• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • thomas rubino
  • Bill Crim
  • Kim Goodwin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Amit Enventres
  • Mike Jay
  • Dan Boone

Compost tea pump recommendations  RSS feed

 
Posts: 30
Location: NWA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello, good permies! I am looking for folks to recommend a good pump for making compost tea in a 5 gallon bucket. Anyone have one they are stoked with? Any to avoid? Size recommendations, etc are appreciated.

Thanking you in advance,
Tirzah
 
gardener
Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
40
bike books chicken dog forest garden urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have had the eco plus commercial air pump for a few years now and have been impressed. For a 5 gallon you could use the eco plus 1. If you got the eco 2 or 3 you could always expand to a bigger brewer. Right now I am building a new brewer using a 50 gal trashcan so I might be upgrading my pump soon. I am going to see the max capacity of the eco 1
 
Posts: 129
Location: Elgin, IL
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You'll want an air pump that produces a bare minimum of .05 cfm (cubic feet per minute) per gallon of tea. For a 5 gallon system, that's .25 cfm, although .4 cfm is far preferred.

Do NOT use a fish tank aerator pump for a 5 gallon brew; not nearly enough power.
 
Posts: 568
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Call me simple, but I use a leaf rake, with the fan-shaped end, and swish it back and forth for 30 seconds every time I walk past. I use the full size leaf rake in a garbage can about 2/3 full, or a clipped off, skinny leaf rake in a 5 gallon bucket. I saw one skinny enough for the bucket at the hardware store for about $14.
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
40
bike books chicken dog forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cristo you are simple!

 
Posts: 944
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Alex Veidel wrote:You'll want an air pump that produces a bare minimum of .05 cfm (cubic feet per minute) per gallon of tea. For a 5 gallon system, that's .25 cfm, although .4 cfm is far preferred.

Do NOT use a fish tank aerator pump for a 5 gallon brew; not nearly enough power.


Depends on the fish tank aerator. The one I'm using outputs .378 cubic feet per minute.  Far closer to .4 than .25

Couple that with a four gallon brew (fills a two gallon water can twice) and it works fantastically. Granted I would like to scale up soon.

On the subject of scaling up, what's a good and inexpensive on-foot distribution system for perhaps six gallons at a time? I have heard backpack sprayers damage fungal colonies in the tea (though that could be dead hearsay)
 
Posts: 239
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

You can get a diaphragm pump sprayer meant to go on an ATV for about 80$, there might be a smaller version, but you can put one on a dolly with a car/deepcycle battery. You can brew right in that thing if you want and charge it with a solar set up and it's pretty great.
 
Posts: 69
Location: Manila
12
cooking solar urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I imagine a pedal-powered system would be great. A bit of searching and I found this and I'm guessing it won't be too difficult to simplify and adapt for aerating compost tea:
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
40
bike books chicken dog forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In the back of my notebook I have a partial design for a passive compost tea pump. The gist of the idea is a large steel frame with two sealed 55 gallon drums mounted on a lever that could be locked. The air pumping action would come from water in the upper drum leaking down into the lower drum and displacing the air inside, once it drained fully you would jack the full one up and the now empty one is on the bottom having the air displaced. The operator would switch the position of the drums to keep the pump constantly running. The details of the actual hardware and mechanics are rough at this point, but I imagine a jack/lift or lever mechanism to make lifting the drums back and forth easy enough.

The general concept of the air pump is demonstrated decently on this youtube vid


More in the spirit of this thread I commented 2 years ago that the ecoplus 1 was a good pump, I still think that, although it is loud. I have since been using an Ecoplus 3 and its been good, but loud as well. It is suitable for 50-100gs.
 
Posts: 178
Location: ALASKA
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have an eco pump with two airstones that I initially bought for compost tea, but saw no real benefit of the compost tea over just using the compost in my garden.  I repurposed the air pump into my hydroponics set up. The pump works very well in adding air to a system and I had no problems with it in my compost tea brewer.
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
40
bike books chicken dog forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have always thought of compost tea making as a way to multiply your good compost. My household does not produce enough worm castings to cover the entire growing area, so multiplying the goodness with tea making is a good option.
 
Posts: 325
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft
21
trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a Kreonite chemical pump that's powered by a magnet, to isolate the pump and motor. If you pump out of the bottom and let it splash onto the surface seems like it'd be good. I'd even consider the aquarium water pumps. If you don't get enough volume just let it run longer, like on a timer. The advantage of the fluid pump is that you could pump tea into your lawn, or into your sprinkler system or even your drip irrigation line.
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 944
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Zach Muller wrote:I have always thought of compost tea making as a way to multiply your good compost. My household does not produce enough worm castings to cover the entire growing area, so multiplying the goodness with tea making is a good option.


It's also an excellent way to power up the composting process of carbonatious sheet mulch.
 
Walt Chase
Posts: 178
Location: ALASKA
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Zach Muller wrote:I have always thought of compost tea making as a way to multiply your good compost. My household does not produce enough worm castings to cover the entire growing area, so multiplying the goodness with tea making is a good option.



I'm not putting down the idea or use of compost tea, but I have been building my soil here for many years and it is in VERY good condition.  Good tilth, great mineral balance and great fertility.  I am now only adding compost every other year.  My decision to not use compost tea stems from the fact that I noticed absolutely no difference in how my veggies grow, fight off disease, repel insects etc, or other positive response with or without it and decided that in my case it was a waste of my time and resources.  Others have and do see benefits in using it and I would never discourage its use if it works for you.  Its just easier for me to spread a two to three inch layer over my garden and raised beds every other year and add the amendments that my soil test indicates.
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
40
bike books chicken dog forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Walt Chase wrote:

I'm not putting down the idea or use of compost tea, but I have been building my soil here for many years and it is in VERY good condition.  Good tilth, great mineral balance and great fertility.



That is a great place to be, i hope the various soil qualities around my grow area will get that way here in a few years. Maybe the tea will help it get there faster? My back garden bed was rented out to a vegetable grower before i lived here and because of their practices the soil was left super compacted and filled with stuborn grasses. Ive had better luck growing veggies in the shade than in that area.
 
After burning through the drip stuff and the french press stuff, Paul has the last, ever, coffee maker. Better living through buying less crap.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!