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Fish Pond Air Pump Woes

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by MarcSmith, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    Hey folks,

    I have a few ponds on campus and only a couple have bubblers. but I have been having a problem with the bubblers. I have used the Boyu air pump, but it seems to give up the ghost real quick(several months). is there a good pump that can be mounted outdoors and still provide reliable air? Its getting to the point I am thinking about mounting the pumps inside a building and then running a hundred foot of air hose.
     
  2. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    When I had my pet store I had vane air pump. It moved a lot of air at high volume. The pump ran 24/7 for several years. As far as I know it is still running. I plumbed PVC and tapped for each aquarium. We ran 26 aquariums with plenty of air to spare. PSI was low enough, less than 30 PSI, no worries about the pipe shattering.
     
  3. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    An air pump going out after just several months doesn’t sound like a good track record. So are these pumps going out because they’re outside and under the elements, or are they going out because that’s about the best you can expect with them?

    I’ve been toying with the idea of using a bubbler that I’ve used indoors on my outside pond during the winter or whenever I have to shut down the pump, however it sounds as if I may need to insure that the pump is given some protection. I suppose that pumps used at pet stores are typically mounted indoors… right?
     
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    The pumps claim they are rated for protected outdoor use....and I have them in an irrigaion valve box, but I guess I'm going to have to go with some more protection. I took the unit apart and it had gotten water inside and the elctronics were toasted. For obvious reasons I cant put it in a truley water proof box or I'd get no air.....With all this hot weather I'm just glad I had a spare...
    I have even though about mounting the pumps in a mechanical room, but then stringing a couple hundred feet of air hose seems somewhat of a PITA...
     
  5. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    I was thinking of putting mine in a valve box as well... but perhaps a better alternative would be to have something like the following idea where the pump sits on two layers of bricks and is covered by a waterproof cover that sits on several bricks one layer high and that is totally open on the bottom. Another alternative would be to use something like what the power companies use with their weatherproof transformer boxes, but modify them with a couple or more 1" air holes on the side to allow for air circulation.

    Valve boxes in ground tend to collect water, and I suppose that the air circulation in ground isn't very good. I can see where they would be the preferred choice at a public place, such as at a school, but perhaps you could come up with something above ground that could be secure and made less noticeable by the strategic planting of shrubs.

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  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    I like the above ground box idea, but on a college campus, at least on my campus, it won't work. heck I got em cutting down dwarf alberta spruce out of the landscape so they can have christmas trees...
     
  7. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Sort of what I was thinking, but maybe you could find a utility company type of box that you could mount onto a cement pad with one side of the box hinged and the other with a clasp for a lock.

    Maybe those guys that are hauling off the alberta spruces will end up with spider mites in their dorms.
     
  8. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    yeah, then mommy and daddy will be calling the housing department complaining that their little snookums has bug in their room....:hammerhead:
     
  9. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I'm guessing the bubblers are for fish? If so I use a plant called Hornwort, its an oxygenating underwater plant. It also acts as a good filter. I had a pump on my pond go down for over a week in 108+ temps with no ill effects. The stuff reproduces well the only down fall is if you get string algae they become tangled and you have to toss it all. I have seen it for sale in a catalog from NC so I know it is available in the South East at least. If you want more info let me know I will dig out the catalog.
     
  10. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    That sounds like a cold spell for Phoenix.

    Hornwort is probably fairly common along with other oxygenating plants, such as anacharis or elodea, saggataria, etc. Having a pump down for a week with no circulating water would be bad, but to totally depend upon the oxygenating plants without a pump would be even more of a risk.

    You're right about the string algae getting into submerged plants. Last year I spent a bit of time netting out plants and removing the stuff. Outside of that the pond had crystal clear water and no problems. I had a flush of suspended algae in the water this year - very first time - for about two weeks, then out of the blue the water cleared up perfectly. I'm guessing that my bio filter finally kicked in. Guess it was my bad since past years I'd jumpstart the filter with bacteria.
     

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