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Old 02-10-2013, 12:21 AM   #1
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Can Anyone Recommend a Really Powerful Air Pump? (Plus a Filter Intake Question)

I am in need of a very powerful air pump that can feed a ton of power to two 18" bubble bars at the bottom of my new, somewhat deeper-than-usual Marineland 60 gallon; the pumps I'm using now -- a Rena Air 400 and a Tetra Whisper 60, both of which are running "bridged" with a T-connector, so that the power from both the pumps' dual outlets are combined to feed maximum pressure to each of the bars -- are simply not providing enough power, seemingly, to make these bars spray lots of thick bubbles. I did a test in which I disconnected the tubing that's feeding each of the pumps and blew with all my might into the tubes, and the bars EXPLODED with CASCADES of thick, beautiful bubbles, which is the effect I'm trying to get, so this leads me to believe the bars are not defective or are clogged; as soon as I hook the pumps back up, the bubbles get much weaker...

Can anyone suggest a really good, powerful pump (even if it's online) that could feed two bubble bars with a ton of pressure so they can bubble well? Is there one out there that can feed two seprate bars alone?

Also -- on the same topic, sort of -- right now, I have my bubble bars kind of against the back glass of the tank, so they make a "curtain" of bubbles in the rear...but in doing this, the filter intakes from my two HOBs are sucking in the bubbles, and the noise coming from the AquaClear in particular as it grinds up the bubbles into microbubbles is driving me absolutely bonkers...

If I move the bars IN FRONT OF the filter intakes, would this prevent them from being sucked up by the HOBs for the most part?
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:09 AM   #2
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These will certainly do the job but they're a little louder than you've average pump, if you want silent then I'd get a Alita Al-6A. I use a Al-15 in my fish room and I can't even hear it running.

EcoPlus Commercial Air 1

Or

Alita AL-6A Linear Air Pump
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
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These will certainly do the job but they're a little louder than you've average pump, if you want silent then I'd get a Alita Al-6A. I use a Al-15 in my fish room and I can't even hear it running.

EcoPlus Commercial Air 1

Or

Alita AL-6A Linear Air Pump
Hello, HUKIT!

Thanks so much for the reply; indeed, these EcoPlus models keep coming up as a suggestion even on another site I frequent. Here's the thing, though: I don't know, out of all of the ones they offer, which is a good one to go with for my 60 gallon tank. After all, I'm not running an entire fish room, breeding facility or consumer pet shop -- which would be good for running just two bubble bars off one of these things? Would the entry-level model you cite, the Air Pump 1, be sufficient for my needs, or do I need to step into their more expensive models?

Further -- from the pictures, it seems a bit daunting to connect these things up to standard airline tubing, as I'm running...how would I take one of these pumps and arrange its output so that it's feeding the two bars? Just run one airline from one output, and another from one of the EcoPlus' other outputs? Does any "bridging" need to be done here with a T-connector to get max output?

Thanks again !
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:50 PM   #4
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I would get the entry level one, I've used one to run 12 sponges in 12 40g breeders so there should be plenty of air for 2 bubble wands. I would even try one of those Top Fin 8000 pumps from Petsmart, they have 4 outlets which is easy to run down into 2. Plus their return policy makes it easy if it doesn't work out. They are the same pumps as Supreme air with a different case for Petsmart.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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I would get the entry level one, I've used one to run 12 sponges in 12 40g breeders so there should be plenty of air for 2 bubble wands. I would even try one of those Top Fin 8000 pumps from Petsmart, they have 4 outlets which is easy to run down into 2. Plus their return policy makes it easy if it doesn't work out. They are the same pumps as Supreme air with a different case for Petsmart.
Okay, so I would narrow the search down to the EcoPlus 1 model...thanks!

As for the Air 8000 from Top Fin, I actually bought one of those once and the air pressure it produced didn't impress me, nor did the level of noise which was RIDICULOUSLY loud and buzzed annoyingly beyond anything I had ever heard. I ended up returning it...

If I did go with another Top Fin Air 8000, how would I bridge the four outputs to run two devices?
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:54 PM   #6
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UPDATE:

Okay, so just today I caved and purchased the Top Fin Air 8000 (Aquarium Pump Top Fin Air Pump AIR 1000| PetSmart), which, as the member who had been assisting me above in the thread mentioned, is merely a repackaged pump which Pet-not-so-Smart sells under their "Top Fin" house label. I had one of these before but HATED it because it rattled and buzzed like nobody's business when the flow control was turned up high, and this annoyed us to no end. I couldn't even stifle the vibrations and buzzing noise with a towel (it was obviously returned). I just figured I would give this pump a shot again to see if it improves my bubbling issue with the bars before I go the more expensive route with one of the more "pro" type pumps being discussed; if it doesn't, the return policy, as also mentioned in this thread, makes it easy to give back...

