Saturday, April 15, 2017

Building an Anoxic Filter suitable for both indoors and outdoors by: Milos Laznicka

Dear Dr. Novak,

Syd aka Manky Sanke suggested me in his response to forward this e-mail also to you - as you are following up on new developments with Your great invention - so hope you may find it an inspiring application of Your great anoxic filter invention into quite universal indoor - outdoor setup while minimizing footprint of it.

I have attached short power point with couple pictures and few comments hopefully helpful for someone else who may face the same space constraints as I did. Though I understand the principle of anoxic filter operation quite well given my degree in biochemistry and biotechnology background (though I am out of it for over 30 years by now) I am keen to see how it will work in my particular setup - and if by a chance it may also help to reduce DOC as well as I have seen commented on in one of the posts on internet. If it would do it, than in reality only RDF followed by anoxic filter might be all what would be needed - no protein skimmers, moving bed bio-filters etc. needed any more - wow - sounds like dream come true finally.

Thank you.

Milos Laznicka - life long aquarium hobbyist and rather novice Koi keeper.

Hi Syd,

Hope this e-mail finds you well.
I could not resist - after reading so great reviews - and your great articles about the Dr. Kevin Novak's Anoxic Filter invention to try to build one and see how it works in real life in my setup.

As my wife did not allowed me to build third pond in our garden - after 9.000L original golden fish and Water Lilly pond, newer 24.000L Koi pond the third would be for anoxic filter - instead I had to look for minimized footprint solution - so I used 600L ICB tank with 40cm opening and built in drain valve - produced commercially - and sold either as new (for 192 Euro here) or used one for half the price - this design allows for placing it both outdoors or indoors as required - as I have not found similar design anywhere on the internet so far, I thought you might want to share it with other Koi hobbyists facing similar problem - not enough space / missing construction permit for open anoxic filter in their garden.
I am attaching short presentation with photos and commentary added - should be self-explanatory.

Parameters of my pond:

Finally precisely measured volume - 24.000L
Never had problem with NO2 (0) or NO3 (under 20), pH 7, GH 4-5 deg., KH 3-4 deg
I have netted out of it about 68 gold fish this Spring to make room for more koi - now total of 21 Koi ranging from 10cm to 50cm.
I am heating over the winter (DEC - FEB) using 3kW flow thru electric heater set at 7 deg. Celsius - outside of DEC - FEB I use 5kW heat pump - since March running at 15 degrees Celsius and MAY - SEP at 23 deg. Celsius - with separated pumped circuit - shut down in DEC - FEB.
So now I am interested to see how the anoxic filter works - and if eventually I would be able to shut down my Nexus 220 original filter - and depend solely on RF followed by anoxic filter only.

I will report how is the water quality doing - so fat almost gin clear - RDF does really great job in mechanical filtration of my pumped setup - I do not need to clean my Nexus 220 2 - 3 times per week as prior I installed the RDF earlier this Spring - now I do it only once per month.......can only recommend to everyone - getting the detritus and fallen leafs out of the water immediately - passing cleared water into the biochemical filtration of Nexus 220 (with 150L of K1) and the newly added anoxic filter with up to 18 biocenosis baskets.
Hope this will help other Koi hobbyists to get into anoxic filtration using minimal footprint available.

In response to Milos letter:

Hello Milos,

After reading your e-mail and looking at your Anoxic PDF file I realize that the Anoxic Filter has come a long way in innovated ideals and better use of its resources.  I will be using a smaller version of the Anoxic Filter in my SCA 50 aquarium sump as soon as weather permits.  Using an Anoxic Filter with aquariums will be the next step in water quality that most hobbyist have never experience.

It’s nice to see that the Anoxic Filter is being embraced more by the pond hobby than it was several years ago when it was introduced to the hobbyist. So many thought because of not understanding many of the words and terms I used or the science behind the system, that it would never be a substitute for conventional filtration systems. Syd, over in the UK has done so much in getting people excited about the filtration system and with his knowledge and perceptive writings on the subject about the Anoxic Filtration System that I don’t think it would be as well embraced by individuals as it is today if I wasn’t for him.

Though I have never personally met Syd (AKA: Manky Sanke) or the many other hobbyist (Dr. Franco from Italy) like yourself that now uses and write about the Anoxic Filtration System, as a scientist, how does one express their appreciation to others for their time spent innovating the system and the countless photos they have taken and sent me. You along with others set a new bar with the Anoxic Filter that I thought would never be reach. It is very much appreciated on my part to those that have given so much faith in the system.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review of a Current eFlux 1900-gph DC pump with flow control.

