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  1. #1
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    Non-electric air pump

    I found an interesting design for a very simple air pump online. Looks only to be suitable for indoor aquaria, but still intriguing. The design is the large image at the middle of this page: http://rcdening.co.uk/nat_history_notes/aquaria.htm

    The "reversed Bunsen valve" is just a one way valve letting air into the bottle from outside the aquarium. A bunsen valve design can be found at the bottom of the first page here: http://www.rsc.org/images/cracking_tcm18-188813.pdf

    I'm looking into a way to make one of these affordably here. Points I'm thinking on at the moment are bottle size (old jam jars likely, though canning jars would be good too), cork options (want to avoid metal jam jar lids) and how to drill a hole in the cork if we go the rubber cork route recommended, as well as air outlet pipe size (smaller bubbles = better diffusion into the water, but harder to make and likely slower bubble rate)

  2. #2
    Moderator badflash's Avatar
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    Re: Non-electric air pump

    Check out the bell siphone. I find that an aquaponic system provides plenty of air with the water cascading back into the tank.
    The best fertilizer is the farmer's shadow

  3. #3
    Members cedarswamp's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Mullica Hill, New Jersey
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    Re: Non-electric air pump

    Quote Originally Posted by blomadam
    I found an interesting design for a very simple air pump online. Looks only to be suitable for indoor aquaria, but still intriguing. The design is the large image at the middle of this page: http://rcdening.co.uk/nat_history_notes/aquaria.htm

    The "reversed Bunsen valve" is just a one way valve letting air into the bottle from outside the aquarium. A bunsen valve design can be found at the bottom of the first page here: http://www.rsc.org/images/cracking_tcm18-188813.pdf

    I'm looking into a way to make one of these affordably here. Points I'm thinking on at the moment are bottle size (old jam jars likely, though canning jars would be good too), cork options (want to avoid metal jam jar lids) and how to drill a hole in the cork if we go the rubber cork route recommended, as well as air outlet pipe size (smaller bubbles = better diffusion into the water, but harder to make and likely slower bubble rate)

    Mind if I ask why? An air pump can run 24/7 for less than a dollar a month.

  4. #4
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    Re: Non-electric air pump

    This will be more useful in my system than most since I only have 30 gal to work with. I think it will allow me to turn the unit off at night without fear of stressing the fish. Also will make a good backup in case there is a power outage while I am away from home.

    Also, I don't want to buy/run a separate pump for air.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2010
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    Sammamish, washington
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    Re: Non-electric air pump

    If you have built that reversed bunsen valve one will you please post a picture. I would like to see one in action because the diagram and description leave alot of gray area on how to set one up

  6. #6
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    Nov 2013
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    Re: Non-electric air pump

    I gave the concept a bit of thought, it should be able to work but it all has to do with the balance of pressures in the system. The deeper your airstone is under water, the higher the air pressure will have to be to overcome the water pressure. P=density x g x h, density of fresh water is 1000kg/m and sea water about 1025kg/m, g (gravitational acceleration) is 9.81 m/s, h is the water depth in m and P will thenbe the pressure in Pa. So h is the only variable andsothe heights will have to be balanced. Therefore your siphon pipe will have to go up higher than the depth of your airstone under water before the siphon pipe bends down again. Your air tube will have to go up even higher than the siphon pipe to prevent it from filling with water when the container fills up with with water. To achieve a 1m depth with your airstone your pump would have to be able to pump the water more than a meter higher. The stronger water pump will probably cost more than an airpump and will probably consume more additional power than the airpump would. A venturi would probably be a much better option.

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