Do we need air stones?

  • Thread starter woodsmaneh
  • Start date
  • Tagged users None

Do we need Air Stones?


  • Total voters
    22
  • Poll closed .
woodsmaneh

woodsmaneh

So I have been doing more research into water and air and have almost decided that air stones are the wrong way to go and water falling or water being sprayed in a stream into the surface is a better method than air stones. In my two big systems 200 gal plus I always had 2 six inch are stones running in each pod, last grows I went with one 6" air stone in each and not under the roots, just off to the side or where ever it fell. Runs were great so dong it again. So the reading I have been doing suggest that water falling ( I'll call it a water jet) on to the surface has a far greater effect and benefit than air stones, Hummmmmmmm. How did I miss that over the last few years? Any how I am thinking of what I will build to test this out. Pump and hoses looks real easy'....

You guys got any thoughts or research on this? Thanks

I think I remember a couple guys were trying this?

I called it a water jet but at this point I don't know the force need to be effective but as long as your disturbing the surface it works. Much like in the epicenter of the UC where the water is returned. I'm willing to venture you don't even need the bubbler in the epicenter because you have the return.
 
stickyfing3rs

stickyfing3rs

I haven't ran air stones in 2years, what a fuckin headache they are. I was using "water jets" like you just described, worked great. now I switched it up again and trying out venturi injectors. looking good as ever and no noise from the water falling. its a pretty much silent system now other then the one inline pump
 
UCMENOW

UCMENOW

Kind of a dead horse subject but always nice to see it resurface.

Air diffusser vs water diffussion?

Answer: Different path ways to the same destination.

Depending on the form and function of your system one may suit you better than another.

I vote for both.
 
stickyfing3rs

stickyfing3rs

Kind of a dead horse subject but always nice to see it resurface.

Air diffusser vs water diffussion?

Answer: Different path ways to the same destination.

Depending on the form and function of your system one may suit you better than another.

I vote for both.
ya not sure yet if one is better then the other, but I know I don't miss that noisy ass pump and cleaning air stones
 
woodsmaneh

woodsmaneh

I haven't ran air stones in 2years, what a fuckin headache they are. I was using "water jets" like you just described, worked great. now I switched it up again and trying out venturi injectors. looking good as ever and no noise from the water falling. its a pretty much silent system now other then the one inline pump

I did the venture route a couple years ago and found that the deeper you go the less it works, plus you would need one for each pod.

Kind of a dead horse subject but always nice to see it resurface.

Air diffusser vs water diffussion?

Answer: Different path ways to the same destination.

Depending on the form and function of your system one may suit you better than another.

I vote for both.

Well you see that's the rub air stones are not as effective as falling water, from what I have been reading. So you don't have the same result and you don't have the same oxygen level in the water.
 
All4freedumb

All4freedumb

I don't run a diffuser in my epicenter anymore, I haven't in over a year. I did away with airstones for a run and had water pumping into each bucket, from the top, like the epi but a lower volume of water. Everything went fine without airstones. The following run I kept my buckets top feed and added a airstone in each bucket. I ran the system like this for a few runs until I did a rebuild. Once I rebuilt I just went back to the original ways of the UC. If I could eliminate water needing to run through my chiller and rely solely on say a cool coil to cool my system then I would drop a cool coil in my epi and reverse the flow of my UC so I was pulling chilled water from epi and dropping it into each module. I would run a second smaller pump pulling from epi and push through manifolds reversing the flow of the UC. I know this works as I have tried it, but so does the original way, so I just decided to KISS....
 
ttystikk

ttystikk

It always struck me as funny as hell that the best oxygenated bucket in a UC is the epicentre!

I insist that my pump return line drops water into the head bucket from above the waterline. I think doing this in every tub might be a good way to get rid of airstones altogether. This would solve the issue of a lack of something in each site that turns over the water.
 
