Have another thread going about the real problem ("cycle, cycle, where's the cycle"), but in addition to wondering if I'm killing my fish or need a new test kit, I have a simpler problem with my air stone.
Have a 10g tank and had an airstone which my nephew gave us: about 4" with 3 sides covered (kind of sitting in a plastic "trough"). My husband did the initial tank design and buried the stone under about 3/4 - 1-inch of gravel. The resulting bubbles were big and blobby and made the water surface all covered in big bubbles, plus our tiny little dwarf platys avoided those boisterous, bombarding bubbles like they were dangerous (which they probably were to those tiny guys!). I assumed that the bubbles were big because the airstone was designed that way.
So I bought a new one: also 4" but it's stone surface is the entire cyclander (no plastic covering on any side). I removed the old stone and did the best I could to bury the new one in the gravel (during a 40% water change). I filled the tank and plugged in the pump... and big, blobby bubbles again!!
But I thought I'd try moving it around a little (using the handle of the fish net, since the tank was now full) to see if that made any difference, and I pretty quickly discovered that if the stone was at the surface of the gravel, with nothing on top of it, it made lovely, fizzy, friendly, seltzer-bubbles. Yeah!
But now I'm thinking I'll go back to the 1st one so that I can put the bottom of it under the gravel and just have the top (the stone surface) level with the gravel.
So (finally) the questions are:
- for a 10 gal tank should I be using a smaller stone?
- Am I right that the stone has to be level with the surface and uncovered to work right?
- Can the stone be placed fairly close to the filter or the heater without a problem?
- Any general airstone advice would be appreciated.