Complete Air Pump, Air Stone, & Sponge Filter Setup Guide

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Let’s start with what you need to setup an air pump in fish tank:

Air Pump

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Pipe/Airline Tubing

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T-Shaped Control Valves

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Air Stone

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Sponge Filter

Check This Here (on Amazon)

Apart from these, you will also need a pair of scissors that will be useful while cutting the airline tubing. I hope you already have it in your home 🙂

Once you have all the equipment by your side, let’s dive in and understand the complete aquarium air pump, air stone, and the sponge filter installation process in detail.

Here’s How To Setup Air Pump, Airstone, & Sponge Filter For Fish Tank:

Step-1: Decide Where You Are Going To Place The Air Pump

Prefer watching the video demonstration of aquarium air pump, air stone, and the sponge filter installation and setup? Please watch my video below:

Air Pump is a device that pumps the air into the aquarium system through the pipe (airline tubing). It is placed outside of your aquarium.

You can read the articles I already wrote on aquarium air pump placement and aquarium air stone placement.

Step-2: Estimate The Length of The Pipe You Need


Once you decide the location of your air pump, you need to estimate the length of the pipe that is required.

You can do the measurement with rough estimation. For example, you can estimate the distance between the air pump location and the near the lower surface of the tank. And then you can judge the pipe’s length accordingly.

Step-3: Cutting The Pipe of Required Length


In this step, you need the cut the required length of the pipe that you estimated in the previous step.

Step-4: Connecting All The Parts Together

Now, this is the most important step, connecting all the parts together.

We will first have to attach one end of the pipe with outlet of the air pump. Then, we will have to attach the next end of the pipe with the sponge filter’s outlet.


After that, we will need to attach a T-joint in between. Why? Because we will use the same air pump to run both the sponge filter and the air stone. So we need some system that will allow use to bifurcate the airflow from the air line tubing between both these devices.

And for that we will place a cut somewhere in the middle portion of the airline tubing. Then, we will attach the T-joint in that place.

The shape of T-joint is T-shaped, means it will allow the air to flow in three directions. So after installing the T-Joint, the air-flow will be like this:

  1. Air from the Air Pump flows through the Airline Tubing
  2. Air flows to the Sponge Filter from the Airline Tubing
  3. Air also flows into the Air Stone from the Airline Tubing

Also, we need to connect a Control Valve. Now what is a control valve? It will allows you to control the air flow passing through it. So that means, closing the valve, will reduce and completely stop the air flow through it.

However, when you open, the air flow through the valve again starts moving towards the device that is attached to its other end.

Depending on which device’s air flow you want to control, you can attach the control valve in that section of the pipe.

In our case, we want to control the air flow through the air stone, so we will place another cut in the air stone’s airline tubing/pipe’s section and attach the T-shaped control valve there.


Step-5: Placing the Whole Setup And Completing The Process

After connecting all the equipment, our setup is ready.


Now we just need to properly place the equipment in their respective locations.

Air PumpOutside of the fish tank
Airline TubingSome part inside and the rest part outside of the fish tank
T-JointsInside/Outside of the fish tank
T-shaped control valveInside/Outside of the fish tank
Air StoneInside of the fish tank
Sponge FilterInside of the fish tank

And remember that the only gear that is to be connected with the electrical outlet is the air pump.

Related Read: How Often Should You Clean A Sponge Filter?

Final Thoughts

So once everything is placed properly, our setup is completed. You may still have to make some room to correctly place the air stone and the sponge filter inside the fish tank.

But overall this is how you can do the complete setup of the air pump along with the air stone and sponge filter. Isn’t it easy?

I hope you found this article helpful. Please don’t forget to pin this post to your aquarium Pinterest Boards so that you can refer back to it later.

And I would really appreciate if you share this post with other fishkeepers. Thank You and wish you a happy fishkeeping day ahead!

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By Praveen Ghoshal

Hi! I'm Praveen Ghoshal, the founder of Inspired by my Dad, I got interested in fishkeeping when I was a kid. Since then, I have been involved with this hobby. Currently, I have 3 fish tanks at our home, where I enjoy this hobby with my Mom, Dad, and Younger Sister. Read more about me here.