Why doesn't my T airline splitter work?

1 min read

If you are using a T-splitter to share one air pump with two devices, sometimes air does not travel down one of the outlets. One of two things could be happening. In the first case, your pump is not strong enough to push air into more than one outlet. In the second case, the air always chooses the path of least resistance, so you need to install air valves (plastic or metal) on each path to ensure that air reaches all the devices.

  1. Connect the air pump, T splitter, and two air-driven devices (e.g., sponge filters, air stones, aquarium decorations) using airline tubing. Plug in the air pump.
  2. Turn both air valves ON all the way.
  3. One of the valves should be bubbling and getting air. Slowly close that valve until the other valve starts to bubble as well.
  4. Adjust the valves until they are balanced and everything is getting air.

Remember that the more T splitters that are being used, the less air each device will receive and therefore the less bubbling you will see.