcell Black Mineral Bubble Air Stone Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Pond Pump uxcell Black Mineral Bubble Air Stone Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Pond Pump
Pawfly 2.4 Inch Air Stone Bubble Mineral Ball Shaped Airstones Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Hydroponics Pump Pawfly 2.4 Inch Air Stone Bubble Mineral Ball Shaped Airstones Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank... $9.99 $6.98
YOOTOP 10' Long Aquarium Air Stone Bubble Bar Pack of 5 YOOTOP 10" Long Aquarium Air Stone Bubble Bar Pack of 5 $11.99
Hygger Aquarium Air Stone, Fish Tank Bubbler, Nano Furnace Flue Round Stone Disk, Small Bubbles and High Dissolved Oxygen for Hydroponics, with 2 Suction Cups, 1 Adjust Valve, 1 Check Valve (2 Inch) Hygger Aquarium Air Stone, Fish Tank Bubbler, Nano Furnace Flue Round Stone Disk, Small Bubbles and... $29.99 $17.99

Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Benefits of Using an Air Stone in Your Aquarium

So, do you absolutely need an airstone for your aquarium?

The short answer?

Nope, you can probably get along without one.

But, they do have a lot of benefits:

  • Increased water circulation in the tank. This cuts down on dead spots which helps fight things like blue green algae.
  • Increased oxygen levels in the water. Always a good thing.
  • Just plain looks cool.

OK that last one maybe isn’t the most scientific reason to add an air stone, but it’s still true.

I really like the look of bubbles from an air stone. I like it so much that I have at least one air stone in all of my tanks.

Anything that looks cool and helps make the tank healthier is a winner in my book.

Pro Tip: Always place an aquarium check valve on your airline tubing somewhere in between your air stone and your air pump.

This will prevent water from back flowing into your pump and ruining it if the power goes out or the pump gets unplugged.

uxcell Fish Tank Aquarium Red Clear Plastic Air Pump Check Valves 5 Pcs
uxcell Fish Tank Aquarium Red Clear Plastic Air Pump Check Valves 5 Pcs

    Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    7 Best Air Stones for Aquariums Reviewed

    Use the following reviews to help guide you to making an informed buying decison:

    1. JZMYXA Air Stones

    Key Features:

    • Diffuses air into tiny bubbles
    • Good for small tanks that are 5 gallons (19 liters) or under
    • Best kind of airstone to use for sponge filters
    • Made from a small plastic intake tube and a slim cylinder of compressed ceramic or stone

    These small air diffusers are the most basic kind of air stones. They break up the big bubbles that come out of the airline into much smaller, finer bubbles.

    Air diffusers work great on their own as airstones for smaller tanks with less powerful air pumps.

    In my experience, these are the best kind of air stones to use inside sponge filters. Since these diffusers are slimmer, they fit better inside the lift tube.

    And since they produce such fine bubbles, they provide even more lift and flow through the sponge.

    These are also the greatest if you have bubbling decor and need to hide the airstone. I used to have several dragon decorations and bubbles were supposed to come out of their mouths.

    The problem was, they came with regular 1 inch air stones that were too big and just didn’t work right. I replaced them with these air diffusers and they worked like a charm the whole time I had the decorations in my tank.

    If you’re going to use them as just an air stone in your tank, you will need to secure them with suction cups to the side of the tank.

    Otherwise, they’re way too light on their own and they’ll just float to the top of the tank when air is pumped through them.

    And they’re not the coolest looking air stones out there when used by themselves. They’re just a basic bubbler at the end of the airline.

    Pros:

    • Creates a fine cloud of bubbles
    • The best kind of air stone for sponge filters
    • Great for smaller tanks

    Cons:

    • Needs to be secured or it will float to the top
    • Not the most attractive air stone out there
    JZMYXA Air Stones Bubble Stones Fit for Aquarium Fish Tank, 0.98 inch, 10 Pieces
    JZMYXA Air Stones Bubble Stones Fit for Aquarium Fish Tank, 0.98 inch, 10 Pieces

      Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      2. Pawfly Air Stones

      Key Features:

      • Diffuses air into small bubbles that aren’t as fine as those from an air diffuser
      • Made from a small plastic intake tube and a cylinder of compressed ceramic or stone

      This style of airstone is the most common kind that you’ll see in fish tanks. In fact, I’ve got these in two of my tanks right now.

