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Aeration Equipment

I can provide air pumps, tubing, stones etc.
Give me a bit to get them up on the site (and I can probably get other sizes of stuff if necessary but I’ll start off with the things I have already used myself.)

The vague rules of thumb I’ve been operating under for the last several years are, you want about a cubic foot of air per minute for each 400 gallons of fish tank. It takes aprox 1 psi to push air through the air stone and 1 psi to push air down under each 28 inches of water depth. So for a 300 gallon tank that is less than 28 inches deep, look for an air pump that can deliver .75 cfm at 2 psi and you should be good. Make sure you get enough air stones rated for the amount of air flow that will be available at the water depth you will have since restricting the flow out of an air pump by not letting it go somewhere will heat up the pump and shorten it’s lifespan. See the air stones have a rated amount of air that can pass through them in a given amount of time.

Now if there is plenty of water flow a system might not need supplemental aeration from an air pump but I always find, especially in our warm summers, that the fish eat better when there is extra aeration and the extra water movement provided by the air bubbles tends to help move the solid waste out of the fish tank and off into the grow beds. Too much air would be if you are boiling the poor fish out of the tank with the bubbles or when there is no water in the tank. I also find that in the bigger systems, it might be too much to run the water pumps on the battery backup but running an air pump on battery backup is within reason.

So, I’ll be working on adding items to this product category and in the mean time, contact me if you need anything related to Aquaponics Aeration and I can work up a price for what you need and let you know.

67 comments to Aeration Equipment

  • Hal Luebbert

    I need an aerator pump and stones for my 300 gallon aquaponics (catfish) tank. Please be good enough to advise if you can supply: and, of course, how much it will cost.


    • TCLynx

      How deep is the tank? That will affect the pressure needed to supply at least 0.75 CFM of air to the tank.
      I can supply equipment though I don’t have most of it listed on my site yet. If you can tell me a little more I can probably put together a package for you.

      • Ron

        I would like some advise as well on the best aerator for my 275 gal Tote system. Also where is the best place to get one?

        • TCLynx

          To figure out the BEST aeration system for your system I would need to know more about it, Like, is it just flood and drain media beds with a 275 gallon tote fish tank? Are there any raft beds or filters that require extra aeration? How many fish/how big are you going to be stocking in that fish tank? Will your water pump be running constantly or is it going to be on a timer? Will there be extra flow from the water pump helping aerate the water also? What sort of temperatures will the water be experiencing? What kind of fish?

          Without knowing the answers to the above questions, about all I can say is
          This air pump would probably be sufficient for that size fish tank if reasonably stocked

          Great value for a low cost.
          These large outdoor air pumps have aluminum covers and internal noise-absorbers. Although the pump housings are waterproof and designed for outdoor use, the pump is not UL-listed.

          Pumps include 6′ power cord, 3/8″ hose barb, flexible outlet adapter, and outlet adapter to aquarium tubing (3/16″). Six-month warranty, 115V/60 Hz.
          Air pump
          Outdoor Air Pump with 6-outlet adapter, 25 W, 3/8″ Barb $75.95

          Air stones and airline tubing would also be required but the total cost could probably be kept under $100 not including shipping or sales tax
          I can sell the equipment, use my contact form if you would like me to put together an appropriate package for your system.

  • Hal Luebbert

    Ooops – sorry (I’m tired, I guess). I’ve “clicked” on “products” here, see the pump I seem to need.
    I’ll order. Thanks, again.

  • TCLynx

    There are two air pumps I get most often. One of them would probably be just big big enough for a 300 gallon fish tank in an aquaponics system (that is less than 28 inches of water depth) and that air pump would run $69.99

    The bigger pump is $102.99 and I use it for up to 800 gallons of fish tank.

  • Hal Luebbert

    Double oops – the pump wasn’t an aerator. I still need an aerator pump and stones. Thanks (how did my picture pop up here?)

    • TCLynx

      So how deep is the tank Hal?

      And I’m not sure how your pic poped up here? Are you signed into something that attaches your profile picture from somewhere else or something?

  • Samuel Caspers

    I am starting a small tilapia breeding business with a friend. We have 2 800gallon cylinder tanks. What air pump and stones do we need. Each tank will have 135 Blue Tilapia.