Review of a Current eFlux 1900-gph DC pump with flow control.

If there is one thing I loathe about aquariums with sumps and overflows is the noise from splashing water going into the weirs overflow and then the return water into the sump via the pluming. I have written and made some YouTube videos on how to remedy this problem by adding a reducer endcap at the end of the return 1” pipe in the sump that equals that of the pumps output. Most pumps will never meet the requirement of a 1” pipes fulfilment to make it a solid full suction pipe.  However, once that problem is remedied to one’s satisfaction then the next issue is the return pump that is the heart of the system making noise and/or heating up the aquariums water.

After buying the SCA 50 gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium complete package which comes with an Atman PH2500 return pump, (650-gph with a 7.5’ head shut off using 45.5 watts of power) is not quite the right pump for complete control over the restricted water coming from the weir into the sump via a 1” return pipe. It works, but because of the pumps short comings of a reduced amount of torque and only pumping at a measly 275-gph due to head pressure it would falter in keeping the weirs water level at a precise preset water mark.  Note: If water in the weir drains too slow to the sump the water will then rise in the weir until it begins to trickle down the emergency standpipe and make noise. If it drains too fast, then the sumps return pipe will start sucking in air with water and begin to make and unbearable noise in the sump and weir too. Therefore, you need a pump that can overcome these hindrances in keeping water levels steady in the weir and keeping the whole system quiet when running.

It now was time to get a more competent pump to do the job than the smaller Atman that came with the setup could not do. In my aquariums, I like moving volumes of water from point A to point B as fast as possible without hindering the inhabitance daily routine. This way particulate matter gets into the mechanical filter and out of the waterbody giving it a clean polished look. Velocity on the other hand, may deceive the hobbyist into a false sense security that they are moving lots of water when they have only restricted volume and turnover rate of the aquariums pump. Because the SCA comes with Duckbill outlets as part of the pluming, to stimulate velocity, a stronger pump will do the same plus add the needed volume output to keep the system cleaner. Most aquarium turnover rates should be between 5-10 ratio of the tanks volume and I prefer to keep turnover at the higher mark. All pumps in this review can be use internally or externally if needed.

 Choice one on my short list was the Eheim model 1262 hobby pump (898-gph, head 11.8’ to shut off and 80 watts of power consumption priced at $ 179.99 USD.).  Eheim is one of the better aquarium products out there in my opinion for the hobbyist in as far as reliability and quietness.  Been using Eheim filters and pumps now far over 30-years with nothing but good and positive results.
The second pump on my list is the Supreme Mag Drive (MD 18) pump. (1800-gph, head shut off @ 16.85’ ,145 watts and cost $184.99 USD.) At present time, I’m using a 2400-gph (MD24) on my pond and this pump has been running now nonstop far over 15-years. The MD 18 is my backup pump in case the MD 24 would ever need servicing or quit. Noisy, yes, but the reliability is on par with the best.  They are available at most hobbyist stores and Garden Centers and have a very wide network outside of just buying them on the internet.

The third pump on my list is the Current eFlux 1900 DC Pump, one of three in its line of hobbyist’s pumps, with flow control and the ability to have add on power heads or Loop system if that is a must for biotic reef keepers. Current USA, in case you haven’t heard of them sell aquarium lighting and have been around far a long time, if not one of the oldest lighting companies in the hobby. This is the pump this review is all about. It’s rated at 380-1900gph veritable controlled rheostat that not only lessen the water output but also the electrical consumption of the pump too, from 11-55 watts, with a shut off head @ 14.75’ and costing $178.95 USD. I paid far less for the one I bought than the give price listed. The price point of all three of these pumps is about the same and each one of them has a better head shutoff than the smaller Atman pump that came with the SCA system.

However, the eFlux pump nudged the other two contenders out of the picture because the eFlux uses less electrical energy than the others do along with a higher gph output and with very good torque. It uses what is called an enclosed turbine impeller, the same as used in air-raid sirens and professional leaf blowers. Runs cooler than the Mag Drive and Eheim pumps and takes up less room in the sump than the Eheim. The only part on the eFlux 1900 that gets warm is the AC/DC power converter that sits on the outside connected by an Umbriel cord to the pumps control center and that’s it. The motor itself seems to not have any influence on water temperature like the Supreme pumps do. 