      They’re not the fanciest air stones, but they definitely get the job done.

      You do have to secure these with suction cups or they will float to the top once you turn on the air pump.

      You can use these in sponge filters if you need too, but they’re not the best. They put out larger bubbles than air diffusers, so they don’t create as much lift.

      Pros:

      • Simple air stone that is readily available and cheap

      Cons:

      • Has to be secured or it will float to the top of the tank
      • Not that interesting a design to look at
      Pawfly 1 Inch Air Stones Cylinder 12 PCS Bubble Diffuser Airstones for Aquarium Fish Tank Pump Blue
      Pawfly 1 Inch Air Stones Cylinder 12 PCS Bubble Diffuser Airstones for Aquarium Fish Tank Pump Blue

        Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        3. EcoPlus Round Air Stone

        Key Features:

        • Large air stone that puts off finer bubbles
        • Does not need to be secured, will not float

        This air stone really looks different from everything else out on the market. Instead of being round or disk shaped, it looks like a dome with a flat bottom.

        I like this because you can place it anywhere in the tank and it will just rest along the bottom.

        And it’s heavy, so there’s no need to attach it with suction cups or try to weigh it down.

        I’ve tried several of the disk shaped air stones and they all have to be attached to the bottom with suction cups.

        That means you have to dig out a section of gravel and stick the suction cups to the bottom glass of the tank.

        This is a huge pain as far as I’m concerned.

        I think the dome shape of this Pawfly Mineral Ball is a better design since you don’t have to attach it it anything. You can just place this stone on the gravel wherever you want it.

        And the intake is on top of the dome, right in the center. So the hose won’t get a kink in it like it will from stones where the intake sticks out of the side.

        It does take a fairly powerful air pump to run this stone, so it may not be best for smaller setups.

        Pros:

        • Can be placed on the bottom with no attachments
        • Puts out a large column of fine bubbles
        • Easy to position in the aquarium

        Cons:

        • Needs a powerful air pump
        • Not meant for smaller tanks
        EcoPlus Round Air Stone, Large
        EcoPlus Round Air Stone, Large

          Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          4. Uxcell Black Mineral Air Stone (Best for 20g + Tanks with High Flow Air Pumps)

          Key Features:

          • Weighted plastic ends that help keep stone in place
          • Meant for high flow air pumps
          • Puts out a large cloud of super fine bubbles

          Uxcell makes several models of weighted air stones, ranging from 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) up to 8.5 inches (22 centimeters).

          These really are meant for larger tanks with air pumps rated for at least 40 gallons (150 liters). Smaller pumps might not even be able to get this to bubble at all.

          And trying to run one of these in a smaller tank would be a disaster. The tank would be nothing but bubbles! So I really wouldn’t put this in anything smaller than a 20 gallon (75 liter).

          I have one of these in my planted tank and I really love it. I like that wherever I put it, the stone just stays there. I don’t have to worry about extra suction cups or trying to weigh it down with rocks.

          I just put it where I want it, hook up the pump and it’s good to go.

          And it puts out a crazy amount of bubbles. I know that’s not terribly scientific, but believe me, you’ll be impressed by the cloud of tiny bubbles that fizzes out of this stone.

          Pros:

          • Super fine bubbles really help to aerate tank
          • Can handle the flow of larger, more powerful air pumps
          • Weights keep air stone in place

          Cons:

          • Not meant for smaller tanks
          • Weaker air pumps will not be able to produce bubbles
          uxcell Black Mineral Bubble Air Stone Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Pond Pump
          uxcell Black Mineral Bubble Air Stone Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Pond Pump

            Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            5. Pawfly 2.4″ Mineral Ball Air Stone

            Key features:

            • Dome-shaped air stone with a flat bottom
            • Heavy enough that you don’t have to attach it to anything
            • Large surface area puts out a big column of bubbles

            This air stone really looks different from everything else out on the market. Instead of being round or disk shaped, it looks like a dome with a flat bottom.