  • TCLynx

    To know for sure what aeration equipment you need, it would help to know how deep the tanks are.

  • Ray

    i am looking for a bubble pump with battery backup for 2000l tank 700mm deep,normal pump aeration is fine but I need something in case of mains power failure

    • TCLynx

      I don’t have a complete battery backup air pump system to sell. You would need to buy your own battery, inverter, and charger for the battery.

      The air pumps I have that I would recommend use only 50 watts.

      I used mine with a fail over relay so I was only running on battery power when the main power failed but would run on mains power when it was available.

      Use the contact form to send me an e-mail with your address and I can look up prices and shipping for the air pumps and stones for you.

  • Ali

    Seeking a clarification on your rule of thumb- 1cfm per 400 gallons of fish tank. What about if you are setting up a deep water raft system. So, say you have 400 gallons of fish tank and 1600 gallons in the DWC raft. How much aeration is required for the entire system? Is the thumb rule still applicable only on the water in the fish tank, or is some amount of aeration required for delivery in the raft as well?

    Any and all advice welcome!

    • TCLynx

      No the 1 cfm per 400 gallons only applies to fish tanks.

      For Raft beds, you then need 1/2 cfm every 4′ in a 4′ wide bed, so in a 4′ x 24′ bed I go in 2 feet, place a 6″ air stone that is rated to take 1/2 cfm and then thereafter place an air stone every 4 feet, for a total of 6 air stones giving the bed a total of 3 cfm.

      Now shallow water doesn’t require as much pressure to push the air down so I’ve found it to be more cost effective (air pump and electricity wise) to have a separate blower that feeds my raft beds and other shallow water applications and use a separate small air pump of appropriate size for each of my fish tanks. Since to get a blower that can push air down 48″ plus the 10″ of pressure to move the air through the air stone would require a blower that can handle a huge amount of pressure while providing quite a lot of air which would cost me big time in electricity.

      You have to size the air pump or blower to provide the total amount of air volume needed AT the highest pressure required for the system.

      I can get an air pump that uses about 50 watts and supplies enough air for an 800 gallon tank that is up to 46 inches deep. Such an air pump doesn’t provide a huge amount of volume though. Blowers can provide lots of volume but usually not very much pressure. To get a blower that can even supply any air to a tank that deep is probably going to use over 600 watts.

      So for my Current set up with 2 large fish tanks with their own air pumps and a blower providing air for the raft beds and shallow tanks, I am using a total of about 475 watts for aeration. If I were to try to do all that using only a single blower, I would have to use more than double the wattage.

  • Saira


    Im interested in those pumps (102.99). Whats the size, outage, power outage. Do i order them through or a different supplier?
    Thank you in advance!

  • TCLynx

    The air pumps have gone up in price a bit since the beginning of 2012.

    The larger air pump is now $106.95
    Outdoor Air Pump with 10-outlet adapter, 50 W, 3/8″ Barb
    And it will provide 2.1 CFM at 1.5 psi.
    Let me know if you want to know the output at a different pressure. I have the pump curve here but no easy way to post it in a comment.

  • Lily Meadows

    I am having a hard time sizing an air pump and stones for my aquaponics system. Its 500 gallons, with roughly 100 tilapia. its 2′ deep… also, i am on a tight budget, but what is a good aerator that you would recommend for my tank?
    thanks so much!

    • TCLynx

      So the rules of thumb I learned.
      1 psi = 28″ of water depth.
      Most air stones are equivalent to another 10″ of water depth.
      And you want 1 CFM (cubic foot per minute of air) per 400 gallons of water.

      So for a 500 gallon tank, I would say you need an air pump that can provide 1.25 CFM at about 1.5 PSI or 34″ of water depth.
      Most reputable air pumps should have curves or charts that tell how much air they can provide at different psi or water depths.

      Now choosing the right air pump will also depend on if your system has raft beds or media beds and if the aerator will be kept in a protected room or if you need an outdoor air pump.

      I carry an air pump that is rated for outdoor use and could supply the aeration for your tank if that is all you need. At the moment it runs about $106 and the Air stones I would probably recommend run about $16.95 each and you would need two of them. There would also be some air tubing and fittings you would need but it is hard for me to make a specific recommendation without knowing where the air pump would be installed in relation to the fish tank or if there is anything else that would require aeration.

