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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Making a basic compact foam fractionator from bits lying around - will it work?

    I know nothing about foam fractionators, did check a few threads on here showing basic ones made from 4" pipe.

    I need something compact to fit within existing bio chamber. Ideally without spending money.

    Knocked this up out of spare fittings that were laying about, it is only 2" pipe, into 1.5" pipe at the top (and could potentially go down to 3/4" pipe if a venturi is needed to make it work).

    Short of it is, would this work if placed vertically with an air stone positioned at the bottom and water level in line with the the top of the 90 degree outlet.




  2. #2
    the air stone should be at the bottom of the vertical pipe, I think your problem, as the pipe is small diameter, will be that the stone will block the water flow up the pipe. Have you got another Tee you can put at the bottom? The stone can sit below the side branch of this Tee and not impede water flow - hope that makes sense to you.
    I thought Syd Mitchell had plans on his site but I couldn't see them when I had a quick look.
    Ideally you need variable air flow on the stone so that you can adjust to give optimum performance.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Thanks, that all makes perfect sense.

    Got today off work so will have a play around.

    Sent from my Pixel 6a using Tapatalk

  5. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deejaysmi View Post
    the air stone should be at the bottom of the vertical pipe, I think your problem, as the pipe is small diameter, will be that the stone will block the water flow up the pipe. Have you got another Tee you can put at the bottom? The stone can sit below the side branch of this Tee and not impede water flow - hope that makes sense to you.
    I thought Syd Mitchell had plans on his site but I couldn't see them when I had a quick look.
    Ideally you need variable air flow on the stone so that you can adjust to give optimum performance.
    Added the T as you suggested and also a rubber boot for height adjustment, and it seems to be working, but so far the collected foam/water seems to be clearer than I think it should be.

    Some tinkering required and will post up the results.

    Sent from my Pixel 6a using Tapatalk

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  7. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    The home made fractionator as per the photo in the OP but with some minor design tweaks has now been running for 3 weeks.

    It produces bubbles but I wouldn't say it is foam as such and in all honesty it hasn't made much difference to the pond.

    So here's why I needed a fractionator:





    And this is what I get out of it each night. The colour of the water suggests its removing protein and DOCs, but the volume of water compared to bubbles suggests it is not operating as efficiently as maybe it should, and it definitely isn't man enough to cope with the whole pond.









    Hopefully I've not just wasted £50, but just ordered exactly the same pipe fittings in 3" size hoping a larger fractionator with more air and flow will extract more foam.

    The other slight issue is the height of the fractionator in relation to the water level.

    The Bio chamber water level moves up and down with the drum so I'm finding after a drum clean I get loads of bubbles/foam stuff come out and this reduces to nothing as the water level drops, until the drum cleans again and raises the water level.

    If I lower the height of the fractionator to suit then it becomes more efficient as the water level drops but throws out loads of clean water for 30 minutes after a drum clean.. Just got to find a happy medium knowing it will never be 100% efficient in a drum fed bio chamber.

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  9. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    As above the 2" fractionator seems to work but isn't perfect and definitely isn't putting much of a dent in the amount of foam on the pond surface.

    So now to make Fractionator Mk2, but I don't know how best to assemble it.

    Before I start cutting up pipes, could someone say which of these 2 designs, if any, will work best and why?

    As before, a couple of air stones sat at the bottom of the pipe just below the T-piece inlet so as not to impede flow.


    Design 1:




    Design 2, which I think looks better but will it work better?


  10. #7
    Personally I'd favour design 1.
    At the top I think you will get good separation of the bubbles from the water flow. The natural tendency of the bubbles will be to shoot straight up. With design 2 you are introducing turbulence before the up pipe and I think some bubbles will be carried past the up-pipe and back into the water column.

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  12. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    I use an air lift on my pond, to pump water from my filters back to the pond. My air lift is built as per image 2, although I have two air vents rather than one. This is only to prevent bubbles from coming out of the pond return.

    I don't get any foam in my pond whatsoever, it all seems to collect in the air vent and get broken down there (I don't even remove the foam?).

    So based on my experience I'd say set up two. But then again I recall ajm set one up like that and he said it didn't remove the foam???


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    13,000L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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  14. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twhitenosugar View Post
    I use an air lift on my pond, to pump water from my filters back to the pond. My air lift is built as per image 2, although I have two air vents rather than one. This is only to prevent bubbles from coming out of the pond return.

    I don't get any foam in my pond whatsoever, it all seems to collect in the air vent and get broken down there (I don't even remove the foam?).

    So based on my experience I'd say set up two. But then again I recall ajm set one up like that and he said it didn't remove the foam???


    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    I gave up on mine mate had it set both ways and still didn't work but was in 2inch and only about 3.5 ft so weather that all worked against me or what am not sure .

    I do have the trench dug ready to install a 4inch airlift return for the filter and get rid the pump . Mainly for the costs but also there is a load of reasons airlifts are better for ponds

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"

    Johnathan

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  16. #10
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    I have been running design 1 for a week now.

    Not had the time to really inspect and adjust it, but so far it is doing nothing, essentially a waste of £50 worth of pipe fittings so far.

    It has 2 air stones in the bottom but the bubbles being produced don't seem to be foamy at all, whereas the pond surface is still covered in the stuff.

    Possibly the height of the fractionator isn't enough in relation to the larger bore?

    Or maybe where the fine bubbles are all joining together before reaching the surface they are not capturing the proteins.

    I really don't know what to do with it next but will have a play around at the weekend.
    Last edited by RS2OOO; 22-09-2022 at 11:53 AM.

 

 

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