Matching airlift flows

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Calus Bling
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Joined: 19 Apr 2017, 18:29
Location: Canada

Matching airlift flows

Post by Calus Bling » 12 May 2017, 17:29

So I'm trying to make an airlift pond and having issues with my filtration setup. Originally I planned to have a gravity fed system with an airlift pulling water from the filters and go back to the pond. However I was wondering if it is possible to match airlift pumps precisely enough that I could have one pull dirty water from the pond bd and skimmer into the filter and have another matching the flow of the first pump returning the water to the pond. I was thinking of using one air tube and a t joint connecting both air pumps this way the air would be the same in both identical pumps.

Questions I have

Would this even work? I would take care that the holes in the compression chamber would be the same

Would the dirty water plug the first airlift pump slowing the flow of water?

I'm on my iPad so can't give a diagram till tonight.

The reason I'm thinking like this is so I can not have to worry about water level in my filter area as much. I can pump water in filter it then pump it back out.

Thanks for any insight you can give me


Edit* To be clear the pumps will draw from two collection chambers side by side one collection chamber will have water drawn from the pond and the other have water drawn from the filter.

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Pssymon
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Matching airlift flows

Post by Pssymon » 15 May 2017, 01:23

Calus Bling wrote:So I'm trying to make an airlift pond and having issues with my filtration setup. Originally I planned to have a gravity fed system with an airlift pulling water from the filters and go back to the pond. However I was wondering if it is possible to match airlift pumps precisely enough that I could have one pull dirty water from the pond bd and skimmer into the filter and have another matching the flow of the first pump returning the water to the pond. I was thinking of using one air tube and a t joint connecting both air pumps this way the air would be the same in both identical pumps.

Good day,

To be honest, I am not sure why you would want to use this configuration. You mention that you are worried about the water level in your filter, this is a valid concern. However, a low water level in the filter (and with that, lower performance from the Airlift) is caused by bottlenecks in your filter system. The easy way to avoid this is by just using large transits between filter areas. If you do not have enough (combined) surface area for the water to pass through freely in the filter this will never work. Even if you would use two pumps, or larger pumps.



Questions I have

Would this even work? I would take care that the holes in the compression chamber would be the same

If we assume that the Airlifts are identical and the airflow is exactly half in each Airlift, I would expect around half the amount of flow through the filter, in any case I expect it to be considerably less than the normal setup. You could probably match the output between the two, but what would you achieve?

Would the dirty water plug the first airlift pump slowing the flow of water?

I don't expect an Airlift to clog unless you would pump liquid with debris larger than 110mm.

I'm on my iPad so can't give a diagram till tonight.

The reason I'm thinking like this is so I can not have to worry about water level in my filter area as much. I can pump water in filter it then pump it back out.

This is not a problem unless your transits are too small. When they are, the only proper solution is to enlarge the transits.

Thanks for any insight you can give me

No problem at all. If I misunderstand your idea please let me know. The way I am interpreting it right now would not be beneficial. Even if you could match the flow rate (highly unlikely) you would have used two Airlifts to achieve the same result as just one would.



Edit* To be clear the pumps will draw from two collection chambers side by side one collection chamber will have water drawn from the pond and the other have water drawn from the filter.

Calus Bling
Posts: 5
Joined: 19 Apr 2017, 18:29
Location: Canada

Re: Matching airlift flows

Post by Calus Bling » 15 May 2017, 04:25

The Reason I would use two is because the first airlift would feed my sieve without worrying about pond water level and then my second airlift would lift the water back into the pond which after the sieve would be lower then the pond level.

Thanks for the reply though
This filter is still under revisions I may not be able to put a sieve at all

I have 3 55 gallon barrels one is a going to be a moving bed bio filter but I cant make a mechanical filter to get all the junk coming in from the bottom drain and skimmer.

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Matching airlift flows

Post by Rich Palmisano » 22 Aug 2018, 19:03

I could see a reason for two outputs: You have a raft floating bed system and a flood and drain bed system in aquaponics. The raft would maintain a constant level, while the flood and drain bed would siphon out. You'd have different flows and one would maintain water level while the other fluctuates (flooding and draining via siphon).

Is it possible, instead of the output going directly out, that you run a pipe off the exit, have a tee turned at an angle at each discharge point, and allow the flow to build and ebb out of each at the same level? This might be a solution, however...SINCE I'M A NEWBIE WHO HASN'T DONE ANYTHING YET... I propose this as a question.

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Pssymon
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Matching airlift flows

Post by Pssymon » 27 Aug 2018, 21:30

Rich Palmisano wrote:I could see a reason for two outputs: You have a raft floating bed system and a flood and drain bed system in aquaponics. The raft would maintain a constant level, while the flood and drain bed would siphon out. You'd have different flows and one would maintain water level while the other fluctuates (flooding and draining via siphon).

Is it possible, instead of the output going directly out, that you run a pipe off the exit, have a tee turned at an angle at each discharge point, and allow the flow to build and ebb out of each at the same level? This might be a solution, however...SINCE I'M A NEWBIE WHO HASN'T DONE ANYTHING YET... I propose this as a question.
Could you clarify this idea a bit more? Or maybe make a drawing or two? I'm not that educated when it comes to aquaphonics, maybe that's why I don't really follow.

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Matching airlift flows

Post by Rich Palmisano » 10 Oct 2018, 15:13

Im sorry so late in responding here:

https://photos.goo.gl/g2fZGqaH1vU5A583A

The image above depicts a pump with a "plugged outlet" with alternate outlets. These outlets could be directed to the places necessary for Auqaponics. (Grow Beds, Fish Tanks, Sumps).

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Matching airlift flows

Post by Rich Palmisano » 10 Oct 2018, 15:16

https://photos.app.goo.gl/g2fZGqaH1vU5A583A" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Noticed the link to photo didn't work.

Yes, overall flow will be reduced with this, however, the amount of flow required for the various components of Aquaponics is based on the water volume of those components (i.e. water change rates for fish holding areas is typically full volume change per hour, growing areas full volume change per two hours, etc.). A hobbyist in aquaponics will likely have 1-4 'fish tanks' at aproximately 50-100 gallons (200 to 400 liters), with grow beds, depending on method of application, ranging from 50-300 gallons (100 to 1200 liters).

If we are talking about flow rates of 12000 liters per hour, with a 4" dia pump and 40 watts of power, a 33% reduction in flow (bends, non-linear movement) still yields 8000 liters per hour (2000 gallons per hour) which for most hobbyists level aquaponics setups is MUCH MORE FLOW than one could achieve with a mechanical pump.

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Pssymon
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Matching airlift flows

Post by Pssymon » 10 Oct 2018, 22:13

Very interesting. After seeing the drawing I understand.
For aquaphonics this could work, I don't immediately see a problem. My suggestion would be to test it if you can, I am quite curious to see what would happen.

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