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Can air lift technology  replace the water pump in a small system?

Also how much CFS do you need to push 30 gallons per minute?

2 " (sch 40)  pipe is enough?

Who has the best air stones?

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Tom... there is some info here in section 4.3.5.2 on airlifts. Some ratios/principles are explained (diagrams are included) and the formulas behind them are presented as well (always a plus).

It's 3/4 of the way through, towards the end of the document. Might help a bit. (There's a host of other interesting stuff for Aquanuts in there as well).

http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/Travis/Aquaponics-Design.pdf

yes, based on a geyser pump. it did move more water with the 40 ltr pump than without the chamber. the volume was good, i was hoping for more lift. it pushed 5gpm at 6" of lift ...not bad i guess. most ap designs require more lift than an airlift can offer.  ...where could we use an airlift in AP?



Rob Nash said:

here is one i built with a chamber, it did make larger gulps, but didnt improve volume as much as they claim it does.

i was at 5 gpm, with a 40L pump

This is another option to the airlift pump, aka burper pump. http://www.aquaculturehub.org/video/burper-pump

Basically a the air water pump + a check valve and an overflow catch from what I can tell. I was thinking of something like this for my system ^_^ hehehehe ...
 
Edit:
Watching it again it looks like he made a "J" ram where the air pumps down then 90's over to a pipe where the bottom is exposed to water and the top (aka 3way T) is the jet out. This is where the 2" one way valve is. 

Thanks Vlad

thanks Burton and  Glen, this gives the 3 or 4 ft were looking for. i will try this and report back

Airlifts are good for systems where little height difference is needed.  Say a micro or tiny system using a constant flood bed might use air to lift water from the fish tank a few inches into a constant flood media bed that can then drain back to the fish tank.  This might also work for a small raft system where a few inches of lift would be enough to get the water into a solids filter/bio-filter that would connect to the raft that would drain back to the fish tank- the top edges of all the tanks would probably be about the same.

Keeping in mind that the tank the water is being lifted from needs to be fairly deep compared to the amount of lift.

According to Aquatic Eco Systems, you don't want to use a diffuser inside an airlift pipe, the bigger bubbles from the air tube do just fine and you avoid having the air stone in the way of the water flow for the 2" pipe.

For those that attended the Aquaponics Association Conference in Denver, they most likely spent time around the table Glenn Martinez and Natalie Diaz-Cash from Olomana Gardens had going. Their versions of burper pumps for demo were a big draw. I have a video of a tour at their farm on Oahu, Hawaii online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L0jeBy6GZs&sns=sms. Glenn goes into more on his pumps.

This whole topic got me thing what about an S-Educator Pump.  We used to use them in the Navy to drain wells, damaged ships.  The principal uses water to discharge water, in massive volumes.  Of course probably send some fish a flying, but the principal seems the same.  I added a diagram of one.

It allows a low pressure stream to create a high volume stream.  We have used 7lbs of water pressure to generate 100lbs of water pressure.  Why couldn't air or a combined lv delivery pump of air and water.  Just need to scale it down.

I love the idea of the air lift. Sort of feels like getting something for nothing. Especially when the low energy and extra aeration are figured in.
I believe Glenn talked about the use of air injected into the pump flow to assist the pump. I'm not sure what the flow and pressure differences work out to. I know he added a plastic drum and was able to get some decent pressure to use a hose.

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