Best Aquarium Air Stone: Guide to Fish Tank Bubblers

aquarium air stone

What is an Aquarium Air Stone?

An Aquarium Air Stone, also known as a fish tank bubbler or an air stone bubbler, is a piece of aquarium hardware that may be very crucial to some setups. An air stone can be very beneficial in some tanks. The main purpose of an air stone for fish tanks is to diffuse air into the water of your tank. Air Stone Bubblers can also create water resistance, greatly benefiting muscle development and fish growth. Typically, aquarium air stones are made from porous stones or lime wood. These materials distribute air softly and quietly, which avoids larger air bubbles sometimes seen in tanks. This is why they are sometimes known as aquarium air diffusers.

Aquarium Air Stones operate pretty simply. They create tiny, oxygen-filled bubbles. These oxygen-filled bubbles created by the Air stones serve several different purposes. Obviously, the oxygen-filled bubbles raise the level of oxygen in your tank. In addition to increasing the oxygen level, these bubbles also help circulate the water in the tank. The bubbles do this by lifting different layers of the tank’s water to the top of the tank. Circulating the water in your tank is also very useful because some species kept in tanks produce different types of gasses, the oxygen-filled bubbles created by an Aquarium Air Stone help circulate other gasses out of the tank.

An Aquarium Air Stone can be very beneficial when setting up a tank. While not every tank needs an Air Stone, you should research the needs of the fish in your tank and see if one is a good option for you. Working in conjunction with aquarium air pumps, air stones can help ensure that your tank and the species living in it are in the best condition possible. They do this by providing your tank with oxygen-filled bubbles at all levels. This is especially useful for the bottom of your tank. Many fish are bottom-feeders or prefer the bottom of the tank. Fish on the bottom level of the tank can sometimes have issues with getting the oxygen they need; this is because the bottom of the tank lacks oxygen due to the other gases that are emitted by some species. An aerator for a fish tank can help with this by circulating the water in the tank using their bubbles. They circulate the gases that occupy the bottom of the tank up to the surface. Circulating the water in the tank can also prevent a toxic building in the bottom layers of the tank and prevent the water from getting cloudy.

Another great benefit of having an airstone in your tank is that it can help keep your fish healthy and in great shape. Since an Aquarium Air Stone creates bubbles in the tank, those bubbles can create resistance for some of the fish in your tank. Swimming against the bubbles is a great exercise and can help create healthy and strong muscles. This is especially useful in smaller tanks where a fish won’t have as much room to swim. There are many great benefits to having an Aquarium Air Stone in your tank; it can help keep your fish both happy and healthy.

aquarium air stone

What is the best Aquarium Air Stone?

If you’re planning on adding an airstone to your tank, chances are you want the best one. However, finding the best one depends on the parameters of your tank. The size of your tank plays a key factor in deciding what type of airstone would best fit your tank. Obviously, a larger tank would need an airstone that can provide more oxygen to the tank. You also need to research the oxygen requirements for the fish in your tank. In the following sections, we will provide you with our opinion on the best aquarium Air stone for every tank size; perhaps you’ll find the perfect aqua stone for your tank and your needs.

Best Small Air Stone for 20-Gallon Tanks and Below

Selecting the best air stone for your tank may not be as easy as you first expect. A small tank, those that are 20 gallons and smaller, may not require that large or powerful of an air stone. There are also different shapes that you must consider. The shape of the air stone can affect how many bubbles it produces. Cylindrical shapes seem to be the most popular; they easily fit anywhere in the tank. Air stones can come in other shapes, such as discs, cubes, or globe shapes. A disc-shaped air stone traditionally stays steady at the bottom of the tank. A globe-shaped airstone produces more bubbles than other shapes because it has more surface areas. Keep in mind that air stones do not work alone; they must be used with an air pump. Also, the effectiveness of the air stone is tied directly to the air pump that it is used in conjunction with. Small bubblers for fish tanks are very important, and you should strongly consider adding one to your tank.

Pawfly Air Stone

The Pawfly Air Stone may just be the perfect choice for your tank setup. These unique blue cylinders are an inch in height, and their diameter is 0.6 inches. They have a distinctive blue color that will likely just blend into your tank’s water. While it is not disclosed what the Pawfly air stone is made out of, they claim it is a reliable mineral material and built solidly. They also boast the claim that this unknown mineral material will not cause any harm to the fish in your tank. After soaking your Pawfly for at least an hour, it is ready to use in your tank. This small air stone is designed for smaller tanks; it needs to be connected to an air pump whose power falls between 2W and 4W. Any pumps more powerful than that would be too strong for the Pawfly Air Stone, causing it to only create bubbles at the front. Meaning that smaller air stones work better with smaller pumps, while larger air stones need larger pumps to work to their full potential.