            I like this because you can place it anywhere in the tank and it will just rest along the bottom.

            And it’s heavy, so there’s no need to attach it with suction cups or try to weigh it down.

            I’ve tried several of the disk shaped air stones and they all have to be attached to the bottom with suction cups.

            That means you have to dig out a section of gravel and stick the suction cups to the bottom glass of the tank.

            This is a huge pain as far as I’m concerned.

            I think the dome shape of this Pawfly Mineral Ball is a better design since you don’t have to attach it it anything. You can just place this stone on the gravel wherever you want it.

            And the intake is on top of the dome, right in the center. So the hose won’t get a kink in it like it will from stones where the intake sticks out of the side.

            It does take a fairly powerful air pump to run this stone, so it may not be best for smaller setups.

            Pros:

            • Can be placed on the bottom with no attachments
            • Puts out a large column of fine bubbles
            • Easy to position in the aquarium

            Cons:

            • Needs a powerful air pump
            • Not meant for smaller tanks
            Sale
            Pawfly 2.4 Inch Air Stone Bubble Mineral Ball Shaped Airstones Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Hydroponics Pump
            Pawfly 2.4 Inch Air Stone Bubble Mineral Ball Shaped Airstones Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Hydroponics Pump

              Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              6. Yootop Aquarium Air Stone Bar

              Key features:

              • Long bar-shaped air stone
              • Creates a curtain of bubbles instead of just a column

              This air stone comes in a long bar shape so that bubbles come out in a long line instead of from a central point.

              This creates a “curtain” of bubbles that make a great backdrop for your tank. It also moves water along a bigger area than just a single bubble stone.

              I like these because there is a plastic frame around the compressed stone. I’ve used stones with no frame before and they have a tendency to snap really easily.

              The plastic frame on this model makes it a bit tougher.

              One thing about these long, skinny air stones: your air pump has to be powerful enough to get the entire bar to produce bubbles.

              Even with a strong pump, the entire bar may not put out bubbles evenly. I’ve had that happen with multiple different brands and air pumps.

              Pros:

              • Creates a curtain of bubbles that is really pretty
              • Moves water along a larger surface area than other stones
              • More sturdy than bars with no plastic frame

              Cons:

              • Requires a pump powerful enough to push air through the whole bar
              • May not put out bubbles evenly
              YOOTOP 10' Long Aquarium Air Stone Bubble Bar Pack of 5
              YOOTOP 10" Long Aquarium Air Stone Bubble Bar Pack of 5

                Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                7. Hygger Aquarium Air Stone (Top Pick for Best Air Stone)

                Key Features:

                • Design is a big improvement over most disk-shaped air stones
                • Puts out a huge plume of ultra fine bubbles
                • 90° intake
                • Weighted for easy placement

                I really like the design of these air stones.

                It’s basically a big disk-shaped air stone that’s attached to a weighted base. The base keeps the air stone from moving around so there’s no need to attach it to the bottom or the side of the tank.

                Just place it where you want it and move it around any time you want.

                The intake that the airline attaches to sticks up at a 90° angle from the bottom instead of coming out of the side of the air stone.

                I’ve used disks where the intake was on the side and the airline would always end up getting kinked and not work right.

                So this updated design with the intake on top is really great.

                It comes in a 2 inch (5 centimeter) or 4 inch (10 centimeter) size which is great for different sized tanks.

                And it comes in multiple colors to match different color schemes.

                Pros:

                • Weighted base lets you place anywhere in the tank
                • Good choice for large and small tanks
                • Intake placement helps prevent airline kinks

                Cons:

                • Can’t really think of any!
                Sale
                Hygger Aquarium Air Stone, Fish Tank Bubbler, Nano Furnace Flue Round Stone Disk, Small Bubbles and High Dissolved Oxygen for Hydroponics, with 2 Suction Cups, 1 Adjust Valve, 1 Check Valve (2 Inch)
                Hygger Aquarium Air Stone, Fish Tank Bubbler, Nano Furnace Flue Round Stone Disk, Small Bubbles and High Dissolved Oxygen for Hydroponics, with 2 Suction Cups, 1 Adjust Valve, 1 Check Valve (2 Inch)

                  Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                  Which Air Stone is the Best?

