5 Best Air Stones For DWC- Buying Guide

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

If you’re into hydroponics and you’re searching for the best air stone for DWC, we will guide you into this. We have reviewed some of the best air stones for your DWC hydroponics gardening and our guide will assist you in choosing the best options.

We will also enlighten you on other things you need to know about air stones for DWC such as: how it works, size requirements, etc. So, read on to learn.

Importance Of Air Stones For DWC

An air stone in hydroponic gardening is very essential for a deep water culture system (DWC). In a standard situation, the root of your plant will require oxygen to grow healthily. Plants grown in the soil get oxygen from the soil. However, in hydroponics, there’s no soil, thus, plants can’t get their oxygen the normal way they do from the soil.

For this reason, air stones are required. Airstone paired with an air pump will help in air circulation for your plant’s roots so they can grow optimally. Without a good air stone, your deep water culture hydroponics system will choke the plants and they will most likely die.

How Air Stones Work In DWC

Air stones are usually paired with an air pump to yield bubbles of oxygen. The bubbles of oxygen diffuse into the DWC system supplying nutrients to plants.

Size Of Air Stone Needed

Airstone comes in various sizes and choosing the right size will depend on the size of your hydroponic farm. The right size will adequately supply good oxygen for your hydroponic system.

The standard size for a 5-gallon bucket DWC for example will be one 6 inch air stone or two 3 or 4-inch air stone.

DWC Airstone Requirement: How Much Is Needed?

Generally, the required air stone for DWC should be able to supply around 1 Liter per minute (LPM). This should generate aeration and airflow for each water gallon.

So, let’s say your DWC system is a 5-gallon water reservoir; 5 LPM air stones will be needed for optimal oxygenation. This also means if you have a 10-gallon water reservoir, 10 LPM air stones will be required for aeration.

Also, note that too much or too little oxygen can affect your DWC system adversely. Inadequate oxygen will result in low productivity. Excess oxygen may result in too much algae growth and also affect your plant’s development.

DWC Airstone Requirement - How Much Is Needed

Types Of Air Stones For Hydroponics

There are 3 types of air stones you can use for your DWC hydroponics, they are:

Round Disc: this type is a round disc-shaped air stone that will supply bubbles of oxygen for your DWC hydroponics.

Eco Plus: eco plus are great for hydroponics gardening. They work quietly without sound disturbance and are commonly used by commercial hydroponics farmers.

Micro Pour: micro pour is another type of air stone that generates the tiniest bubbles compared to other air stones.

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Buying Guide

Let’s take a look at some things to consider when choosing the best air stones for your DWC.

1. Aeration: The first and important point to consider when going for air stones for DWC is aeration. After all, the aim of getting an air stone for your DWC is to provide adequate aeration for your plants. So, will this air stone generate optimal air circulation for your plant roots? Ensure the answer is yes! Also, ensure the bubbles produced should are small because plants benefit more from smaller bubbles.

2. Steadiness: Another question to ask is: Will it stay steady in one place? Even if it is lightweight, make sure it can stay steady with the use of a suction cup so it does not float upwards.

Buying Guide - Steadiness

3. Materials Used: The materials used for the air stone should be Eco-friendly and healthy. It should be safe for both fish and hydroponic plants.

4. Water Clog: You should also ensure there’s no worry about water clogging in the air stone you are choosing.

How We Picked The Best Air Stones For DWC

Here’s the list of the 5 best air stones you can find for your DWC system, so read on to decide your best pick:

1.    Pawfly 4PCS Air Stone Bar 4 Inch Bubble Release Mineral Airstones for Fish Tank Aquarium Pump

The Pawfly air stone is a great option when picking the best air stones for your DWC. It is a 4 inch and 4 pieces air stone bar. It will generate small bubbles and aerate your deep water culture system.

This air stone is durable and affordable and the air stone is quite sturdy. It is also made of non-toxic mineral materials and it comes with everything needed.

An added advantage is that this type of air stone has some weight and it will stay steady in a place. Therefore, you don’t need to invest extra cost in purchasing a suction cup for your air stone.

The drawback is that this air stone is not too ideal for bigger tanks or reservoirs. It might require multiple air stones to meet up with larger tanks.


  • Sturdy and stays in one place.
  • Supplies small bubble aeration.
  • Made of non-toxic materials.
  • Suction cup not needed.


  • Might need multiple air stones for a larger reservoir.

2.    Pawfly 1 Inch Air Stone 10 Pieces Cylinder Bubble Diffuser Airstones for Aquarium Fish Tank Pump Grey/Blue

The one-inch Pawfly air stone is a perfect choice for generating oxygen in tiny bubbles for your deep water culture hydroponics system. It is also ideal for aquarium and aquaponics fish tanks and the price is fairly decent.

There’s no stress of water clogging as it will evenly diffuse air throughout your DWC system. Thus, your plants will enjoy optimal aeration and nutrient absorption.