Alice D

Alice D

I think running a T out of chiller so that water returns to epi center but then a line to each module to waterfall would probably create more D.O. then air stones but only if you had a module with a lot of unrestricted volume so that waterfall can fall far and deep creating oxygen needed. The 13 gallon modules full of roots isn't going to let that waterfall create the oxygen needed this is why cch2o went with the sirstones. Just my guess. If you had 50-100 gallon modules and a few waterfalls maybe one on each side of the module would produce plenty of D.O. and no airstones would be needed. I haven't tried this yet but plan on it very soon so I'll keep everyone posted. I recently got a D.O. Meter so can compare accurately not guessing.
 
woodsmaneh

woodsmaneh

I think running a T out of chiller so that water returns to epi center but then a line to each module to waterfall would probably create more D.O. then air stones but only if you had a module with a lot of unrestricted volume so that waterfall can fall far and deep creating oxygen needed. The 13 gallon modules full of roots isn't going to let that waterfall create the oxygen needed this is why cch2o went with the sirstones. Just my guess. If you had 50-100 gallon modules and a few waterfalls maybe one on each side of the module would produce plenty of D.O. and no airstones would be needed. I haven't tried this yet but plan on it very soon so I'll keep everyone posted. I recently got a D.O. Meter so can compare accurately not guessing.


Well I thought that a 1/2 line shooting into the top would do the trick. I thought I would hook up a 500 gal mag drive and see what happens, so build a manifold with eight 1 /2 lines and put one in top of each pod aimed at the water below. You don't need much pressure so it should work.

That's cool you have a DO meter, what did you buy? I'm looking at buying a CO2, RH and temp Data logger for Christmas.
 
All4freedumb

All4freedumb

When I came down through my lid I put an elbow under my lid so when the water came out it did not hit the root zone first it came out the elbow and hit the side of the bucket creating more disturbance of the water, in return more Do. There is room above your root zone so if you shoot towards the side you can hit the bucket before your root zone.
 
twist1

twist1

Hello all. I have been designing my own DIY under current and {like many of you}, I am not sure of the need for air stones. Here is something I have been tinkering with.

I was thinking of two pumps instead of one for redundancy and better distribution. Question is: What size pumps do you think I would need? There will be 6 x 27 gallon totes, plus the epicenter.
 
View attachment No Air UC V2.2.pdf
twist1

twist1

**********************************
The results are IN!

PH 6.2
PPM 820
Measured in mg/l

DO levels at 67F:
Air stones: 8.0
Ventruri: 8.0
Water fall: 8.1
Flooming: 7.9
CapnStyle: 8.1
All at the same time: 8.2

DO levels at 78F:
Air stones: 7.2
Ventruri: 7.2
Water fall: 7.3
Flooming: 7.1
CapnStyle: 7.3
All at the same time: 7.4

I also tried adding 5ml/gal of H2O2 at the request of sky in the warm water. This raised the DO to 7.6. Still, not even close to the DO levels in cooler water. 10 hours later I checked it again, and the DO was back down to 7.4 H2O2 is not a good solution.

My hopes are crushed. I was hoping there would be a technique that would compensate for high water temps. If you have warm water, can you add more air to compensate? Nope. Take a look at the numbers. No matter how much air you add, you can't get DO levels past their saturation point.

It's all about temp. I don't care if you if you use 100 airstones or a hot tub venturi, water has a certain oxygen saturation point, at a certain temperature, and you can't get it any higher. All of the methods are acceptable methods. It is not possible to compensate for higher temps, by putting in more air.

Here's how I tested. I used the same 27gal container of water, with 15 gallons of water in it. After introducing each method, I waited 15 minutes before taking a measurement. When taking the measurement, I waited 5 minutes for the meter to settle to ensure an accurate reading. Then I waited another minute to make sure the reading was accurate.

