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For what it’s worth. I’ve been running the 120LL with 3 diffusers at 7 feet depth (used to be deeper), one Vertex dual 9”, and two Matala 12”” singles. To get equal flow from each, the gate valves supplying the Matalas need to be closed off slightly. Meaning Matala can move the same air with less pressure, as discussed before. I would guess the difference in pressure required to operate, is less than 1psi between diffusers brands.
Both types perform quite well, Vertex getting the slight edge in quality but, the value is offset by its high cost.

The 120LL with Matala, is easily a winning combination when measured by effectiveness, efficiency and value.

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Originally Posted by Journeyman
For what it’s worth. I’ve been running the 120LL with 3 diffusers at 7 feet depth (used to be deeper), one Vertex dual 9”, and two Matala 12”” singles. To get equal flow from each, the gate valves supplying the Matalas need to be closed off slightly. Meaning Matala can move the same air with less pressure, as discussed before. I would guess the difference in pressure required to operate, is less than 1psi between diffusers brands.
Both types perform quite well, Vertex getting the slight edge in quality but, the value is offset by its high cost.

The 120LL with Matala, is easily a winning combination when measured by effectiveness, efficiency and value.


When you say effectiveness, can you post how many GPM it bring to the surface in comparison to the Vertex? That's what I would consider a measure of effectiveness.


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Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by Journeyman
For what it’s worth. I’ve been running the 120LL with 3 diffusers at 7 feet depth (used to be deeper), one Vertex dual 9”, and two Matala 12”” singles. To get equal flow from each, the gate valves supplying the Matalas need to be closed off slightly. Meaning Matala can move the same air with less pressure, as discussed before. I would guess the difference in pressure required to operate, is less than 1psi between diffusers brands.
Both types perform quite well, Vertex getting the slight edge in quality but, the value is offset by its high cost.

The 120LL with Matala, is easily a winning combination when measured by effectiveness, efficiency and value.


When you say effectiveness, can you post how many GPM it bring to the surface in comparison to the Vertex? That's what I would consider a measure of effectiveness.

If the goal is to create tiny bubbles that rise to the top of the water and create a current of circulation, Matala is very effective because it does more with less restriction.

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Originally Posted by Journeyman
Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by Journeyman
For what it’s worth. I’ve been running the 120LL with 3 diffusers at 7 feet depth (used to be deeper), one Vertex dual 9”, and two Matala 12”” singles. To get equal flow from each, the gate valves supplying the Matalas need to be closed off slightly. Meaning Matala can move the same air with less pressure, as discussed before. I would guess the difference in pressure required to operate, is less than 1psi between diffusers brands.
Both types perform quite well, Vertex getting the slight edge in quality but, the value is offset by its high cost.

The 120LL with Matala, is easily a winning combination when measured by effectiveness, efficiency and value.


When you say effectiveness, can you post how many GPM it bring to the surface in comparison to the Vertex? That's what I would consider a measure of effectiveness.

If the goal is to create tiny bubbles that rise to the top of the water and create a current of circulation, Matala is very effective because it does more with less restriction.

A better measure of effectiveness for diffusers is the combination of airflow and surface area of the bubbles. Vertex has 0.5 mm air pores while many others have 1 mm. I’m not sure on matala, but it describes them as “medium sized” so I would guess 1 mm is optimistic. Either way, at the same airflow a diffuser with air pores 1/2 the size actually has 4 times the surface area. Surface area is important because surface contact it is what allows the water to take oxygen from the air, the primary goal of most aeration set ups.

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Originally Posted by Journeyman
If the goal is to create tiny bubbles that rise to the top of the water and create a current of circulation, Matala is very effective because it does more with less restriction.

But when an aeration system is designed for a pond, the amount of water brought to the surface per minute or per hour is needed to be known to run the numbers to see how many diffusers are needed in a pond. So, if that data is not available, then it's a guessing game, and while that may be fine for a DIY situation, it's not fine if a person is buying a system for their pond.


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You guys are getting a little technical here, then assuming a the worst. There are different levels of DIYers. This one, asked similar questions years ago. Here's some of what I came up with, hope you can appreciate it.

The job starts with the Goal, in this case - get air to the bottom of the pond. Let's not over complicate.
The Aerator has two jobs. 1. Inject some air, via tiny bubbles. 2. Create a current of water.
Both Vertex and Matala are so similar in both. Visually, Matala looks more impressive with less air.

I already said, I'm running 3 diffusers at 7 feet depth, with just under 4psi back pressure at the pump.