  • chris

    The green pump pictured above says its water proof but not UL listed. Would you still suggest some type of housing? I purchased one from you about a year ago and am just now getting everything setup.

    • TCLynx

      Ok I wouldn’t say “water proof” as in make very sure not to submerge it into your tank. But the housing on it is weather resistant so you don’t Have to build a housing for it unless you want to. UL listed stands for Underwriters Laboratories listing which costs a fair bit for companies to have UL labs do all their testing so not all products out there are UL listed.

  • Sam

    I am building an aquaponics system using and IBC tote (275 gallon size) for the fish tank. Grow beds will be flood and drain and I will have a sump tank. Water will be pumped continuously from the sump to the fish tank. I see it takes more power to push air to the bottom of one of those IBC tanks, about 40″ deep. My sump tank will be much shallower, about 24″. Can I pump air into the sump only and keep the fish happy? I will raise tilapia and want to maintain maximum density of fish. What products would you recommend? My project is in the Philippines so water temps will always be pretty high. Also, the system will be powered 100% by an off grid solar array. Voltage over there is 220 VAC, 50-60 Hz so I am shopping for components that will accept their standard power.

    • TCLynx

      Are you building this system using more than just a single IBC?

      Even if the IBC is 40″ tall, your water depth in the tank is not going to be 40″ and you are not likely to have much more than 200-250 (depending on how the cage is arranged and where you put the plumbing fitting) gallons of water in the tank even if you are not cutting the top off to make a grow bed.

      While it is cheaper do pump air down into shower water, if you are planning to stock this IBC system to it’s max fish density in a hot climate, you really need to put some form of supplemental aeration in the fish tank since even a brief failure of the water pump would then mean your fish run out of oxygen in less than an hour.

      Supplemental aeration does not have to be in the form of pumping air down into a tank, it could also be a separate water pump that simply circulates water and sprays it to aerate the water all inside the fish tank. I highly recommend some form of redundancy on the aeration for the fish tank in a Hot climate.

      If you do not have sufficient dissolved oxygen constantly being introduced into the fish tank, the tilapia won’t eat or grow nearly as well as you have likely been brought to believe. Tilapia are only amazing growers IF you can supply them with really good conditions.

      Also, you don’t mention how much flood and drain media beds your system will have. Make sure you have ample filtration to support the amount of fish you put in the tank. Just because a 250 gallon tank might be able to support x amount of fish if there is ample filtration/circulation and aeration, that doesn’t mean you get to put in x amount of fish and have them survive if there isn’t enough of the filtration/circulation and aeration.

      As to particular aeration equipment for 220 VAC I can’t make any particular recommendations on that since I use 120 VAC. However, if this is all being driven from a Solar off grid system, then you are likely talking about 12, 24, or 48 VDC power and by inverting back up to high voltage to run your air pump you will be experiencing losses by running the inverter so careful attention should be paid to the type of power system the 100% off grid install will be using before you go buying pumps for the system and don’t skimp on the battery bank or charge controllers.

  • Kevin brown

    I am building a system with an 1100 gallon fish tank. I need to figure out what air pumps I can use for something this size. I will also have 2-1500 gallon floating raft troughs. Iwill need air for them too.

    • TCLynx

      To figure out Aeration requirements, we need to know more than just the number of gallons.
      Depth of water is important to air pump or blower calculations
      As is
      Size/shape of the Raft beds.
      For Fish tanks you need an air pump that is strong enough to pump the air down to the depth of the water in the tank while still delivering enough aeration to support the number of gallons and the fish mass in the tank. It takes 1 psi to pump air down 28″ of water depth and you can count most medium pore air stones as requiring about 10″ worth of water depth. So if your fish tank water is 46″ deep (you add 10″ for air stones) that gives a total of 56″ which would require 2 psi and for a 1100 gallon tank with an average fish load and water spraying in constantly you would probably want to supply at least 3 cubic feet per minute. So you need to look for an air pump or perhaps pair of air pumps that can give you enough air at 2 psi.
      For Raft troughs, they are generally shallower so often a blower of some sort will be better suited to providing ample volume of air at the lower pressure required. Generally you want to supply 1/2 a cubic foot of air to every 4′ by 4′ section of raft bed. So if your water depth is only 10″ and the air stones use 10″ worth of pressure, you need a blower that can supply you 1/2 a cubic foot of air per minute at 20″ or about .72 psi for every 4′ by 4′ section of bed. In my 4′ wide raft beds, I place a 6″ medium pore air stone every 4′. I don’t like wider beds because it is harder to get good aeration throughout them.

