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#490197 - 05/17/18 12:25 PM New system design questions
wildblue Offline


Registered: 05/17/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Ohio
After a lot of searching and reading on here, I think I have a plan but am looking for any suggestions or guidance. Wanting to keep the fish/pond healthy and would also like to get at least a little surface movement.

I have about a 3/4 acre pond, about 14' at the deep end. I wouldn't even call it oval, more of a rounded rectangle smile ~ 100' x 325'

I have an outbuilding ~ 350' from the deep end. From what I've found, it might make the most sense to run air out there (and keep the compressor in the barn) vs running electric or putting a solar setup in. It's pretty much all downhill from the barn to the pond edge, I was only going to bury it a few inches.
So 1/4-1/3 HP compressor? RV or piston? Should 1 diffuser be enough? Placed in the center of the deeper 1/3rd of the pond. I was thinking of running a slightly larger air line to the edge so (1/2"?) I'd at least have the option of putting in a second, then just 50' weighted line in the water.
Any opinions / brand recommendations welcome. A lot of what I've been reading on here for similar situations was a number of years old, so I apologize if you might be repeating yourself.

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#490203 - 05/17/18 01:31 PM Re: New system design questions [Re: wildblue]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1096
Loc: West Central Missouri
Welcome Wildblue!

I am in a similar situation as you...I have been designing my aeration system too. I have not installed it yet. Going to the hardware store after work to get more supplies.

If you do not want electric at the pond then you are with the norm of burying airline instead of wire. I think you will find that most will recommend 1/2" to 1" ID air line so that more diffusers can be added without retrenching and adding more underground line. I am putting three 1/2" lines from my little pump house to the waters edge for each of my diffusers so that the control valves are not out in the weather, then using 5/8" weighted hose out into the water.

If you can throw a little more money at the project, I suggest you consider adding another diffuser or two in the shallows for winter time use to keep a hole open. A 1/4 to 1/3 HP pump should run 3 or 4 diffusers so why not add them. With your pond size, you need to run some calculations to really determine how many diffusers it will take to turn the water over at least once a day.

The RV pumps will not pump into deeper water like the piston pumps, but a good RV pump will get to 10 foot easily. Look into the Gast 0523 pump (for DIY)or Pondlyfe systems that use a piston pump. Scott at Hoosier Pond Pros is a good source for info and products. He is also a member here.

Many will advise putting the diffuser/s in the deepest part of the pond to maximize O2 throughout the pond, but others are advising to put them at the 2/3rds depth so that a cooler area can be maintained for heat relief.

I hope that I have given you some things to noodle around.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#503020 - 03/12/19 07:53 PM Re: New system design questions [Re: Quarter Acre]
wildblue Offline


Registered: 05/17/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Ohio
Hey Quarter Acre - did you ever put yours in?
I'm finally ready to pull the trigger on some things:
Still unsure of pump - RV vs piston. After looking around on here, I think RV is the way to go. I've had the chance to poke at the pond the last few months, and max is ~ 12 feet so 1/4hp RV is what I'm thinking.
. My airline ideas remain the same - the few hundred feet of 1" to a manifold feeding one 5/8 weighted (to start) but that should leave me some options if I want to throw another in there. This seems like it should be easier for a DIY system....

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#503047 - 03/13/19 10:18 AM Re: New system design questions [Re: wildblue]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1096
Loc: West Central Missouri
Yes, I got it in last year in late May. All is going well, but I have been struggling a little bit with muddy waters. The air system seems to contribute, but a lot of it is the excessive watershed and available clay in the ravines that feed the pond.

Here is more info than you would want on my system...

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=491318

It's not my thread, just one that came along at the right time for me to spew forth my aeration experience.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#503059 - 03/13/19 02:17 PM Re: New system design questions [Re: Quarter Acre]
wildblue Offline


Registered: 05/17/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Ohio
That helps - thanks! I think I'm going to bury ~ 400' of 1" black poly to a manifold and then it's about 70' of 1/2" weighted. Gast 0523 RV compressor and then two of the vertex diffusers. Although I'm still debating if one XL2 would be better than two XL1.

