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ISO large air pump for centralized air system

Wet Sleeves

CCA Members
Staff member
Bit of a reach but I figured Id asked before I drop $300 on a larger pump. If you have an extra let me know what you have. Im currently running Alita AL-80 in the fishroom and Im out of air already, so its time to upgrade to larger model.

Thanks
 

DiscusnAfricans

President
Staff member
What size PVC are you running? Sometimes increasing the size of your PVC will provide more air if it's undersized. That's more work than replacing the pump, but could be cheaper.
 

lgfelic

Members
JLW JLW may have one for sale
 

Wet Sleeves

CCA Members
Staff member
The real problem Im having is getting air to the bottom of my 125. I can increase volume by opening up the diameter of the PVC but when you do that you decrease the amount of pressure so the air wont push down into the deeper tanks. it would probably make my issue Worse
 

DiscusnAfricans

President
Staff member
The real problem Im having is getting air to the bottom of my 125. I can increase volume by opening up the diameter of the PVC but when you do that you decrease the amount of pressure so the air wont push down into the deeper tanks. it would probably make my issue Worse
What about using a tee to join air from 2 valves to the same filter? I did that when I started having capacity issues from a single valve, but it only works if you have free valves. You could probably add valves though depending on your system.
 

Wet Sleeves

CCA Members
Staff member
What about using a tee to join air from 2 valves to the same filter? I did that when I started having capacity issues from a single valve, but it only works if you have free valves. You could probably add valves though depending on your system.
I was able to talk to one of the engineers at Alita. Basically he stated that Im out of air for anything that deep, gave me a few options with regards to running another pump in parallel or upgrading. I wish I could've recorded our conversation as he threw a slough of info at me and it was amazing talking with him. The customer service of
Alita is second to none and they are amazing pumps. I've got a few options but at 36 tanks and 50-60 outlets on the loop Im pretty much tapped out
 

JLW

CCA Members
That's one of the troubles of a centralized air system: it really only works if the tanks are all about the same depth. If you mix a couple of much deeper tanks in there, the pressure is higher, and air goes out through the place of least resistance...

I found this even on a system with 15s, 40s, and a few 65 highs. The 15s and 40s were similar enough in depth to not be an issue, but hit that deeper tank, and they just couldn't push. You can, of course, lift your airlines up (I had some of my sponge filters on multiple risers).

Even a bigger pump may not solve it -- you need extra capacity to compensate for the pressure differential.
 

ApistoAly

CCA Members
Bit of a reach but I figured Id asked before I drop $300 on a larger pump. If you have an extra let me know what you have. Im currently running Alita AL-80 in the fishroom and Im out of air already, so its time to upgrade to larger model.

Thanks
Are you selling your old pump?
 

DiscusnAfricans

President
Staff member
Funny, I was going to ask what you might do with the original pump if you decide to replace it, but looks like I'm already just 3rd in line.

Interesting info from Josh though, I always noticed it was the deeper tanks that had the issue, didn't consider that it just pushed more into the shallower tanks though, but I have restricted the flow to those tanks for compensation.

Really wish I had the brain energy to dive into the physics and engineering though, I'm sure the discussion with the Alita people was informative.

So Josh would you recommend upgrading the pump and the PVC volume? Could you get away with just adding more length of the same diameter?
 

Wet Sleeves

CCA Members
Staff member
Sorry guys, Im not selling my pump. it will be my back up in case of emergency. JLW JLW when you say risers, what did you use?
 

Wet Sleeves

CCA Members
Staff member
I also noticed that FWE/ Fresh Water Exotics, had the blue airstones hooked into heater suction cup/clips half way up the tanks. I wonder if that was their resolution to a similar problem as the one that Im having.
 

DiscusnAfricans

President
Staff member
I wonder if using airstones on the smaller tanks would help push some of the pressure back for the deeper tanks if those weren't using airstones.

I've used rocks or other flat decor when needed, even used a plastic cup when I was desperate.
 

Wet Sleeves

CCA Members
Staff member
I wonder if using airstones on the smaller tanks would help push some of the pressure back for the deeper tanks if those weren't using airstones.

I've used rocks or other flat decor when needed, even used a plastic cup when I was desperate.
We talked about that as well. Running airstone in your sponge filters is always an option. When you do that, you can increase oxygen/ turn over in tank a bit but you take away from the suction/filtration on the sponge.
 

JLW

CCA Members
I wouldn't run airstones on the sponge filters for exactly that reason. You don't get much flow through them.

I use mostly the hydrosponge, and it has like 5 parts. There's the base, a "foot", a male half, a female half, the airline attachment, and then a clear tube I always lose / throw away. I don't use the "foot" on probably 90% of my tanks, and I have extra parts So, I just stacked several feet together to lift the thing up.

I've also zip tied them to holey bricks. :)
 
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