I tested one of my reservoirs from an experimental grow method I am doing, which has roots sitting in water (sort of like DWC) with two large air stones. Water temp at 72. The DO was 7.6 Then I unplugged the air pump. Within 30 minutes, the DO was down to 5.4. That's REALLY low.... proving my previously made statement that DWC requires a battery back up power supply. When I turned off the air to an empty res (with no roots in it) the DO level also dropped, but not as fast as it did with roots. The roots are using up oxygen for sure. This explains why the root zone can quickly get funky and root rot and set in so quickly.

The good news is we did learn a few things from this experiment.

If you are growing DWC or any grow method where roots sit in water:

1. Aerate your reservoir. It doesn't matter which method you choose, they all work well.

2. When there is no water movement, DO levels drop significantly. For example, if you put an air stone in one side of your res, and you have no other water movement, the DO on the other side is a little lower. If you're using air stones, you should have bubbles covering the complete surface.

3. If you can run a water pump 24/7, do it. Water circulating and breaking the surface works great, and pushes that nice oxygen saturated water around your root zone. This is one of the reasons undercurrent and bio buckets work very well... high water flow.

4. Flooming was the worst results, but it is true what they say. Simply moving water at the surface does oxygenate the water. However, I tried another test, not listed above, where I floomed so much it created a mini geyser, like godzilla emerging from the ocean. This method worked just as well as any other method, however it is inconsistent, depending on the water level in the res.

5. You can see from the results, the methods where we break the water surface, (Capn style and waterfall) provided the best DO levels, even better than the 4 giant air stones and a $65 gen hydro air pump. Albeit marginal, it does show proof that breaking the surface is the most effective.

6. Personally, I still like the Capn Style method best. It shows one of the best DO levels, plus allows you to run less water in your res, so your roots are wet but not submerged (as in aero). Roots won't dry out, water is circulated constantly.

7. Unfortunately, any method that requires a water pump to run, requires a chiller (unless you have a magical way of keeping the water cool). Even the small water pump increases the temp of the water by 3-5 degrees.

8. Any method that has roots dangling in water, should have a backup battery supply.
 
ttystikk

ttystikk

It always struck me as funny as hell that the best oxygenated bucket in a UC is the epicentre!

I insist that my pump return line drops water into the head bucket from above the waterline. I think doing this in every tub might be a good way to get rid of airstones altogether. This would solve the issue of a lack of something in each site that turns over the water.
Fresh in from the 'Money Where My Mouth Is' dept; installing an airstone replacement system in my four tub RDWC system today; I'll start with my 396gph pump, and I have 633 and 1000 rated units waiting if needed. 3/4" hose from said pump to Pex brand 6 way manifold ($22 at Home dePot), to 1/2" lines to each tub, through an elbow fitting to aim the water stream down at the surface of the water in each tub.

Why 6 in a 4 tub system? The last two will go into the old tail bucket to prevent stagnation. I won't reconfigure the system to eliminate this bucket until the new system is proven- this makes it simple to toss the airstones back in the event this experiment fails...

As if. My favorite joke about the UC is that the best aerated site in the the whole thing is the only one they don't want you putting plants in!
 
ttystikk

ttystikk

I did the venture route a couple years ago and found that the deeper you go the less it works, plus you would need one for each pod.




Well you see that's the rub air stones are not as effective as falling water, from what I have been reading. So you don't have the same result and you don't have the same oxygen level in the water.
I'm throwing down with a stoneless system, pics as soon as it's fabbed and installed, brother. I'm having trouble with a couple of my girls dropping roots into the tubs due to large air volume above the water in eachsite, with inadequate humidity due to low churn from airstones. I believe the active splash and churn will drastically improve not only oxygenation of the water itself, but also the humidity and root friendliness of the AIR environment inside the tub sites.
 
Confuten1

Confuten1

exploitin strengths - perfectin weaknessess
Supporter
**********************************
The results are IN!

