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  • needle wheel dilemma

    Hello,

    I have recently become a a member of this board and i am thoroughly enjoying the wealth of information. I'm actually thinking i have read too much. However i am currently facing a new dilemma, so i was wondering if anyone would be able to spare some time to answer a few questions. I have found answers too many of my questions on this forum however there a still some that remain unanswered.

    I have heard Tom saying, he is able use a needle wheel pump to achieve an almost invisible mist. What is the most effecient needle wheel mod that everyone have found to achieve this result.

    *cutting the impeller arms in half
    *putting holes in the impeller
    *using the mesh mod
    *Or a combination of these.

    I also read a thread on the planted tank discussing an external needle wheel pump using a mag drive and then the use of a spray bar to distribute the output. Is this a good method? Or do people find an internal needle wheel with a connected spray bar to be the most effecient.

    I would like to keep a minimal amount of equipment in my tank so i am leaning towards external.

    Also i have heard really bad things about rio and maxi jet internal pumps leaking oil into the water on the planted tank and also some reef forums. So i was wondering if anyone could suggest any other pumps that don't have a record of doing this.

    Also having a spray bar spanning the whole length of my 60 gallon would be a bit unsightly i wonder if therte is any better ways to distribut the CO2 output evenly?

    I really need advice. So anyones help would be much appreciated.

    kind regards

    Tim

  • #2
    I have heard Tom saying, he is able use a needle wheel pump to achieve an almost invisible mist. What is the most effecient needle wheel mod that everyone have found to achieve this result.

    *cutting the impeller arms in half
    *putting holes in the impeller
    *using the mesh mod
    *Or a combination of these.
    Cutting the impellor arms in half. Dead easy to do. Putting holes in takes longer. Mesh mod clogs up.

    The mist you obtain may be 'invisible' during the first hour or so of the CO2 enrichment period, where the gas dissolves easily, but as the CO2 level rises and it gets harder for more CO2 to dissolve, you will start to see the mist.

    I also read a thread on the planted tank discussing an external needle wheel pump using a mag drive and then the use of a spray bar to distribute the output. Is this a good method? Or do people find an internal needle wheel with a connected spray bar to be the most effecient.
    I used an internal powerhead connected to a spray bar and this worked well for me. I can't see any reason why having the pump external would make any difference, provided, after taking head height etc into account, the external pump is still capable of pushing the water though the spray bar such that it does indeed 'spray'. ;-)

    I would like to keep a minimal amount of equipment in my tank so i am leaning towards external.
    The powerhead I used was black, as they typically are, and down in the very back corner of the tank you could hardly see it. Easier than setting up something external and having to bother with hoses, leaks etc.

    Also having a spray bar spanning the whole length of my 60 gallon would be a bit unsightly i wonder if therte is any better ways to distribut the CO2 output evenly?
    I had my spray bar running along the back, bottom (i.e. just above the gravel) of the tank. Because it was down low with plants in front of it, it couldn't be seen.

    In any case, if you are learning about using CO2, don't worry too much about things being unsightly. Master the techniques, learn, get some experience...don't worry for the moment about things looking a bit ugly.
    6' Planted Tank (72" x 18" x 20") - 4 x 30W T8 Tri-Phosphors - 2 x Eheim 2217 'Classic' canisters
    Flourite substrate - Ocean Runner OR-2500 + AM1000 - Tunze Turbelle Nanostream 6045
    6.8kg Catalina CO2 - Red Sea Pro regulator - Swagelok B-SS4-A metering valve - Vecton 600 UV

    Comment


    • #3
      I've been using a magdrive pump in a 150 gallon with a simply modded impeller that somewhat mimics what danner calls their "fractionating" impeller, which is then pushed into the return from one of my filters and into a spray bar that runs along the rear bottom of the tank. Each small section of spray bar can be rotated if need be, and since it's along the bottom portion of the tank you don't see it. This combination, magdive & filter, gives me good flow that I can adjust via a ball valve after the magdrive pump. I have had to play with this setup so the filter and pump are not creating inefficient situations when combined with one another, but I've gotten to the point where I am able to create a very nice mist that seems to be evenly distributed throughout the tank (now I am trying to fine tune my ferts), in comparison to a number of other tanks that I've viewed via video (youtube has a large number of videos that you might want to consult that demonstrate various setups). It has certainly made a big difference in my overall plant health and I am having rather nice success with HC in a tank depth of approximately 30". Some people seem to be bothered by the noise that's created by the pump chrurning up the gas, but Mr. Barr and others have noted that some basic soundproofing and insulating techniques can remedy this. Others find that adding another pump that sucks yet more juice undesireable compared to standalone reactors used inline with exsisting canister filters. For me, saved space and additional flow were desireable and I've been able to minimize the amount of plumbing that I use. I don't find the noise from the pump significant in my current setup. I think that Scottward's advice in being flexible and having the willingness to experiment is the secret to success. I drew all of this out and had other's critique the setup prior to implementation and then tried to use the best quality parts I could afford.
      Regards,
      Justin Szkalak

