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Air Compressors vs Air Pumps

 
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Hi everyone

I'm looking at aerating our water well, as well as our ponds and trying to learn about air pumps. It seems to me that air pumps designed for people with fish ponds are typically more expensive and look prettier and convenient, but are basically just air compressors. Is that true?

Is it generally more affordable to get a air compressor and fit it out with bubble dispersers yourself? Are air compressors designed to be run 24/7 like air pumps?

If anybody could weigh in on the differences. I like to save where possible with a DIY method.

Cheers, Rob
 
pollinator
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Rob, do you have any streams of water that fall from a higher elevation to a lower one? Maybe feeding into your ponds?
I ask because you might be able to use something like this ?

https://permies.com/t/27878/hydro/water-ramps-trompe-water-air
 
Rob Irish
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Hi Miles, I wish, but unfortunately not. Really flat terrain here. Our biggest hill is a pile of house demolition rubbish.
 
Rob Irish
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Rob, do you have any streams of water that fall from a higher elevation to a lower one? Maybe feeding into your ponds?
I ask because you might be able to use something like this ?

https://permies.com/t/27878/hydro/water-ramps-trompe-water-air



Actually Miles, I disregarded what you said (thinking waterfalls or springs) but we do have about 100m of ditch feeding into the pond. In the spring when the ice melts there is a lot of flow, but now in the summer it typically dries out / runs off. And it is now in the summer when the algae is blooming and so on.

Other than that, there is a creek running, at a lower level adjacent to the biggest pond.

A resource they have a lot here in Estonia is wind. At least where we are. I feel like every other day here is really windy for a few hours. So a windmill + a air compressor dispersing oxygen into the pond I think could be ideal.

For the well near the house we use for washing, I was thinking something like this.

edited by moderator to shorten link
 
steward
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The laws of thermodynamics would favor using a low-pressure air pump to aerate a pond, and not a high-pressure air compressor. The difference being that an air pump can run at very low pressure (0.4 psi per foot of depth immersed into the pond). So if you place the bubbler at a depth of 5 feet, then it only takes a bit more than 2 psi to operate the pump. However with an air compressor, operating pressures are typically in the 90 psi range. Most of the energy is converted to heat and not into moving air.

Around here, I often see pond aeration done by a jet of water spurting into the air and falling back into the pond. That wouldn't entail the heat losses incurred by compressing air.


 
pollinator
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- Here is an excellent start for you to look at ! Link Below :


http://www.geofflawton.com/fe/61799-permaculture-fishponds

This should simplify things for you - For the good of the craft ! Big AL
 
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What about a windmill pump? pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNAAK967.pdf


While the issue with air compressors has already been mentioned, the air pump vs water pump is an interesting discussion which has been widely debated over on backyard aquaponics.
While these are generally tanks rather than ponds the relative efficiencies might be relevant. There seem to be a ton of threads, this one might be a good start: http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7266


There are quite a few options; if you go the waterfall route, the design is important, a straight waterfall is not as effective as an artificial rapids with lots of obstacles/turbulence/small drops. You could also consider a water pump with a venturi. Bakki showers might involve too much evaporation, but are also useful for filtering if that is an advantage... Of course, if you choose to go with a water pump you have to worry about clogging, not so much with air...
 
Rob Irish
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Thanks for that Joseph and Allen

I hadn't realised that about Compressor vs Pump. Thanks for clarifying.

That is a pretty cool little system Geoff and the animals created. I wouldn't have thought that tiny amount of water they are pumping up and down through those rocks would be near enough oxygen to to keep a pond like that oxygenated.

I like the visual side of creating a waterfall system, perhaps I misunderstood previous research I did, but that by blowing air into the bottom of a pond it will help much more with oxygenation, de-stratification and circulation of all the water than compared to the energy required by pumping water. Thoughts?
 
pollinator
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This may be a silly question but why do you need a pump at all ?
Would it not be possible to rig up a water wheel to spash the water about powered by a wind mill this would airate the water if thats all you need . Or even a coomercial solar powered fountain would do the job
 
Rob Irish
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Thanks Dilon. Interesting thread.

David I think that could work as well. I'm part dutch and my ancestors used to manage waterways in holland so you'd think I'd know all about this sort of thing, but I don't.

Do you have plans by any chance to creating that sort of setup?

I came across something recently - http://opensourceecology.org/ which I thought was really a great idea. People working on open source plans for farm machinery. I thought why doesn't permies have something like that? I've looked at a lot of different things but the solutions you guys have come up with here always seem to trump everything else.
 
David Livingston
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lots of old stuff like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes%27_screw or those windmills in crete , http://www.explorecrete.com/crete-east/lassithi-plateau.html

Or even one of those old style donkey powered things they used to use in Egypt https://www.google.fr/search?q=donkey+powered+water+pump&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=U9ybVYuYGMv6UpOdv7AL&ved=0CCEQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=644

Or these are still made http://www.homepower.com/articles/wind-power/equipment-products/pumping-water-wind

Or these http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Wind-Powered-Water-Pump/

Pumping water mechanically is easier than air and so what if its not perfect the water is still airated its not like you have to run it all the time or at any particular time pump some water when the wind blows up to a water fall it can trickle down or in a fountain . Why bother with electrics ? Electrics and water will come to a sad end anyway , eventually it always happens we both know this

I have one of these in my orchard https://www.google.fr/search?q=donkey+powered+water+pump&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=U9ybVYuYGMv6UpOdv7AL&ved=0CCEQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=644#tbm=isch&q=hand+water+pump

Cost in electricity so far zero
 
allen lumley
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Rob : You will need something like an atomizer nozzle at the bottom of your pond to create tiny air bubbles ( I Think )- Fiddly, not cheap, It will greatly reduce flow,

and because it can get plugged not reliable ! For the Cause ! Big AL
 
Rob Irish
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I think you guys could be right. Lots of possible problems and cost with using a electronic pump.

I would love to build a windmill that turns a water wheel and it seems like it would be the easiest thing to build.
 
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here's a waterfall turning a waterwheel with any pumps, compressors or blowers

http://www.mcescher.com/gallery/impossible-constructions/waterfall/

now if we can just get this work
 
Rob Irish
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The mind bends, duane!
 
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