How to hook up Alita al6a air pump?

Sanderguy777
  • #1
So after bidding on an Alita al6a air pump, it is on its way in the mail. What I need now is advice on how to hook it up to my 60gal. I know it's a bit big for one tank, but it's about the quietest thing on the market and $55 shipped isn't bad...
What I need to know is, can I run 1 sponge filter (6x6in), and two or three airstones (.5 x 1.5in) or will that put too much back pressure on it? If so, what else should I do?

I have a 4 way gang valve, the sponge, and 1 airstone in already. (The air stones are either from undergravel kits, or Lee's brand) Will I need to leave a valve open as it stands now to relieve pressure?

Also, any help finding a good check valve. I have some from Walmart, but I hear there are some that create too much back pressure... Or is that all of them?
Thanks
 
Disturbed.)
  • #2
No check valve you will find will create to much back pressure for that pump on one 60 gallon tank. Nice find and price btw. I can't remember for sure but I think even the al6 uses a 3/8 output so you will most likely have to reduce it down via a manifold that has the larger input and standard 3/16 outputs. Not 100% on that but I would check the info on the one you ordered for the output diameter.
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I have looked on their website and it says, "3/16" & 3/8" barb, 5/8" barb with 1/4" FPT"

From the photo that is attached to that statement, I gather that is inner diameter...

pump_al020-2f.jpg

Which diameter is "best?"

Maybe abetter question is, can I do anything to hurt this pump?
 
Disturbed.)
  • #4
Yes if you restrict it to much by using to thin a line or not enough stones you can hurt it. The best would be the size that will fit the manifold you plan to use. You shouldnt attempt to use a standard 3/16 in/out with this pump. Id say the manual will tell you the minimum number of stones you should be using and its probably 8 minimum. If your tank has a sump you can aerate the out of that with the extra stones you'll need to have running
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Unfortunately it will never have a sump. However I do have HOBs that I could put them in.
Are there good/bad airstones? Are the cheap ones on Amazon any good? I mean the 2inch by 4 inch, big ones that cost $10 for 2. I think that that machine will put out enough air that even a cheap stone should shoot bubbles like crazy!
What about the bubble wands that are like 12inches long? I was thinking about connecting 3 or 4 to create a wall over the back on the tank.
 
Disturbed.)
  • #6
I think the bubble wands put out to large of a bubble normally but in your situation they may be exactly what you need. I like the large disk type but finding the stones that work for each tank is really trial and error.
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I think the bubble wands put out to large of a bubble normally but in your situation they may be exactly what you need. I like the large disk type but finding the stones that work for each tank is really trail and error.
Cool! I'll probably grab a few next time I'm at the store. Thanks
 
Disturbed.)
  • #8
Here is something like you need to keep that pump from burning out prematurely. I'm not recommending this one in particular just using it as a reference.

ps Id love to see pics of that pump running on a single 60 gallon tank be sure to post some up when you get it all running
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Here is something like you need to keep that pump from burning out prematurely. I'm not recommending this one in particular just using it as a reference.

ps Id love to see pics of that pump running on a single 60 gallon tank be sure to post some up when you get it all running
Thanks for the link
Me too! Cant wait till it arrives

Do you know how the normal Petco/PetSmart/bigbox tubing is measured? Inner or outer diameter?
 
Disturbed.)
  • #10
Pretty much all tubing is measured id with the exception being semi-rigid ice maker/ ro type that are specifically called 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2 od. Normal aquarium air line is 3/16 id. Your best bet there is either to get the larger tubing from a hydroponic store "they will have the right check valve as well" or wait until the manifold or pump arrived and take that piece with you to make sure it will be a tight fit.
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Good to know. Will definitely post photos
 
Disturbed.)
  • #12
Just did a little more research on that particular pump. Min number of 6" round diffusers is 1 but 2 are reccomended oddly enough its the same for 9", but 1 12" is definitely in the clear not that youd drop one giant stone in your tank but you get the idea of the ammount surface area you need. You can use the supplied 3/16 output to a multI gang valve if you meet those diffuser requirements and can omit the check valve by having the pump higher than the water you are aerating.
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Cool. Unfortunately the tank is in the living room so nothing can fit above it. Maybe someday...
But thanks for the info, that is definitely useful as I choose how much water will be left in the tank after I add all those airstones! LOL
 
Disturbed.)
  • #14
You could probably get away with a single length of hydroponic air membrane running the length of the tank. 48" of that making a wall of air in the back would no doubt have you covered. Another plus is that it lasts a lot lot lot lot longer than air stones do so its very quickly cheaper for large applications
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Ok. I'll look at that. I saw something like it made by Alita but didn't see it on Amazon. Now that I know the generic name...


