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Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
#523134 07/01/20 11:38 AM
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We dug a large pond to use the dirt for our housepad. The pond averages 14' deep with the shallowest spots being about 10' and the deepest being around 16ish feet. It's deepest on both ends.

The pond measures 236' from end to end and is 65' across both ends and narrows to 42' across in the middle. It's also shallowest in the middle.

I contacted Halfoffponds.com and it was suggested that I purchase this aerator system:

https://www.halfoffponds.com/water-gardens-fish-ponds-aeration-systems-pump-kit-p/parp-80ksd2.htm

I knew I would have to do something sooner or later, but it's obviously sooner, because the pond is only half full and it's stagnant and already starting to get some filmy muck on the surface of the water.

This is my first rodeo so I'm seeking opinions on this setup.

Thoughts?

TIA!

Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523141 07/01/20 05:31 PM
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Anyone?

Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523143 07/01/20 06:37 PM
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Well, there's no reviews on it and you might be hard pressed to find someone with experience with that specific of a model. The specs on it look pretty powerful, but I've also heard that the "septic" type of air pump lasts longer. Hopefully the experts will be on here shortly to give you better advice.

Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
Steve_ #523144 07/01/20 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve_
I've also heard that the "septic" type of air pump lasts longer.

I was told that because of the depth of my pond that the amount of pressure the water would place on the diffusers, a septic type of pump would not be powerful enough. But, I'm clueless when it comes to this....

I'm just trying to make sure that I'm not being taken...

Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523150 07/02/20 05:29 AM
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I am in the learning process on aerators. I have made my own. I have a little over an acre pond that runs to about 14' deep. I am currently using an AP100 septic pump with 3 100' 1/2" lines running off of it. The pump is working fine. I have had it going 24/7 for about a month. I have made my own diffusers but believe I need smaller and more bubbles. I am going to try soaker hose this weekend and if that doesn't work I will be buying air stones. If you need more "power" you can use a bigger line. I am looking at going to a 3/4" or 1" line. The 1/2" is working fine, but I think I can increase the longevity of the pump with a larger line i.e. reduced back pressure.

Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523153 07/02/20 07:14 AM
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I can't vouch for the system (or vendor) as I am not familiar with it, but according to the advertised specs...this system is more than adequate for your approximate 1/3 acre pond. You will be pushing about 9-10 psi if you put the diffusers in the deepest part and that would be supplying over 6 CFM of air to the diffusers (about 3 each if they are at the same depth). Assuming the diffusers can handle that amount of air flow...all should be good. Vertex and Matala diffusers are rated at 1 CFM and 1.5 CFM, respectively ( I know they can handle more, but for how long I don't know). You should have enough CFM to add a couple more diffusers if you wanted, but two would do the trick. I would suggest getting rid of the 3/8" line and going with the 5/8" ID line to help with efficiency (pump running costs and excessive wear), OR if you add more diffusers, then use the 5/8" line on those, at least.

You should also consider the costs of adding control valves and a pressure gauge to the system along with the pump housing and cooling fan. EDIT: and you will want a smaller pressure relief valve. Your aeration system should not see more than 15 psi if set up correctly and the supplied 50 psi relief is overkill.

Welcome to the forums 1eyed!

Last edited by Quarter Acre; 07/02/20 07:23 AM.

Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
Quarter Acre #523159 07/02/20 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Quarter Acre
this system is more than adequate for your approximate 1/3 acre pond.


By "more than adequate," I'm assuming this might be borderline overkill? Should I size this down?


Originally Posted by Quarter Acre
You will be pushing about 9-10 psi if you put the diffusers in the deepest part and that would be supplying over 6 CFM of air to the diffusers (about 3 each if they are at the same depth). Assuming the diffusers can handle that amount of air flow...all should be good.

So, I'll be pushing "too much" air? If the diffusers "can" handle that amount of air, will the surface of my pond look like a water volcano ready to erupt?

Originally Posted by Quarter Acre
Vertex and Matala diffusers are rated at 1 CFM and 1.5 CFM, respectively ( I know they can handle more, but for how long I don't know). [/quore]

Are Vertex and Matala diffusers the diffusers to have? I'm totally new to this and don't know what brands make the best equipment.


[quote=Quarter Acre]You should also consider the costs of adding control valves and a pressure gauge to the system along with the pump housing and cooling fan. EDIT: and you will want a smaller pressure relief valve. Your aeration system should not see more than 15 psi if set up correctly and the supplied 50 psi relief is overkill.

I was going to build the pump a small "hut" to sit in with cooling fans drawing cool air in and pulling hot air out. What do you mean by "adding control valves?" What is it that I need to control? I thought these things were pretty much "plug and play."