What we know from the manufacturers;
Vertex XL2 data shows, 2,400gpm at 7 feet with 1 cfm.
HiBlow 120LL data shows, 3.8psi = 3.4cfm.

HiBlow should be able to run 3 diffusers nicely at 7feet depth with 1cfm each. And it appears it is.

How do I confirm the actual current flow? I did this years ago.
Paddle out over the Matala boil of bubbles and measure the boil diameter, it's about 30", but it starts out at 12". I estimate a 24" diameter column of water average for this purpose.
Next figure out how fast it is rising. See how deep I can let go a bright nylon ribbon into the column, before it rises to the surface in 1 second. It's just over 2 feet.

Calculate the 24" diameter by the 24" depth, it's approximately 47 gallons of water, per second.
So, 47 gallons per second x 60 seconds is 2,820gpm. This is really close to the Vertex claim of 2,400gpm. I'll round down to Vertex numbers going forward.

How long does it take to turn over the volume of water in the entire pond?
Calculating the pond size of 1.2 acres with an average depth 6 feet, 2,376,000 gallons is estimated.

2,400gpm x 3 diffusers = 7,200gpm x 60 minutes = 432,000 gallons per hour. This means the pond turns over once approximately every 5 1/2 hours. A number I'm very happy with.

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Cool approach to estimating the lift rate, Journey! I like the idea of oversizing a system just to cover all the assumptions that we make while designing...moving water in a pond is not an exact science.

Jumping back a few posts...

I pulled my 3 vertex diffusers (9" dia) yesterday to clean them and relocate them slightly. After they were cleaned and just sitting in the open air, I remembered this thread and turned on the compressor and completely opened the dump valve. Unfortunately, the dump valve could not relieve all the airflow, so all I could get was a point of reference. All three diffusers were swelled and passing air and the pressure gage was reading just slightly over 1 psi. I know that it takes less than 1.25 psi to operate a Vertex diffuser. Probably much less if we consider the line losses that would be included in my "test". I will continue to use 1 psi for calculation purposes.


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Originally Posted by Quarter Acre
Cool approach to estimating the lift rate, Journey! I like the idea of oversizing a system just to cover all the assumptions that we make while designing...moving water in a pond is not an exact science.

Thanks QA, was hoping an analytical guy such as yourself might find this helpful.

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I was thinking of doing something like a Airlift set up with my Hiblow 120LL. My pond is 15' deep, so I would hang my 12" Matala at around 5' in the deepest area and connect a 5' or o piece of 10" PVC directly under it and hope to draw some water from 10' down?

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Fishtruck, I don't think you will see much, if any, water lifted from below the diffuser strictly due to the 10" pipe below it. Water will be drawn upward from below the diffuser by default without a pipe, but how far below is the question (not much movement at 5 feet below the diffuser I'd bet). Now, if you could run a large enough pipe to put the diffuser into (with enough extra room around the diffuser so water could pass it) that had the pipe below AND above it...it would pull water from below due to the upward draw of the air bubbles in the pipe section above the diffuser. For example, 12 foot vertical pipe with the top of it at 1 foot below the surface and the diffuser 5 foot below the surface would pull water up from 13 plus feet below the surface.


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That's a great idea! I will look for some 14" light weight plastic culvert and see if I can rig that.

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16" would be a better choice (maybe 18"). Here's my thinking...the bubble plum will be about 12" in diameter due to the 12" Matalla diffuser. The cross sectional area of that 12" plum would be 113 square inches. I would want the equivalent area between the diffuser and the inner wall of the pipe to allow water to flow past the diffuser. That would mean the pipe would need 226 square inches of cross sectional area. If you back that into a pipe size, you get 16" diameter pipe. Anything smaller will not be as efficient, meaning the diffuser will be acting like a restriction in it's own system.

How big around is the Matalla overall? I suspect the diaphragm is 12" and it has some extra width to it from it's frame. Let's say it's 13", that only leaves a 1/2" gap between it and the inner pipe wall. That's not much of a passage to allow 1000 plus gallons by every minute. 18" would be my "go-to" for a 12" diffuser.

I am really basing these comments on a very crude rule of thumb for fluid flows, so it may not be 100% accurate. I am very interested in the outcome, however. I cannot figure out why ponds/lakes do not have this type of system more often. I have always thought it would be the expense of the added pipe-works and anchoring systems. It would resemble an under-gravel-filter for an aquarium (without the under-gravel part).


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fishtruck - creative idea for water uplift flow. Keep us in the information loop of your progress and success. We are interested in creative thinking and ideas. Hopefully you are successful.


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