Pawfly seemingly intentionally used a cylindrical shape because they are said to be one of the best shapes for Air Stones. The cylindrical shape of the Pawfly Air Stone claims to produce a great amount of dense, oxygen-rich bubbles at a jetting volume of 0.8 L/min. You need to use 3/16 inch tubing with the Pawfly Air Stone. Some people have been to known to use their Pawfly Air Stone inside of a volcano. You can also purchase a dedicated Volcano Bubbler for your fish tank.

When purchasing anything, it is especially smart and prudent to weigh the pros and cons of the item. One of the biggest pros of the Pawfly air stone is its price point. The Pawfly Air Stone retails for $7.99 for a pack of 12. That’s around 66 cents per air stone, which is a great value. The 12-pack of Pawfly Air Stones is frequently on sale for $5.99, which drops the price for a single air stone to just around 50 cents, an even better deal. The ease of use of the Pawfly Air stone is also very important to note, you can take it out of the box, soak it for at least an hour, and it’s ready to use. It is worth noting that some consumers have had issues with the Pawfly Air Stone breaking immediately on use. This was likely caused by a lack of pre-soaking of the air stone. Some other consumers have reported that the Air Stones clog quite easily, while others have complained of a chemical smell on the air stone.

The Pawfiy Air Stone is a great choice for a small bubbler for your fish tanks. Most issues can be solved with a quick cleaning. Any additional problems that may arise are easily solved by replacing the air stone, which is easy because they only come in packs of 12. While the cons of the Pawfly Air Stone may outweigh the pros, you can simply not underestimate its affordability. The price point may just help you overlook some of the potential cons. But not everyone has issues with these Air Stones; the majority of people don’t. Out of over 1500 reviews, the Pawfly Air Stone has a rating of 4.6 stars, which is fantastic.

Pros and Cons of the Pawfly Air Stone
AffordableMade of an unknown material
Easy to cleanPotential Quality Control Issues
Sold in Packs of 12Easily Clogged
Ease of Use, nearly ready out of the box.Chemical Smell.

Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua

Ziss claims that their adjustable, never-clog air stones are the best that money can buy. While they boast that their air stone will never clog, even if it does, they’ve planned for that. The Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua was designed to be taken apart if necessary. They were even designed to fit perfectly inside of sponge filters, creating a sponge filter air stone. If your air stone clogs, you can easily take it apart and clean the discs inside of it. Normal ceramic air stones need to be replaced every few months because they clog and can never be completely cleaned out. That isn’t an issue with the Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua. Because it never clogs, you shouldn’t need to replace it. Install it once, and you can forget about it. For just $2.49, the Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua is a wonderful choice for every tank smaller than 20 gallons. Once you add it to your tank, you may even forget that it’s there.

One of the most interesting parts of the Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua is that it is adjustable. You simply adjust the discs to change the size of the bubbles that it produces. If you tighten the discs in your air stone, it will cause the bubbles that it makes to be finer. Typically, finer bubbles are better for your water because they have a better lift for sponge filters and tend to create better oxygenation of the water. These fine bubbles will put more stress and restriction on your air pump, which may not bode well for its longevity. Loosening the discs in your Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua will cause it to create larger bubbles. If you don’t want to worry about using large suction cups to keep your Air Stone in place, then the Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua is the perfect Air Stone for you. Ziss claims that their air stone is weighted, meaning that it will sink to the bottom of the tank instead of floating. The fact that it sinks, combined with its dark color, indicates that it’ll blend in perfectly in tanks with a darker substrate. The reviews of the Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua are nearly flawless. They have a 4.88-star rating out of over 1000 reviews on

Pros and Cons are a great way to determine if something is a good purchase. The pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to the Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua. As the name states, it never clogs, meaning that you should never need to buy another air stone, a huge pro. Another pro is that their intelligent design has planned for the rare event that it may clog. It can be taken apart to be cleaned and clear out any clogs. One potential con is that the interior fittings are made from metal. This means that it may rust in a saltwater tank. The Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua has a unique design that allows you to dictate the size of the bubbles it produces. You create bubbles that fit the needs of your tank and the location your tank is in. Being able to change the size of the bubbles can help with noise pollution. While it is said to be weighted, few consumer reviews have stated it still floats in their tank, which is unfortunate. If properly weighted, the dark color of the Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua helps its camouflage in many tanks. While $2.49 may seem incredibly cheap, and it is, it is still more expensive than other options. $2.49 for a single air stone is a bit pricey compared to some other brands where you can get a 12-pack of air stones for just around $5.

Pros and Cons of the Never Clog Air Stone by Ziss Aqua
Never Clogs, as their name claims.Metal Fittings may rust in Salt Water
Adjustable design lets you control bubble sizeDespite being weighed, it may rise.
Easy to take apart to clean.More expensive than other options.
Weighted, meaning it should sink in your tank. 
Black Color, which makes it easier to hide. 