 It’s also a 24-volt DC pump which makes it safer because of it low pure DC voltage and not the very dangerous AC voltage. DC voltage sources are more constant or should I say cleaner power source than AC and such motors are always used in High End turntables because of their stability. It wasn’t long ago when stray AC current from submersible pumps in salt water aquariums was to be grounded with a Titanium probe to earth because of stray voltage bothering the sense organ called the lateral line in fish.

Some of the key selling words that advertisers use in selling pumps is ultra-quiet, whisper-quiet, quite operation, virtually silent and silent running[1]. None of these adjectives are true in my opinion because being an owner of all three of these pumps I do not find then to be dead quite or silent running as the advertisements lead the consumer to believe. In my experience, the lesser the pumps water output the less noise it will make when running under load. None of these pumps fall into that category of reduced water output and therefore hum noise is unavoidable.  How much noise is audible from a DC pump is from 20dB-55dB and is up to the consumer and their tolerance level for pump hum noise if that is too loud.  The eFlux does make hum noise and doesn’t fall under the umbrella of “dead quiet”, but nothing I find to be out of place with a pump of this magnitude comparing it to its top-of-the-line AC brethren. With that said, you can buy quieter DC pumps but they may cost you an added $100-300 dollars more than the eFlux 1900 does and have more bells and whistles added to them via their controls (see Ed. Notes).

The trim pot and/or rheostat that comes with the eFlux 1900 pump is not a very precise actuator and will turn the pump on to full throttle even though it may still have more room for adjustment. It probably would be better off if Current USA just had six preset buttons on the controls with indicator lights and just leave it at that. So, don’t think you can dial in the pump so precisely (as some have stated in advertising) for an Animal Bean Overflow and do away with expensive valves instead; it’s just not made for that kind of accurate output control.

 Since I’m using a reducer endcap that I came up with on my 1” return (as shown on my YouTube video) to the sump from the weir, no problems on turning the eFlux to full output using the ½” return/s pipe with no restrictions into the aquarium. With the Atman pump the reducer endcap has a 7/16 hole (3.25psi or 7.5 foot of head) in it and the new endcap using the eFlux 1900 pump has a 17/32 hole in it (6.5psi or 14.75 foot of head). That makes it 22.5 % larger, making that much more water to go through the whole filtering system. A 22.5% larger hole may not sound like much until you realize that about 650gph is now going through the system verses the 275gph with the Atman pump.[2]

 Water flow is accurate enough (as can be expected) with the eFlux 1900 no matter how full the sump is or how low the water is in the sump. This was a problem with the Atman pump that would change the water in the weirs water height too when sump water levels went low. It did not have enough torque to overcome these obstacles. 

I know I left a lot out of this review but I though most of that information would be impertinent and most hobbyist just want to know is the product being review worth the price of admission or not?  I feel that DC energy efficient pumps are going to nudge out their counterpart AC pumps one day like LED’s have extinguished the Metal Halide and T5 and T8 lights of the past. With cost going south for DC pumps like the Current USA eFlux 1900, that now makes such great pumps like Eheim and Supreme Mag Drive performance and energy efficiency behindhand in caparison to DC pumps. So, one must ask: Why would you buy old technology when the newer technology is so much better? After all we don’t use cathode ray tubes anymore because better and more efficient technology has superseded it, not because it didn’t work.
eFlux Pump

MD 18

Eheim pump

My recommendation is this: You can never have too much of a good thing until you don’t need it. DC pumps with their rheostats controlled outputs or push button water regulation really are the future of this aquarium hobby. They give you room to expand when it is needed and may save you money on additional power heads and pumps in the future along with saving room on electrical cords and valuable real state on that power strip. For the price, I find the eFlux 1900 to be worth the cost of admission and then some. AC is out and adjustable DC is now in. It now gives me the water movement I want and turnover rate without sacrificing velocity over volume.

Ed note: I’m sure there are quieter DC pumps out there put at what cost? Will that cost be justified in better quality of the pumps stator and rotor or just added gimmicks? They all seem to have ceramic bearings and shafts so where does all the extra hundreds of dollars go for? Plus caution must be taken with some DC pumps because they come from Europe and have metric fittings and oddball size connectors that nothing here in the USA, as for as PVC piping goes, will fit it, so the hobbyist must use only the fitting that are provided with the pump.

[1] Some advertising terms used: QUOTE: “Epoxy filled, hermetically sealed, low energy consumption motors result in silent, efficient operation while surpassing the highest safety standards”. And “Quiet Operation, the sealed DC motor and magnetic drive design allows the pumps to run virtually silent.”

[2] This output would be significantly better if a ¾” or 1” pipe I.D. output was being used instead of the ½” I.D. pipe.