1522896324194.jpeg

Teasers.... tomorrow morning should see the long awaited moment when I have more air than I need!
1522896420090.jpeg
1522896449872.jpeg
The air stone is just to get me by till I can get the hydroponics diffuser

Before photos so you can see the process.

So... Tomorrow is the big day. I will do my weekly WC and add a few airstones.
Any idea on a good bubble wand? I got one today, put it in, air full blast, and got maybe 3 small bubbles.... It was one of the flexible ones and will be returned post haste.
Probably should just put 4 airstones on a line and forget the other thing...
However, the DIYer in me says I should just take a small diameter hose and drill a bazillion holes in it and forget $10 air bubblers.
So, are there decent airstones or if you could link that hydroponic air membrane (I looked for an hour, didn't see anything but bubblewands. )

I actually plugged the pump in last night, it runs the same stones at the same rate.... But adding other airstones doesn't measurably change the flow. Is this consistent with high volume, low pressure?

Either way, I should have it done by tomorrow.
 
Kellye8498
  • #16
So... Tomorrow is the big day. I will do my weekly WC and add a few airstones.
Any idea on a good bubble wand? I got one today, put it in, air full blast, and got maybe 3 small bubbles.... It was one of the flexible ones and will be returned post haste.
Probably should just put 4 airstones on a line and forget the other thing...
However, the DIYer in me says I should just take a small diameter hose and drill a bazillion holes in it and forget $10 air bubblers.
So, are there decent airstones or if you could link that hydroponic air membrane (I looked for an hour, didn't see anything but bubblewands. )

I actually plugged the pump in last night, it runs the same stones at the same rate.... But adding other airstones doesn't measurably change the flow. Is this consistent with high volume, low pressure?

Either way, I should have it done by tomorrow.
Is it possible that your air pump is gong out and you need a new one?

It’s also possibly that something isn’t connected snuggly to the airpump
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Everything else was running fine at the same time. I plugged it in and nothing. Turned all lines from the gang valve off except bubblewand, still nothing.
All I can think is that it needs more pressure... I have a home Depot, maybe 250psI will work... LOL

By the way, this is a used Alita al6a linear piston pump. It works great, but I think the airstones I have are trash.
The tank is a 60 gallon that is 24" deep
 
TexasGuppy
  • #18
Do you need an air pump in tanks? Does it negate my CO2 injection?
 
Disturbed.)
  • #19
Do you need an in tanks? Does it negate my injection?
It depends on the first question, and yes it will definitely reduce the pH down effect of Co2 as well as "boiling it off" and the plants won't get to all of it.
As to whether its needed it depends on situations that vary a lot. Water flow in the aquarium for some, stones create a lot of needed movement in dead spots. Extra disolved oxygen for people who are over stocked. Force fed O2 in filters or media chamers for bio filtration. As lift for old school "ie me" undergravel filters, although I have abandoned all air driven and the few I still use are reverse flow pump driven. The most important time you can't do without extra air fed by a pump is if you ever have to administer certain meds but most of those should be reserved for qt setups. As for air in tank along with CO2 no don't do it unless its part of a pH controller and used as a failsafe against a crash. Great success has been had with air/pump bio reactors within CO2 dosed systems however.

