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best way to make bubbles in a fish tank

Best Way To Make Bubbles in a Fish Tank

Are you looking for the best way to make bubbles in a fish tank? in this keeping fish article, we will take a look at some different methods for oxygenating the water in a fish tank which is good for fish and can be fun for fish keepers too.

What is a Fish Tank Bubbler?

A bubbler is an accessory that can be connected to a fish tank air pump with rubber air pipes, the air pipes carry the air from the pump, the air then goes through a bubbler which is designed to spread the airflow creating a bubble effect in the aquarium plus oxygenating the water which is vital for the fish.

Some images and products shown in this article are affiliate links, we may earn a small commission, we hope you find the information useful.

Types of Bubble Making Accessories for a Fish Tank

There are different types of accessories that can be used for oxygenating the fish tank lets take a look at some different examples that are perfect for a home aquarium.

Air Stone Cylinder

The air stone cylinder is a great bubble-making accessory, the cylinder is weighted so it will sit on the bottom of the fish tank comfortably and provide a lovely display of bubbles in the aquarium, this type of bubbler looks great behind plants and is placed at the rear of the aquarium.

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Air Stone Diffusers

Airstone diffusers are very similar to the air stone cylinder, basically a smaller version, these can be connected to multiple airlines and placed in different parts of the fish tank to create fantastic effects such as bubbles from rocks, place one inside a hollow log or aquarium decoration to see the bubbles rise out of the top.

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AirStone Disc

The Airstone disc is a flat round disc that can be placed at the bottom of a fish tank, this type of bubbler usually attaches to the glass at the bottom of the fish tank with sucker cups to stop it from moving, then substrate or gravel is placed around it, a great burst of bubbles will be displayed which fish really like to swim through.

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Airstone Bubble Tube

The airstone bubble tube is a great bubbler if you want to create a long effect of bubbles across the back of the aquarium, once again this type of bubbler is fixed using sucker cups but can be attached to the rear glass panel of the aquarium.

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What Do I Need To Make an Aquarium Bubbler Work?

The process is quite simple to get air to an air bubbler in a fish tank, lets take a look at the different stages of setup to make it all work.

1. The Air Pump

The size of your aquarium will determine what size air pump will be required to achieve the best bubble results for your fish tank, most air pumps will state what size tank they are for.

Here is an example of a typical Fish Tank Air Pump

HiTop Aquarium Air Pump

This air pump has dual outlets allowing you to connect to 2 bubblers, some pumps have one outlet, and others can have four outlets to make lots of bubbles in an aquarium, not too many though after all its an aquarium and not a jacuzzi!

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2. Air Pipes and Splitters for Fish Tank Bubbler

The number of pipes you need will depend on how many bubblers you want to put into the fish tank, it is possible to connect the air pipe from the pump to a splitter which will then give you lots of options for connecting to your fish tank bubblers.

This air pipe splitter for an aquarium allows you to connect a single pipe from your air pump then take 4 pipes from it to 4 bubblers, you can get different splitters such as a 2 way, 4 way, or 6 way splitter so that you can achieve what you want to create easily in the aquarium.

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The airline itself is simply rubber tubing that connects everything together, this example shows a great little set that includes the air pipe, and lots of useful connectors so that you can direct the pipework more neatly throughout the aquarium.

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Protecting the Bubbler Air Pump

When using a fish tank air pump it is important to protect it from any water that could run back down the pipes when the pump is turned off for aquarium maintenance etc. A device is called an air pump non-return valve or check valve.

What this valve does, is only allows liquid to flow one way which means that any water that should enter the pipework will not get past the valve that could risk damaging your air pump.

Non Return Valve

This example is a set of 6 non-return valves which when connected to your rubber pipework will ensure the water will not get past them and flow down to the fish tank air pump.

Most fish keepers position these non-return valves at the back of the aquarium near to the top so that they are out of sight.

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Last update on 2024-03-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why Do Fish Need Oxygen?

Fish need oxygen to survive but unlike animals that live on the land, they do not have lungs to intake oxygen, they have gills, a fish’s gills absorb oxygen from the water, and through the gill filaments, the oxygen is distributed into the fishes bloodstream.

A fish’s heart similar to land animals will pump the blood around a fish’s body distributing the oxygen.

What Happens If a Fish Has Low Oxygen?

The symptoms of a fish with a low oxygen intake are that the fish will be lethargic, it will swim more slowly, the fish’s gill movements will be rapid as they fight to intake more oxygen from the water. When a fish has low oxygen levels they are effectively tired, they will not eat properly due to low energy levels and they can become seriously ill or even die.

Connecting an air pump to aquarium bubblers to oxygenate the water

One of the most important things you can do to ensure the health of your fish is to oxygenate the water. An air pump is a great way to do this, and aquarium bubblers are an easy way to connect the air pump to your tank.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Choose an air pump – there are different types and sizes of air pumps and choosing one will depend on the size of your fish tank and the number of bubblers you plan to use.

2. Connect the air pump to the bubblers – most air pumps will have tubing that can be connected to the bubbler. Make sure there is a good seal so that all of the air goes into the bubbler and not into the tank.

3. Place the bubbler in the tank – bubblers should be placed near the bottom of the tank so that the bubbles have time to rise and oxygenate the water.

4. attach the tube from the air pump to the inside of the fish tank with tube clips to keep them neat and tidy.

5. Turn on the air pump – once everything is connected, you can turn on the air pump and watch the bubbler oxygenate the water.


In conclusion, Bubblers are a great way of oxygenating an aquarium providing vital oxygen in the water that fish need to be healthy.

Bubblers come in different shapes and sizes and you can add more than one to a fish tank.

A non-return valve is a safety device that protects the fish tank’s air pump from any damage.

Thank you for reading this article “Best Way to make bubbles in a fish tank” we hope you enjoyed it and it helped you to set up your next bubbler in an aquarium.

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