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TheClark

Wishing For A Peristaltic Pump For the Calcium Reactor

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15 minutes ago, TheClark said:

How do you feed from the siphon?  

A 1/4" T off of the full siphon on the overflow?

It's intriguing, I can see that being quite consistent as well as long as the overflow level remains consistent.

Actually, it's just the 1/4 tubing running from one of the internal overflows in the tank (so no random critters)  Since these are basically self-leveling (short of a return pump failure) and the tubing is fixed I get a pretty constant "head pressure" and the tubing itself limits max flow.  I haven't put a flow meter on it but the only times I have noticed a significant change were related to the needle valve gumming up (it is still inline but backed all the way out).  I find it interesting that the manufactures specifically suggest not doing this (presumably due to the danger of breaking the siphon and lack of significant pressure to drive flow through a needle valve) but it makes for a nice low-tech solution in my case.  The down side (if you want to look at it that way) is that now you have to control everything off pH so need a good probe/solenoid combo and/or super accurate CO2 regulator.  I principally control off the probe/solenoid and it works great.  I think most folk principally use that as a backup control to prevent their reactor pH from going too low due to a CO2 regulator glitch but I have had good luck using it as a principal control point and just try to get the CO2 rate reasonably close to reduce the solenoid switching.  Granted, this setup doesn't have a secondary control (other than the CO2 bubble rate) but I also monitor the pH in the reactor and have an alarm set if it goes out of range by .1 unit so, really, it is pretty safe (fingers crossed).  When you think about it, there isn't much to an electromagnetic solenoid - much simpler than a peristaltic pump!

I am sure I will get some friendly grief for this setup but I am pretty happy with the results - especially once I get the stupid needle valve out of there!

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1 hour ago, albertareef said:

Actually, it's just the 1/4 tubing running from one of the internal overflows in the tank (so no random critters)  Since these are basically self-leveling (short of a return pump failure) and the tubing is fixed I get a pretty constant "head pressure" and the tubing itself limits max flow.  I haven't put a flow meter on it but the only times I have noticed a significant change were related to the needle valve gumming up (it is still inline but backed all the way out).  I find it interesting that the manufactures specifically suggest not doing this (presumably due to the danger of breaking the siphon and lack of significant pressure to drive flow through a needle valve) but it makes for a nice low-tech solution in my case.  The down side (if you want to look at it that way) is that now you have to control everything off pH so need a good probe/solenoid combo and/or super accurate CO2 regulator.  I principally control off the probe/solenoid and it works great.  I think most folk principally use that as a backup control to prevent their reactor pH from going too low due to a CO2 regulator glitch but I have had good luck using it as a principal control point and just try to get the CO2 rate reasonably close to reduce the solenoid switching.  Granted, this setup doesn't have a secondary control (other than the CO2 bubble rate) but I also monitor the pH in the reactor and have an alarm set if it goes out of range by .1 unit so, really, it is pretty safe (fingers crossed).  When you think about it, there isn't much to an electromagnetic solenoid - much simpler than a peristaltic pump!

I am sure I will get some friendly grief for this setup but I am pretty happy with the results - especially once I get the stupid needle valve out of there!

I really am impressed by this approach.  

The head pressure should be darn constant unless the overflow is having fits, but a feisty overflow makes noise.  Call it a built in alarm.  Very cool!

You could use an aqualifter to keep siphon like they do on overflow boxes?  But then that would add some pressure... hmmm...

Another tweak could be one of those 1/4" solenoids, as a safety measure if your ph drops rapidly in the CR and you want to stop the flow.

I suppose yet another tweak could be a T off of the full siphon above the valve.  That would be a clean place to pickup the 1/4" without risk of losing siphon... interesting...

I have a spare valve in my overflow that is permanently shut.  I could add a 1/4" pickup there as well.

In the end, its one less piece of equipment to fail I suppose.

Intrigued...  Enjoy hearing alternatives...

Thanks for sharing!

 

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29 minutes ago, TheClark said:

I really am impressed by this approach.  

The head pressure should be darn constant unless the overflow is having fits, but a feisty overflow makes noise.  Call it a built in alarm.  Very cool!

You could use an aqualifter to keep siphon like they do on overflow boxes?  But then that would add some pressure... hmmm...

Another tweak could be one of those 1/4" solenoids, as a safety measure if your ph drops rapidly in the CR and you want to stop the flow.

I suppose yet another tweak could be a T off of the full siphon above the valve.  That would be a clean place to pickup the 1/4" without risk of losing siphon... interesting...

I have a spare valve in my overflow that is permanently shut.  I could add a 1/4" pickup there as well.

In the end, its one less piece of equipment to fail I suppose.

Intrigued...  Enjoy hearing alternatives...

Thanks for sharing!

 

These are all interesting tweaks.  I think the 1/4 solenoid would be a nice backup to the CO2 cutoff - this would provide a second level of protection to overdosing the tank in case the one on the regulator failed.  Given where I have the CO2 bubble rate, mine shouldn't go too low even if that failed but wouldn't hurt to have an extra layer.  A flow detector tied into the controller (like yours) would be sweet but not sure if there is one that will work on mine... off to look!

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Update:  Peristaltic Experiment Is Working Very Well

 

- The dips were related to me messing with it yesterday trying to make it quieter.

- Other than that, it is pretty darn rock solid

Looking forward to getting a real peristaltic solution together...

 

AfREnOr.png

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1 hour ago, xmas_one said:

Anybody use these?

http://www.chemworld.com/85MPHP17-Stenner-Pump-p/Stenner-85MPHP17.htm?gclid=EAIaIQobChMInL2xgZHL1gIVB5R-Ch3Ewwy5EAQYAiABEgIIIvD_BwE

I was doing some work at a small town and the operator swears by these pumps.

