What Is Bubble Tubing?

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Bubble tubing has been used successfully in a few different applications.

  1. Weed barriers to keep vegetation from drifting into canals. An air curtain (at times) will keep the tide and or prevailing wind from pushing unwanted floating debris and vegetation into water front property areas.
  2. De-icing by wrapping pilings with the tubing.

The oxygen transfer on this tubing is decent but the hang time for the bubble is not long ( they rise at roughly 1 feet per second.) Consequently, in order to get a lot of oxygen into the water the tubing must be rolled together or highly concentrated with row after row which can be limiting. The air supply lines need to be added at varying points on the linear diffuser. If this is not designed into the system, the diffusers might suffer from the air following the path of least resistance and exiting the first part of the hose. With exposed airlines subjected to freezing winter conditions, there could be occasions where that airline will internally freeze up and require thawing. A linear diffuser does not focus on causing a synergistic lifting effect like a point source diffuser. Consequently, not as much water will typically be moved with this type of diffuser. And lake aeration is all about water movement to lift water from the bottom to cause oxygen transfer at the air water interface. The resulting circulation will eliminate thermal and chemical stratification and drive oxygen to the sediment water interface.

Bubble tubing has its place in the tool box of aquatic managers, it just comes with some limitations.

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