Forgive my ignorance; so, if I understand pressure relief correctly, the air pressure can build up in the line by way of the pump putting too much air into it too fast and the diffusers not letting enough of the air out? Then the relief valve would let that back pressure out? Is that right?

And, the current system configuration would allow 50 psi to occur before relief?

Would a different system altogether be a better choice? I was told I couldn't do this with a "septic" type pump because of the depth, but now I'm rethinking that. I will take your recommendations because you seem very knowledgeable.

Originally Posted by Quarter Acre
Welcome to the forums 1eyed!

Thank you! And, I greatly, greatly appreciate your help!

Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
Bullwinkle #523160 07/02/20 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bullwinkle
I am in the learning process on aerators. I have made my own. I have a little over an acre pond that runs to about 14' deep. I am currently using an AP100 septic pump with 3 100' 1/2" lines running off of it. The pump is working fine. I have had it going 24/7 for about a month. I have made my own diffusers but believe I need smaller and more bubbles. I am going to try soaker hose this weekend and if that doesn't work I will be buying air stones. If you need more "power" you can use a bigger line. I am looking at going to a 3/4" or 1" line. The 1/2" is working fine, but I think I can increase the longevity of the pump with a larger line i.e. reduced back pressure.

That's crazy that you're running at the ~same depth as me in a bigger pond than mine, with a septic pump, and you're running 3 diffusers off of it??? I was told that a septic pump would not work with 2 diffusers on mine because it would not be powerful enough?? I'm getting so much misinformation online that it's making my brain hurt.

Now when you say you're going to go up to a 3/4" or 1" line to increase power, and longevity, and reducing back pressure....wouldn't the diffusers have to be able to diffuse that much air flowing to them or you would still get the back pressure, correct?

Thanks for your help! I'm going to start looking at AP100 pumps....

Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523162 07/02/20 12:28 PM
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I do not know anything about this system. I use vertex for the aerators I have. If you get this system, let us know how it does for you. Ask about bubble size and lift rates vs depth. At 16 feet, you will be placing your aerator around 14.5 to 15 feet below the surface. At that depth, I would expect around 7.5 PSI. Also, make sure you are not "disturbing" the bottom or you will see a lot of sediment added to the water column.


Let us know what you find out.


Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%
Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523164 07/02/20 01:54 PM
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It's impossible to say if this system is overkill without the lift rate data that Highflyer mentions and most aeration vendors don't give it out or know it to begin with (To be fair, liftrates are difficult to measure and/or calculate). Vertex is a common name with PB board members and they supply lift rates for their diffusers...I use their diffusers. If the kit heads lift much less water than the Vertex heads then the kit heads need more air to do the same work, hence a larger pump. My 3 head system uses a 1/4 HP rotary vane pump (Gast 0523).

6 CFM would be a lot of air to push through two Vertex diffusers, but I can't say for the one's in this kit. I keep my air flow about 1 to 1-1/2 CFM per diffuser. IF, for say, the kit diffusers have large holes and plenty of them...they will move less water than one with smaller holes. The smaller the bubbles (given the same CFM), the more water lift you get and the more turbulence at the surface...the more aeration you get.

Air control valves would be used to balance the flow going to each diffuser. For example, with one head in deep water and the other in shallower water (without any air control valves)...the
shallow head would get the most air and be more turbulent. The air would be taking the path of least resistance. The deeper the head, the more pressure required to push the air down to that depth. Use 1/2 psi per foot of water column as a good rule of thumb...a head in 16 foot of water would require 8 psi (1/2 psi X 16 feet) of back pressure to produce bubbles. A head in 8 foot of water would need 4 psi...more air flow will come out of the shallower head. So, you put a valve on the shallow line and choke it back some which drives more air to the deeper one equalizing the water boil/lift. This is not an absolute necessary, but you be glad you put them in. I like to balance the boils so that all of the boils are about the same. Too much air through a single head could be "blowing it up" (equals shorter life).

My system typically runs with about 5-7 psi at the pump outlet, so, I use an adjustable relief valve that I set to about 11 psi. If one of the lines get pinched, clogged, or filled with water that can't be pushed out...the relief valve pops open and relieves the pumps pressure to the atmosphere. This can save the pump from deadheading and burning up. 50 psi is unnecessarily high for your application. If you were pumping air down to 90 feet deep (90 feet X 1/2 psi per foot = 45 psi), a 50 psi relief valve would make more sense. With that said, I am not too familiar with piston pumps and it might not be a big deal, but It seems too high for my comfort level.

Rocking piston pumps are common for aeration systems especially for deeper ponds. Some septic air pumps are diaphragm pumps and those are not so good at pumping air down deep. The rotary vanes fall in the middle somewhere. The deeper the pond, the more pressure the pump must make to maintain good airflow. And, all pumps lose CFM the deeper the head is set...some are just better at maintaining air flow (CFM's) in deeper waters/higher pressures. Piston pumps are the best for deeper waters.

