Hydrocyclones - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Has anyone here attempted to make a hydrocyclone for use as a canister pre-filter or a sand separator?

They are already being made for pond and pool pre-filters so why not design them for aquarium use?

Further explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrocyclone

Pond / pool pre-filters: http://www.astralpool.com.au/promoti...ning-made-easy

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 08:29 PM
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so lemme get this concept straight...

1. water gets fed into a sealed chamber.
2. Water gets pushed at high head pressure so it cyclones.
3. Centrifical force separates matter and liquid
4. collector collects matter, and clean liquid gets fed back into system.

By increasing centrifugal force you can separate everything out of solution if your force is great...

Ummm i dont see how your going to get the water to cyclone that fast without using a very large pump which was shown in the video.

The best you can do with head pressure with normal pumps wouldnt allow you to separate water disolved solids....
You would probably need to spend more money then you would on a canister just for the driving pump.

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Doesnt that kinda sound like a protein skimmer?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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I did some more research and found out that a larger pump is not needed if the hydrocyclone is reduced in size. A hydrocyclone that is two inches in diameter can spin-out particles that are smaller than the thickness of a human hair (100 microns) and require fewer gallons per minute to do this

An Aqua clear 50 Power Head (old 402) is 270 gph max or 4.5 gpm.

Also, the internal pressure problem is reversed when water is pulled through the outlet instead of pushed through the inlet.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 06:14 PM
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well if i was going to use a pump for this, id probably use a mag drive meant for PC which gave a lot higher head pressure.

Like a DDC-3.25 class, which can spit water at about 4.9m head on 12V.
If you serial 2 of them, you could probably squeeze around 9-10m head... which is a SIGNIFICANT amount of head pressure... your talking about a water stream roughly 30 feet high.

We had cyclone problems on PC reserviors which had a 60mm diameter.
The cyclone wasnt anywhere near the level your talking about tho...

and no there is no internal pressure.
The pump pushes water in a half closed circuilt, which causes the other end to pull water because of physics...

The main problem in this type of filter is how are you going to centrifuge the liquid, and collection.

If it was this easy... we would have protein skimmers already for freshwater, but as u know, there is no such thing.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 07:33 PM
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This would be fun to play with, but for most aquariums I don't think it'd be very practical.

#1. The turbidity is fairly low and there just isn't that much solid material in the water.
#2. There's some pretty advanced fluid engineering going on here and you'd have a hard time making it work right.

From what I know (cyclone separators in industrial air emission control systems), there are 2 cyclones inside the chamber. One cyclone spinning down the outside walls and one going back up the center. The diameter of the cone, the angle of the wall taper, the size of the side inlet and the diameter of the top outlet all need to be calculated for this thing to work right.

Also, this system is highly dependent on flow rates: If your flow is too high, you'll re-entrain the debris back into the stream and your cyclone will be useless. On the other hand, if the flow is too slow, the debris won't be 'spun out' ... It will just flow right to the outlet (again rendering the cyclone useless).

I personally wouldn't try it, but if you do, be sure to post pics!
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