Question How To Turn Down An Air Pump That Can't Be Turned Down?

pagoda

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OK so here is the puzzle that I have to find the answer to...

My 60L/15g hexagonal aquarium with my Betta, Murf, and my female Cory, Bouncer.....

The problem I have to solve is that although the pump is recommended for the size of aquarium, the output is too strong which is causing the fish to be blown across the aquarium

The output is 50 L per Hour /800cc/min and its attached to a 4" airstone

There is no control on the pump itself to turn the flow output down.

So apart from tying knots into the airline, is there any other way to bring the flow down to a more gentle level please?

Thanks in advance :)
 

JayH

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The simplest approach would be to get a gang valve with at least two connections. Close all the valves. Hook your air stone to one and fully open that valve. Then adjust one of the other valves to bleed air until you get the flow you want on the air stone. If you attach a short length of tubing to the bleed valve it should cut down the noise of escaping air.

You'll probably need to adjust the valves periodically as changes in pressure due to the air stone clogging can really throw off the mix. Also, the cheap valves are really meant for on/off control, not flow control like this. Someone mentioned using a distributor that uses needle valves but I've never been able to find one.
 

yukondog

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I do just the same as JayH, by pinching the line the pump works harder and will burn up sooner than wanted.
 
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pagoda

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Right thank you both...will sort a flow valve thingyamedoodah :)
 
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pagoda

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One on order, will be here Monday :)
 
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pagoda

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I have tied a loose knot in it for the time being til the whatchamacallit arrives :)

Having Murf swim from one side of his aquarium to the other is far preferable to having him torpedoed across by the airstone....he no likely that and flares indignantly at it :eek:
 

JayH

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Or.... tie a knot in the air line and tighten and loosen. You may not like it but it works.
It works, but like @yukondog said, it creates more back pressure on the pump, causing it to work harder and wear out sooner. The gang valves aren't all that expensive and I find they often come in handy for other things. It seems I'm often finding other uses for one more air line.
 

Fljoe

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OK so here is the puzzle that I have to find the answer to...

My 60L/15g hexagonal aquarium with my Betta, Murf, and my female Cory, Bouncer.....

The problem I have to solve is that although the pump is recommended for the size of aquarium, the output is too strong which is causing the fish to be blown across the aquarium

The output is 50 L per Hour /800cc/min and its attached to a 4" airstone

There is no control on the pump itself to turn the flow output down.

So apart from tying knots into the airline, is there any other way to bring the flow down to a more gentle level please?

Thanks in advance :)
I bought a Fluval duel outlet yesterday. Turns out it doesn’t have a flow control. The next model up does have a flow control. Both models require a check valve to avoid back flow of tank water into the pump. Check valves sold Separately. Also the model without flow control needs a flow control valve also sold separately, I returned mine. I will get one with the flow control built in.
 

JayH

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I found one that uses a needle valve! Not at all expensive either. The thing to remember is you don't want to create a lot of back pressure on the pump. You want all the air it's pushing to escape somewhere, you just want to be able to direct where it goes. I'd suggest buying one with more valves than you need right now. It gives you more flexibility.

Eh, after reading the reviews, maybe that isn't the gang valve to get. Sounds like the plastic is cheap and breaks easily.

If your air pump is higher than you tank you don't absolutely have to have a check valve. If it sits below the tank then you do need one to keep the water from getting to the pump if the electricity shuts off.
 

Fljoe

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I found one that uses a needle valve! Not at all expensive either. The thing to remember is you don't want to create a lot of back pressure on the pump. You want all the air it's pushing to escape somewhere, you just want to be able to direct where it goes. I'd suggest buying one with more valves than you need right now. It gives you more flexibility.

Eh, after reading the reviews, maybe that isn't the gang valve to get. Sounds like the plastic is cheap and breaks easily.

If your air pump is higher than you tank you don't absolutely have to have a check valve. If it sits below the tank then you do need one to keep the water from getting to the pump if the electricity shuts off.
Do the pumps that have a built in airflow knob cause back pressure? Or are they designed for that? Is it better to buy a weaker pump for lighter air flow? My pump will definitely be below the tank, so definitely a check valve will be required.
 

smee82

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Also you can poke a pin hole or 2 in the hose to let some air escape to reduce pressure
 

JayH

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I'm pretty sure the knobs on the pumps themselves control the speed of the pumps. They don't cause back pressure.

Buying a smaller pump would be an option. This article has a list of a bunch of pumps along with exactly how much air they put out at various depths. You can use that as a guide to finding one for your particular use.
 

Islandvic

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The easiest method to control flow is to install a "T" fitting in-line with the hose powering the air stone.

Off the other port of the "T" fitting, install an inch or two of air line with a control valve connected to it.

When its fully closed, 100% of the air goes to the airstone.

As you start to slowly open it, air bleeds off through the valve, reducing the air going to the stone.

Amazon has kits with assorted fittings, control valves, check valves, air line, suction cup holders, etc.

Chewy online has the Fluval Q1 for $9.10, which PetSmart will price match. It has dual outlets, but no built in flow control.

The Q2 has the same output as the Q1, but channeled into only 1 outlet, but had variable output.

I prefer the Q1 because both outlets and be combine into 1 with a T fitting. A second T can be installed with the control valve attached as a means to reduce flow as needed.

I own 3x Q1's and they work well. They are easy to take apart and Ken's Fish online has rebuild kits if needed.
 
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pagoda

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Got it sorted thank you for the valve suggestion :) :) Fish are no longer being held against the opposite wall of the aquarium by angry bubbles :) :)
 

Wydowmayker

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Wow!! Thanks to all of you.

I really needed this info and didn’t even know it, lol

I have a ton of tiny birthing tanks, and that’s the problem I am having. You should see them all, lol. They look like that hairy uncle (cousin) on the Adams family. All my bubblers are covered deep in moss clumps to keep the fry from getting blown out of the tanks, lol.
 
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