I should have mentioned that many tanks run only on air and a sponge like all of my hatchries and fry tanks did. While I used it excluselively for them none of my displays had air except in the sump

I actually plugged the pump in last night, it runs the same stones at the same rate.... But adding other airstones doesn't measurably change the flow. Is this consistent with high volume, low pressure?
Are you saying that is bubbling the same as the old pump or that adding more stones didn't change how the others bubbled? The resistance of the air stones is the enemy with every pump. No diffuser means tons of flow but large not doing much for you, bubbles. Pumps rated for better flow allow for either slightly deeper stones or more of them but not more pressure since that's not what aquarium pumps are designed for. You can google pressure and flow or pressure and volume and find better explanations than mine I assure you. You should, however, notice a huge difference with the same setup in tank, with the new pump in place of the old one because it will no doubt have higher pressure since its being choked down with small tubing.
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
I think the issue is the sponge filter doesn't have a diffuser.

When I plugged the new unit in, the sponge may have had more bubbles, but the other 3 stones didn't change a bit.

Are there better stones than Lee's? I had one and it worked ok but I tried to pull it off the air hose and the stone came off the air hose port..... Aka, broke.
 
Disturbed.)
  • #21
Yeah the green penn plax and blue lees are a one shot deal, they crumble when you try to take them off. For the small cylinder stones I like the JW aircore, they don't last very long but make great bubbles and dontfall apart.
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
The ones I have are the brown Lee stones. They look decent so maybe it was just a lemon?
What about the dispose a stone from Lee? Do they make good bubbles?

Also, the airline I use may be the issue. When I attach a stone, taking it off means slicing the airline that is touching the bubbler plug. Normal?
 
Disturbed.)
  • #23
Never used the dispose a stone but yeah having to cut them off is normal, I use dikes.
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
So I settled on 2 small (1.5 inch) airstones, a 4inch and put an airstone in my sponge filter.
Will this be enough?
If not, I will go back to the sponge without the airstone. Wich should equal the airline with no resistance.
 
Disturbed.)
  • #25
Yeah the sponge filter should be your relief valve so to speak. Running it wide open creates more flow through it and takes some strain off the pump. There is still resistance though, you have to overcome the pressure of the depth that the the outlet is. That's why even a beast of a standard pump like the Q2 has a hard time bubbling deeper than 30"
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Ok. Here's the tank now. I have bubblers behind both bamboo plants and one in the right along with the sponge on the left. The hose in the middle splits and powers the two behind the bamboo.
1523060221934.jpeg
The sponge is restricted just enough to let the other bubblers run a bit. I use a gang valve with what I think is ball valves on each output and the sponge is about 75% open.

One last (maybe) question. I couldn't find any thing online for aquaponic air membrane, could you link it? I would be interested, if it works better than the bubble walls I have seen.
 
Disturbed.)
  • #27
Is that a pic of the al6 running? If so yeah something isn't right it should be white with bubbles.

hydroponics bubbler
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
Well..... That is unfortunate.
Should I take it apart and see if it needs a parts kit?
It is absolutely silent and that's all I REALLY what I bought it for. More bubbles WOULD be nice.
Any ideas what might be wrong?

hydroponics bubbler
Thanks. I'll pick one up and that should be much better than the stone from Walmart
 
Disturbed.)
  • #29
I have ran membranes on much less than half of what they recommend you push through them. I would assume everyone who does hydro also does because pumps big enough to meet what they ask and do the square footage of most setups would be in the thousands of dollars unless you go oiless air compressors and deal with the noise. The membranes produce a metric ton of small bubbles and one of those spreadout instead of in a bucket circle will make a wall in the back of your tank.

As to whether you should take it apart, well I would but that's because I love to tinker. But that's a risk, I would see if anyone local who knows them could check it out for you. Those things last forever and a day. Maybe it needs tweaked or maybe it's forever and two days old and needs a rebuild. Those kits are readily available as well. A new one is only $90 so if you have any kind of a guarantee on that one it is cheaper to send it back and replace it then to buy the rebuild kit
 
Sanderguy777
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
It was used, from a seller on eBay. No returns but guaranteed by eBay, so if I need to I could probably get a refund.
However, I might be able to take it to my lfs or see if a hydroponics store has any idea.

I thought it was a linear piston pump....

Thank you for all your time.
Maybe I can get to the store Monday.
 
Disturbed.)
  • #31
I thought it was a linear piston pump....
So did I until I looked deeper into it just a few mins ago. That's actually kind of a plus though when my medo finally gave out, bought it used from eBay came from a hospital, It wasn't really repairable at all.
 

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