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#503113 - 03/14/19 11:51 AM Re: New system design questions [Re: wildblue]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1096
Loc: West Central Missouri
I chose to use multiple diffusers so that I could reduce the system down to just one in the shallows for winter time. This requires that you have multiple lines running into the pond, each being controlled by a valve. I also put a dump control valve at the pump to reduce (read "waste") the air so that I am not overpowering the one wintertime diffuser. Whether the vertex single diffuser can handle all the Gast 0523 can put out, I do not know, but I reduced the flow to be on the safe side. Actually, I do know that one diffuser can take a short run of full air flow, but I did not want to run it all winter that way...I did not need the massive boil to help control the ice.

As far as pure lift is concerned, the vertex published chart indicates that you get the same lift when comparing 2 x XL1's to 1 x XL2...

_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#503150 - 03/15/19 09:37 AM Re: New system design questions [Re: Quarter Acre]
wildblue Offline


Registered: 05/17/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Ohio
I think I'll end up with a remote valve box near the water edge - the 1" line will feed that and I can fine tune the diffusers from there.

Interesting thought on the dump valve. Trying to build my own, I'm sure those kinds of things are already in the plug and play kits. So I'll add that to my parts list. The filters, check valves, pop-offs, gauges... they all add up pretty quick. I don't know that I'm saving much $ over a kit, but I am definitely learning more.

That chart is assuming 1cfm... I get a little fuzzy trying to do rough math on that. One diffuser @ 8', another @ 4. 1/2psi for every foot, so that's 6? 3-400' of 1" 'trunk' + valve box + 2 weighted 1/2" ~ 50' ... I should actually be able to push 3 diffusers if I wanted, so maybe I will want to waste a bit with two and even more when there's just one for the winter.
If nothing else, this has actually been kinda fun learning.

Thanks for your replies, Quarter Acre. We need a 'buy them a beer' button on here laugh

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#503152 - 03/15/19 09:52 AM Re: New system design questions [Re: wildblue]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5426
Loc: SE Kansas
What you will do if you have diffusers at various depths is when you turn the system on notice the shallowest diffuser is getting most or even all of the air (depending on the depth differential and if your diffusers have internal restrictor orfices or not). You will then simply start slowly shutting down the air to that diffuser and force more air to the deeper ones. May take 30 seconds after each adjustment for equalization. Leave the deepest valve wide open and reduce flow to shallower ones as needed. You will see the pressure gauge rise as you partially close some valves.

If you have a pressure gauge it will read according to the depth of your deepest diffuser (because it takes that much pressure to push the air to that deepest depth).

Note your final pressure and write it down near the pump. If you note a preseure rise over time, something is starting to restrict air flow. Even a couple tenths of a psi means diffusers may be getting clogged. But pressure is not a sure sign. They are likely clogged and opperating less efficient long before a pressure rise. I like to clean them once or more a year.


Edited by snrub (03/15/19 09:58 AM)
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#503644 - 03/27/19 10:38 PM Re: New system design questions [Re: snrub]
wildblue Offline


Registered: 05/17/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Ohio
Well, we have bubbles.
Ended up with the Gast 0523, 300' of 1" black poly to a nice remote valve box setup. 100' x 2 of 1/2" weighted to two Vertex XL1 diffusers. I'm bumping up against ~ 9psi, which seems high. One XL1 is in about 8' of water, the other in ~4.... so maybe that's not too out of line. I have some tweaking of the pump side components to do that I think should improve it a bit. We will see. Just started it up today to test, but will pull some electric usage numbers here soon. Probably a little cold to be starting anyway, but just ran it for about 15 minutes to get my valve settings close to even. Will probably run for 30 tomorrow and maybe just keep it at 30 for a week or so until I get it dialed in, then continue with the 'double every day' method. If my numbers are right (and they haven't been so far) it should only take 10 hours to turn it over with both running... so maybe 10p - 6a

Big thank you to everyone on the forums here. This thread wasn't super active, but there's a ton of good info around here that I learned from. I know a lot of you probably feel like you just repeat yourself a lot, but for us noobs, that's kinda useful.

