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Old 02-17-2013, 01:29 AM   #21
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I'm Pretty Much Done...

Alright. Fooled around with the two bars some more tonight, further messing up my wife's aquascaping job that was in progress, to try and see what I could do to stop the cavitation noise coming from my HOB filter that's sucking in bubbles...

The ONLY way I could get the bubbles to stop going into the AquaClear 110's intake was to move these bars so far forward in this narrow tank, it appeared as though the bubbles were coming from the MIDDLE of the aquarium; I didn't care for the effect. So, I went back into the tank and pushed both bars back against the back glass pretty much, burying them once more under the substrate, tried to do some aquascaping fixing then decided -- because of all of the debris my hands in the tank were kicking up and the turbulence of the water kinda freaking out the goldfish -- to do about a 15-20% water change. After that, I started up both HOBs again, and the intake cavitation noise is back and greater than ever. This horrible grinding/bubble chopping noise, along with the ridiculous hum/buzz of my stupid Top Fin pump when it's running at maximum output, is driving me absolutely crazy, and takes away from the serene/calm effect an aquarium is supposed to provide. I don't know what to do, save for just ripping the bubble bars out and living without them...

My wife suggested, over the phone because she was on her shift at work, just removing one of the bars, so that just one bar will be towards the center of the back of the tank, therefore no bubbles could be sucked in by the filter intakes...but I don't know if I like that look. I was after making a nearly complete "bubble curtain" along the back glass, and although I see many people's tanks with bubbles just in the center back, or off to a side, I just don't know if I care for that...

Anyone's input and/or thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:49 PM   #22
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UPDATE:

Side note: I tried what my wife mentioned -- that is, removing one bubble bar and moving the other one so that it sits kind of "between" the two filter intakes, sort of "off center" in the back of the tank -- but I didn't care for it, as it made the right side of the back look empty and "unbalanced;" I moved the two bars back together again so it appears as though a nearly complete wall is formed in the rear of the aquarium...

Okay, so the Top Fin AIR-8000 I recently (re)purchased has been really pumpin' out the bubbles to the two bubble bars in my tank, and giving the effect I was looking for. Outside of the HORRENDOUS vibration/buzz/humming this thing gives off (which I would probably have to deal with on the commercial pumps as well), I've been happy with its performance. And I think I stumbled on what may have been causing the issues in the past with the Tetra and Rena pumps, as suggested to me by someone on one of the forums I frequent (can't recall if it was this one; have to check the back pages of this thread) -- the fact that I am not using very short tubing pieces to connect the two outputs to feed one bar.

In the past, I had cut some pretty stubby pieces of airline tubing to "bridge" the two outputs of the pumps together with a T-connector for output, and I think this was causing "backpressure" on the pump; at any rate, the AIR-8000 seems to be pumping and supplying a nice amount of air pressure -- so much so I have to continuously turn the control wheel down!

Here are the remaining dilemmas with regard to this pump issue (and I will revisit this thread should the AIR-8000 give me problems or I need to upgrade again, as I'll be looking to the "pro" commercial-type pumps at that point): The noise from one of the bars spitting bubbles into my AquaClear 110 HOB's intake is still driving me INSANE; because of my setup, I couldn't find any other way to make these bars work, so unfortunately the 110's intake stem is sucking bubbles directly into the filter box, causing the "box of rocks" noise I am hearing. While it doesn't bother my wife in the least bit, I can't stand it, and feels it takes away from the "serene, peaceful" experience an aquarium is supposed to provide to its observers. What I'm thinking is that perhaps I could place a stone, rock or pile of extra substrate I have over that patch of bubble bar which is directly under the filter intake, so the bubbles don't go directly into it...in theory, this should make more bubbles come out of the remainder of the bar, right? Does this sound like a viable option?

The second issue is the aforementioned buzzing/humming/vibrating coming from the Top Fin pump (a common problem amongst owners of this model). I have placed it on two pretty thick washcloths, stacked on top of one another, in the attempt to absorb the vibration and noise, but it still hums and buzzes. I have even wrapped a towel around the pump, completely, and the noise seemed to get WORSE if you can believe that...is there ANYTHING else, short of putting the pump in another room (which isn't an option), I can try to squelch the noise of this pump?
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:27 AM   #23
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I have a commercial size air pump (Alita AL-60) and it's completely silent, so I think design has a lot to do with the amount of noise it produces. I've messed with blowers that are insanely loud no matter what you do, and also the big top fin pump which wasn't too bad after setting it on a pile of rags.

I've also had some that had loose housings on them which caused the rattling noise and if I squeezed the pump a little it'd stop the noise, so I used duct tape to bind it together with a little pressure.

One other thing you could try, which would require a bit of handywork, build a box to put it in and add some sound insulating material. Just make sure it still gets some air flow and doesn't get too hot in there.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetajockey View Post
I have a commercial size air pump (Alita AL-60) and it's completely silent, so I think design has a lot to do with the amount of noise it produces. I've messed with blowers that are insanely loud no matter what you do, and also the big top fin pump which wasn't too bad after setting it on a pile of rags.

I've also had some that had loose housings on them which caused the rattling noise and if I squeezed the pump a little it'd stop the noise, so I used duct tape to bind it together with a little pressure.

One other thing you could try, which would require a bit of handywork, build a box to put it in and add some sound insulating material. Just make sure it still gets some air flow and doesn't get too hot in there.
Hi Jeta,

Thanks, as always; indeed, with the Top Fin 8000 that you reference and which I'm talking about here, I thought placing the unit atop two washcloths would work. I will try, I suppose, adding even more beneath the pump to see if that helps. Doing the wordworking myself to create a box for it to sit in is out of the question -- but I would consider perhaps placing it on a mousepad (which has reported to have worked) or maybe getting some styrofoam material to place it on...
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