PH 6.2
PPM 820
Measured in mg/l

DO levels at 67F:
Air stones: 8.0
Ventruri: 8.0
Water fall: 8.1
Flooming: 7.9
CapnStyle: 8.1
All at the same time: 8.2

DO levels at 78F:
Air stones: 7.2
Ventruri: 7.2
Water fall: 7.3
Flooming: 7.1
CapnStyle: 7.3
All at the same time: 7.4

I also tried adding 5ml/gal of H2O2 at the request of sky in the warm water. This raised the DO to 7.6. Still, not even close to the DO levels in cooler water. 10 hours later I checked it again, and the DO was back down to 7.4 H2O2 is not a good solution.

My hopes are crushed. I was hoping there would be a technique that would compensate for high water temps. If you have warm water, can you add more air to compensate? Nope. Take a look at the numbers. No matter how much air you add, you can't get DO levels past their saturation point.

It's all about temp. I don't care if you if you use 100 airstones or a hot tub venturi, water has a certain oxygen saturation point, at a certain temperature, and you can't get it any higher. All of the methods are acceptable methods. It is not possible to compensate for higher temps, by putting in more air.

Here's how I tested. I used the same 27gal container of water, with 15 gallons of water in it. After introducing each method, I waited 15 minutes before taking a measurement. When taking the measurement, I waited 5 minutes for the meter to settle to ensure an accurate reading. Then I waited another minute to make sure the reading was accurate.

I tested one of my reservoirs from an experimental grow method I am doing, which has roots sitting in water (sort of like DWC) with two large air stones. Water temp at 72. The DO was 7.6 Then I unplugged the air pump. Within 30 minutes, the DO was down to 5.4. That's REALLY low.... proving my previously made statement that DWC requires a battery back up power supply. When I turned off the air to an empty res (with no roots in it) the DO level also dropped, but not as fast as it did with roots. The roots are using up oxygen for sure. This explains why the root zone can quickly get funky and root rot and set in so quickly.

The good news is we did learn a few things from this experiment.

If you are growing DWC or any grow method where roots sit in water:

1. Aerate your reservoir. It doesn't matter which method you choose, they all work well.

2. When there is no water movement, DO levels drop significantly. For example, if you put an air stone in one side of your res, and you have no other water movement, the DO on the other side is a little lower. If you're using air stones, you should have bubbles covering the complete surface.

3. If you can run a water pump 24/7, do it. Water circulating and breaking the surface works great, and pushes that nice oxygen saturated water around your root zone. This is one of the reasons undercurrent and bio buckets work very well... high water flow.

4. Flooming was the worst results, but it is true what they say. Simply moving water at the surface does oxygenate the water. However, I tried another test, not listed above, where I floomed so much it created a mini geyser, like godzilla emerging from the ocean. This method worked just as well as any other method, however it is inconsistent, depending on the water level in the res.

5. You can see from the results, the methods where we break the water surface, (Capn style and waterfall) provided the best DO levels, even better than the 4 giant air stones and a $65 gen hydro air pump. Albeit marginal, it does show proof that breaking the surface is the most effective.

6. Personally, I still like the Capn Style method best. It shows one of the best DO levels, plus allows you to run less water in your res, so your roots are wet but not submerged (as in aero). Roots won't dry out, water is circulated constantly.

7. Unfortunately, any method that requires a water pump to run, requires a chiller (unless you have a magical way of keeping the water cool). Even the small water pump increases the temp of the water by 3-5 degrees.

8. Any method that has roots dangling in water, should have a backup battery supply.

i thought DO levels were supposed to be higher with warmer temps? anybody care to enlighten me

confu
 
ttystikk

ttystikk

Twist1, excellent write-up! Thanks for that very timely discussion of your findings- and the clarity of the report tells me this ain't yer first rodeo at this, either.
 
ttystikk

ttystikk

i thought DO levels were supposed to be higher with warmer temps? anybody care to enlighten me

confu
Nope. COLD water holds the most dissolved oxygen. That's why primitive fish like trout require cold water; their gills aren't as advanced as warm water fish like bass. Counterintuitive maybe, but remember it's the dissolved oxygen levels we're after, not the ability to hold dissolved solids such as sugar or salt.
 
Top Bottom