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Thread: introduction to airlift pump

  1. #21
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    I took some baby steps this week making an airlift for my 75 gallon aquarium. Used a 1 1/4" diameter pressure PVC pipe of 1.5 ft height. Had three rows of holes spaced about 1/8" apart using #78 drill bits to bore the tiny holes, which are roughly about 0.4mm.
    It was a good learning experience. It turned out easier than I thought, improvising as I went along the process. I drew the 3 rows around the circumference with a sharp pick and dug a groove for each row with a small file, to use as guide. Using a masking tape wrapped around the pipe with 1/8" gradations to serve again as guide, I punched the surface of each hole-to-be. The punch made it easy to drill each hole. Since I didn't have a drill press nor a handy dremel, I had to use my electric drill. A collet had to be fastened to hold on to the small drill bit. And I had to break off part of the drill stem, to keep the bit from wobbling and breaking off.
    It was almost perfect. I say almost because Imade a mistake in aligning the pipe to the rings that seal off the pressure chamber, and 1 row of holes got sealed off. Still, there was good flow, although I imagine it would have been a stronger flow had I ended up with three rows instead of just two.
    Next is to see what I can do on my pond with an airlift. No. 1 on my list is to test replacing my bottom Matala diffuser, which sits not on the pond bottom center but on the bottom side. A benefit I could see is that I could direct the flow to help the directioinal of flow of my tpr, improving circulation. Secondly, it would increase the visibility of my koi, as the radial ripple from the diffuser would be eliminated. Since the height is limited to 4 feet (1.2m), I'm thinking if I could compensate for the lack of depth with an additional row, using 4 instead of 3, in the pressure chamber. While using a 4" diameter sanitary PVC pipe. What do you think, Patrick, Rick, Tim?
    I think you need to post some pictures! Please.

  2. #22
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    I think Patrick sums it up best with testing. Airlift applications to ponds is still in it's infancy. Much less in aquaria. At this point I'd consider any success a victory and continue to make improvements with testing and just plain old trial and error. Post pics along the way. Gives a better visual and less typing! I like that you're keeping it small and using cheaper parts... It'll get you acquainted with the design and fundamentals necessary for larger scale projects.

    Sorry I'm of no help... I haven't gained enough courage to try experimenting with airlifts. Plus I'm generally lazy and usually wait til others figure it out and I just copy them!

    Good luck!

  3. #23
    Sansai Si Van Nguyen's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=aquatechnobel;209949]With 10 years experiment on airlift pumps ,Koivrienden want to share this experience
    This video is the introduction on the airlift pump, later you see ho to build a airlift pump and also koi pond examples that use the airlift pump....."

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience here Aquatechnobel, and thanks to everyone else too. Your post is very helpful. I see that I could tweak my little airlift design a little. Here's what I have been doing in my pond.
    I am using air-lift inside my stand pipes inside my settlement chamber in order to scrub the water and to aerate the water for the filtration tanks. The stand pipes are built using standard material from any hardware store. Just some pvc pipes and glue. I recommend this DIY stand pipe+air lift thing for any ponder with a typical settlement chamber.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails introduction to airlift pump-tank-1-schematic.jpg  

  4. #24
    Sansai Si Van Nguyen's Avatar
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    Here's the stand pipe. Very simple but works very well. Just connect a hose to the top and collect the foam into a bucket. The foam is not very concentrated but it does remove the fat and the slime pretty good.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails introduction to airlift pump-image.jpg  

  5. #25
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si Van Nguyen View Post
    I see you are using your "air-lift" as a foam fractionator too. I see in your drawing you have another pump for waste.

    For years I used an air assisted foam fractionator. I finally removed it this past summer.






    I prefer the "Ethan style" (shower) foam fractionator now.

  6. #26
    Sansai Si Van Nguyen's Avatar
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    Hi Ricshaw, yes, mine works as both airlift and cheap foam fractionator. My settlement chamber needed stand pipes in order to prevent accidental total drainage of the pond. The stand pipes allow my pump to drain the settlement chamber very quickly and with very little loss of water. I just flip the switch on the pump on for about 2 minutes and that flush the chamber totally clean (I never used the timer that was in my first schematic). I could not clean the chamber that fast without the stand pipes. But with the stand pipes in place, the flow from the pond's bottom drains is reduced!! That's why I added the air. The airlift helps move water up the stand pipes a lot. Then it was making too much foam because of the air, and the foam was very dirty and stinky. That's why I had to collect the foam and drain it out the top in a hose. It is the cheapest and cleanest foam fractionator design that I could come up with. It works without me having to add any additional pumps. I had to have an air pump there anyway for the aeration of the J-mat chambers.

    The Ethan design works better I am sure, but it seems too messy for me.

  7. #27
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si Van Nguyen View Post
    Hi Ricshaw, yes, mine works as both airlift and cheap foam fractionator. My settlement chamber needed stand pipes in order to prevent accidental total drainage of the pond. The stand pipes allow my pump to drain the settlement chamber very quickly and with very little loss of water. I just flip the switch on the pump on for about 2 minutes and that flush the chamber totally clean (I never used the timer that was in my first schematic). I could not clean the chamber that fast without the stand pipes. But with the stand pipes in place, the flow from the pond's bottom drains is reduced!! That's why I added the air. The airlift helps move water up the stand pipes a lot. Then it was making too much foam because of the air, and the foam was very dirty and stinky. That's why I had to collect the foam and drain it out the top in a hose. It is the cheapest and cleanest foam fractionator design that I could come up with. It works without me having to add any additional pumps. I had to have an air pump there anyway for the aeration of the J-mat chambers.
    The Ethan design works better I am sure, but it seems too messy for me.
    So how much flow is the air-lift pump providing from the settling chamber to tank 2?

  8. #28
    Sansai Si Van Nguyen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    So how much flow is the air-lift pump providing from the settling chamber to tank 2?
    None! No need! Just gravity fed from the settling chamber to tank 2. The air-lift is only for the flow from the pond to the settling chamber.

  9. #29
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si Van Nguyen View Post
    None! No need! Just gravity fed from the settling chamber to tank 2. The air-lift is only for the flow from the pond to the settling chamber.
    Okay... how much flow is the air-lift pump providing from the pond to the settling chamber?

  10. #30
    Sansai Si Van Nguyen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    Okay... how much flow is the air-lift pump providing from the pond to the settling chamber?
    Well, that's a tough question! I have never measured the flow with and without the airlift. The cruds just seem to move faster. The water level in the settling chamber seem to stay a tiny bit higher with the airlift on, maybe 1/4 inch higher, but I have never actually measured it. Give me a few days and I am pretty sure I can calculate the water flow thru it.

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