I need more air

Hi Everyone,

I’m a new grower in general and completely new to hydroponics, but so far I think I’m doing good, except for air. I started using a small 4 watt air pump, but I think its a little small for two 5 gallon buckets at once. So I plan on upgrading to the below

More powerful air pump

Some regular small air stones for prepping clay media, and other small projects

And one-two of these 4 inch stones per 5 gallon bucket.

Has anyone used this pump before?


I’ve used that pump, 950gph will give you plenty of air!!!

I like the one with the manifold also like this one, because you can turn the valves on and off on the manifold


Go with bigger air stones, I use 4" x 2"


I’ve heard the strips like to float?
I’ve got some 4 inch domes on the list to try out. The little stones on the list are for prep work (like soaking clay media before use).

1 Like

I use 4x2 also but it shouldn’t really matter which stones you use if your referring to how much air goes into the water. A larger stone will cover more surface area in your bucket and will take longer to get clogged but the pump will make sure there is 950gph in your water no matter what stone is on there

1 Like

I have that pump it makes a little noise but it puts out plenty of air

1 Like

I use 2 2x4 air stones and the fluid really boils


Now do you really want the water to boil? From everything I read I should be going for like a simmer, as many small bubbles as possible, not a few large bubbles.
The 4" dome stone should perform better, it’s got a tons more small holes (on paper). Will it translate into anything better than the 4x2" strips provide? We are talking the same strip right? The long blue air stones? I could never keep them at the bottom of a fish tank, maybe once there are a ton of roots they would stay submerged?

1 Like

Not actually boiling , tons of bubbles and most come off the bigger stones and no issue keeping them on the bottom


I at least try to get my water to where it looks like it’s at a “rolling boil”

I made that phrase my DWC motto lol

That pump will work for 6 air stone’s and I use the medium air stones… the cheap blue ones that you can get at wallmart fall apart when you try to clean them… would not recommend them… :wink:

:v: :sunglasses:

1 Like


I got the pump in this morning, love that free one day shipping at Amazon. Then again I spend too much money with them in the first place…

And I got the 4 inch dome air stones. These things are monsters, I’ve soaked them and will share a picture or two, as compared to a small 1 inch puck style stone. Still I think one isn’t enough for a single bucket, and I saw these, which are cheaper than those single domes

These just look like those cheap Walmart ones to me.

I run 2 of those big ones per 5 gallon bucket, crazy bubbles

1 Like

A few quick photos if anyone is interested. And while I forgot to take a before picture (before changing the pump), I did grab a few quick snapshots of the different stones. At a second look it might be OK with just one of these per bucket to start I’d say it’s fine. I’m going to grab some strips in my next order. The water level in the buckets is rising around 1/2 inch with just one stone.

First off the new pump is in, and yes it’s loud ~67db. I’m going to try and address that a little later and a cooling

Allot more bubbles, the pictures don’t do it justice, maybe a video another time)

Humidity is up 10% in the closet since changing the pump and stones too, which isn’t a horrible thing for me. But the increased evaporation rate might be of concern.

1 Like

Only using 2 outlets on your pump will cause it to run alot hotter and cause parts to where out faster… even tho you only need 2 stones for 2 buckets , I would throw 3 stones in each bucket for the time being until you need more buckets… your pump will last longer… also make sure all air lines are the same length so air is distributed evenly… :wink:
Also make sure to hang pump higher then the water line in your buckets , because if your power go’s out it could possibly drane the buckets of all of the water… :wink:
:v: :sunglasses:


Thanks! Yes that pump is on the wall about a foot higher than the buckets to make routing the lines easier. Then I saw someone hung it from a rope, that is what I think I do soon. Learned that the hard way with a fish tank as a kid, think I would have remembered for when I drained my hot tub the same way as an adult (oops).

Thanks for the help connecting the dots on the heat. I wasn’t thinking about the fact the I’m running the pump full speed into a manifold with 66% blocked. Lots of extra hot air that can’t go anywhere, heat that builds up. I will get it opened up.

I also popped a fan speed control that can handle up to 5 amps on the pump. This has slowed it down a good bit, reduced heat and noise (~35db). Lets see what it does to the life of the pump.


Just an FYI for those that might be in the same place with a pump that might be a little over sized for their setup. I use one port to air dry my piece after a cleaning. :smiley:

But running the pump at about 45% of the rated speed has kept the heat down. No ugly noises from the motor so I’m guessing I’m not causing it any trouble limiting the current. Now I have the other air stones in, but if I turn the pump all the way up water splashes out through the netpot (through clay and everything). I think that might be a little too much (especially on the week old seedlings that are starved for light), so I turned it back down for now. But I finally got an update on my LED lamp Amazon found it and it should be here tomorrow. Not the best in the world, but I think it will make things start to happen a little faster.

I plan on replacing the lids this weekend. The holes in the top were for this drip rig that works, but is probably over kill. And run the air lines through the side of bucket.


This could be of help.
What size air pump you need will depend on the size of your nutrient reservoir. There is a handy rule of thumb that states you should buy a pump with a wattage equal to the number of gallons of nutrient solution you have, but some growers find that to be a little overkill.

A better rule of thumb is to ensure that the pump you buy will provide at least 500-600cc per minute of air to your nutrient reservoir. 500-600cc per minute is the same as 500-600ml per minute, and even the cheapest air pumps will provide more than that, so most hobbyist indoor gardeners will be safe here.

1 Like

Just wondering… Do you think need more air or do you think you need more oxygen. Many people believe these 2 gases are the same thing. You do know that more air does not, will not make more oxygen, eh?
Consider this before you waste more money on bigger air pumps that make more noise… A “more powerful” air pump will definitely make more air, a better air bubbler will make smaller air bubbles, but even a giant air pump and a the best bubbler will not increase the oxygen concentration in air greater than 21% oxygen. That’s so sad, but so true.

Thanks @JH231

Still I had few reasons to want to upgrade.

  1. The “4 watt” pump and 2" air stones from a 30gallon tank didn’t cut it (no water movement, so few air bubbles) on 1 5 gallon bucket, now I have 2 buckets.
  2. I have high air temps which will increase my water temps, and while I have heat wrapped mat buckets, the water will still get hot. Right now my air temps are 80-85f during light and 75f during night. The air temp will only go up in this location not down. I’ve been watching the oxygen generator/compressor threads, I might try it too if things go south here.
  3. I use a drip ring that is pneumatic powered, once this was turned on the air stones got pretty much no air.

I don’t have the option of a chiller (other than ice bottles).
I do not want adequate delivery of air, I want more than I require today, and more than I will need tomorrow.

Any case I did purchase the pump after it was confirmed to is not a horrible item. If it doesn’t work out for my grow i can always put it on the fish tank. Yes it’s big :slightly_smiling_face: