I have been working with air lifts in Aquaponics and wondering if anyone else is trying them.
We first tried the air lifts to deal with a problem of theft at school locations. Submersible pumps were being stolen regularly. So we put the air pump in the class room, a super quiet model, and ran the air line out the upper window to the fish tank. We had to invent our own pump because we could not find a commercial model.
If anyone is interested I will email them our manual for building several models.
Some of the advantages are....much less electricity.
The piping does not clog, like the filters on submersible pumps or external leaf filters.
The air lift picks up the fish solids and pumps them to the cinder bed were the Indian Blue worms eat the fish waste.
There is NO electricity in the water.
Since the air pump is located inside the building or a dry location, no GFI outlet is required.
The air pump super aerates the fish water on its way to the cinder. Most of our systems have no additional air pumps or air stones.
We have never cleaned or had to clear a air lift pump. No clogs.
The air lift is not bothered by sand or corrosive salt water or gritty water. Since we use volcanic cinder that gets sanded, this is a big deal.
We are pumping 150 gallons of water with 24 watt air pump, 24 inches high.
with a 38 watt, I can pump 300 gallons per hour at 24 inches head, and at 36 inches head only drop down to 200 gallons per hour.
I will post some pictures ASAP.