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Recommended small pump for needlewheel mod?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by shoggoth43, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I know Tom likes the Rio 1000 powerheads but they aren't easy to find around here. All the Rio pumps I can find now have the new type of impeller so I suspect the "old" style has been replaced by the "plus" line which has little flapping vanes on the impeller making a mod considerably more difficult.

    I've considered a SEIO prop pump and using the not-quite-a-venturi on that but my experiments with the smallest model lead me to believe that will be obnoxiously loud and the CO2 not particularly finely chopped.

    Can anyone suggest a decently sized unit for a 5 foot tank? Or maybe two smaller ones and I'll just do two halves of the tank with lower bubble counts for each unit? Noise is a high concern for me on this one as the tank is in the living room.

    -
    S
     
  2. pat w

    pat w Member

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    I'm going to buy a Rio 800 RVT toward the end of the month to replace the 180 currently feeding my CO2 reactor. I'm hoping the irregular surfaces of the new impeller design will add a little more chopping action without a mod. My tank is in my living room as well, so noise level will count. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Pat
     
  3. jeff5614

    jeff5614 Prolific Poster

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    I bought a Rio+ 400 from PremiumAquatics.com a couple of weeks ago and it had the old style impeller. Doing the mod with a pair of wire cutters took probably all of two minutes.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The Maxi Jet powerheads are good, they also sell prefilters and other mods for them.
    Easy to mod those impellers, I like the boxy look of the Rio's though.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    As Tom said, Maxi-Jets are good powerheads for this. I've used one for quite a few months now and it's incredibly quiet. If you use a sewing needle for your holes you can get 6 holes easily into each impeller of a 400, so there's no telling how high you can go with the larger ones. My tank is maybe 10 feet from my bed, and it works well as far as noise goes.
     
  6. hbosman

    hbosman Guru Class Expert

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    I use the model 180 ViaAqua for a 46 gallon bowfront. The impeller is made of soft plastic so I could snip each blade twice, dividing it into three. Since it is small, it is well hidden in the lower left back corner blowing the mist along the back glass below plant level. The mist does rise higher before it reaches the right back corner and circulates slowly along the front glass. I can hear the CO2 bubbles hitting the impeller, it kind sounds like one of those water features where water bubbles over rocks. I'm not crazy about sound, kind of gotten used to it though. The misting or intense pearling of the plants isn't exactly appealing either but the impeller mod is the lowest maintenance, cheapest and most efficient method I've used so far so, I'll stick with it. I've used inline PVC regulators and inline ceramic diffusers and while they worked well, I wasn't to happy about stuff attached to the output of my canister filter. There was potential for leaks even though it never happened to me and I didn't care for it interferring with filter flow. The only thing I have inline is the hydor heater.

    Anyway, for the price, I think it's worth a try. If you don't like it, you wouldn't have spent much money or time. It's easy to build and remove. A spare powerhead is always handy to have.

    http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=8164
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    FYI, every method of CO2 diffusion will have some trade offs.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. hbosman

    hbosman Guru Class Expert

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  9. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Hi S

    I have three small Iwaki external pumps that I'm not using that might work. Two are MD-10's (186 US gph) and one is a MD-6 (138 US gph). You could either modify the pump blades or do a mesh mod on them. They are made for 1/2" tubing. They do not have NPT threads. The two MD-10's may work fine in for your 5 ft. PM me if interested.
    http://www.iwakiamerica.com/Literature/MD_WMD/MD610.pdf
    http://www.iwakiamerica.com/products/wmd.htm
     
  10. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Finally got the Rio 800 RVT with the new impeller design. Noticeably smaller bubbles than the unmodified Rio 180 that was feeding the external reactor. You can barely see them from a distance. Small enough that no one really cares that I retired the external reactor. Going pure mist now. Very quiet. Just the sound of the bubbles being smashed.

    Just FYI.
    Pat
     
  11. hbosman

    hbosman Guru Class Expert

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    I took a look at the Rio 800 RVT on Marinedepot's website. Not a bad price. Do you know if there is anything different about the impeller on it or did you snip the impeller any?
     
  12. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Sorry, I was off on vacation. I think I'll mess around with the internal needlewheel for now. Worst case I can stuff it into the sump aimed at the main pump. If that doesn't smash it I don't know what will.

    -
    S


     
  13. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Sounds good!
     
  14. pat w

    pat w Member

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    The 800 has a new impeller design looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    The old design looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    The older design was easily snipped to improve the misting capability to something much closer to a conventional needle-wheel impeller. What I found was that the new design turned out to be an improvement WITHOUT modification when compared to a similar simple paddle type impeller I had in a Rio 180. I'm attributing the improvement to the irregular shape of the new design. I may or may not be correct in that assumption since the 180 has a max flow of 120GPH @ 0head and the 800 has 211@ 0head.


    Pat
     
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