 

 

They sure look like a good pump head.  I don't see any adjustment on that particular model...

 

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1 hour ago, TheClark said:

They sure look like a good pump head.  I don't see any adjustment on that particular model...

 

They make adjustable ones too, also you can swap out hose diameter for smaller flow rates.

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12 minutes ago, xmas_one said:

They make adjustable ones too, also you can swap out hose diameter for smaller flow rates.

Looks like a good masterflex contender.  I have drooled over the stenner stuff quite a bit.  Cole parmer is another, there are a handful out there...

I have a stainless steel ball bearing pump head along with a 12v brushed motor unit coming next week.  Thirty bucks, next experiment!  Hopefully quieter and longer lasting...

 

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Just another update for anyone interested.  

Going on 4 days now.

Really doing a good job holding the flow steady.  

Best of all, no clog ups.  The pressure of a peristaltic is a good match for a calcium reactor with it's own pressure.  

Liking it!

blWjbeD.png

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Great thread Jeremy! Interested to hear how that next level pump works


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5 hours ago, Bicyclebill said:

Great thread Jeremy! Interested to hear how that next level pump works


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Thanks Bill!  Next pump is coming Thursday, will update once its online.

 

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Quick update, chugging along.  

 

Impressively steady flow compared to what I was seeing with the other pump.  I can only imagine how steady a masterflex with a stepper motor would be...

 

Yf956Vq.png

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New pump and motor are here.

After a rough start, I am super excited.  It is quiet and much more rugged in appearance.  It has stainless steel bearings (the last one was noisy plastic)  

This seems like it could be a winner for continuous duty.

The rough start had to do with the PWM speed controller.  It couldn't handle running this motor down low enough in speed.  After swapping out for another old PWM controller lying around, the experiment is officially starting!

If this pans out, I am going to do a separate and proper writeup for those who may be interested.

Honestly if this works out, it would be a sub 50 dollar peristaltic pump option.  

I tried this a couple years ago and the parts just did not exist.  This new head could be a game changer.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, TheClark said:

New pump and motor are here.

After a rough start, I am super excited.  It is quiet and much more rugged in appearance.  It has stainless steel bearings (the last one was noisy plastic)  

This seems like it could be a winner for continuous duty.

The rough start had to do with the PWM speed controller.  It couldn't handle running this motor down low enough in speed.  After swapping out for another old PWM controller lying around, the experiment is officially starting!

If this pans out, I am going to do a separate and proper writeup for those who may be interested.

Honestly if this works out, it would be a sub 50 dollar peristaltic pump option.  

I tried this a couple years ago and the parts just did not exist.  This new head could be a game changer.

 

 

Looking forward to your writeup in this if it works well!  Very promising and cost effective solution if so 👍

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Quick update, I have ran the new pump/motor combo about 5 days. 

Pump is very quiet.  No comparison to the last plastic one.

Flow has drifted slightly upward, although I did turn it up somewhere around the 8th or the 9th since alk was dipping.  A twist of the knob can fix adjust flow, not a big deal.  Hopefully it settles in here...

 

G57obiW.png

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Still looking pretty promising. Maybe you could hit up Daniel and have him print up a case for you and atart assembling some units for the rest of us 👍

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18 minutes ago, TheClark said:

Prototype 

 

67306AD0-D26A-4532-A469-88B2A9F27246.jpeg

I would be curious to beta test but don't have a flow meter to log from :sad:  Even without the custom printed box that is a pretty tidy package.

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55 minutes ago, albertareef said:

I would be curious to beta test but don't have a flow meter to log from :sad:  Even without the custom printed box that is a pretty tidy package.

If I make more than a couple, would gladly make one for you.  Although I hate the idea of messing with your perfect flow though through the overflow siphon.  That seems pretty darn fool proof.

At a minimum I will write this up and hopefully anyone can make one with spare time on their hands.  

It is really easy once you have the right parts.  4 wires, two solder joints to the motor, the rest are screw down connectors.  

Will try to get the rough notes out tonight.

 

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Continuous duty right? Does the manufacturer mention anything about duty cycle or tubing life? Are you going to mount it over open section of sump in case of tubing leak at some point?


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35 minutes ago, Bicyclebill said:

Continuous duty right? Does the manufacturer mention anything about duty cycle or tubing life? Are you going to mount it over open section of sump in case of tubing leak at some point?


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The operator at the water/wastewater plant said he has seen the tubing last anywhere from 9 months to three years, this is running 24/7.

Edited by xmas_one

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32 minutes ago, Bicyclebill said:

Continuous duty right? Does the manufacturer mention anything about duty cycle or tubing life? Are you going to mount it over open section of sump in case of tubing leak at some point?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Hi Bill,

I can say for sure, my old one did not have that continuous duty feel about it.

It was plastic, not even sure if it had bearings.  Made a racket!  However, I have used 2 of them for a couple years to do top off and kalk from the garage up to the office.  They have held up.. but I wouldn't trust them in this application.

This new one is stainless steel, stainless bearings and replaceable tubing.  It looks like a miniature version of my cole parmer pump that I used for water changes.

Will it hold up?  Hopefully a long time, guaranteed not forever though!  So I set it up right over the sump as you are suggesting.  A leak won't be catastrophic and good old apex will notify me.

Is it quiet?  Compared to the old pump night and day.  However, this is not as quiet as a submersible pump.  Given your tank is in your living room (which I TOTALLY RESPECT), it may make a little noise under the cabinet.

Well, just sharing because there are folks out there like me that just don't have the reef budget for the higher end stuff.  

Hope it helps and caveat emptor!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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