      So to answer your question for you, I would need to know the depth and planned MAX Fish load of the fish tank and I would need to know the depth and shape of the Raft beds.
      I can guess that I would probably recommend a separate air pump to provide the fish tank aeration and then a small blower to deal with the raft beds just to get the most air for the least amount of ongoing electrical usage.

  • Paul

    I’m going to raise minnows. I have a 300 gallon food grade tank, it measures 3’8″ tall and 3’7″ on all four sides. I would appreciate if you could tell me, what I need to aerate the tank or what else I need to keep the minnows alive and happy. Approx. measurements

    • TCLynx

      Hard to know for sure without knowing the exact kind of minnows and how many you intend to keep in the tank.
      You will need filtration as well as aeration and the amount depends on how much fish mass you intend to keep.

  • Bobby

    Hello and thank you for very educating post. Im planing to build aquaponics system and I have been trying for a couple of days to figure out what kind and how strong aeration system i need. I read a lot of information on the web but this post and comments are very informative. I plan to have 5000 gallon fish pond about 4 feet deep and 4,000 square feet of DWC floating rafts about 1 feet deep in 3 small greenhouses. Please correct me if im wrong, I figure out from this post that most efficient way to reduce the electricity bill would be to have separate blowers for fish and plants, for fish about 100w blower at 2psi with 2 air stones, and for the plants maybe 400w blower with air stones every 4 feet, total of 330 feet of air tubing. Im from Europe and we have temperate climate here and fish of choice would be bass, catfish or some other local freshwater fish. Any help would be appreciated. Thamk you

  • am designing solar/battery power system for an aquaponics and fish tank system. looking for DC powered products to replace the following:

    *(1-One) S31 Blower – Sweetwater regenerative blower. 1/2 HP motor, 115V, 471 watts
    *(2-Two) MD 18/20 Pumps – Iwaki water pumps. 1/3 HP motor, 115V, .53 amps
    *(2-Two) T3-1000 Heaters – True Temp titanium rod water heaters. 115v, 1000 watts

    run time will be 24 hours per day / 7 days a week these provide water circulation from 1 600 gallon fish tank and throughout 2
    plant beds each one 50 ft long x 3 ft wide x 16 inch deep. would prefer 48vdc devices but am flexible. if more details are needed, call Greg or Justin at xxx-xxx-xxxx. thanks in advance for your time.

    • TCLynx

      Unfortunately I don’t know of any DC powered equipment that is in any way comparable to any of those pieces of equipment.

  • Annette Gregorio

    I am switching my tilapias from a swimming pool without a pump to 2 500 gallon tanks connected through pvc pipes and have one shallow well pump for both of them. Does the tilapias need the water pump to be constantly running or can it be set to a timer and how long should the water pump be idle and how long should it be on for?

    • TCLynx

      that depends on how many fish, what the temperature is, what the filtration is like, what other aeration you have going and how much you feed them.

  • Sally

    I have a big fish tank 8Lx8Hx8W feet. I would like to know what disc diffuser is suitable for this size?
    Thank you

    • TCLynx

      What diffuser is suitable isn’t really the most important question (It would likely take more than one diffuser in any case no matter what model you pick.)
      How deep will the actual water be within that fish tank? (that affects pressure which will in turn affect the pump required to deliver enough aeration.)
      How much fish will you stock? (this affects how much total aeration is needed.)
      How much water circulation will you have? (this also affects how much supplemental aeration is needed?)

      Without these answers it is just a guess that you need an air pump or blower that can deliver about 10 cubic feet per minute of air at about 4 PSI. That is a monster air pump or more likely multiple big air pumps to handle that much water depth. An air pump diffuser aeration system night not be the most appropriate method of aerating or oxygenating such a tank depending on the situation.

