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I thought that this page would be a great place to explain why they are needed and the formulas for figuring out what size and how many stones according to the size of the pond and the amount of water you need to move to eliminate any stagnant spots in the pond.
Contrary to popular believe the main reason for placing an air stone or diffuser into a pond is to bring water from the bottom of the pond to the surface. This is so the there can be a constant “Gas Exchange” between the the water and the atmosphere. The air stone’s tiny bubbles lift the water to the surface at the same time the freshly oxygenated water is drawn down to the bottom. (Look at the illustration above to see this circulation).
The more water surface area exposed to the atmosphere the better. This includes water falls which moves the water also. Even a small stream to return the filtered water back to the main pond provides more surface area of water exposed to the air for this very important gas exchange.
A good quality air pump along with a manifold and a couple of well placed air stones or diffusers will keep our pond water “turning over” and prevent any “Low Oxygen” (stagnant water) areas in your pond.