Aquaponic Gardening

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     Are You Using an Airlift Pump?

     Glenn Martinez of Olomana Gardens and I had several problems to solve down at America Samoa during 2011 when we came from Hawaii to teach and build aquaponics systems to the local community.      We have found out that the Airlift Pump was the appropriate solution for several issues and thus we became most interested in the subject.

     Since then, Glenn has improved and invented very efficient airlift pumping systems that we would like to share them with all of you tomorrow, Monday, August 12, 2013 at 4:00 PM EST (which is 10:00 AM in Hawaii). Click here for the event:

     We will go through the various airlift pump systems that were developed by Glenn Martinez of Olomana Garden and concentrate then on the “How To” of particular systems.
     May I now ask you to please let me know if you are using airlift pump?

If yes, what are using it for and how?






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Aquaponics Webinar Series Available Now! See our Aquaculture Program (HNFAS) webinars titled "Aquaponics: Paradigm Shift with Airlift" on eXtension.

not yet- but i am trying to figure out the specs necessary to install one and run it off solar-  here is the build i am working on- i am assuming the airlift would work in the sump tank to pump water to the fish tank-


You could definitely run it from the sump to the fish tank.  Glenn will often times dig a hole or place a pipe at the bottom of the sump to make it's depth deeper to pump to a higher head height.  

the pics i've seen for geyser pumps seem to require a long diameter sump and a horizontal water intake- do you think i can have a geyser pump using a 55 gallon drum as a sump tank as shown in the picture?  do you have any recommendations for diy plans? 

i don't know much about plumbing so i would need to know what kind of fittings to use.

R.K. Castillo said:

You could definitely run it from the sump to the fish tank.  Glenn will often times dig a hole or place a pipe at the bottom of the sump to make it's depth deeper to pump to a higher head height.  

If you watch the video that Dr.Benny posted you will see a few different designs they do.  It's not so much diameter of the sump but depth of the sump.  You can have a 3 inch pipe that goes 6 feet into the ground to add the extra depth you need.  Or put the 55 gallon drum you have on the ground right now up on a couple cinder blocks and have the pipe coming out of the bottom of the drum to get a bit more depth as well.  

As for DIY plans, watch the webinar from Dr.Benny and videos on YouTube from Glenn you can see how they do it.   

An old question but, yes, I'm using an airlift pump.  A 40 watt air pump runs continuously, pumping air to the bottom of my tank via a .5 inch diameter pipe, which is inside a 1.4 inch pipe.  It lifts water about 2.5 feet from the surface of my tank to the surface of a 100 gal gravel bed.  The bottom of my fish tank is spotless with all debris, uneaten food, etc removed.  Formerly, all of my aeration was from the primary pump, which pumps in sequence to 6 beds but now the airlift pump also provides aeration and I've reduced primary pumping to the beds.  At this point, I'm completely sold on the airlift and don't intend to be without it.  The food not eaten by fish is now eaten by composting worms in the gravel bed.  The worm waste is part of the nutrient stream and worms can be fed to the fish, which the fish love.

For small systems, one tank, one gravel bed, one siphon, airlifts would be a good way to go. In a system like that, you could dispense with the siphon, if you wish, and go with continuous flood/drain, utilizing a standpipe.

In larger systems, airlift pumps also have applications, one of which would be to aerate and circulate water, at the same time pumping water to a filter if you wish.  If you simply want to aerate and circulate water in a tank, you could do that with a 20 watt air pump and move quite a bit of water, with very little lift.  

Airlift water pumps and aquaponics is a good fit.

I asked this on a different page about this pump but I think you have answered it here.

I wanted to know if you could have the pump inside the sump, or if you needed the pressure from the tank out let at the bottom. It would mean a major re-dig for my in-ground cement sumps.

Just how big can this go?

It showed a 900gph pump, can it simply just scaled up with bigger air pumps and larger pipe?

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