      I don’t have much experience with disk diffusers but the ones I have used, required something to secure them down to since they were not heavy enough to just simply drop into the water (with the air going to them they would tend to float.) For a deep tank that might be difficult to have plumbing secured to the bottom of the tank or some structure that won’t float, I rather like the 12″ long Bubble Mac medium pore diffusers since they are definitely heavy enough to sink
      You would need ten of them and probably several air pumps that can deliver the air in such deep water. Sorry I can’t recommend any particular air pumps for this since I don’t have any experience with any air pumps that deliver large volumes of air at such deep water depths.

  • Scott Neary

    I need to aerate a 15000 liter tank, by my calculations i need 7-8cfm @40” but my tank is about 48” deep. Not sure what kind of diffuser i need, or how to connect it/regulate it to a regenerative blower

    • TCLynx

      First you need to find an air pump or blower that can provide the amount of air you need at the depth you need. You may actually find that it is more cost effective to use multiple air pumps instead of a single blower since regenerative blowers are designed to supply high volumes of air at minimal pressure (water depth.)

      You can simply connect air diffusers to tubing that you then connect to regular plumbing which is connected to the blower or air pump. If you need to regulate or bleed off excess air, then you can add a valve (and an air stone if you want to muffle the sound) and open the valve until the amount of bubbles coming from the air diffusers in the deepest tank just slightly changes. Alternately start with the valve open and slowly close it until the bubbling just reaches maximum.

      If you never get air to the diffusers in the tank then your blower can’t provide the pressure needed to get you air in the bottom of your tank and you might have to compromise by lifting the diffusers off the bottom of the tank till you get your desired amount of air.

  • Scott Neary

    I need to aerate a 1500 litre fish tank, it needs to be about 8 cfm at 40″ in a 48” deep tank.

    • TCLynx

      How do you come to the conclusion you need 8 cfm at 40″ when your tank is 48″? Is that because that is what the blower you have will do? 8 cfm at 40″?

  • Caitlyn

    Hi, We’re housing 25 fingerling tilapia in a ten gallon tank and separating as they grow. I was wondering if we need to use an air pump or air stone?? It was also suggested to get an air powered sponge filter. So what do you suggest we need since it’s such a small tank size? Thanks.

    • TCLynx

      Is there any filtration, circulation or aeration already happening?
      If not then your fish might not survive long if you are feeding them.
      Yes you need an air pump and some form of air diffuser in addition to some sort of filtration, otherwise the ammonia is likely to build up in the tank to the point that it will kill the fish. Yes the sponge filter is probably a good idea for this situation too.

      You probably need one of the biggest aquarium air pumps you can run out and get from the store today along with some tubing and air stones.

      Most of the air pumps I sell are meant for much larger tanks and would take to long to get to you at this point

  • willard taylor

    hi aleece.
    i exchanged email with you a few days ago.i have been all over the net. i will be sending you email next week to talk seriously about purchasing from you.thankyou tremendously for this post.i pray i can make your time with me economically worth while willi
    by the way shipping will not be an issue

  • KB

    I am building an aquaponics system using and IBC tote (275 gallon size) for the fish tank. I will have 4 Grow beds made from 2 – 55 Gal half drums, will be flood and drain and I will have a sump tank. Water will be pumped continuously from the sump to the fish tank. My sump tank will be a 55 Gal drum laid sideways so much shallower, about 24″. I will raise tilapia and want to maintain average density of fish. What products would you recommend? My project is in Florida so water temps will always be fluctuating.

    • TCLynx

      With Only about 100 gallons of grow bed, you should probably only run about 12 fish (if you will be growing the fish out to a max of about 1 lb each) in that system.
      For aeration I would recommend an air pump like the 9720 (currently running about $75 but I don’t know how much longer it will be in stock) hooked to two of our 6″ air diffusers, place the air diffusers in two of the corners of the fish tank opposite the side of the fish tank where you have the water enter. Have the water enter along the whole side with a spray bar OR have the water enter at two points in the corners. This should get a movement going in the water to keep solids from settling in two of the corners and the air stones in the other two corners will keep the soilds from settling there and hopefully get them to move to the drain.

  • KB

    Thanks for the response, I will get this ordered.