Another added advantage of this great air stone is its great compatibility with most air pumps. It can be driven by Nano air pumps making it a perfect choice for your DWC hydroponics system. To get optimal results, you will need air pump power between the range of 2W to 4W so they can work efficiently.

The only downside is that you will need to get a suction cup because it’s lightweight so to keep it steady in one place. If you don’t get a suction cup, whenever it starts to pump air, it may float to the top rather than staying down.


  • Compactable with air most pump.
  • Generates adequate water bubbles for aeration.
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • No clogging.


  • A suction cup is needed.

3.    Wenshall 1.6″ Small Round Air Stones for Aquariums Oxygen Diffuser Fish Tank Air Bubbler for Hydroponics Aquariums Oxygen Stone 4/8pcs

The Wenshall air stone is an ideal choice for a small DWC. This air stone has amazing functionality and will provide your DWC with sufficient aeration.

The package consists of 4 pieces of air stones and 2 pieces. The materials used are environmentally friendly to either your fish tanks or hydroponics plants.

It comes with 4 suction cups and 2 check valves. The suction cups will help the air stone stay fit in a place. The check valves will as well keep the water from siphoning backward.

The downside is that it doesn’t come with an air pump and air tubes.


  • Great for air circulation.
  • Comes with 4 suction cups to keep the air stone steady.
  • Made of healthy materials.


  • Air pump and air tubes not included.

4.    Yueton Pack of 10 Cylinder Aquarium Bubble Air Stone Fish Tank Aerator

This 10 cylinder pack air stone by Yueton and is made of mineral in-built and non-toxic plastic materials. It’s another great option for providing standard bubbles for optimal aeration for your DWC system.

This air stone will fit in well with 4mm inner diameter soft tubes. It is also affordable and easy to install.

We also admire the bright beautiful blue color to add beauty to your hydroponic system. You also don’t have to worry about clogged air stones

The drawback we know of is that if you try to change or remove one of them from the tubing, it might crumble. We recommend you to take the air stone out of your reservoir completely if you wish to change them. Also, do not press them too hard so they don’t fall apart.


  • Provides good aeration.
  • No clogging.
  • Made of non-toxic materials.
  • Easy to install.


  • Might fall apart when changing from the tubing.

5.    AQUANEAT Air Stone, 4 X 2 Inch Large Air Stone Cylinder, Aerator Bubble Diffuser, Air Pump Accessories for Hydroponic Growing System

Aquaneat air stone is another option for generating optimal aeration for your DWC system. They are durable even after washing. They are also made of environmentally friendly materials for both your fish and hydroponic plants.

It will work excellently well when paired with a high output air pump of at least 8W to 10W. This air stone will perfectly connect and fit a standard airline tubing of 3/16 inches.

Note that pre-soak is required before use.


  • Generates high aeration capacity when paired with a high output air pump.
  • Eco-friendly materials.


  • Requires pre-soak before use.


Which air stone is best for DWC?

The Air Stone will help to keep your fish tank or aquarium clean and oxygenated by sucking up all the waste that the fish create. If you have an indoor set up, you should be fine with just one Air Stone.

However, It really depends on what you're trying to do. I'm not sure what your setup is like, but I would recommend a small airstone that can be placed above the substrate. The substrate should not touch the airstone. This will allow air to flow over the substrate and into the water without disturbing it too much. If your setup allows for it, I would also recommend a larger airstone in another area of the tank.
That way you can blow air into the substrate at different points throughout the tank to keep it moving. I think this is an important point. I have been using a small airstone (about 1/2 gal. capacity) for about 6 months now. It is placed about 1 inch off the surface of the substrate. My tank has a 20 gallon tank and the airstone is about 1 inch off the bottom. The water is about 4 inches deep. I have never seen a problem with this setup. It is so easy to clean up any water that comes from the airstone. I would also like to add that I use a small aquarium pump to circulate my water. It is not a big one, but it is powerful enough to circulate the water.

Are air stones necessary for DWC?

Air stones are used to prevent the buildup of algae and other organic matter on the water surface, which can cause the pump to work harder. They're also useful in a fishless (closed) tank because the pump is typically submerged in the tank. In an open tank, they are unnecessary. An air stone is essentially a fine mesh screen that fits over a pump or aquarium filter outlet.

It prevents the buildup of algae and debris while allowing water to flow freely. If you do not have an air stone, make sure to turn off your pump when not using it. This will save electricity and help prevent algae growth.

What is the difference between an air stone and a diffuser?

The diffuser is the part of the aquaponics system that releases the oxygen back into the water to make it more appealing to fish. The air stone is the part that helps to disperse the bubbles in the water. They work together to create the most efficient system. Diffusers are used to keep oxygen levels high in the aquarium by allowing air to escape through holes or slits in the tank, thus increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.

This will help to support a higher level of fish life in your system. Air stones  also make it easier for the plants to absorb nutrients from the water.


As you can see there are great options for choosing the best air stones for your DWC system. If you’ve decided to purchase one for your hydroponics, then any of the picks in our review should be an excellent place to commence your search.

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