An air stone isn't critical, you can just run the pump longer (about an hour). On there other hand, using oxygen without a stone is a major waste.
After aeration, I put my stone in hot water and let it run for another 5 minutes. Try boiling your stone to clear the pores, it worked for me.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"
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