  • Giri


    I am designing an aquaponics setup consisting out of 2 systems in 2 connected 30×100 feet temperature controlled greenhouses.

    System 1 for strawberries:

    Holds a 500 gallon sump tank which pumps water through a cyclone vortex into a 1515 gallons (5760 liters) fish tank with approx 150 KG fish. The water overflows into a bio filter and then overflows into a separate 1515 gallons tank to aerate the water before it goes into the pvc pipes with the strawberries plants. I cannot aerate the water in the pvc pipes so it needs to be done before the water enters the pipes. All water is circulated to be collected in the sump tank and the process starts over. There are 9 strawberry towers which hold 12 6 meter pvc pipes each. A total of 108 6 meter pvc pipes with 20 plants per pipe. We will be using NFT with a constant flow of 0.5″ water in each pipe. The pipes have a 2.5% slope.

    The fish and aeration tank are 6.5W x 8L x 4H. I’m figuring that for good aeration I need 4CFM @ 48′ inches for both tanks? What kind of blower do you advise?

    We also need 1 pump to pump the water from the aeration tank 10 feet high and from there gravity will take over to flow the water to all the strawberry towers. What would be an advisable flow rate inside the pvc pipes? I am thinking around 0.5 gallons (2 liters) per minute which would result in a pump with the following specifications: 120 liters per hour x 108 pipes = 12960 liters per hour. This would mean that the water in the fish and aeration tanks would rotate twice every hour… I’m thinking we need to at least double the size of the fish tank?

    System 2 for vegetables:

    This system contains 3 DWC raceways which are 48″ (16 meters) long. The two outer raceways are 4″ (1.2 meters) wide and the middle one is 8″ (2.40 meters) wide. All raceways are 12′ inches deep.
    1 500 gallon sump which pumps the water via a cyclone vortex to a 1515 gallons fish tank (also approx 150 kg fish) which overflows into a bio filter which overflows into the middle raceway. I hope to attain a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute for the big raceway which will split up in 2 x 5 gallons to the 2 outer raceways from which the water will flow back to the sump. I would like to use pvc piping to provide air in the raceways and fish tank. What kind of a blower would I need to maintain good DO levels in the raceways? I would like to use a manifold the aerate both the raceways and the fish tank.

    Any and all advise and corrections to my calculations are greatly appreciated! 😉

    Kind Regards,

    • TCLynx

      I think I am going to send you an e-mail with details on your questions.
      Just one comment here though. You are saying things like 48″ when you actually mean feet. “=inches ‘=feet

      The shallow water DWC troughs are best aerated with blowers. The deep tanks like the fish tanks are probably more efficiently aerated with some form of air pump since they require more pressure to push the air down under the water.

      e-mail to follow.

  • Giri

    ok, thank you very much for the swift reply and clarification on ” and ‘ 😉

    Looking forward to your e-mail.

  • Casey Williams

    Hi TCLynx,

    Thanks for your tireless work helping others. I have been doing AP for a while, but still can’t wrap my head around the optimal aeration for different systems.

    I am now building a small system with a 100 gal fish tank (black Rubbermaid tote that is 25″ deep) and one DWC grow bed that is 16′ x 4′. I already have BubbleMac air stones that produce 0.5 cfm (1.5″ x 6″, I believe) from a previous system that I had set up.

    Do you have a suggestion on what pump may be best to supply air for both my fish tank and DWC bed?? Any help would be much appreciated.

    • TCLynx

      I would probably suggest having two separate air pumps since the depth of the fish tank is different from the depth of the raft bed.

      For the raft bed I would recommend 4 of those air stones so you need an air pump that will move 2 cfm of air at about 1 psi. (You also need air plumbing to allow that much air to move through without adding to the resistance.) I can supply a 50 watt air outdoor air pump that can handle this for about $110-$120 (I can get a specific price if you want to order it.)

      The fish tank needs at least .25 cfm of air at about 1.25 psi and could be supported with air from a smaller 25 watt outdoor air pump I have available, BUT I might suggest that the fish tank could use a matching pump which will leave enough extra air to drive a moving media bed bio filter (since if you are doing only raft bed you are going to need to address solids removal AND bio-filtration.)

