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  1. #341
    Hi Gazza, I'm sorry your having an awful time at the moment, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
    I've just joined the forum but have been an avid pond keeper since early doors around 12 so that's about L years. Im currently building a new one, which is not on your scale but may have some similar features. It took me a long time to dream up the plan and lots of research I enjoy the engineering side of the build, I'm a builder by trade so labours cheap, just materials.
    I'm also using air lift to return filtered water to the pond from a sump, I know yours was a mock up but you may need to release the air after the bend or too much energy will be wasted (just an observation) also I read in your blog that you were going to use leisure batteries to run the pond, I would be really interested in how, Ive looked for DC air pumps, as cesspits air pumps usual place of work, don't usually have power but I can't find any, have you had any luck? or are your going to use a DC AC invertor, that would work.

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  3. #342
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    Hi Bob,

    Welcome to the forum!

    Yeah the air lift setup is a bit temporary at the moment, was just interested to see how well it works and to be honest, I think it's moving a lot of water. It is open at the top of the T as you can see and also my return pipe is only 2/3 submerged, so has air relief along its short horizontal distance. More work required in this area shortly.

    I am planning on running the pond off of leisure batteries yet, but that's for a bit later. Right now, I have only just re-instated my energy monitoring on the main consumer unit, I've still to put this in place on things like the pond consumer unit and other locations, but this will help me determine the consumption and size of batteries etc.

    We have a large solar array here, so planning on topping the batteries up by day and trying to run it for free, ha! I too spent time looking for DC air pumps and didn't find anything suitable as yet. For now I have a couple of HiBlow XP80's which are mains powered. I have three Draco drums, all of which can be run off of 12V if required, but for simplicity I may consider running them all off of a mains inverter and an auto changeover for the supply. I know there are inefficiencies in doing this, but they may not be that significant.

    I will sort out a first pass wiring diagram to show how I plan to do this when I get a chance.

    Cheers
    Barry

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  5. #343
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Progress been really slow this year, partly because of flood issues, partly because of the cold weather, but I'm ready to get things moving again. Fingers crossed the weather will be on my side as I want to get the garden finished for the summer this year, can't see us going away anywhere again so really can't have a third year with the garden out of action!

    Anyway, woke the pond up this week, as it's not been running as I didn't get to a stage before Xmas that I wanted too, I've taken a little video of the airlift in action, although the chamber level is a little low as well as a catch up on where everything is at.


    https://youtu.be/98T2YCKuoJ8

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  7. #344
    Great to hear that you are moving forwards again. Sounds like you have had a difficult winter but looking at the video you have made a lot of progress. The mud all over the drums was stressing me out a bit but I guess you have got used to it! Best wishes for the final push.

    Sent from my SM-G986B using Tapatalk

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  9. #345
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Letimgo View Post
    The mud all over the drums was stressing me out a bit but I guess you have got used to it!
    You and me both, the whole area is just caked in mud, unfortunately at this time, there is no way to get to it without walking through what is practically pig slurry! I've cleaned them off a couple of times, but it just keeps getting flung around! Soon it will come good.

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  11. #346
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Wain's Avatar
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    Keep posting pal

    looks great cannot wait to see the finished product and that first POOL party hahaha
    1000 gal
    2 x Hozelock 6000ltr 9W UV
    Allpond Spin Filter 8000 11W UV
    Blagdon pond oxy 640 ltr/hr

  12. #347
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai dbs's Avatar
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    Looking good Barry, progress is progress in this damn weather!

  13. #348
    Man vs weather but you’re winning

  14. #349
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    Hi all,

    a little update only for you today. I will get out with the video over the next couple of days if I get time to show overall progress.

    Basically, so much crap has gone into the pond with all the patio slab cutting, mud, general construction that I wasn't able to get the water to a clean state again, so I decided to dump it, jetwash it, vacuum it and refill it. So a couple of time-lapse videos of that below.

    Cheers
    Barry


    https://youtu.be/QmgT9mQVkvw


    https://youtu.be/M4bfMCwNDEo

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  16. #350
    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Tropheus's Avatar
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    Looking great I wonder myself what the merits are of cleaning off algae. It will likely just regrow. Good to get rid of the mud and construction mess though.