I pieced my system together using the Gast 0523 rotary vane pump, 3 Vertex 9" diffusers and a bunch of plumbing I scrounged up. It was not much of a cost savings compared to a Vertex Kit, but I enjoyed the process more than the potential savings.

By looking at just the specs and assuming someone with some background in aeration designed it, I think this system would be a good fit to your pond with a diffuser in each end. I would consider doing two in each end as this pump sure puts out alot of air and you get better surface agitation hence better surface aesthetics. You want the system to be over sized to some degree because you live in a warm climate and will not be running the air during the day much in the summer. Daytime summer heat can really get the pond hot with the air running. I run mine only at night during the summer. So, it's got to do the job in half the time (12 hours at night).

I'll try to find some threads worth reading and post the links back to this thread. You can get pretty deep into the theory of system design in a hurry.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523165 07/02/20 02:14 PM
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Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523170 07/02/20 05:00 PM
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QA,

Very nice summary. I would agree a Rotary vane system would most likely be a better fit. Also, the cost of energy can not be discounted. Correct power usage gets you closer to best value.

As for the right size system, it is all about lift rates and run times. Without that data, you are guessing.


Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%
Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
highflyer #523190 07/03/20 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by highflyer
QA,

As for the right size system, it is all about lift rates and run times. Without that data, you are guessing.


Please help me understand then, because I can't find diffusers/compressors where "lift rates are listed." I've scoured the interwebs and I can't find that information.

Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523191 07/03/20 11:21 AM
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I went back out to the property today to take some updated exact measurements since the last time I did a "quick and dirty" measurement was right after the pond was dug back in February.

Obviously there has been some settling and my OP measurements are inaccurate. I've attached a sketch of the pond.

It averages only 12 feet deep. I've attached a rough sketch of the pond along with more accurate measurements.

Now I'm thinking a 1/4 hp compressor with a two way manifold would be the way to go:

https://www.pondandgardendepot.com/...-compressors/matala-mpc-aeration-system/

It seems more reasonable.

Attached Files
Pond Sketch.jpg (20.76 KB, 44 downloads)
Last edited by One Ayed Jack; 07/03/20 11:22 AM.
Re: Half off ponds suggested aerator. Thoughts?
One Ayed Jack #523226 07/04/20 08:17 AM
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Here are a couple threads that talk about lift rates and as far as I know...Vertex is the only company that has done the testing to be able to produce their lift rates...

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=280961

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=490146

You'll want to start by estimating the gallons in you pond. There are many "Pond Volume Calculators" on the web that will help with that. You may have to just use some basic dimensions and give your best guess at average dimensions, but it will be good enough so long as you oversize your system to do the job all at night.

Using the following sites...

https://www.pondvolumecalculator.com/

https://vertexaquaticsolutions.com/pond-and-lake-aeration-calculators/

and using 50 foot average width, 226 foot length, & 12 foot average depth yields just over a million gallons and a 1/4 acre surface. Unless your pond is strip-mine-like with very steep sides...I suspect the average depth to be much less than 12 feet. Play with the numbers as you see fit and start calculating turnover rates. I would used Vertex lift rates if going with a different brand of membrane diffuser that did not have that info available. Keeping in mind that there could be some sizable differences between the two designs. Whatever you end up with, you can test the turnover rate by watching the water column temperatures at the bottom compared to the top. Approximately one turnover happens when the temps at the bottom and the top are within a few degrees (2-5) of each other. At least that's my theory. Start the system up gradually as prescribed (not all ant once)...once you get to the point of running about half the day, you will see that the water temps are pretty much the same from top to bottom when the aeration turns off (given the system size is adequate). Let 12 hours go by with it off and you will see a temperature difference again between top water and bottom. Start it up and check the temps every hour (in the middle of the pond). Once you see very little difference in top and bottom temp...you have your turnover rate (or very close). I consider top water temps to be at about 18" down and bottom temps to be at the very bottom (within a few inches at least). The top 6" of water can always be hotter in the summer even with air on due to the effects of the sun and ambient air...that's why I only look at the 18" mark for this test.

EDIT: At a very quick glance... a 1/4 hp pump (piston or rotary vane) and 2 diffusers would be a safe bet. You need to know what the output (CFM's) of the pump would be a the depths you'll have the heads and make sure you are not over-driving the heads. You may find that you need to add a head to lessen the flow to the original 2, or use a smaller pump. This all depends on what heads you go with and how much CFM they suggest pushing through them.

Last edited by Quarter Acre; 07/04/20 08:22 AM.

Fish on!,
Noel

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