                  Which air stone is best can be a hard one to answer. Everyone’s tastes and tank setups are different.

                  It’s best to base your decisions on the size of your tank, whether or not you can attach the air stone and how powerful your pump is.

                  Maybe the stone is going to be hidden behind decor, so something like the Uxcell Mineral Stone or the EcoPlus Round can be be stuck behind some tall plants.

                  If you want something that’s more visible, maybe the Hygger Air Stone would be a better choice for you.

                  Pro Tip: Always soak an air stone in water for at least an hour before you start pumping air through it. This lets the stone get saturated with water and it will put out bubbles more evenly.

                  PreviewProductPrice
                  JZMYXA Air Stones Bubble Stones Fit for Aquarium Fish Tank, 0.98 inch, 10 Pieces JZMYXA Air Stones Bubble Stones Fit for Aquarium Fish Tank, 0.98 inch, 10 Pieces $5.65
                  Pawfly 1 Inch Air Stones Cylinder 12 PCS Bubble Diffuser Airstones for Aquarium Fish Tank Pump Blue Pawfly 1 Inch Air Stones Cylinder 12 PCS Bubble Diffuser Airstones for Aquarium Fish Tank Pump Blue $5.99
                  EcoPlus Round Air Stone, Large EcoPlus Round Air Stone, Large $11.59
                  uxcell Black Mineral Bubble Air Stone Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Pond Pump uxcell Black Mineral Bubble Air Stone Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Pond Pump
                  Pawfly 2.4 Inch Air Stone Bubble Mineral Ball Shaped Airstones Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank Hydroponics Pump Pawfly 2.4 Inch Air Stone Bubble Mineral Ball Shaped Airstones Diffuser for Aquarium Fish Tank... $9.99 $6.98
                  YOOTOP 10' Long Aquarium Air Stone Bubble Bar Pack of 5 YOOTOP 10" Long Aquarium Air Stone Bubble Bar Pack of 5 $11.99
                  Hygger Aquarium Air Stone, Fish Tank Bubbler, Nano Furnace Flue Round Stone Disk, Small Bubbles and High Dissolved Oxygen for Hydroponics, with 2 Suction Cups, 1 Adjust Valve, 1 Check Valve (2 Inch) Hygger Aquarium Air Stone, Fish Tank Bubbler, Nano Furnace Flue Round Stone Disk, Small Bubbles and... $29.99 $17.99

                  Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                  How to Clean an Air Stone?

                  Air stones tend to get clogged up with algae and other gunk over time. Once this happens, they stop putting out as many bubbles and/or the bubbles aren’t as fine.

                  Luckily, it’s pretty easy to clean them.

                  Equipment:

                  • Drinking glass
                  • Hydrogen peroxide
                  • Clean toothbrush

                  Steps:
                  1. Remove the air stone from your tank, take it off the airline tubing and turn off the pump.
                  2. Put the air stone in the drinking glass.
                  3. Pour enough hydrogen peroxide in the glass to cover it.
                  4. Let it soak for several hours.
                  5. Take the air stone out of the glass, discard the peroxide and very gently scrub the outside of the air stone with the toothbrush.
                  6. Rinse the air stone for several minutes under running water before placing it back in your tank.

                  See? Easy-peasy.

                  Pro Tip: If you have really hard water, you might want to soak the air stone in white vinegar for half an hour and give it a scrub before soaking it in peroxide. The vinegar will eat up any calcium build up on the outside of the stone.

                  Final Thoughts on Air Stones

                  There are some huge benefits to adding an air stone to your aquarium. Increased gas exchange means that there are higher levels of oxygen in your tank. This is especially important if you keep any species of fish that come from fast moving waters, like botia loaches.

                  I also really enjoy the look of an air stone bubbling away in a tank. I think the bubbles add another layer of interest.

                  There are a ton of options out there for sizes and shapes of air stones. So you should have no problem finding one that’s a good match for you and your tank.

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