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  18. #351
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    Agreed, to be honest, it came off dead easy and it didn't feel like I'd cleaned it if I left the walls, so just smashed it all off. Spent most of the time vacuuming all the crap of the floor to be honest. That and getting soaked doing the same in my biological chamber!

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  20. #352
    At least the rain has stopped for you. Hoping you get a good run at it now and some decent luck as you’ve had one hell of a battle with the elements

  21. #353
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    Yet another transformer blown on one of the Draco's today. Usually problem, slight bit of moisture inside the enclosure. Popped a fuse. Did the same after drying and cleaning. Further inspection shows one of the caps has exploded.

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  23. #354
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    50,600 litres measure (on the mains meter) from 12 o'clock yesterday until 12 o'clock today when the pond finished filling up. 24 hours straight using a 25mm mains feed. Need to allow a little bit for house usage in that time, but it concurs pretty much with the 48,000 I got to (without the filters - but including the bio chamber) last time. Last measure was made using a doubling of half the measured height (23,000 x 2) + 2,000 for the bio chamber.

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  25. #355
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai dbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetBazza View Post
    Yet another transformer blown on one of the Draco's today. Usually problem, slight bit of moisture inside the enclosure. Popped a fuse. Did the same after drying and cleaning. Further inspection shows one of the caps has exploded.
    That's a bit of an ar5e, design fault Barry ??

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  27. #356
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbs View Post
    That's a bit of an ar5e, design fault Barry ??
    I believe so personally.

    The control box enclosures are listed as IP66 originally, although I can't see it in the technical data on the Draco site anymore.

    The boxes aren't getting wet, at worst a splash, but they are outside in the filter pit. They appear to be suffering from condensation moisture.

    The seal on the control boxes is minimal, although should function, but I have my doubts that the emergency stop / manual clean / wash duration controls aren't breaking the moisture resistance of the control enclosure. As I said, there is the barest amount of moisture evident on the side of the box when you take the cover off, yet the switch mode power supply pops very easily.

    It typically takes out the 3 amp fuse, on a few occasions I've managed to get away with just replacing the fuses on some occasions after drying it out, but on 2 occasions now it's blown the capacitors apart, necessitating replacing the transformers. Fortunately these are readily available and only cost £20.

    I should really reach out to Draco, but I don't see what can be done about it, I just don't think the control boxes are IP rated as originally stated. They probably were before they had any holes drilled in them, but that's not how the product is when supplied. I still think the drums are good value and work well. I'm sure there are many customers that don't have this problem because their controllers are housed in a shed or garage or something whereas my filter area only has a cellar style roof and not as sealed from damp. To be clear, the control units are not getting wet from rain etc. we've not even had any rain in the last week, yet still it has happened again.

    My thoughts are leaning towards removing the 240v transformers from these enclosures into a completely separate enclosure and then feeding the control units with the 12v supply only. But I need to work out where I will locate them. Until then, I have just ordered another 2 transformers for replacements !

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  29. #357
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you're having issues with the Draco controllers.

    Mine is in an uninsulated plastic shed and I don't have any issues with condensation. I suspect the warmth off the air pumps helps keep temps 1-2 degrees warmer at night than outside temps. Plus I have mounted them on boards that are set off from the wall of the shed so they are not in direct contact with the colder shed wall.

    Is there anyway you can insulate the area around the controller's? Or is it a case of lack of ventilation?

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    13,000L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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  31. #358
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    They are on the standard mounts which keeps them lifted off of the wall to give a little separation. The filter pit is made from the same insulated concrete forms as the pond. I can only assume it’s like a frost effect as they are about 18” below ground level? I’m not having trouble with any other electrics in the same space.

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  33. #359
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai dbs's Avatar
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    Hmmm well it may be only £20 to get the bits, but I think you should at least tell Drako, they need to know if there is an inherent problem they need to consider, if not for fixing purposes but even warning about certain installation places, seems odd to me , though I again guess yours is NOT a standard or typical set-up

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  35. #360
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    And we’re back to 3 drums running again...

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