I hope the title makes sense. Essentially what I need is to use a single air pump to aerate multiple small tanks. To do that I can't have the first few valve/air-stones in the entire line use up all the air.

Is there a type of non-electronic valve that automatically closes and stays closed for set intervals to allow air pressure to build further down the line? If not how about electronic ones?

2 Answers 2


As trond says, you're looking for a solenoid valve. Whilst it will do what you want, you may be better off with a simple flow control like this one1. Instead of using an expensive valve to turn on and off flow, you can just balance the whole system once and let it run.

It's just like a hot water heating system where each radiator takes some heat out of the system. If the first radiator it hits takes all of the heat, the next on in the chain won't get hot. If you adjust the flow of all of the radiators correctly, you can balance the system so all radiators get warm at the same rate2.

This is definitely not as good a solution as using some kind of automated valves but it could be a much cheaper alternative.

1 I can't vouch for this product, it is the first I found that demonstrated what I meant

2 Okay, it isn't as simple as this in real life because the water can bypass a radiator but it's the same kind of idea.

  • I believe this would be the best solution given that my tanks are going to be spaced out at awkward lengths and this will allow me to run a single line as opposed to using a multi valve lever control at the source which would require running multiple tubes across the entire set. I may use this one as well for the tanks spaced closer together, but it's essentially the same thing you linked. Thanks Henders. Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 7:19

The name is a solenoid valve or a magnet valve. An air valve is called a pneumatic valve.

They are normally operated by an electric current AC or DC and connected to a timer.

You will have to search the net to find a type that you can use in your setup, they are often expensive.

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