I will echo what others have said - if your time is valuable, just get a kit. In total, I ended up about $1,350 + $250 in 'tools' (mostly a subsoiler to bury the trunk line, but I'll use that again) but I learned a ton and know how literally every inch of the system should work. And about $150 of the materials was over-killing the remote valve box - I'm not sure of the policy here, but I'd love to give them a plug.
It took many hours to get there though, but to me that's half the fun.

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#503667 - 03/28/19 10:06 AM Re: New system design questions [Re: wildblue]
Bill Cody Online   content
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12796
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Vertex diffusers have a built-in check valve-air balancing mechanism in their diffuser heads. This causes some additional unavoidable back pressure for the system, thus your 9psi reading for a max of 8ft of water. I think this is one of the reasons why Vertex prefers the higher pressure rocking piston compressors as standard items for their aeration systems. To check the built-in back pressure of your diffusers just hook them up out of the water, close to the pump, using unobstructed airline such as garden hose. Unhook the diffusers and see how much the psi drops (which should then be 0psi open flow from the pump). All you are doing is testing the air flow restriction of the diffusers.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/28/19 10:13 AM)
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#503671 - 03/28/19 10:42 AM Re: New system design questions [Re: wildblue]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1096
Loc: West Central Missouri
Congrats on the bubbles!

9 psi does sound a bit high, but, according to the pump curve, you are putting about 3 CFM to the diffusers which is a good place to be as far as air volume is concerned. You do have a fair amount of line lengths, but that should not account for much more than 1 psi of pressure loss. Add the 4 psi for the depth of the deepest diffuser and 1 or 2 psi for the resistance at the diffusers (what Bill was talking about) and you should be seeing about 7 psi total. 9 psi is not far from that so you are close to my rough estimates. If I were to suspect something, I would look closely at the valves (or system balance...see below). More times than not, a 1/2" valve, for example, will NOT have a 1/2" hole through it which constricts air flow at the valve (the valve hole will be much smaller). There could be your added pressure loss depending on your valve manifold sizing. I used 3/4" steel plumbing at my manifold, including the valves and such, then ran smaller 1/2" PEX line to the water and then 5/8" sinker line to the diffusers. This helped eliminate any tight constrictions at the valves. The 1/2" PEX was a bit of a constriction, technically, but it is what I had available and so it is.

All and all, you are in a good place. If you can get a psi or two regained, your pump will be working less and you will see a bit more air flow.

This could be of help too...(system balance)

I just reset all three of my diffusers (powered by the Gast 0523) by opening all three wide open. The pressure at the pump was at 5 psi (4 psi for my 8 foot deep diffuser and about 1 psi for diffuser and line back-pressure). BUT, as I choked back the more shallow diffusers to increase the boil at the deepest one, the gauge gradually increased to about 7 psi. I don't have near the line lengths that you do, but our systems are in the same ballpark. I can easily get the gauge to read 10 psi, but then the shallow diffusers are weak and the deep one is maxing out. You only have 2 diffusers which, when compared to 3 diffusers acts like a restriction or , better put, acts like a lack of outputs. I'm not saying you have to have 3 diffusers, but a third one would likely lessen your back-pressure.

Once again, your in a good place, just a bit close to the edge. The pump curve suggests that 10 psi is the max under normal operations.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#503853 - 04/01/19 09:49 PM Re: New system design questions [Re: Quarter Acre]
wildblue Offline


Registered: 05/17/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Ohio
I worked out some kinks (literally and figuratively) over the last few days. My original connections to the pump were a bit cobbled together with what I had on hand. I cleaned that up a little and my readings came down to 8psi and I wasn't having the start-up spike anymore.
For many reasons, I ended up putting a waste valve in as well. As QA mentioned, having another outlet helped quite a bit. I'm actually down to about 7.2 which is more where I expected it to be and I think puts me in really good shape air flow wise at 3.2-ish and gives the pump some breathing room.

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