Silicone air lines... did I do wrong???

Magnum Man

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Jun 21, 2023
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Southern MN
So in this last week, I've had to reattach air stones in my tanks 4 times... twice the 2 weeks before... I have a large size aquarium air pump, that is big enough to run 8-10 aquariums... only 4 running right now, & I use 10" air bars on the sides of all my tanks, with hard plastic 90's to keep the hoses from kinking, so there is a short section of tube, between the stone & the elbow, then the long line hooks to the elbow... so yes more connections to have issues with... when buying new tube, I bought a couple rolls of Silicone air line, because some of them are pretty long, & this is the newest, surely must be better than the ol vinyl ( my 15 year old tubing was all very stiff, I did not want to use that... this new stuff is not the same as the old vinyl tube I used to use, it's not stiff enough to fully push onto each fitting... I'm a big strong guy, & I tried to push them on as far as I could... but they seem to be working off over time... not sure why so many of them, in such a short time, as they have been running for 3-4 months so far... humidity??? warmer??? but the house has central air, so those inside conditions shouldn't be effected... using 10" air stone bars, there should be plenty of pressure release ( none are plugged up, I get bubble waterfall looks on the ends of all my tanks )

do I need to replace the silicone lines with vinyl??? at least with vinyl the tubing is stiffer, & would be dipped in hot water to help slip it on fully... is there some trick to getting the silicone pushed on further??? I don't think the hot water would help the same as it did the vinyl... I thought about food grade dry silicone lube ( I'm in the food manufacturing business, so I have that readily available ), but would think that would just make them come off easier as well???

I'm finding everything new isn't always better
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Try a different brand maybe? I use silicone and have no problems at all putting on or having come apart. I really like the flexibility.
I have the same problem and it’s annoying. Today I tried adding nylon zip ties to hold them in place better. We’ll see if that works. They LFS suggested using the black airline tubing for outdoors because it is stiffer. I just didn’t want to toss all my silicone tubing but may have to switch.
You mention its capable of running 10 but only running 4, its not popping off due to excess pressure is it? Might open the other valves a bit and see if that helps.
Airline tubing is funny stuff . Vinyl tubing has its drawbacks but it’s as good as it gets which ain’t saying much. I’m no technical expert and I hope I’m saying this right but air pumps blow out a kind of electrically charged air and that is why vinyl tubing gets that dirty brown color next to the pump after a while and also why it gets hard. Vinyl tubing isn’t really made to any exacting specification either. Sometimes the fit is just right but it’s usually too tight and you fight to get it on . I spit in it a little to lubricate it or in extreme cases widen it with something like a wooden dowel or whatever I can scrounge up that works . You have to warm it up a little too somehow . As frustrating as vinyl tubing is I prefer it to silicone which comes loose when you don’t want it to . I have never had a back siphon through airline tubing in 58 years and I don’t want one now by using that goofy silicone stuff .
just bringing this back up... I have 3 more air lines that have come off their appliance... a warning... DO NOT BUY SILICONE AIR LINE...

will end up having to replace 100 foot or so of Silicone air line I have in use... I think the main issue is that it's too "soft" to be able to push on all the way???
I had purchased some clear silicone air tubing from amazon a couple of years back that had the same issue, it would work its way off the junctions, on the other hand I also had some other silicone tubing from a different vendor which did not have that problem. I wish I kept the original packaging because it seemed to me that some silicone tubing worked well but others did not.
I dip the ends in a cup of hot (almost boiling out of the microwave) water so I can slide them on further. I don’t have to do this with black outdoor air tubing because it just doesn’t pop off. I just don’t want to throw out all that silicone tubing I bought.
I have the same problem and it’s annoying. Today I tried adding nylon zip ties to hold them in place better. We’ll see if that works. They LFS suggested using the black airline tubing for outdoors because it is stiffer. I just didn’t want to toss all my silicone tubing but may have to switch.
Update- the zip ties did not work in the long run.
I’m finding that the silicone stretches a little, and after coming off a few times, I can push it on further…I haven’t had any fall off, yet, after putting them on for the 4th time… yet
I know tubing. I run a 60 tank room, and 4 tanks are not on central air. I have a thoroughly efficient bubbling, old school set up.

I stopped using airstones, which I consider a waste of good air. I'll pop in another sponge filter if I want more movement. Airstones clog fast here and create back pressure.

As well as looking at the tubing, look at the airstone brand. Silicone tubing brands too, but when you buy a hundred foot roll, you don't always see who made it. It's one of the few 'hardware' things I buy online, because the lfs overcharges for very stiff regular airline. I like to support his business, but.

This is weird, but I find the white/opaque line that I have here stretches like a yoga class. Blue and black airline seems to keep a grip on my air powered filters without stretching. I have to twist with pressure to get it to grab.
I've got another one off this morning... it's only the 3rd time, on that one... so far seems like it takes 4 times... but maybe they'll come off again later too???
Are you still wasting time with that worthless silicone tubing ? Get yourself a bunch of regular vinyl airline tubing and quit goofing around . And @GaryE there are different kinds of air stones . Get the good ceramic ones and not those cheap hobby grade ones . Enjoy the bubbles .

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