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PostPosted: Jan 31st, '17, 19:24 
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Hey guys. I was about to cut up a drum and build a swirl mineralization tank same as Andrew's. However, I want to build something bigger tha 55 gallons and I dont want to buy another tank. What I do have are several IBCs. I probably cant have a swirl MT on a cube (or can I?). Im wondering if it would make sense, and how efficient would be to put an airlift in the center of an IBC, and make sort of a radial flow MT? If so, what diameter pipe would you recommend?

How high should I put it from the bottom?

How many inches below the surface of the water should this pipe be?

How much air volume should I pump into it?

Thanks always,
Felix

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PostPosted: Feb 1st, '17, 04:09 
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Hi Felix,

The key with this is keeping it aerobic and eliminating any dead spots. Just need to aerate the heck out of the container and make sure the corners are getting stirred.


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PostPosted: Feb 1st, '17, 07:39 
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couldnt that be done with a pump?

or if not, doesnt that totally destroy the myth that an air pump is just as useful when the stone is right up top, only breaking the surface tension as it is right down bottom where oxygen can absorb from the bubbles (i like the second way, "experts" tend to say the first way is all that is needed and best.)


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PostPosted: Feb 1st, '17, 13:45 
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The surface tension discussion might prove useful but I'd just go with what the professionals use on this. Waste water treatment plants use air pumps all the time for this sort of thing when they run aeration basins as part of an Activated sludge system. Many of these plants use membrane air diffusers to create fine bubbles rising from the bottom of the tank. They are trying to grow organisms much like we are with the mineralizers. The main thing that is different with this process is that they are removing the sludge, with the nutrients which we would want to retain, if possible (although they do apply it to agricultural fields).

Aeration basins use a lot of energy for pumping. Fine bubble diffusers use less air to deliver the same oxygen levels as coarse air diffusers so they use less energy to deliver the same amount of oxygen to the water - https://www3.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/fine.pdf

This site has some pictures of aeration basins showing what they look like when operating and when empty https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-can-i-tell-aeration-tank-looking-its-surface-pattern-tom-frankel


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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '17, 06:29 
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As far as the air amounts and pipe size, I'm not sure Felix. You're basically shooting to have a constant supply of oxygen for the organisms and probably the easiest way is just to over aerate it until it reaches saturation. I would put the aerator at or near the bottom like the diffuser discs in that you see in the waste water treament plant photos. This should help keep the solids from settling. You can either use a radial flow scheme or have the aerator on one side along a wall to create a rotating flow that would be up and down across the whole tank. You could if needed add aeration and some degassing of CO2 (if needed) by adding some spray from a water pump or powerhead (just a thought but I'm not sure you'd need it - micro bubbles may not be good at removing CO2 from what I've seen online)


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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '17, 23:10 
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I'm going to do a test with the O2 1744 pump I have and an IBC. I'm going to cut a 3" standpipe so it ends up being about 6" below the surface and about the same from the bottom, and put the 1/2" air line (no diffuser) about half way down the tank to see how the water moves.

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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '17, 00:59 
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:think: Sounds interesting, always good to test things out.

I don't know if any of this will help since this pump looks like it can really crank out the air.
Your pump --- 1744 GPH = 110 LPM, O2 pump operates at 7.54 PSI - https://www.roguehydro.com/products/elemental-o2-commercial-air-pump-1744-gph

1 PSI = 27.7076 inches of water
membrane disc diffuser equivalent to .46 PSI (http://www.thepondreport.com/store/info ... nformation)
glass bonded diffuser equivalent to 0.25 PSI (http://www.thepondreport.com/store/info ... nformation)

I don't know if you'll have any troubles with the setup floating up but for membrane diffusers I thought this setup was interesting and might be one way to keep the air from floating things up - http://www.aerationsupply.com/catalog/top-10-sellers/single-membrane-self-sinking-airbase-diffuser-assembly.html


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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '17, 01:27 
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That base is pretty sweet. Pricey, but sweet. Thanks for the link to the pump. $10.00 cheaper than what I paid for it. Just gotta find out if they ship to Puerto Rico. To this day there's a ton of people out there who don't realize Puerto Rico is a US Territory, and shipping here is no different than shipping to any other state... :?

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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '17, 01:49 
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Take note that shipping is only free if you purchase over a $100 worth so one pump wouldn't get you there.

mwdesign wrote:
That base is pretty sweet. Pricey, but sweet.