      Use the contact form to e-mail me if you want to put together a specific order.

      • Casey Williams

        Great. Thanks for the info. I will definitely be contacting you to see about getting an order together.

        I don’t know what you mean by “moving media bed bio filter.” Can you explain?

        I do, however, understand that I’ll need solids removal and a bio filter, which I planned on handling by pumping from the fish tank to a 2′ x 4′ bed filled with expanded shale prior to the DWC bed (and possibly a small chamber with bird netting after that).

        • TCLynx

          a moving media bed bio reactor is a type of bio-filter that uses small plastic media with high specific surface area and it is kept in constant motion using aeration so it acts not only as a good biofilter but also as a degassing tank.

          FYI a 2′ by 4′ bed filled with expanded shale is probably only enough media bed to handle the solids and bio filtration for about 8 pounds of fish. If you set up a Radial flow filter to remove most of the large solids then the media bed could probably handle the fines filtering and most of the bio filtering needs and keep you from needing a net tank. If you find you want to add an additional fines filter, I recommend setting that up to be easier to clean by making a static upflow filter with some of the same type of media people use for the moving media bed bio-filters (those are easy to clean by draining and bubbling to clean the media unlike cleaning the netting from a net tank which involves pulling the netting out and hosing it off.)

          • Casey Williams

            Okay…I got you…I think! Oh my. You think you have a good grasp of a subject, then find out that you haven’t even scratched the surface!!

            So if I build an MMBR, what would you suggest for the solids removal? I’m assuming a radial flow filter?? And would the radial flow filter with the MBBR provide enough solids filtration, or would I still add the shale bed? I thought the small shale bed would be good for a couple of plants that don’t do as well in DWC and I could throw some red wigglers in there to add to the diversity of the system.

            In this case, I would get two of the pumps that you recommended…one for the DWC beds and one for the fish tank/filtration. And the order would go FT, radial flow filter, MBBR, possibly shale bed, DWC bed, back to beginning.

          • TCLynx

            Well Casey, to an extent you can get away with a very very simple little system for home/backyard use especially if you are only going to run minimal fish and don’t mind cleaning out the beds every so often.
            If you want to take care of the cleaning ahead of time because you want to grow more fish, then the extra filtration can be beneficial. (I never used any additional filtration on my backyard systems because I was doing extensive media beds, like twice as much gravel volume as fish tank volume, and didn’t bother with raft beds for my home garden type systems. I only do raft beds and extra filtration for my commercial growing operation and only for growing certain crops.)
            As to the order. You want to pump into the fish tank and then let the water gravity drain to the radial flow filter and from there you want it to go to some sort of fines filter (a static upflow filter would be easy to clean but in a lightly stocked system your grow bed can do the job) and then into the MMBR and then to the DWC bed.

            Now if you want to minimize the size needed for your Radial Flow Filter, you might look up the cornell dual drain. See you can send the water from a smaller bottom center drain into the RFF and the rest of the flow from the side drain can go directly into the fines filter or media bed.

            It is important to note that a RFF needs to be cleaned out pretty much daily. If solids start to get anaerobic in the bottom of it and float up, then it has been left without cleaning for too long. I open the bottom valve on my RFF twice a day and I let it drain out at least ones if not both times. When I clean filters I’m sending the waste into a mineralization tank so I’m not actually discharging or “wasting” it, just aerating it in a side loop of the system to get the minerals out of it without gunking up the rest of the system.

          • Casey Williams

            After what your explanation and a bit of research, I understand. Basically, for DWC only set up a person is looking to have a large particle filter, fine particle filter, and biofilter/degasser. Thank you very much for your information and descriptions. It is a huge help to be able to have some semblance of a conversation with someone more experienced than I am. I’m on an “island” out here in Corpus Christi, where I don’t know others that I can connect with to learn with/from.

            I had a just-smaller-than commercial set up a while back with two 3’x 60′ shale beds and two 4’x 60′ raft beds. Things were looking healthy and lively, but the plants just were not growing quickly at all….like very slowly, and I couldn’t figure out why other than our crappy city water. Anyway, I had to take that system down because of other reasons and have been wanting to do this moderately sized backyard system since then. I have never done a raft only system. I have always had enough media to more than account for the solids from the fish tank. I am tired of moving literally tons of rocks around (family’s farm that things are stored on is an hour away), so thought I would make it easier on myself and go only DWC raft bed. That is why I am choosing raft instead of media for my back yard set up.

