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Air stones and the noise they make

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Air stones and the noise they make Empty Air stones and the noise they make

Post by Sandman1969 on Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:00 pm

Is the noise from the stones or the bubble walls ok for fish or is it too loud? In the tank seems kinda loud when I put my ear against the side.

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Air stones and the noise they make Empty Re: Air stones and the noise they make

Post by alexmtl on Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:26 am

Hi Sandman1969,

That is an interesting question. The sound is generated by the diaphragm air pump. The pump works through magnets, which fluctuate the current to create continuous vibration of a rubber membrane to compress air into the tubing. If you believe that the sound or vibration is causing some grief to fish in the aquariums you can try the following:

1. Put pump onto a dampening platform, like a cloth bag of sand. The sand will dampen the vibrations of the pump.
2. Put a dampening bag on top of the plastic tubing to reduce the vibration transmission emitted by the pump through the hoses.
3. Reduce the contact points of the hoses with the aquarium as much as possible.
4. Use a low power setting on the pump. Often the higher volume levels create backflow resistance which cause the pump to vibrate.
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Air stones and the noise they make Empty Re: Air stones and the noise they make

Post by Sandman1969 on Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:24 pm

I am talking about the stone itself though. The hose only touches maybe an 8th of a centimetre of the top of the tank as the hose comes out and the pump was above the water level.

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Post by alexmtl on Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:01 am

Thinking more about this question fish do not hear as humans do. They have lateral lines which sense vibration and movement. Some fish have developed whiskers and appendages for smell and even some, electricity. There is some controversy over the vibrations caused by motor boats and large ships, and the "noise" from sonar in disrupting marine life.

My guess is that if the fish are not in distress there should not be a concern. If they are breeding it is a good sign that the airstone is not disturbing them.
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Air stones and the noise they make Empty Re: Air stones and the noise they make

Post by jjohnwm on Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:54 pm

Earlier this summer I bit the bullet and got a large central airpump made by HiBlow to service all my tanks, along with all the PVC pipe, cement, screw-in air valves and other paraphernalia required to create my own DIY air manifold. Once all the drilling, cutting, gluing and cursing was done, I had a nice neat little set-up. The manifold itself is screwed to a plywood sheet mounted above one of the centrally-located tanks; individual lines radiate out to all corners of the room as well as through a couple of cunningly located holes in the floor/ceiling above that allow me to feed my two smallish upstairs tanks from the basement system. I even have a couple of lines leading through yet another hole in the foundation wall to large sponge filters in my outdoor stock tanks. It's all run off the HiBlow, which sits on the top level of a metal shelving unit in the basement.

Now here's the interesting part: when I first connected that powerful air pump and plugged it in, I actually thought it was defective; it ran so quietly it fooled me. But, upon casually leaning against the rack one day and resting my head against the metal, I was shocked at the train-like sound volume transmitted through the metal and into my skull. I immediately placed the pump onto a pad of styrofoam, and the train went away. Most surprisingly, the fish showed no reaction either to the sound/vibration when it was present, or to its sudden cessation.

I have also, in the interest of science, dunked my entire head under the water in a large tank with loud music playing in the room. It was very easily heard, even upside-down and submerged.

I would also think that if an airstone made enough noise to bother fish, we would not be seeing and catching fish near white water rapids in streams; the water pounding over those rocks would be deafening by comparison...but it doesn't seem to be a problem.
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Air stones and the noise they make Empty Re: Air stones and the noise they make

Post by alexmtl on Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:46 pm

@jjohnwm wrote:Earlier this summer I bit the bullet and got a large central airpump made by HiBlow to service all my tanks, in the interest of science, dunked my entire head under the water in a large tank with loud music playing in the room.  It was very easily heard, even upside-down and submerged.

I would also think that if an airstone made enough noise to bother fish, we would not be seeing and catching fish near white water rapids in streams; the water pounding over those rocks would be deafening by comparison...but it doesn't seem to be a problem.

One step forward in the name of science. Thanks @jjohnwm for the sacrifice of your head
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