As for connections, what I am going to do is as follows (and I'd like some feedback on this): I was planning on cutting pieces of longer (than I'm using now) tubing to connect to two of this pump's four outlets, then use a T-connector to run that outlet to one bubble bar, while doing the same for the Top Fin's other two outlets to feed the other bubble bar...should this give me nice airflow?
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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I found with my pump which was an older used one anyway My performance was much better by blocking off the other tube outlets with a couple inches of tubing and the off plug. that gave much more power to the remaining one for the bubbler.

Also not that you want to change it atm, but the Top Fin 48" flexible bubble wand, comes in black, adjusts around rocks, filters and decorations. It seemed like it would be too long but when you start snaking it around things it is amazing how fast it gets utilized. Its bendable and holds its shape.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot for your input, Autumn; it's greatly appreciated...
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I found with my pump which was an older used one anyway My performance was much better by blocking off the other tube outlets with a couple inches of tubing and the off plug. that gave much more power to the remaining one for the bubbler.
I think I have my system set up differently from what you describe here, so let me see if I can explain it and if we're on the same page with what you're suggesting -- what I do with the two pumps I own (a Tetra Whisper 60 and a Rena Air 400, both of which have dual air outlets) is slip on two small pieces of airline tubing to each of the pumps' outlets, then connect those to a "T-type connector," and from there, a longer piece of tubing goes to a bubble bar...the same thing happens with the other pump. So, essentially, EACH bubble bar is being powered by ONE pump, with BOTH their outlets "bridged" for maximum output...

Wouldn't this be the same as what you're suggesting with "blocking off" the other outlets, or, essentially, giving GREATER air output being that I'm actually USING both outlet ports of the pumps?

Quote:
Also not that you want to change it atm, but the Top Fin 48" flexible bubble wand, comes in black, adjusts around rocks, filters and decorations. It seemed like it would be too long but when you start snaking it around things it is amazing how fast it gets utilized. Its bendable and holds its shape.
I have been down the endless (seemingly) road of bubble bars, wands and flexible tubes before...I actually owned both the Top Fin bubble wall things you attach to the glass with suction cups (AWFUL; they broke in no time) as well as Marineland's flexible bubble wand, and both options just didn't work as I wanted them to. I actually prefer the "curtain in back" bubble wall look rather than the "snaking around the tank" look that you describe that is achieved with flexible bubblers; as such, I heard good things about Petco's bubble bars (Petco Bubble Bars for Fresh and Saltwater Aquariums at PETCO) and purchased two 18" variants for the back of my 60 gallon. I like the look, but have NEVER been able to get these things to blast full bubbles out, no matter what pump I use...

I'll let you know how the second attempt at using the Top Fin Air 8000 pump goes when I hook it up later...
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:51 PM   #9
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I had similar problems before trying to get the air to blast out for maximum bubble curtain wall coverage. This was a while back and things have changed a little in the tanks.

Then I was using what I had from various used purchases, etc. The way I made a better outflow bubble wall for mine was to shut off one of the air flows as mentioned above using only one for maximum out flow.

The old dual out put is a Challenger II by SecondNature. The one the flexible black one is on.


These two pumps are single air tube kind.

The one in my other tank is a whisper 20 and that doesn't quite do the job, and I switched it to the Million-Aire MA-200 .....and it is kick-in the bubble curtain a new one. Nice even curtain of bubbles out of the whole 17" of wand, it is a foam type whitish greenish long one piece like a stick. Sorry its been a couple years since I bought it and stuck it in there so don't remember the name, I think it might be Marineland though.

Moved my filter all the way to one side and off set the bubble curtain just out of bubble reach. lol

-scared off the Bamboo shrimp!!! who was hiding under the HOB filter!!!
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:17 AM   #10
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Bubble curtain

I've got two twenty four inch petco brand bubble bars for my 55 gallon and they are easily powered by the petco brand four way power air pump. It has four air outlets and I use t valves to connect two and use two outlets to a bubble bar. The petco brand pump is by far the best I've ever owned. Good luck!
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