            Thanks, again, for the help and I will be contacting you about the pumps if/when I get the okay from my partner to build the system (the other half of my battle)!

          • TCLynx

            Slow growth can be from a variety of reasons but if the plants look healthy and not like there is a deficiency or lack of light it is hard to figure without having some system water analysis done.

            If you remove solids totally, then you need more fish to provide enough nutrients. Most people want to keep as much of the nutrients in the system so will mineralize the solids in a separate tank and then re-introduce the nutrient rich clear water to keep the nutrient levels up without having to feed that much more fish.

  • Hai,

    I am looking for an Aeration pump to produce 220 liters of Compost tea. Which motor is used for this. Hos much PSI is required. How many solar panel & battery to carry on the aeration through 24 Hrs of a day required. Cowdung 10 Kg, cow urine 10L, brown sugar 3Kg, compost 2 Kg, soil 2 Kg & 220 Liters of water. Barrel Height 925 mm Diameter 588 mm.I am from India and would like to know the technical details. Just querying to know.. Could you help me?

    • TCLynx

      I don’t know the amount of air to specifically handle the composting operation you are detailing. Do you know how much air is required for this. For instance, if you know how many liters per minute or cubic feet per minute of air you need and the depth at which you need it, I can specify which air pump will provide that. The PSI required is based on the depth of the water and the air diffuser used in the container and to a lesser extent on the plumbing if you use too small a pipe or tube size.
      As to the solar panel and battery required to operate it, I don’t know much about solar power systems so I can’t really specify that at this time. Once I figure out which air pump you would need, I could tell you how many watts it uses and you could take that information to some one who does solar and battery systems.

  • Rajesh V Menon

    I have 4 fish tanks of 2000ltrs each with a depth of 4ft + 18 DWC of 16ft length x 4 ft width and 1 ft depth please do let me know how many blowers should i have to aerate the system and what should be its capacity.

    On each DWC i intend adding 6 small airstone also

    What should be the size of the PVC pipe connecting the blower and the fish tank + DWC

    • TCLynx

      If you are looking for specific equipment recommendations it might be best to contact me through the contact form so you can share specifics of locations etc.

      Please forgive me as I don’t always think in metric so the rules of thumb I remember off the top of my head are imperial. I don’t really have time to look up all the conversions and specific engineering specs unless we are actually doing a paid consult.

      The Fish Tank Aeration Rule of thumb I always worked under was 1 CFM (cubic foot per minute) of air for every 400 Gallons of fish tank (taking into account the amount of pressure required to push the air down into your depth of water and through your air diffuser.) 1 psi for 28 inches of water depth and the medium pore diffusers I use need about .25 psi as well. So per fish tank your would need an air pump that could deliver at least 1.25 cfm at about 3 psi. Or if trying to do all 4 fish tanks at once you would need 5 cfm at 3 psi. (that of course is not including any aeration requirements for bio filters or moving media bio reactors or degassing which I would recommend.)

      I would separate the fish tank aeration from the DWC aeration because of the pressure requirement difference. You can save electricity by using the appropriate equipment for the depth and volume required. I use air pumps for my fish tanks and blowers for the DWC.

      In my DWC beds, I like to provide 1/2 CFM through a 6 inch diffuser every 4 feet. So for each 16 ft bed it would be 4 diffusers for a total of 2 cfm at about 1 psi. That would be At least 36 CFM at 1 psi for just the DWC.

      I don’t have the calculations for pipe size off the top of my head. Each fish tank would probably be fine with 1/2″ to 3/4″ PVC going to it from the air pump or go 1″ if doing multiple fish tanks on the same air pump. If adding capacity for the bio-filtration it would depend on the amount of air needed for the particular bio-filtration set up. I use 2″ PVC pipe for my DWC and stub out to 1/2″ then attach the barbs for the flexible tubing to the diffusers, I have two blowers in separate locations providing air to the DWC aeration loops. If you drive all your DWC aeration from a single source you may need to go even larger on the main feed pipe.

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