Can someone explain the different types of impellers to me? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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Can someone explain the different types of impellers to me?

I've been reading a lot about powerheads, skimmers, and pretty much everything else that pushes water and I keep hearing about needle wheel impellers, pin wheel impellers, mesh impellers and I have no idea what the differences are. Can someone please explain???

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 06:15 AM
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I've been reading a lot about powerheads, skimmers, and pretty much everything else that pushes water and I keep hearing about needle wheel impellers, pin wheel impellers, mesh impellers and I have no idea what the differences are. Can someone please explain???

AFAIK Needle/Pin wheel impellers are designed and used in Protein Skimmers. The impeller, instead of having flat blade, is made up of blades with a bunch of small pins on them that break up bubbles into smaller bubbles. A bunch of tiny bubbles have a greater surface area for nutrients to stick to before they rise into the skimmer cup.

Mesh impellers are needle/pin wheel impellers with plastic mesh attached to them to attempt to create even smaller bubbles.

Standard Impeller


Needle/Pin Wheel Impeller


Mesh Mod Impeller
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 06:20 AM
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All 3 are synonymous: impellers with a lot of thin blades. A standard impeller (in this hobby) has about 4-6 'paddles', while a 'neeedle wheel' might have x3-x4 that number.

Commonly used to chop up co2 for better diffusion. A needle impeller that rotates at a slower RPM then a 'regular' impeller is better suited for that purpose.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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That makes sense. I have heard of people modding a standard impeller into a needle style in powerheads, mostly for CO2, but does the needle wheel flow more than the standard impeller?

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 06:56 AM
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I am not positive, but I would think you'd get less flow than a standard impeller.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 06:31 PM
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The needle wheel impeller does have less flow than a standard impeller. I have 2 Mag-Drive 7 pumps, 1 w/ fractioning impeller and 1 w/ standard impeller and the one with a needle wheel impeller does have a lot less flow than the standard impeller pump and they are the exact same pump with the exception of the impeller.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 08:20 PM
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The other sort is found in Koralia and similar power heads. More like a boat or airplane propeller.
You get maximum water movement per watt of electricity.
But I have only seen these in a fairly open set up, not as the power of a canister or HOB filter. I do not know if they work in a pump.
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