Do you need to join two pieces of airline tubing together?
Maybe you need to bend the air tube around a corner or fork a tube to two different pieces of equipment.
If that’s the case, airline connectors are just the tool you need!
What is an aquarium airline connector?
An airline connector is a small piece of plastic that joins two or more pieces of airline tubing.
Each connector is hollow, allowing air to pass through it. The connector simply slides inside each piece of tubing, creating an airtight joint.
Aquarium airline connectors are designed to fit 3/16 inch (5mm) tubing – standard-sized tubing that fits aquarium air pumps.
Is your air tubing larger?
Don’t worry, I have a solution…
While you could use an adapter to size your pipe down, I prefer to use drip irrigation fittings.
They may be designed with your lawn in mind, but these fittings work perfectly on larger-sized aquarium airline tubing.
What are the different types of airline connectors?
If you have any experience with aquariums, then you probably understand what I am about to explain. So, you probably don’t need the refresher and can skip the rest of this guide.
But for those of you who are new to the hobby, you might not even be aware that some of these exist. You might even be able to run your airline in a way that you didn’t think was possible.
These are the four most commonly used airline connectors in aquariums…
A simple connector that allows you to connect two pieces of airline together. Often used when you have two pieces of air tube that are too short.
Have you ever tried bending your airline 90 degrees? You’ll put a kink in the tube, and no air will flow through.
One way around this problem is to use an elbow connector, allowing you to run your air tube around corners without blocking the airflow.
Elbow connectors are sometimes referred to as L or 90-degree connectors.
Want to split your airline to run a second airstone from the same pump? A 3-way connector allows you to do exactly that.
Three-way connectors come in two different styles, T and Y, named after each letter in the alphabet they resemble.
Or, if you want your airline to be split at an angle, there is another option…
Y connectors allow the tubing to branch at angles without the need to kink the pipe.
Similar to the previous connector, but this one allows you to run up to three airline tubes from the same air pump instead of two.
Want a single air fitting that not only splits your tubing but also controls the airline on each tube? A gang valve is more suitable than a connector.
How do you use airline tube connectors in your aquarium? Let me know in the comments below!
I’ve been keeping fish for over 30 years and currently have 4 different aquariums – it’s an addiction. I’m here to teach you everything there is to know about fishkeeping.
I also use this site as an excuse to spend lots of money on testing and reviewing different aquarium products! You can find my reviews here.