      Comment


      • #4
        easiest way in my view:

        using a ready-to-use needle wheel pump (designed for reef tank). The benefit is its pipe fittings so no worries about leaking when using outside tank; stick-shaped propellors are ready to use, with good CO2 smashing capacity;

        link this pump to a canister (with powered one or powerless one) and let this pump to drive the canister; the powered canister can be power off when the needle wheel pump is on.

        use a spray bar facing the front of the tank (if the spray bar is long enough for that tank) so tiny bubbles can hit the front glass and then diving down to the front substrate, which helps greatly for hc growing.

        the needle wheel pump can rest when light is off, and let the canister (in case it has power) run by itself at night when Co2 is not needed.

        the needle wheel pump can be placed inside the cabinet under the tank or outside along the tank. it runs pretty quiet if it is buffered at its base.

        If you have a canister already, choose the needle wheel pump with the similar power capacity. So it can keep the same water current (when the canister is power off), and the skimmer (if you have there) will keep work normally.
        Last edited by mi5haha; 10-02-2010, 04:37 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          thanks for your feedback.

          Szkalak i just have a few questions:

          Is the mag drive your using external or internal? What model are you using and what is the flow of mag drive?

          How can you rotate each part of the spray bar?

          Sorry to be so naieve, but i don't know what a ball valve is and where i would purchase one from?

          thanks

          Tim

          Comment


          • #6
            Tim:

            No need to apologize. I use a danner mag drive 7 with a venturi intake (you can make this) and impeller that has been modded. The pump is rated @ 700gph and is external. Danner Mfg. actually sells a pump that they describe as their "needle wheel pump, with venturi intake and fractionating impeller." I bought the plain pump and then added my own venturi and modified my own impeller because I enjoy projects. If you don't want to go this route you can buy the pre-fab setup, but it's not hard to do on your own with a little patience and you may enjoy it. There are a number of retailers on the web where you can order this from. You should know that I did find people that do not like this pump and there are reports that these pumps are prone to leaking. I've not had a problem with it yet, although I've broken one shaft on the impeller. I think that it's important to realize that if you're going to be using a pump externally then you're going to have to consider that all additional connections that you make external to the tank are going to be a potential sources of leaks and then plan accordingly. Just ensure that you use neccessary and proper plumbing techniques and you'll minimize problem potential, but everything fails at some point. Hose clamps, shut off valves, and plumbers tape go a long way with maint. and inspection. The ball valve is simply a valve that you can place into any plumbing configuration that will allow you adjust flow rate or turn off the pipe completely. It's basically a pipe with a ball in the middle of it that has a hole through the middle of the ball and is connected an external knob. Turning the knob rotates the ball inside the pipe and stems the flow accordingly. You can go to home depot or other hardware store and look in the plumbing section and check one out. Doing a search for basic plumbing concepts will explain the idea much better. I suggest that you minimze that number of connections you make and avoid creating long runs of tubing or piping. The spray bar I use came with my Ehiem 2080 canister filter. It consists of 3" pieces of plastic pipe that fit together, so it's modular in a sense, each piece can be rotated independent of the other. I already had this so I put it to work, but I know many people make their own using pvc or tubing. You should realize that this is only my attempt and and there are probably less complicated ways to achieve similar results. I went this route because it maximized the use of the supplies that I had on hand and I wanted an additional pump to create additional flow within my larger tank.

            Comment


            • #7
              Szkalak.

              What type of mod did you use on the impeller of the mag drive 7?

              What model danner pump would i need for my 60 gallon?

              Is the noise of you pump really loud?

              Are the bubbles produced nearly invisible or do they really obvious and cloud the water?

              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                I cut teeth into the top of each each impeller blade. My pump sits beneath the tank--if the doors are closed on the stand the noise is minimal. The mist that is produced is visible but the bubbles are very small and in my tank it does not create anything similar to cloudiness. where you intend to place the pump and how you configure it will determine the size that you need. Remember that the pump looses effectiveness the farther away it is from the water source (headspace) so the stated GPH of the pump is reduced. I am not sure what type of filter you're currently using and how/where you're thinking of introducing the external pump. You might also consider a small inline diffuser (I know that GLA has a number that you can look at). I actually use a small Waterplant, inline diffuser, on my 60 gal and it works great.

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