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How to Set Up a Bubble Disc in a Fish Tank

Updated February 21, 2017

Fish tank bubble rings aerate the water supply with oxygen which both helps your fish to breathe and supports helpful bacteria which clean the tank environment (Reference 2). There are a number of different forms of fish tank aerators but all are based on the same system. A pump pushes air toward the water through rubber hosing and a head of some sort releases the air into the water in the form of bubbles. The bubble disk is one of these head types.

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  1. Prepare your air pump, tubing and bubble disk for assembly. Run the hose from the spot in the aquarium where you plan on placing the bubble disk to the place outside the tank where the air pump is to be located. Leave enough slack so the bubble disk can be relocated if need be and so there is no tension on the air delivery tubing. Make sure your air pump is at the same level as your bubble disk to ensure proper efficiency. Cut the rubber tubing to the desired length using your razor blade.

  2. Attach the tubing to your bubble disk by pressing it over the nipple and twisting side to side. Run the tubing as close to the tank wall as possible using a corner, plant or other decorative elements to hide its path from view. Attach the other end of the hose to the air pump using the same technique you did for the bubble disk attachment. Check the tubing for awkward bends or kinks and see that its path is not visible from the front of the tank.

  3. Cover the bubble disk with tank gravel, plants rocks, or another decorative element to hide it from view. Bubbles which travel through the water quickly and are released do little to increase oxygen levels whereas small bubbles which break apart or become attached to other surfaces are far more effective (Reference 4). Covering the bubble disk caused bubbles to crash into other surfaces and as a result raises oxygen levels in the water. Fill the tank with water.

  4. Plug in the air pump. Make sure the outlet and power cord are far from and high above any water supply or the fish tank itself. Observe the function of the bubble disk and adjust its position if necessary.

  5. Tip

    Bubble disks can be used in fresh or salt water tanks.


    Any electrical device becomes hazardous when used near water. To reduce the risk of injury or short make sure all power wires and outlets are located above the aquarium or any water supply.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fish tank aerator kit
  • Gravel
  • Water
  • Razor blade

About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.

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