The air lift drive requires maintenance from time to time, but no fixed cleaning schedule is necessary.
You'll notice when it's time to clean it when air bubbles come out directly from the drive part, as if it were leaking. In this case, the drive must be removed from the aquarium for cleaning. Our GN drive parts consist of two halves clipped together and secured with clamps. You can open the drive part by carefully prying open the clips and taking the halves apart. Inside you can see the teeth on which the blown-in air bubbles up. You can easily remove deposits such as lime and other minerals that accumulate over time with a brush under running water. The air lift tube does not need to be cleaned. The biofilm in it is actually very good and supports the smooth running of the air lifter by acting like a lubricating film.
In rare cases, the air lift drive of newly installed aquariums may need to be cleaned after just a few weeks. However, it is not limescale deposits that cause the problem mentioned above, but rather bacteria that first appear in the initial phase of an aquarium. These bacteria feel at home exactly where a lot of oxygen meets water, namely in the drive section. You can recognize these bacterial cultures because they are whitish and greasy, similar to Vaseline. When the biology in the aquarium slowly settles down, this phenomenon no longer occurs.
A practical tip at the end: warm the drive part under hot running water before opening. This makes the plastic a little softer and the clips become more flexible. This makes opening easier and ensures that the clips do not break off so easily.