Yeah, I'm not sure what your money buys that's worth that much but it's a neat idea and probably would be easy to implement something along those lines. I noticed that Pentair has EPDM membrane diffusers for about $25 and I'd probably try to rig up one of those (assuming whatever pump I'm using could handle it).

You need to be able to clean the membrane occasionally so you don't want to make whatever your setup is impossible to get at :thumbright:. There's more than one way to clean membrane diffusers, sometimes just increasing the air pressure causes them to bulge and release blockages, you can also wipe them off.


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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '17, 01:56 
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I guess you're right. I said pricey, but I can't say I've compared the price of that base to the price of anything else. Right now what I'm using to aerate my (6) IBC DWC's are these 4" air stones, (2) per IBC:

http://alliedaqua.com/equipment-and-sup ... e-2-clone/

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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '17, 03:49 
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I'm not trying to steer you toward using a membrane aerator (and I thought that one was overpriced too) but did want you to know about that base and the membrane aerators because they might be an option. Use what you have and see if that works first, it might do a good enough job.

As with most microbiology setups, keep in mind that if you don't get enough air going to this that you will probably start getting some interesting odors and volatile gasses (so remedy this ASAP if it occurs and probably shouldn't put it where gasses can be trapped, just in case).


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PostPosted: Jun 20th, '18, 05:45 
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Hey everybody, not sure if anyone is still monitoring this chat, but i was curious if anyone had any input on the EPDM rubber that is used in the diffusers mentioned above?

Is it food grade? Is my main question. I wouldn't want to avoid all things non foods grade only to go and put an aeration diffuser in my mbbr that leaches ??? Whatever...

According to FDA certain white high grade EPDM is food grade. So the assumption is drawn the rest is not. In particular the black which is known to leach.

Curious if anyone has alternatives? I've seen a ceramic diffuser, any good?

Any thoughts would be great.
Cheers...

Ps pics and links will come when i start putting it all together. Still working on the chook pen at the moment...


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PostPosted: Jun 20th, '18, 07:22 
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Lots of pond liners are EPDM but I doubt they'd be considered food grade (I doubt they'd ever test them for this). I suspect that membrane diffusers are relatively safe though, since they are used in ponds and aquaculture without killing the fish.


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PostPosted: Jun 20th, '18, 10:16 
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I think we worry far too much about so call FOOD GRADE products and hardware in aquaponics, FEEL FREE TO SHOOT ME DOWN ON THIS ONE, but I think it's not the worry it's made out to be.

I would be more worried about spending a day walking around one of our major cities with all the car exhaust pollution in the air, breathing the air, than something going into your system, the fish will tell you whether or not it's food grade when they start floating on the surface.

In my opinion food grade is just another way of increasing the price of a product. We all have a pretty good idea of what and what not to put in our systems.

We drank coffee from Polystyrene cups for many years and still do, there wasn't a lot of worry about whether the cup was food grade or not, and if you drank too much, I think the coffee would be more of a chance to kill you than the cup.

Polystyrene contains the toxic substances Styrene and Benzene, suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins that are hazardous to humans. Hot foods and liquids actually start a partial breakdown of the Styrofoam, causing some toxins to be absorbed into our bloodstream and tissue.

Air, Soil and Water
The effects of car pollution are widespread, affecting air, soil and water quality. Nitrous oxide contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer, which shields the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide mix with rainwater to create acid rain, which damages crops, forests and other vegetation and buildings. Oil and fuel spills from cars and trucks seep into the soil near highways, and discarded fuel and particulates from vehicle emissions contaminate lakes, rivers and wetlands.

Human Health
Particulate matter, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and other car pollutants harm human health. Diesel engines emit high levels of particulate matter, which is airborne particles of soot and metal. These cause skin and eye irritation and allergies, and very fine particles lodge deep in lungs, where they cause respiratory problems. Hydrocarbons react with nitrogen dioxide and sunlight and form ozone, which is beneficial in the upper atmosphere but harmful at ground level. Ozone inflames lungs, causing chest pains and coughing and making it difficult to breathe. Carbon monoxide, another exhaust gas, is particularly dangerous to infants and people suffering from heart disease because it interferes with the blood's ability to transport oxygen. Other car pollutants that harm human health include sulfur dioxide, benzene and formaldehyde.

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