Best Medium Air Stone for 20 to 55 Gallon Tanks

Hygger Air Stone

If you want a unique air stone that can be a centerpiece of your tank, then look no further than the Hygger Air Stone. This gorgeous air stone comes in two sizes, either 2 inches in diameter or 4 inches. Keep in mind that the air stone will be slightly bigger as the measurement does include the plastic casing around the rim of the air stone. Both options are a rich white color that will stand out in any tank. Hygger claims that their air stone is made from high-quality brown alumina and white alundum, which was fired at a temperature of over 1300 degrees Celcius. This process creates an extremely smooth air stone that is not rough to the touch like other options. It also likely has an influence on the bubbles these round air stones create. It is known for creating a stream of fine oxygen bubbles; smaller bubbles generate less noise, which makes them a perfect choice for quiet tanks. Weighing in at just under a pound, 15.2 ounces to be precise,  the Hygger Air Stone should sit perfectly on the bottom of your tank. Remember that the deeper you have your air stone, the more powerful a pump needs to be to work with it.

The 4-inch Hygger Air Stone sells for under $25, which may seem astronomical compared to other options. The $25 price point is justified by the fact that it comes with many other things. In the Hygger Air Stone package, you get a control valve, a check valve, 2 suction cups, a tee connecter, and a reducer that lets you connect 4mm air line tubing to 8mm airline tubing. You can use all the things included in the package to help control the size of the bubbles. The 2-inch Hygger Air Stone can be powered by an air pump that is 2W or stronger, while the 4-inch one needs an air pump that is at least 4W in strength. Hygger claims that the air stone is easy to clean and that it produces a strong filtration for your tank. Cleaning air stones is very important because they can easily get clogged.

Without a doubt, the biggest con for most people about the Hygger Air Stone is the price. Other air stones cost just a fraction of that of the Hygger Air Stone. So why should you pick the Hygger Air Stone? Simply put, because the pros outweigh the cons. The Hygger Air Stone has many useful things in the box, such as a control valve and suction cups. While suction cups may not be necessary, thanks to the weight of the air stone, they are still included should you want to use them. Another pro is that you can use the items that the air stone comes with to help regulate and control the size of the bubbles. Despite everything included with the Hygger Air Stone, you’ll still need your own tubing and air pump. With a 3-year life span, the gorgeous white air stone will be a focal point of your tank for years. Or will it? Many consumers have reported that their white airstones have turned green after being covered in algae after just a few weeks. Despite numerous attempts at cleaning the air stone, they are unable to get the green algae off.

Pros and Cons of the Hygger Air Stone
Control ValveTends to Attract Algae
Despite not needing them includes Suction cups.Takes time to fully bubble.
Lifespan up to 3 yearsNeeds additional tubes
White Color looks great in most tanksHard to clean
Adjustable bubble sizeHigh Price

Best Large Air Stone for 55 Gallon Tanks or Larger


If you have a large tank, chances are that you need an air stone to help oxygenate the water. The NEPTONION Air Stone is the perfect choice for large tanks. NEPTONION claims their air stone is made from non-toxic materials, meaning that they should be safe for all the species in your tank. They sell different sized air stones; one is 2 inches in diameter, the other 4 inches. The 2-inch-sized air stone weighs 5.2 ounces, which should be heavy enough to keep it on the bottom of your tank. If your tank is very deep, you may need a more powerful air pump. On average, the NEPTONION Air Stone should be able to be used with air pumps 2W in strength and higher.

The NEPTONION Air Stone can be used with tubing that is either 4mm or 8mm; it also comes included with a regular valve, as well as a one-way valve and suction cups. The suction cups are used to keep air line tubing along the side of the tank instead of floating in the middle. Unfortunately, the NEPTONION Air Stone does not come with any tubing, meaning that you will need to purchase that separately. Having to buy additional components is a shame since the air stone is already a bit pricey, selling for just under $18.

The disc-shaped design of the NEPTONION Air Stone is a pro, as the shape helps create more optimal bubbles. The heavy weight of the air stone is another pro, meaning that you won’t need to purchase anything else to help keep it in the bottom of your tank. A con is that you must buy additional tubing to use your NEPTONION Air Stone. Despite the price point, some consumers have said their NEPTONION Air Stone clogs quite easily and sometimes doesn’t even fully bubble. Another commonly noted issue in reveiws is that the NEPTONION Air Stone needs a more powerful air pump than NEPTONION recommends. The NEPTONION Air Stone is also made of safe, non-toxic materials and is somewhat more affordable than other options. If you need a great air pump for your large tank, the NEPTONION Air Stone is a great option for you.

Pros and Cons of the NEPTONION Air Stone
Disc-Shape is great for bubblesTends to clog quickly
Heavy, should rest on the bottom of the tank.Needs additional tubing
Somewhat affordableSometimes doesn’t fully work
Made of safe and non-toxic materialsNeeds a more powerful pump than recommended

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